Monday, June 26, 2017

Experts warn that Trumpcare could destabilize insurance markets, as Senate Republicans express doubts there are enough votes for it to pass.

Courtesy of The Hill:

One of the primary arguments from Republicans for repealing ObamaCare is that the healthcare law is “collapsing.” But experts warn that the GOP’s legislation might destabilize insurance markets even more over time. 

The Senate’s ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill, released Thursday, would abolish ObamaCare’s mandate for people to have insurance, but it would still bar insurers from denying people coverage for pre-existing conditions. 

Experts warn that arrangement would allow people to wait until they get sick to buy insurance coverage, likely driving up premiums.

On top of that, the GOP bill cuts back on ObamaCare’s tax credits, providing less financial assistance to help people afford a plan. So in addition to the lack of an enforcement “stick” to get healthy people to enroll, there would also be less of a “carrot,” in the form of financial assistance. 

This combination could lead to more insurers pulling out of the market or hiking premiums, experts say, exactly the problems under ObamaCare that Republicans have talked about solving. 

“A combination of repealing the individual mandate and diminishing premium subsidies would tend to destabilize the market,” said Larry Levitt, a healthcare expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Like I said before, the Republicans are not working to replace Obamacare with something better, they are just taking the worst parts of the law and amplifying them.

And that has not been lost on some key Republican Senators who fear the passage of this bill will be their downfall.

Courtesy of Politico: 

Senate Republicans are casting doubt on their leaders’ plans to vote this week on repealing Obamacare, with lawmakers from all wings of the party so far withholding support from the massive reshaping of the health care law that they campaigned on for seven years. 

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky faces problems from seemingly every corner of his conference, and — from wary moderates to conservatives and even leadership allies — few Republicans were willing Sunday to predict the Senate repeal bill could pass this week, before lawmakers leave Washington for a weeklong July 4 recess.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) outlined “very serious concerns” about GOP leaders’ bill on ABC’s “This Week,” saying that “it's certainly going to be very difficult” for McConnell to win the 50 votes he needs to pass it on such a tight time frame.

I really doubt that more time will make much difference as the Republicans at their core really don't want to pass a health care plan. 

But their inability to pass this crappy bill really does not do much to help those who need health insurance.

The Republicans have already done much to undermine the success of Obamacare, and if they do not work to make it better it will get steadily worse.

That may be something they think works for them politically, but in reality it literally means a substantial loss of life and Americans suffering needlessly from health care problems that could be solved with one or more visits to a doctor. 

Supreme Court reinstates a portion of Trump's Muslim travel ban before it considers the entire policy in the fall.

Courtesy of WaPo: 

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to allow a limited version of President Trump’s ban on travelers from six mostly Muslim countries to take effect and will consider in the fall the president’s broad powers in immigration matters in a case that raises fundamental issues of national security and religious discrimination. 

The court made an important exception: It said the ban “may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” 

In the unsigned opinion, the court said that a foreign national who wants to visit or live with a family member would have such a relationship, and so would students from the designated countries — Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — who were admitted to a U.S. university. 

The court said it would hear the case when it reconvenes in October. But it also indicated in the ruling that things may change dramatically by then. It asked the parties to address whether the case would be moot by the time it hears it; the ban is supposed to be a temporary one while the government reviews its vetting procedures.

This part really concerns me: 

Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch would have let the ban take effect as written and objected to what they called the court’s “compromise.”

This means that three of the nine Justices already want to allow this ban to take effect, which also means they only need to convince two more and this clearly unconstitutional policy goes into effect just as it was written by Steve Bannon.

 I almost literally do not recognize the country we are living in anymore.

Trump takes to Twitter to attack the Democrats, accuse Obama of collusion, and demand an apology.

Yes Donald Trump is very angry that the Democrats will not join the Republicans in undermining their signature health care plan, and taking health insurance away from over twenty five million Americans.

And yes of course they had policies and ideas, Trump is currently working on repealing all of them.

Let's be clear, we ALL expected Clinton to win. 

As for President Obama's response to news of the Russian interference, he could not actually do anything publicly because he feared it would be seen as taking sides and could have undermined the election process.

President Obama was one of the most ethic presidents in history, so that is something he simply would not do.
Actually President Obama had the intelligence agencies look into the Russian interference and issue a report. He also set in motion the investigations which are now causing Donald Trump to freak out on Twitter like this.

As for an apology, fuck you!

New evidence is being revealed every day, and the more we learn the worse it looks for Donald Trump.

As many as four million may be able to sue over robocalls made to their phones by Mike Huckabee pimping some straight to DVD "War on Christmas" movie.

Courtesy of the Daily Beast:  

This week, potential litigants from Nebraska to Oklahoma received mailers offering the opportunity to join a class action lawsuit if former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee robocalled their houses with advertisements for a straight-to-DVD movie about the War on Christmas. 

“If you received one or more telephone calls that used the recorded voice of Mike Huckabee to deliver a message as part of a campaign for the movie Last Ounce of Courage, you may be a class member in a class action lawsuit,” the mailer reads. 

Lawyers for plaintiffs Dorit and Ron Golan, who first filed the suit in 2014, allege that more than 4 million calls were made in the marketing campaign for Last Ounce of Courage. The case was first dismissed in May of 2014, then allowed to proceed by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in June of 2015. The class action was certified by a U.S. district court judge in St. Louis in January of this year. 

Huckabee himself was originally listed as a defendant but was later removed from the case, according to a memorandum from United States District Judge E. Richard Webber, the person who initially determined that the Golans did not have a case. The suit hinges on the plaintiffs alleging that the calls are in potential violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which stipulates that unsolicited messages with commercial content via telephone is unlawful.

As you might imagine Huckabee was not prepared to speak to reporters about this case.

Okay look I don't like solicitors calling me at home either, but how bad can this movie be that so many people are prepared to sue over being asked to purchase it?

Holy crap! I actually want to get in on this lawsuit for just having to watch the trailer.

And get a load of the heavy handed marketing campaign: 

“The advertising campaign for Last Ounce of Courage included approximately 4 million telephone calls to residential telephone numbers through many states in the United States and ‘Email to Text (ETT) Messages’ to 30 million cell phones,” the complaint alleges. 

What’s more is that the complaint contends the calls were meant to appear as if they were a survey to see whether call recipients had “traditional American values.” And “if the recipients believed in freedom and liberty, they would enjoy Last Ounce of Courage.”Here are some of the segments the complaint alleges were featured in the call: 

“Hello, this is Governor Mike Huckabee with a 45-second survey. Do you believe in American Freedom and Liberty?” 

“Would you, like me, Mike Huckabee, like to see Hollywood respect and promote traditional American values?” 

“I am an enthusiastic supporter of a new movie called Last Ounce of Courage. It is a film about faith, freedom, and taking a stand for American values.” Some of the calls also allegedly included plugs for Huckabee’s radio show, which the the Golans’ lawyers point to in the complaint.

Yeah I think this is reasonable grounds for a lawsuit, I just wish that the original judge had not removed Huckabee who it appears "composed, reviewed, and modified the script, made the recording, inserted material into the script and recording advertising his radio show, inserted material into the recording personally benefitting him, all with the knowledge and expectation that his recording be played on 4 million illegal calls."

Seems to me that he should be the number one defendant named in the suit. 

I cannot believe these idiots are still trying to fan the flames on that ridiculous "War on Christmas" bullshit.

And what do they do now that Donald Trump is in the White House?

What am I saying? This it too good of a gig to simply walk away from.

They will continue pushing this "fake news" while blaming it on Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats. 

The New York Times attempts to catalogue every lie that Donald Trump has told since taking office.

Here is a sample courtesy of the NYT: 

JAN. 21 “I wasn't a fan of Iraq. I didn't want to go into Iraq.” (He was for an invasion before he was against it.)
JAN. 21 “A reporter for Time magazine — and I have been on their cover 14 or 15 times. I think we have the all-time record in the history of Time magazine.” (Trump was on the cover 11 times and Nixon appeared 55 times.)
JAN. 23 “Between 3 million and 5 million illegal votes caused me to lose the popular vote.” (There's no evidence of illegal voting.)
JAN. 25 “Now, the audience was the biggest ever. But this crowd was massive. Look how far back it goes. This crowd was massive.” (Official aerial photos show Obama's 2009 inauguration was much more heavily attended.)
JAN. 25 “Take a look at the Pew reports (which show voter fraud.)” (The report never mentioned voter fraud.)
JAN. 25 “You had millions of people that now aren't insured anymore.” (The real number is less than 1 million, according to the Urban Institute.)
JAN. 25 “So, look, when President Obama was there two weeks ago making a speech, very nice speech. Two people were shot and killed during his speech. You can't have that.” (There were no gun homicide victims in Chicago that day.)
JAN. 26 “We've taken in tens of thousands of people. We know nothing about them. They can say they vet them. They didn't vet them. They have no papers. How can you vet somebody when you don't know anything about them and you have no papers? How do you vet them? You can't.” (Vetting lasts up to two years.)
JAN. 26 “I cut off hundreds of millions of dollars off one particular plane, hundreds of millions of dollars in a short period of time. It wasn't like I spent, like, weeks, hours, less than hours, and many, many hundreds of millions of dollars. And the plane's going to be better.” (Most of the cuts were already planned.)
JAN. 28 “The coverage about me in the @nytimes and the @washingtonpost has been so false and angry that the Times actually apologized to its dwindling subscribers and readers.” (It never apologized.)JAN. 29 “The Cuban-Americans, I got 84 percent of that vote.” (There is no support for this.)
JAN. 30 “Only 109 people out of 325,000 were detained and held for questioning. Big problems at airports were caused by Delta computer outage.” (At least 746 people were detained and processed, and the Delta outage happened two days later.)
FEB. 3 “Professional anarchists, thugs and paid protesters are proving the point of the millions of people who voted to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” (There is no evidence of paid protesters.)
FEB. 4 “After being forced to apologize for its bad and inaccurate coverage of me after winning the election, the FAKE NEWS @nytimes is still lost!” (It never apologized.)
FEB. 5 “We had 109 people out of hundreds of thousands of travelers and all we did was vet those people very, very carefully.” (About 60,000 people were affected.)
FEB. 6 “I have already saved more than $700 million when I got involved in the negotiation on the F-35.” (Much of the price drop was projected before Trump took office.)
FEB. 6 “It's gotten to a point where it is not even being reported. And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it.” (Terrorism has been reported on, often in detail.)
FEB. 6 “The failing @nytimes was forced to apologize to its subscribers for the poor reporting it did on my election win. Now they are worse!” (It didn't apologize.)
FEB. 6 “And the previous administration allowed it to happen because we shouldn't have been in Iraq, but we shouldn't have gotten out the way we got out. It created a vacuum, ISIS was formed.” (The group’s origins date to 2004.)
FEB. 7 “And yet the murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years, right? Did you know that? Forty-seven years.” (It was higher in the 1980s and '90s.)
FEB. 7 “I saved more than $600 million. I got involved in negotiation on a fighter jet, the F-35.” (The Defense Department projected this price drop before Trump took office.)
FEB. 9 “Chris Cuomo, in his interview with Sen. Blumenthal, never asked him about his long-term lie about his brave ‘service’ in Vietnam. FAKE NEWS!” (It was part of Cuomo's first question.)
FEB. 9 Sen. Richard Blumenthal “now misrepresents what Judge Gorsuch told him?” (The Gorsuch comments were later corroborated.)
FEB. 10 “I don’t know about it. I haven’t seen it. What report is that?” (Trump knew about Flynn's actions for weeks.)
FEB. 12 “Just leaving Florida. Big crowds of enthusiastic supporters lining the road that the FAKE NEWS media refuses to mention. Very dishonest!” (The media did cover it.)
FEB. 16 “We got 306 because people came out and voted like they've never seen before so that's the way it goes. I guess it was the biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan.” (George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama all won bigger margins in the Electoral College.)
FEB. 16 “That’s the other thing that was wrong with the travel ban. You had Delta with a massive problem with their computer system at the airports.” (Delta's problems happened two days later.)
FEB. 16 “Walmart announced it will create 10,000 jobs in the United States just this year because of our various plans and initiatives.” (The jobs are a result of its investment plans announced in October 2016.)
FEB. 16 “When WikiLeaks, which I had nothing to do with, comes out and happens to give, they’re not giving classified information.” (Not always. They have released classified information in the past.)
FEB. 16 “We had a very smooth rollout of the travel ban. But we had a bad court. Got a bad decision.” (The rollout was chaotic.)
FEB. 16 “They’re giving stuff — what was said at an office about Hillary cheating on the debates. Which, by the way, nobody mentions. Nobody mentions that Hillary received the questions to the debates.” (It was widely covered.)
FEB. 18 “And there was no way to vet those people. There was no documentation. There was no nothing.” (Refugees receive multiple background checks, taking up to two years.)
FEB. 18 “You look at what's happening in Germany, you look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this?” (Trump implied there was a terror attack in Sweden, but there was no such attack.)
FEB. 24 “By the way, you folks are in here — this place is packed, there are lines that go back six blocks.” (There was no evidence of long lines.)
FEB. 24 “ICE came and endorsed me.” (Only its union did.)
FEB. 24 “Obamacare covers very few people — and remember, deduct from the number all of the people that had great health care that they loved that was taken away from them — it was taken away from them.” (Obamacare increased coverage by a net of about 20 million.)
FEB. 27 “Since Obamacare went into effect, nearly half of the insurers are stopped and have stopped from participating in the Obamacare exchanges.” (Many fewer pulled out.)
FEB. 27 “On one plane, on a small order of one plane, I saved $725 million. And I would say I devoted about, if I added it up, all those calls, probably about an hour. So I think that might be my highest and best use.” (Much of the price cut was already projected.)
FEB. 28 “And now, based on our very strong and frank discussions, they are beginning to do just that.” (NATO countries agreed to meet defense spending requirements in 2014.)
FEB. 28 “The E.P.A.’s regulators were putting people out of jobs by the hundreds of thousands.” (There's no evidence that the Waters of the United States rule caused severe job losses.)
FEB. 28 “We have begun to drain the swamp of government corruption by imposing a five-year ban on lobbying by executive branch officials.” (They can't lobby their former agency but can still become lobbyists.)

That just gets us through February. There are many, many more on the list, and of course more coming out every single day.

It is obvious to me that the only logical way to move forward is to automatically assume that everything Donald Trump, or his administration, says is a lie.

This is beyond surreal.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

This just in from the Donald Trump propaganda network.

Check out how this tool Peter Hegseth starts this interview:

"You've faced resistance on this bill, but of course you've faced resistance on the entirety of you agenda. Whose been your biggest opponent? Has it been Democrats resisting, has it been fake news media, has it been deep state leaks?"

That is literally how Alex Jones would start an interview with Donald Trump.

No wonder Trump only gives interviews to Fox News, if they could ask questions out of the corner of their mouths while attached leech-like to his giant tangerine ass they would do it.

Pretty clear why CNN called Fox and Friends "State TV."

In the interview Trump once again refers to Senator Elizabeth Warren as "Pocahontas," while suggesting that is was an insult to the actual Pocahontas.

He also claims that Warren's anger hurt Hillary's campaign, because you know a woman showing emotion or passion is always a bad thing in Trump's world.

That's why Melania rarely ever changes her expression.

Trump also got a little testy at Barack Obama who called the GOP health care bill "mean."

Trump was not upset that he called it that, he was upset because he claims he coined the phrase.
Toward the end of the interview (At the 6:29 mark.) Trump also claimed that he JUST learned that former President Obama knew about the Russian interference before the election.

(WTF? We all knew about the Russian interference before the election, so of course Obama knew.)

Trump then once again slams Obama for not doing more to stop the Russians from getting him elected.

I swear every time I watch an interview with Donald Trump I have to ask myself whether or not I am having some kind of LSD flashback.  Because it just doesn't seem like it could be happening in real life.

And damn don't we all wish it wasn't.

Trump's tweets are a goldmine for spies, and they can use them to anticipate his next move or even determine what they will be.

Courtesy of WaPo: 

Trump’s Twitter feed is a gold mine for every foreign intelligence agency. Usually, intelligence officers’ efforts to collect information on world leaders are methodical, painstaking and often covert. CIA operatives have risked their lives to learn about foreign leaders so the United States could devise strategies to counter our adversaries. With Trump, though, secret operations are not necessary to understand what’s on his mind: The president’s unfiltered thoughts are available night and day, broadcast to his 32.7 million Twitter followers immediately and without much obvious mediation by diplomats, strategists or handlers. 

Intelligence agencies try to answer these main questions when looking at a rival head of state: Who is he as a person? What type of leader is he? How does that compare to what he strives to be or presents himself as? What can we expect from him? And how can we use this insight to our advantage? 

At the CIA, I tracked and analyzed terrorists and other U.S. enemies, including North Korea. But we never had such a rich source of raw intelligence about a world leader, and we certainly never had the opportunity that our adversaries (and our allies) have now — to get a real-time glimpse of a major world leader’s preoccupations, personality quirks and habits of mind. If we had, it would have given us significant advantages in our dealings with them. 

Trump’s tweets offer plenty of material for analysis. His frequent strong statements in reaction to news coverage or events make it appear as if he lacks impulse control. In building a profile of Trump, an analyst would offer suggestions on how foreign nations could instigate stress or deescalate situations, depending on what type of influence they may want to have over the president.

Great, so not only is Trump embarrassing the country with his constant tweeting, but he is also allowing foreign spies to monitor and perhaps manipulate him like no other president before him.

A little further down in the article are these two paragraphs: 

What Trump doesn’t say can be very revealing, too. For instance, the lapse of time between when the USS Fitzgerald collided with a cargo ship off the coast of Japan (12:30 p.m. on June 16, in Washington) and when the president tweeted about the incident (10:08 a.m. the next day) was nearly 23 hours. The tragedy marked the U.S. Navy’s most significant loss of life aboard a vessel since terrorists bombed the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000. 

Typically, a president would quickly make public remarks about a significant military loss. With Trump, intelligence analysts would note the inconsistency compared with previous administrations and search for similar patterns. Is Trump so hands-off that he waited for his secretary of defense to speak? Did something else capture his attention during those hours that he found to be a higher priority? Between the crash and his first public statement about it, Trump tweeted a video of his remarks on a new Cuba policy, a picture of himself signing the Cuba memorandum and a reference to his campaign promise about Cuba; he also retweeted Sean Hannity, a Fox News personality, promoting an upcoming show on the “Deep State’s allies in the media” working to undermine Trump. 

Fairly easy to determine from his tweets that Trump does not know how to respond to a national crisis or emergency until he receives instruction from his aides, but has a knee jerk reaction to every perceived slight which inspires a quick and most often inappropriate off the cuff response.

At the end of the article there is this observation:

Even deleted tweets would be of interest. Trump mostly appears to delete tweets because of spelling errors, later replacing them with a correction. For an intelligence analyst, this would confirm that Trump’s Twitter feed really is a raw insight into his thought process, without much input from aides. 

Analysts would also be likely to use technology to perform content analysis on the president’s tweets in the aggregate. Intelligence agencies can employ a more robust version than the open-source projects that news organizations have used, because they can marry Trump’s tweets with information they collect through intercepts and other means. Software could look for patterns in speech or word categories representing confidence related to policy, whether Trump is considering opposing points of view and if he harbors uncertainty toward any subject. Computers can perform metadata analysis to build timelines and compare Trump’s Twitter feed with his known public schedule, creating a database of when and where he tweets and what else he’s doing at the time. Anything that provides a digital footprint adds context to the analysis. 

Trump says it’s the press’s fault that he uses Twitter as much as he does. His aides clearly want him to stop, but the president just as clearly wants and needs to be heard unfiltered. Fortunately for him, the platform lets him speak directly to his supporters whenever he chooses. Unfortunately for the rest of us, they aren’t the only ones listening.

So there you have it, yet another reason to be mortified, and possibly even terrified, by this presidency.

You know when I pictured a Trump presidency I quite literally pictured an apocalyptic landscape where the entire country was in various stages of decay and self destruction.

I actually think I might have underestimated how bad it was going to be.

We're not even half way through the first year yet.

Donald Trump thinking about pulling out of Middle East peace talks after his unqualified son-in-law screws up meeting with Palestinian leaders.

Courtesy of The Hill:

The London-based Arabic daily al-Hayat reports that Kushner's meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was “tense,” according to a translation from the Jerusalem Post, and Abbas was reportedly furious at Kushner relaying the demands of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

Israeli newspaper Haaretz also reports that Palestinian officials were “greatly disappointed” by their meeting with Kushner and Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt. 

"They sounded like Netanyahu's advisers and not like fair arbiters," a senior Palestinian official told the newspaper. "They started presenting Netanyahu's issues and then we asked to hear from them clear stances regarding the core issues of the conflict." 

The report also claims that the Trump delegation was also upset with Abbas for refusing to denounce a recent stabbing attack in Jerusalem. 

A Palestinian official reportedly told al-Hayat that Kushner will report back to Trump on the meetings and Trump will then make a decision on continuing with the talks. 

“(Kushner) will submit his report to the president and, after it is submitted, Trump will decide if there's a chance for negotiations or it might be preferable to pull out of peace talks," the official said, according to a translation by the Post.

Earlier Trump had said this about Middle East peace:  

“I want to see peace with Israel and the Palestinians,” Trump told Reuters Thursday. "There is no reason there’s not peace between Israel and the Palestinians — none whatsoever.”

Trump also claimed that making peace would be a lot easier than people claimed.

So with this in mind he sent a trust fund baby with absolutely no experience to negotiate a peace deal which has eluded expert negotiators for decades, and now that it has hit a snag he is considering just saying fuck it to the whole thing.

Gee, no wonder the Russians wanted this guy in charge of our country. 

Vice President Mike Pence reminds us why we may not be in such a hurry to impeach Donald Trump.

Courtesy of Vox: 

Vice President Mike Pence popped into the 40th anniversary celebration of the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family to remind members he’s a devout Christian politician who has his back. And, he says, so is President Donald Trump. 

After the group’s president Jim Daly introduced Pence as “one of us,” the vice president spoke for 30 minutes on Friday, on both foreign policy and domestic issues. Unsurprisingly, Pence focused quite a bit on abortion, reiterating the Trump administration’s commitment to what he characterized as the "timeless values” Focus on the Family advocates first. 

He repeatedly referred to the president himself as both an “unwavering ally" of Christian evangelicals and a believer himself — calling him “a leader, a believer, a timeless defender of the values that will make America great again.” He described Trump as someone who “advocated in the public square for values our public needs to hear, now more than ever.” 

Pence’s comments are hardly surprising: after all, his evangelical faith and religiously-motivated stances on abortion and LGBTQ rights are well-known. But the intensity in expressing them on Friday was striking. Pence announced that he would donate an ultrasound machine in his own name to a faith-based crisis pregnancy center. (These centers, which are marketed like typical abortion clinics, but are set up to persuade women to avoid abortions, make up a major part of Focus on the Family’s efforts).

By the way Pence's assertion that Trump is an "unwavering ally of Christian Evangelicals" is the very definition of fake news.

Donald Trump is the unwavering ally of Donald Trump, and ONLY Donald Trump.

Mike Pence on the other hand is a tent revival attending, evangelizing, self proclaimed warrior for the almighty, and he would love nothing more than to return this country back to the days when women stayed in the kitchen, black folks stayed in the fields, and gay people stayed so deep in their closets that they needed to stuff mothballs down their pants.

I mean the man donated an entire ultrasound machine just to stop women from aborting their babies for fuck's sake.

That is why Senator Al Franken suggested that folks might want to think long and hard about trying to get Trump impeached.

Courtesy of the International Business Times:

“Pence ran the transition and some of the very worst nominees, I felt — [EPA chief Scott] Pruitt, [Education Secretary Betsy] DeVos, [HHS Secretary Tom] Price, [Budget director Mick] Mulvaney — were Pence selections, clearly, I think,” Franken told IBT. “He's ideological, I consider him a zealot, and I think that in terms of a lot of domestic policy certainly would be worse than Trump.”

Look I still think that Trump is a criminal, who had help in stealing this election, and I want him to either quit or be impeached.

But if we don't come up with some way to take Pence down with him, I fear that we may well go from the frying pan directly into that fire and brimstone.

Donald Trump compares colluding with Russia to steal an American election to Hillary Clinton working with the DNC during the primaries. No, seriously.

Okay first off this is inaccurate, and the result of Russian propaganda during the Democratic primaries that misrepresented stolen emails from the DNC.

Secondly, WTF?

If this WERE accurate it would still be Americans working with Americans to win an American election.

On the other hand if Trump colluded with the Russians it would be the case of an American working with a foreign power using cyber terrorism to change the outcome of an American election.

Not even remotely similar.

And while we are on the topic The Atlantic has an article explaining how Donald Trump appears to STILL be colluding with Vladimir Putin.

Take a look at this:   

As the president faces accusations of colluding with the Russians during last year’s campaign, his policies in office have aligned almost perfectly with the Kremlin’s goals. If Moscow wanted its interference in America’s election to yield dividends, it could hardly have hoped for more. 

Just as importantly, while Trump has expressed concern over the “cloud” the Russia investigation generated, he has seemed indifferent overall to Russia’s direct attempts to interfere with the American democratic process. According to Comey’s testimony, Trump never asked him about the meddling, or how to prevent similar interference in the future. Not once. 

Trump himself has seemingly courted the favor of Russian President Vladimir Putin since the 2016 presidential campaign. He’s repeatedly praised Putin’s leadership, refused to condemn Russian efforts to disrupt the U.S. system of free elections, and openly encouraged Russian hacking of the Hillary Clinton campaign. Friday’s explosive report from The Washington Post confirmed that Putin was deeply and directly involved in an operation to hurt Clinton’s candidacy and help elect Trump.

What’s more, in every way he can, Trump has deferred to Russia on matters of foreign policy. After Russian forces deployed their hacking tools during the recent French presidential election, Trump invited Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to the White House and failed to repudiate the attack against a vital American ally. Instead, during his meeting with Lavrov, Trump divulged highly sensitive classified information provided by Israel, another crucial U.S. partner. (That May 10 meeting also came a day after Trump removed Comey, who was leading the inquiries into collusion; Trump told the Russians that the director’s dismissal had alleviated “great pressure” on him.) Even more recently, the Trump administration has reportedly taken steps to return two diplomatic compounds that former President Barack Obama stripped from Russia following its actions during last year’s election. 

To make matters worse, Trump has done far more than just extend open arms toward the Russian government. He wavered on the United States’ commitment to defend its fellow members of NATO; his aides have reportedly tried to undermine the European Union; and he himself has alienated key partners by lashing out at individual leaders and pulling out of the Paris Agreement.

I actually think this tweet is Trump's clumsy way of  attempting to minimize the impact once it is proven that he did indeed collude with the Russians to steal the 2016 election.

He will actually attempt to make the case that sure he worked with Putin to win an election, just like Hillary worked with her own party to win the primary.

Somehow in his mind that would seem comparable.

Alaskans are rarely on the cutting edge of anything, except coffee consumption apparently.

Courtesy of The Guardian:  

You think your Starbucks cold-brew coffee is trendy? People in Anchorage were buying bottled cold brew five years ago. As for your pour-over black cup made with single-origin beans from a small farm in Africa? Yawn. Fairbanks has been doing that since the 1990s. 

Little-known fact: Alaska is among the most coffee-obsessed states in the nation. Some years, the coffee-shop-to-human ratio in Anchorage has been higher than Seattle, making it the most caffeinated place in the America (at last count, in 2011, it dropped to number two, with about one coffee shop for every 2,000 souls.) 

You cannot escape the coffee carts here, common as roadside moose, each with its unique brand: The Sugar Shack, Java the Hut, Fred’s Bail Bonding and Coffee Cabana. And then, there are the local coffee shops.

Anchorage-based Kaladi Brothers Coffee, the largest among half a dozen serious coffee roasters in the state, roasts 1.2m pounds of beans per year, enough for every man, woman and child in the state to brew at least five pots of strong coffee each. One of the biggest share goes to the oil fields on Alaska’s North Slope, where workers are on 24 hours a day, says Dale Tran, the company’s chief operating officer. Kaladi has 15 stores in Alaska and one in Seattle.

You know I am just happy with any story about Alaska that does not involve a gun death, a serial killer, or somebody being killed and eaten by a bear.

But I am especially happy to read that we were on the cutting edge of something.

And yes the coffee shops in Anchorage started popping up about 40 years ago, and these days you literally cannot travel half a mile in the city without passing at least half a dozen.

Sometimes in the winter the lines outside a coffee hut can be seven to ten cars deep, with another down the road with a line just as long.

Of course what can you expect in state where the winter nights are long and cold?

I am a little sad to say that I personally am not one of the Alaska coffee connoisseurs.

I am just a little too cheap to buy my coffee in a fancy shop, or kiosk along the road.

No I am a home brew man, who typically drinks about two to three cups of regular Folgers blend with a little Truvia and vanilla flavored non-dairy creamer added to fancy it up a bit.

But once in a while I do splurge and treat myself to a large Cafe Mocha.

Because after all, the winter nights are long and cold.

Just your daily reminder that you now live in a country where this guy is the president.

I typically don't like to fat shame, but remember this is a guy who made fat jokes about Rosie O'Donnell and judged women by their breast size.

In my opinion that makes it open season on Mr. Visible Panty Line here.