Here is the open thread for Sunday, April 30th. Please feel free to post links to interesting articles and to discuss whatever issues arise during the course of the day. Nothing is off-topic here.
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You have probably noticed how I feel about the artificial 100 days media deadline in a couple of my posts but playing, somewhat, on that theme I give you The Cure performing “One Hundred Years” live in 1984.
Bill Maher on Barack Obama’s Wall Street speech: ‘It kind of looks like, when he’s on our team, we’re OK with it’
It has been kind of fun listening to liberals defend Barack Obama’s decision to accept $400,000 to deliver a speech to Wall Street after eight years of bashing Wall Street. Lizzy Warren and Bernie Sanders are two exceptions, they have come out questioning this move while the rank and file liberal voters go to extremes to defend it.
A perfect example of this occurred on Real Time with Bill Maher: While two of the liberals on the panel defended Barack Obama’s speech Bill Maher, to his credit, called them out on their hypocrisy. Here is what he had to say:
“It kind of looks like, when he’s on our team, we’re OK with it. … So isn’t the best thing to do, take your $10 million book deal? Can’t you live on that?”
Maher said, “[T]he current president is trying to undo all of his Wall Street regulations, and then he goes to Wall Street…isn’t that what sort of cost Hillary the election?”
He later added, “It kind of looks like, when he’s on our team, we’re OK with it.” Maher further argued, “[Y]ou could say that when he — when a guy is president, he’s looking ahead to that $400,000 payday, and he’s not going to get it if, while he’s president, he’s going to do something that’s going to piss them off. So isn’t the best thing to do, take your $10 million book deal? Can’t you live on that?”
“Take your $10 million book deal. Can’t you live on that?” Boom! Didn’t Barack Obama once claim that at some point a person has earned enough money? How much does the former President need?
Of course the panelists did not agree with Bill Maher and went to great lengths to defend their, and Barack Obama’s, hypocrisy, including defending capitalism and the free market, but Bill Maher was having none of it.
I cannot link directly to the video here but you can watch it by following the link I provided above, I find it quite entertaining to say the least.
malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium
With all of the focus surrounding Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office–an artificial media deadline I find silly and overblown–this story slipped under the radar yesterday. Donald Trump signed an Executive Order which reverses some of the drilling bans Barack Obama put in place in his last days in office.
Here is more:
It looked like the Republican-led house reached a possible breakthrough on the faux-Obamacare repeal legislation when Mark Meadows and Tom MacArthur reached an agreement and the Freedom Caucus endorsed the latest legislation. But it was not to be and today Paul Ryan was forced to once again withdraw the legislation in shame.
Donald Trump desperately wanted this legislation to pass so he could sign it during his first 100 days. Personally I find this artificial 100 days deadline to be silly. Sure it is okay to look back a few months into a new Presidency to see how he is doing and what he has accomplished but this administration has put too much emphasis on it. Part of that is due to Donald Trump’s own feeling of self-worthiness and his longing to show his nay-sayers that they were wrong…
But speed is not what is important here (and it should be remembered the Founders set up the Congress to purposely ensure legislation was not rushed) what is important is getting the legislation right.
If the Republicans were interested in speedily repealing Obamacare they had almost eight years to prepare legislation which could be signed on day one and they did not because they had no plan. I think part of the reason they had no plan is because they assumed Hillary Clinton would be the next President, they passed dozens of outright repeal bills when there was no chance of repeal but when the opportunity knocked at the door the Republicans were left with nothing to offer the President. If we are to judge anybody on the first 100 days it should be the Congress and they deserve an “F.”
Now that this artificial deadline is going to pass without any Obamacare repeal legislation it is time for the Republicans to slow down, start again from scratch, and get the legislation right.
malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium
After successfully shutting down the last attempt by the establishment Republicans to pass an Obamacare replacement bill the Freedom Caucus has been in negotiations with Rep. Tom MacArthur (a centrist Republican) and they have come to an agreement. Today the Freedom Caucus has endorsed the new replacement bill after holding out long enough to get an amendment added to the bill they were fighting for in the first go round.
Here is more:
Paul Ryan’s agenda, and the establishment Republicans as a whole for that matter, seems to be what amounts to a war of attrition against Donald Trump. We saw it with the Obamacare replacement bill and we are seeing it now on the border wall. And we should not forget he has stated not to expect much in regards to tax reform.
It appears to me as if Paul Ryan has made the political calculation that he can outlast Donald Trump and that is what he intends to do. He would rather see Donald Trump fail and possibly lose reelection because he would rather work with a political insider in the next administration and he feels fairly certain he will still be in office after the 2018 election and in 2020 as well.
However his unwillingness to work with Donald Trump may be costing him as his approval rating is plummeting, here is more:
This may sound like old news but there are new details on Barack Obama’s decision to release prisoners in exchange for the nuclear deal so here we go:
You may remember that as part of the Iranian nuclear deal the President released several Iranian-Americans who were being held in prison. He claimed at that time these people “were not charged with terrorism or any violent offenses.” Here is more:
When President Barack Obama announced the “one-time gesture” of releasing Iranian-born prisoners who “were not charged with terrorism or any violent offenses” last year, his administration presented the move as a modest trade-off for the greater good of the Iran nuclear agreement and Tehran’s pledge to free five Americans.
“Iran had a significantly higher number of individuals, of course, at the beginning of this negotiation that they would have liked to have seen released,” one senior Obama administration official told reporters in a background briefing arranged by the White House, adding that “we were able to winnow that down to these seven individuals, six of whom are Iranian-Americans.”
However, the word “charged” seems to be the key word in his statement because according to this report this trade-off was not as innocuous as it seems and these people were not as innocent as Barack Obama would have had us believe. It looks as if Barack Obama downplayed this prisoner swap for reasons which will become obvious shortly. Here is more: