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Steve Bannon tried to bully the Freedom Caucus into backing Obamacare replacement bill

March 26, 2017

  In the days leading up to the Obamacare replacement non-vote it became quite clear that the conservatives–namely the Freedom Caucus–were not happy and wanted changes. Eventually they were able to get a couple of small concessions but not nearly enough to win any of them over.

    It became pretty clear that Paul Ryan and the establishment Republicans were not going to budge and if this story is true it turns out Steve Bannon basically dared the conservatives to vote against this bill–basically trying to bully them into voting in favor of a piece of legislation they did not agree with. Here is more:

White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon told a group of House conservatives they had no choice but to back the GOP’s ObamaCare repeal bill days before the bill was pulled, according to a new report.

Bannon confronted members of the House Freedom Caucus earlier this week during the White House’s push for the American Health Care Act, Axios’s Mike Allen reported Saturday in his newsletter.

“Guys, look. This is not a discussion. This is not a debate. You have no choice but to vote for this bill,” Bannon reportedly said.

  But of course this is the Congress and debate is what the Congress does, they did have a choice and they exercised it and Steve Bannon’s attempt at bulling the Freedom Caucus backfired. Perhaps Donald Trump and Steve Bannon can learn a valuable lesson from all of this with the realization that they are going to have to work with the conservatives in the Congress if they want to get anything done. They cannot just dictate what they want and expect to get it.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

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Obamacare replacement bill pulled from the floor

March 25, 2017

  For the second time in two days the establishment Republicans’ Obamacare replacement bill was pulled from the floor with out a vote, it now appears as if this will be off the table for quite some time if it comes back at all.

  It is interesting that after almost 8 years and 60+ votes held and passed to repeal Obamacare that when the Republicans actually had a chance to do so they failed. The Republicans passed dozens of full repeal bills when they knew there was no chance of them passing yet when they had the chance to actually repeal Obamacare they did not offer a full repeal bill and it failed. Why is this? 

Read more…

Report: NSA to provide ‘smoking gun’ evidence Barack Obama spied on Trump transition team

March 24, 2017

 Earlier this week Devin Nunes made news when he claimed he was in possession of information which showed that the Trump transition team was indeed under surveillance. Unfortunately he made the stupid mistake of running to Donald Trump with this information before actually turning it over to the committee running the investigation–he has since apologized.

  In addition to being a severe breech of protocol, this allowed the mainstream media and the Democrats to run a diversion campaign so they would not have to talk about what his information stated. One of the big things to come out of the information Devin Nunes has, or should I say, one of the things that should have been talked about was that the Trump transition team was spied on and it was not in relation to Russia–in fact the information collected had no foreign intelligence value whatsoever. 

  Despite Devin Nunes’s stated belief that this information was captured legally during foreign surveillance something still seemed off, and now there is a report out there that the National Security Agency has information that is being called a “potential smoking gun.”

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Obamacare replacement bill vote cancelled

March 23, 2017

  I am sitting in the airport in North Carolina waiting for my flight to Key West, I have a couple of hours to kill, and I just saw that Paul Ryan was forced to cancel the vote on the Obamacare replacement bill which was scheduled for later tonight.

  Here is more:

President Donald Trump and conservative House Freedom Caucus members failed to strike a deal on the GOP Obamacare replacement Thursday, endangering the prospects of passage and all but assuring any immediate vote on the measure would fail.

Hours later, House leaders canceled a planned Thursday night vote on the legislation. There was no immediate word when a vote might occur.

  This comes after Donald Trump met with the so-called freedom caucus but was unable to come up with a deal. When told there would be no more negotiations before the vote the result of the vote was ensured and Paul Ryan has suffered a major blow to his credibility as House leader. The freedom caucus stared down Paul Ryan and the Speaker blinked.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Open thread: ‘Key West Song’

March 22, 2017

 Well, early tomorrow morning Lauri and I will be headed to Key West for a long weekend vacation and we will be back late Monday night. I might do some posting in the mornings while we are away if I find anything interesting enough to draw my attention before Lauri wakes up in the mornings.

  So here is an open thread for you to post whatever you would like to in my absence.

frui diem

Intelligence Committee Chairman claims Donald Trump’s transition team was under surveillance

March 22, 2017

  Earlier today Devin Nunes made the claim that he had information which shows that Donald Trump’s transition team was indeed under surveillance. If this is true it could vindicate Donald Trump’s accusation from a couple of weeks ago.

  Here is more:

Representative Devin Nunes said Wednesday that the intelligence community collected multiple conversations involving members of Trump’s transition team during legal surveillance of foreign targets after he won election last year. After Nunes went to the White House to brief Trump, the president told reporters “I somewhat do” feel vindicated by the latest development.

Nunes said he was “alarmed” to discover that the identities of Trump aides were revealed in intelligence community documents. “Details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value were widely disseminated in an intelligence community report,” he said, adding that he didn’t know if Trump’s “own communications were intercepted.”

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Will Paul Ryan be forced to pull the Obamacare replacement bill from the floor?

March 21, 2017

 The vote on the Obamacare replacement legislation (I have decided to stop calling it the Obamacare repeal legislation even though “replacement” does not seem to be the proper term either) is scheduled for Thursday but will that vote actually take place?

  We know the Democrats are going to vote against the legislation en masse so the only question is how is the Republican vote going to break down? Paul Ryan insists he has enough votes to pass the bill, however Rand Paul disagrees and today he said there are at least 35 Republican who will vote against it. He also claims that Paul Ryan will be forced to pull the bill, here is more: 

Read more…