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Senator David Heller cannot support the gutting of Medicaid.  Apparently ACA has done very well by Nevada with regard to coverage.   The Republicans can only afford two more defects (a 50-50 tie would allow Pence to break it).  Right now they have four conservatives threatening to vote against it because it doesn’t repeal enough.

Basically, the repeal bill would go towards tax cuts in the range of $50,000 for those making a million a year.  To finance these tax cuts the Medicaid fund would be capped and the remaining policies would offer minimal services – gutting preventive medicine and probably then leading to more money spent in the ER later.

Here’s to hoping that California passes single payer, but my understanding is that Governor Brown would veto it.



Now we know.

So much the media has been missing.  The fact that the CIA head continued to brief classified information with Mike Flynn in the room for three weeks after his own agency declared Flynn a security risk.  And now it turns out the CIA knew that Putin had ordered an operation to get Trump elected last summer, which probably accounts for Obama’s calling a meeting with congressional Republicans in September, at which the latter expressed apathy at best.  Meanwhile, the Intelligence people didn’t want to be accused of “rigging” the election against Trump, so they stayed quiet.  And Obama and the Democrats, I assume Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi were present, were wimps as usual.

So Trump’s relying on outside counsel on a daily basis.  And not everybody wants to go down with the ship.  Pence has lawyered up.

Coats is throwing Trump under the bus.  Trey Gowdy’s response is understandable about the leaks, but tends to confirm the reports.  You got to keep your cool in these matters.  Obviously there are Democrats (presumably) who want the story out in the open, but if your leadership pledges a tight ship you ought to keep it together, at least for awhile.  I mean, at a certain point if there’s a cover-up effort, then I think leaks are justified, as was the case with Watergate.  But Gowdy’s right in that you are less likely to get testimony in closed session with leaks.  But I bet Coats expected the leaks, but asked for closed session so he can shrug and say he did what he could.  But in my view Coats already compromised himself by not standing up to Trump about Flynn’s presence at classified briefings in January.

And yeah, why does Kushner still have security clearance?  That’s a rhetorical question.

This isn’t the first time this has happened, although I won’t say that it’s universal. It may be that the Seattle economy is expanding anyway, and if you’re politically conservative you might argue that it would be expanding more quickly but for the living wage amount.

The problem is that the opposition to minimum wage increases on an economic basis is simplistic. The argument is that businesses will not be able to afford the increase and will lay off workers. And initially, there are some layoffs. But it’s based on a very static analysis of economy.

First of all, the layoffs are never what free marketers project because minimum wage positions tend to be essential to the business, as contra-intuitive that seems. There isn’t a lot of flexibility on the demand/supply curve. The businesses hiring minimum wage workers are generally operating at close to bare minimum. So basically they either retain the workers or they go out of business. And the latter rarely happens because the economies are dynamic.

The consumers at the bottom can’t save. They can’t invest. Maybe they pay off some debt with increased wages, but mostly they spend. If they have more to spend, they spend more. And the economic multipliers (the cycle of spending – you buy a sandwich and then the business buy’s bread, tuna, lettuce, and then those businesses hire workers, etc.) are localized and the increased business ultimately metabolizes the increased labor, and often without significantly increasing prices because the market won’t bear all of the increases. Basically the increased wages generate a Keynesian result by increasing the volume of business.

This isn’t always a good thing. It’s inflationary, but inflation hasn’t been a problem in this country since prior to the Crash. And in an economy like Seattle’s – the fastest growing metropolitan area in the country (and no, I don’t think that’s a good thing), the wages have been increased and have provided some small improvement in the standards of living of those at the bottom of the wage scale. This has happened before, and hopefully will again.

Mind you, I don’t think it’s a panacea. We need a thorough restructuring of the national economy and I’m concerned that Seattle will face the economic cleansing of the SF Bay area. But this experiment represents a ray of light. Call me a socialist.

Seattle experiment pays off for lower income workers.


I can’t even count how many events I’ve attended in that sanctuary – mostly music recitals.  Food is also distributed from the building.  There is no other hall quite like it in Garberville proper especially with the Masonic building gone.   Let’s not make this thread about poverty bashing if we can avoid it.

You can donate through here.

Seriously, master race exemplary Steve Bannon is fat shaming?  His own comrade?  You can’t make this stuff up!

Meanwhile, Spicer won’t confirm whether Trump believes Russia interfered with the election.  I mean, we’ve messed with so many other nations’ elections over the years, I think the righteousness is over the top whether from Democrats or Republicans.  Still, I think if the Russians did in fact attack elections online systems in 39 states, it’s a matter of concern.    But seriously, did the media really wait this long to ask the question?

Anybody living in northern Humboldt County or Del Norte should attend if at all possible.


All Things Reconsidered tonight – Bob Froehlich will join me to discuss the use of critical thinking in making moral choices. What is the criteria? What is useful data to consider? What are the considerations to be balanced? We will probably emphasize social policy, but also address individual decision making. 7:00 as always.



The President is under investigation for obstruction of justice.

Note – he didn’t offer to pay the man’s attorney fees.

“Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms,” Sanders said. “I am sickened by this despicable act.”

Would that the President would learn from the Senator’s example.

Letter to Congress asking for leave to go after medical marijuana.

“I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund particular prosecutions,” Sessions wrote, “particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime. The Department must be in a position to use all laws available to combat the transnational drug organizations and dangerous drug traffickers who threaten American lives.”

The letter—dated May 1, 2017, and addressed to Sens. Mitch McConnell and Charles Schumer and Reps. Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi—was obtained by’s Tom Angell. It specifically asks that Congress not renew the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, passed in 2014. Barack Obama’s Justice Department challenged the amendment last year, and it lost in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. That means if Sessions wants to go after medical marijuana, he’ll need Congress to remove Rohrabacher-Farr from the next appropriations bill.


As for his testimony,  Sessions says that he only recused himself solely because of his role as advisor to the Trump campaign, but it happened on the day after his meetings with Ambassador Kislyak were first reported. That’s quite a coincidence!

And he’s still whining about Franken’s question in January, which by the way was not the question he answered.

“Certainly, I can assure you, nothing improper, if I’d had a conversation with him, and it’s conceivable that occurred. I just don’t remember,” Sessions said. “I guess I could say that I possibly had a meeting, but I still do not recall it, and I did not in any way fail to record something in my testimony or in my subsequent letter intentionally false.”

So he f—ing shows up for this testimony without his appointment calendar?

Apparently he had denied such a meeting in opening statement, which I missed.

And of course, any question of substance – “executive privilege.”

This is a joke.

“The Republican National Committee tweeted that “Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak met with Obama staffers 22 times between 2009-2016.” As former Obama staffer Tommy Vietor noted, that’s different — Obama was president at the time.””

Ya think?

It looks like Democratic Party senators are pressing him on his refusal to answer questions – seems like he’s claiming executive privilege on the hard questions while waiving it on the softball questions from Republicans.

And Burr cut off Sen. Harris – again!  Sessions was definitely afraid of Harris, who has a prosecution background.

She asked about his calendar!  Lol!

Well, anyway, there it is.

You can read the Huffpo live updates here.


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