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Recent news regarding the Trump Shutdown aide and abetted by Bitch McConnell and his allies. Why is McConnell failing to take the side of his constituents (white and black) rather than siding with a Childish leader whose sole objective is to glorify himself? The act of being a leader is to lead not follow but apparently Bitch is not as leaderly as he was when Obama was President (kind of shows his white privilege attitude). It is well to remember that no matter what we think personally, we are all affected by poor leadership in Government from Local to Federal. If our neer do well Congress is not doing the job then we need to elect someone who will. Bitch who has many coal miners in his Congressional area is doing nothing to address their issues yet he backs an idiot who says ” he will bring coal back”. According to GOVERNMENT studies “black lung disease” is still out there and NO ONE is looking at it. The people of Kentucky should thank Bitch and TOTUS for trying to destroy their best Health Care coverage with lies and misdirection. With all of this being said we have a Mega-moron in the Whitehouse aided and abetted by too long in office representatives who are interested in themselves not the folks who elected them. Did you know that Congress is exempt from going without pay during a shutdown? How is this representing anyone but themselves? Bottom line: phone calls, text messages, emails and snail mail are all still valid methods of communicating with your representatives. It is plain as day that we as a country have some of the worst representation in decades and now we have possibly(?) one of or the worst President ever! TOTUS has spent the past two (2) years decimating laws which he does not understand and executing new ones that make sense only to him. We have 800,000 Federal workers and contractors on furlough because of a wall which is a campaign promise not as much of a necessity as adding more personnel and electronics. Seems pretty plain to me.

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2014

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

It’s almost like the United States has no President – we are a rudderless ship heading for a major disaster. Good luck everyone!

TOTUS issued this tweet against then President Obama. A little bounce back?

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TOTUS is touting an upcoming “Major Announcement”. That announcement will no doubt be more fiction about the shutdown, his military moves and how some else is responsible. How is someone responsible for a crisis manufactured by TOTUS himself with the tacit approval of his administrative staff and the GOP majority. Thinking about the past 2 years of TOTUS’S administrative this “announcement” preceded by his teasers will possibly be a rehash of proposals already put out. This rehash will be to save face and so he can get whatever he can to end the shutdown. Announcement over!

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Unfortunately there are issues on both sides and neither party is the “chosen one”. Both lie and the difference appears to be that one has more sympathy for the people than the other and in varying degrees. MA
D’Angelo Gore- FactCheck.org. 6 hours ago

The weeks long partial government shutdown has led to around 800,000 federal employees not working or working without pay. It also has led to some false or questionable claims from Democrats about the shutdown’s impact on a host of federal services.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi raised “security concerns” due to the shutdown as a reason to suggest postponing the State of the Union address. But 83 percent of Secret Service employees are exempt from the shutdown.
Some Democrats, including Sen. Jeff Merkley, have falsely claimed that the government shutdown affects Social Security and Medicare recipients and workers.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said it’s possible that people who file tax returns “won’t get their refund checks.” But the IRS said it will recall its furloughed staff back to work in order to process tax returns and “provide refunds to taxpayers as scheduled.”
Hoyer also wrongly claimed that “flood insurance is at risk.” More than a week before he said that, the Federal Emergency Management Agency had already announced it would “resume the sale of new insurance policies and the renewal of expiring policies.”
The partial shutdown began on Dec. 22 amid a budget standoff between Democratic congressional leaders and President Donald Trump over funding for his proposed border wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. Congress has yet to pass seven appropriations bills to fund a number of federal departments and agencies, resulting in the staff shortages.

State of the Union Security
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested that Trump delay his State of the Union address, scheduled for Jan. 29, due to “security concerns” during the government shutdown. But the Secret Service — which is in charge of security for the SOTU — is still operating, with 83 percent of its employees exempt from the shutdown.

Pelosi wrote in a Jan. 16 letter to Trump that he might consider waiting to give the annual address to Congress until the government was open or submitting the address in writing. She wrote: “In September 2018, Secretary Nielsen designated State of the Union Addresses as National Special Security Events (NSSEs), recognizing the need for ‘the full resources of the Federal Government to be brought to bear’ to ensure the security of these events.”
She said the Secret Service, which falls under the Department of Homeland Security, was designated “the lead federal agency” responsible for the security for the speech. “However, both the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security have not been funded for 26 days now – with critical departments hamstrung by furloughs,” she said, adding that these “security concerns” were the reason she was suggesting a delay.
DHS is affected by the shutdown. Employees who are not considered essential aren’t working, and those who are working aren’t getting a paycheck. But the vast majority of Secret Service employees are essential workers.
In a Dec. 17, 2018, report titled “Procedures Relating to a Lapse in Appropriations,” DHS said that an estimated 5,978 Secret Service employees, out of a total workforce of 7,222, were “exempt/excepted and estimated to be retained during a lapse in appropriations.”
In a Jan. 16 tweet, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said: “The Department of Homeland Security and the US Secret Service are fully prepared to support and secure the State of the Union.”
In fact, most of DHS’ employees are exempt from a government shutdown. The agency said in its December report that 212,699 of the total 245,405 DHS employees were exempt/excepted from a lapse in government funding.
Juliette Kayyem, a security analyst for CNN and an assistant secretary for DHS during the Obama administration, told CNN that there could be “performance” issues due to “personal challenges” associated with law enforcement employees not being paid.
We leave it to readers to judge whether the lack of pay, and slightly smaller workforce, amount to “security concerns.” But the vast majority of Secret Service employees are still on the job.
Pelosi addressed the lack of pay in her Jan. 17 press conference. “I have no doubt that our men and women in the federal workforce have the capability to protect,” she said. “They’re professionals. They are trained for this. They should be paid for this. And that’s why I said to the president: If you don’t open up government, if that doesn’t happen, let’s discuss a mutually agreeable date. ”
Social Security and Medicare
Some Democrats also falsely claimed that the government shutdown was causing problems for Social Security and Medicare recipients and workers.
Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, during a Jan. 7 interview on CNN, claimed seniors were encountering problems filing applications for Medicare and Social Security.
“It’s an incompetent strategy,” he said of the shutdown. “It does damage to all kinds of people who are making applications, whether it’s benefits for Social Security or for Medicare or so on and so forth.”
Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan, during a Jan. 11 interview on MSNBC, expressed concern about the Social Security Administration’s ability to handle complaints.
“I care about every one of those government workers who aren’t getting paid, who are scared to death about how they’re going to live and by the way, we should care about the services that aren’t getting performed. From keeping us safe in the skies, to food being inspected, to Social Security complaints, to people having housing issues, to food stamps, the list is endless,” Dingell said.
Social Security and Medicare are not affected by the shutdown, according to both agencies.
In a statement to us, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said its operations are fully under an appropriations bill signed into law last year.
“On September 28, 2018, the President signed the 2019 Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act (PL 115-245), which fully funds the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for Fiscal Year 2019. CMS is continuing to accept Medicare enrollments from the Social Security Administration, and provider claims are being processed as normal,” the CMS statement said. “By statute, Social Security processes Medicare Part A and Part B enrollments, and we refer you to the Social Security Administration on that aspect.”
We did contact the Social Security Administration, and a spokeswoman also said the administration is fully funded for the fiscal year by the same legislation that funds CMS.
“Social Security services and offices will remain fully operational, and Social Security benefits will be paid on time,” SSA spokeswoman Nicole Tiggemann said.
We also checked with the AARP, the nation’s largest advocacy group for older Americans. “We’re not aware of any complaints on our end,” Greg Phillips, an AARP spokesman, told us. He too said both Social Security and Medicare are fully funded for the year “per the passing of the Labor-HHS bill.”
Tax Refunds
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer questioned if the IRS will issue tax refunds.

“There is the possibility that people won’t get their refund checks [from their tax return], which is about $140 billion, the average refund $2,500 that people are relying on and that spur our economy,” Hoyer said in a Jan. 9 press conference.

But in a Jan. 7 statement, the IRS “confirmed that it will process tax returns beginning January 28, 2019 and provide refunds to taxpayers as scheduled.”
“Congress directed the payment of all tax refunds through a permanent, indefinite appropriation (31 U.S.C. 1324), and the IRS has consistently been of the view that it has authority to pay refunds despite a lapse in annual appropriations,” the statement said.
In 2011, under President Barack Obama, the Office of Management and Budget argued that the IRS should not issue refunds during a lapse in funding. However, the IRS’ recent statement said the OMB had “reviewed the relevant law at [the Department of] Treasury’s request and concluded that IRS may pay tax refunds during a lapse.”
To make sure refunds go out as planned, the IRS said it was “recalling a significant portion of its workforce, currently furloughed as part of the government shutdown, to work.”
Still, some aren’t as confident the IRS will be able to disburse refunds without issue, especially if the agency can’t get enough employees to work without pay. Kiplinger advised its readers: “File as early as possible. If the IRS falls behind schedule due to the shutdown, you don’t want your return at the back of a potentially massive backlog.”
Flood Insurance
In his remarks, Hoyer also warned that “flood insurance is at risk.” It’s not.

On Dec. 28, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which oversees the National Flood Insurance Program, said that it was reversing earlier instructions for private insurance companies not to sell or renew flood insurance policies.
“Today, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that it will resume the sale of new insurance policies and the renewal of expiring policies. This rescinds initial guidance issued on December 26, 2018, to industry partners to suspend sales operations as a result of the current lapse in annual appropriations,” a FEMA statement said.
FEMA previously had said any flood insurance claims would be paid during the shutdown.
The post Examining Shutdown Claims from Democrats appeared first on FactCheck.org.

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It is apparent that our Congress is broken but fixable. Uncle mitch has surpassed our wildest dreams  nightmares regarding politics. His leadership is on par with Iago or Pecksniff . His refusal to allow even a discussion about opening the government agencies and discussing the “wall” at a different time. His statement that he wants to put something before the “president” that he will sign is ludicrous at best and cowardly at least. He is the “leader” of the Senate and should as he wants us to believe knows the law and is pragmatic(?). His statements belie his intentions and abilities while he has put us in a tax situation that hurts the people he so proudly proclaims to represent and spearheaded the GOP in a direction that almost un American and allowing the rise of a radical right and left. There is as TOTUS once proclaimed blame on “both sides” which in my mind indicates that we as  voters need to initiate a clean slate voting initiative which will elect new representatives who can reach a cross the aisle to help ALL Americans no matter where they live in the United States and it’s territories. It is my opinion that the voters have to assert their will on Congress and not the other way around but only if we arm ourselves with intelligence on the issues and their effects on us all.

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a man wearing a suit and tie: McConnell blocks bill to reopen most of government


Noses are still growing and appear to be the state of play in our politics. This could forebode a state perpetual lies that we have suspected and now has become a reality. MA

By Carla Herreria
POLITICS 01/17/2019 09:16 pm ET Updated 8 hours ago
The Senate majority leader fumed over Democrats’ attempts to strengthen voting rights, ethics and campaign finance rules.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) accused House Democrats of trying to “swing elections” with a major piece of legislation designed to clean up voting and campaign finance and strengthen government ethics.
McConnell described the so-called For the People Act as a “power grab” and a “naked attempt to change the rules of American politics to benefit one party” in a Thursday op-ed for The Washington Post.
The top Republican criticized Democrats for introducing the bill, also known as HR1, while the longest-ever partial government shutdown continues.
“House Democrats won’t come to the table and negotiate to reopen the government, but they’ve been hard at work angling for more control over what you can say about them and how they get reelected,” McConnell wrote.
Later Thursday, McConnell blocked legislation aimed at reopening most of the federal government, except the Department of Homeland Security, according to The Hill.

The act, the first major bill House Democrats have introduced to the 116th Congress, contains a package of reforms that aim to make voting more accessible, force President Donald Trump (and future presidential candidates) to release their tax returns and take power away from big political donors by incentivizing smaller donations and by requiring super PACs to make their private donors public.
The bill also aims to make Election Day a paid holiday for federal workers, which McConnell dismissed as a “generous new benefit” for “federal bureaucrats.” In theory, that proposal would encourage private businesses to also make Election Day a holiday, allowing more people to get to the polls.
McConnell also suggested that making private donors public was an attack on free speech.
“Apparently the Democrats define ‘democracy’ as giving Washington a clearer view of whom to intimidate and leaving citizens more vulnerable to public harassment over private views,” McConnell wrote.
The Republican also took issue with the bill’s ban on removing people from voter rolls for not voting in a previous election, as well as a ban on voter caging, a practice in which election officials send non-forwardable mail to addresses on the voter rolls, then remove anyone whose mail is returned to sender.
McConnell pointed to a mistake made in California that led to 23,000 voters being registered incorrectly, with errors including wrong party preferences.
However, linking that part of the bill to the mishap in California is misleading, according to HuffPost’s voting rights reporter Sam Levine.
“It was an issue with software, and the head of the DMV resigned,” Levine noted on Twitter. “For context, there are over 19.6 million registered voters in CA. Automatic registration added 727,924 people to the rolls since launch in April.”
“The law congress is proposing authorizes the states to set up their own systems for registering voters. People have to be given the chance to opt out,” Levine tweeted.
The law would prevent states from aggressively purging the voter rolls by removing people if they don’t vote and don’t respond to a single mailer from the state, he said. “Proponents of the change argue that this practice removes eligible voters from the rolls.”

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The ongoing political drama is more than food for thought, it is more like food to gag on. We have extreme to moderate congressional members on both sides yet we can’t seem to get past the leaders(?). We should already know that TOTUS is a child seeking approval so the grownups should take the lead. Unfortunately the long time members of Congress rather than use their knowledge to move us forward, they appear to be out for revenge and that revenge comes at a high price. That price is the well being and health of the often cited “American People”. There are multiple solutions offered to the shutdown and the associated issues around it however the “child” and the so called grownups cannot seem to get beyond their own self interests. “Bitch” keeps his head down to seemingly avoid criticism while allowing  TOTUS to continue his whining ways. Flip flop Graham seems to have no idea where to lay his head. The recent Scamocratic win has brought us no closer to a solution since there appears to be no cohesive thoughts about anything of value much like the Dupublicans. In the background you have the “goaders” of TOTUS on Faux news poking him on national TV. Thank you Ann and Sean! As voters we should talk about what we want as a collective and leave the politics to the politrickers while we decipher their nonsense in order to vote with intelligence, as the old saying goes” if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it’s a duck!

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Pot Calling the kettle Black? MA.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie sees the Trump White House as a rogues’ gallery of flawed people side tracking the work of the U.S. president, according to excerpts of his forthcoming memoir posted on the news site Axios on Wednesday.

President Donald Trump employs a “revolving door of deeply flawed individuals — amateurs, grifters, weaklings, convicted and unconvicted felons — who were hustled into jobs they were never suited for, sometimes seemingly without so much as a background check via Google or Wikipedia,” Christie, who was a senior adviser to Trump’s 2016 campaign, says in his memoir, “Let Me Finish,” which is due to be released on Jan. 29.
Christie had sought the Republican presidential nomination himself in 2016 before becoming a diligent supporter and surrogate for Trump, but his work with the administration has been limited and he recently withdrew his name from consideration for Trump’s chief of staff.

Marred by his own scandal as governor of New York’s southern neighbor, Christie writes that Trump “trusts people he shouldn’t, including some of the people who are closest to him.”
“I did everything I could to make sure my friend Donald reached the White House fully prepared to serve,” he writes. “But a handful of selfish individuals sidetracked our very best efforts. They set loose toxic forces that have made Trump’s presidency far less effective than it would otherwise have been.”
He also writes about a grudge that Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner allegedly harbors against him, saying that Trump’s former campaign manager Steve Bannon told him Kushner was relentless in bashing Christie over “ancient bitterness.”
As the U.S. attorney for New Jersey before he became governor, Christie prosecuted Charles Kushner, Jared’s father, for tax evasion, witness tampering and making unlawful campaign donation, and many in Washington believe that in winning a conviction in that case Christie lost any chance of holding a post in the Trump administration.
(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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TOTUS’s most influential advisor? M.A.

Josh Feldman 8 hrs ago

Ann Coulter spoke with Vice News in an interview that aired tonight, and once again she said that a lot is riding on President Donald Trump actually building the border wall.
The current government shutdown and fight over a wall has been blamed in part on the President listening to Coulter and other commentators who were criticizing him for appearing to cave.
Coulter said tonight she cares more about drugs coming across the border “more than I care about the Yosemite gift shop being open.”

And Trump is digging in now, she added, because “he is dead in the water if he doesn’t build that wall––dead, dead, dead.

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The irony. MA 

Mary Papenfuss
HuffPost January 14, 2019
Ardent foe of socialized medicine Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is planning to undergo hernia surgery this month in Canada, where medical care is publicly funded and universally provided.
Paul, who is not covered by the Canadian health care system, will pay out of pocket for the operation, an aide told Politico. The surgery is set to take place at Shouldice Hernia Hospital in Ontario, a “world renowned hospital,” the senator’s spokeswoman Kelsey Cooper said.
Information about the surgery, scheduled for Jan. 21, was revealed in court papers in Paul’s civil lawsuit against neighbor Rene Boucher, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported.
According to Paul, the surgery — which will cost as much as $8,000 — is linked to injuries he suffered in 2017 when Boucher attacked him as he mowed his lawn. Boucher pleaded guilty last year to attacking Paul in a dispute over yard care and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.
Shouldice Hernia Hospital markets itself as a “global leader” in hernia repair, according to its website. It’s privately owned, but “almost all of its work” is done under contract with the Ontario government, according to the Globe and Mail, and it accepts Ontario’s Hospital Insurance Plan, which is part of the nation’s public health care system, the Courier-Journal reported.
Cooper was furious about media coverage of the surgery, blasting it as “fake news.”
“This is more fake news on a story that has been terribly reported from day one,” she wrote in an email to the Courier-Journal. “This is a private, world-renowned hospital separate from any system, and people come from around the world to pay cash for their services.”
Paul has called universal health care “slavery” because it would “conscript” doctors and their staff members to provide care.

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