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Category Archives: Dirty side of Politics

The current hearings on Russian interference, omissions and misdirected Governance have grabbed the headlines for too long. In the background of all of this are the real issues where our majority party is trying to strip any rational programs that benefit the oft quoted (without permission) “American People”. The ACA which only required the correct actions of tweaking it (as Legislators should have done) is in danger of being replaced or ruined by the less than candid people we elected to serve(?). The way it should be or at inception was supposed to be, legislators were (are) supposed to represent the people who elected them not themselves. The personal agenda of a representative is not why they are elected (or is it?). What has happened over the years is the manipulation of information that inflames the public to win an election and blame other people for any adversities. We now have a sitting President whose incompetence in the office is being used to stretch the American people over a barrel and hoping we will like it. These are tactics that have been used before and too many of us accepted it because we thought (or were told) that we could do nothing about it. If you are a registered voter you need to vote based on facts, not opinion. If you are not a registered voter, you need to register no matter what your political persuasion maybe. In this age of information it is difficult to determine what is correct and what is not however if you look at several  sources of information you will find the truth among them and become an informed voter. Keep in mind that modern politics is like a popularity contest with the biggest LIE being the contestants. Get informed and the lies do not look the same. Lets not do what our politicians do, that is “blame someone else”

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My Comment: In America free speech is protected so our Elected Officials are free to say almost anything since the advent of Donald Trump’s Presidency. “Telling it like it is” has been the rallying cry for this Presidency along with the rise of seemingly Administration sanctioned Racism and bias. The  majority  party is using the out of touch Presidency to work it’s own agenda for its own gain , not it’s constituency. The article below states what many Americans and possibly politicians feel about this and administration’s actions and lack of action by the majority party. MA

Julia Munslow
Yahoo News June 9,2017

Former South Carolina Rep. Bob Inglis fired off a series of tweets Friday challenging a claim by House Speaker Paul Ryan that Republicans wouldn’t try to impeach a Democratic president accused of the same actions as President Trump.
Inglis, who served on the House judiciary committee that impeached former President Bill Clinton, wrote to Ryan: “You know that you would be inquiring into impeachment if this were a D.”

Inglis told Yahoo News on Friday that he hoped that Ryan and his party would put country over party and take the investigation seriously.
“We just need to be honest and … call it like it is,” Inglis said, describing the allegations against Trump far more serious than those against Nixon or Clinton. “It’s beyond a break-in at the Watergate. It’s beyond sex with a White House intern. It is the substance matter is really serious. … This investigation deals with the interference of an American election by a hostile foreign power.”
Inglis’ tweets followed former FBI chief James Comey’s testimony Thursday that included a number of explosive allegations, including that Trump fired him because of his agency’s probe into whether any Trump campaign associates colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election.
During a press conference, Ryan said after the testimony that Republicans wouldn’t point to impeachment if Comey had been testifying about a Democratic president. Meanwhile, some Democrats have already called for Trump’s impeachment, claiming that Trump obstructed justice.
Ryan, who called Trump’s alleged request for Comey’s loyalty “obviously” inappropriate Wednesday, had told reporters Thursday, “No. I don’t think we would [pursue impeachment], actually. I don’t think that’s at all the case.”
Trump’s lawyer denied that Trump sought to influence any FBI probe and claimed that the president never demanded Comey’s loyalty.
But Clinton was sent to trial in the Senate in 1998 for “matters less serious than the ones before us now,” Inglis tweeted.
Inglis, who had voted in favor of all four articles of impeachment against Clinton, which included allegations of perjury, obstruction of justice and abuse of power, nevertheless said on Twitter that Ryan should focus on the Russia probe rather than “draft articles of impeachment.”
It’s not yet clear whether Trump obstructed justice and should be impeached, Inglis said.
“[The investigation] should sound like very serious lawmakers who are looking into very serious allegations at the heart of our republic. That’s not what I’m hearing yet [from my party],” Inglis told Yahoo News. Inglis now runs, a group that pushes conservative policy solutions to climate change.
Inglis concluded his tweets with a final message to Ryan and the rest of his party: “Put the country first.”

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If the banks and insurance companies were more trustworthy there would be no need for Dodd Frank or Volcker. Our Dupublicans do not have the interests of the oft quoted American people in mind when the legislate.MA

WASHINGTON, June 8 (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday voted largely along party lines to replace the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, a move that is expected to die in the Senate but open the door to revamping or eliminating regulations that came out of the 2007-09 financial crisis.
The bill, called the CHOICE act, was approved by a vote of 233-to-186. Authored by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, a Republican, it gives banks a choice between complying with Dodd-Frank or holding onto more capital.
It also restructures the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, created under Dodd-Frank to guard individuals against fraud in lending. Democrats are fiercely opposed to restructuring the CFPB.
The U.S. Senate is not expected to take up the bill in its entirety, even though it has the backing of President Donald Trump, a Republican, largely because of the threat that Democrats will use a filibuster to stall it.
The Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan evaluator of legislation, estimates the bill would save the federal government $24 billion over a decade, mostly due to the lifting of the government’s authority to step in and unwind failing institutions.
The legislation also rescinds the Volcker rule that limits the type of trading banks can do with their own money and the ability of government regulators to designate non-bank institutions, mainly insurance companies, as “systemically important,” which triggers increased oversight and requirements to hold more capital.
(Reporting by Lisa Lambert and Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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One of Donald Trump’s campaign promises was to build a wall and Mexico will pay for it. The article below explains a proposal as to how that will be accomplished.MA

January 24, 2017 2:04PM

By Alex Nowrasteh
President Donald Trump has not yet signed an executive order about his proposed border wall.  An executive order would only do so much as Congress would have to appropriate funds to actually construct the wall.  A wall built to the dimensions and specifications promised by Trump would cost about $25 billion to $31.2 billion and run 1000 miles along the border with Mexico.
Since the Mexican government won’t pay for the wall and holding up all remittances in order to get the Mexican government to pay for it runs into constitutional problems, some like Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies have proposed a nation-wide refundable fee (a tax with another name) on wire remittances to fund the wall.  Taxing remittances of illegal immigrants will not raise enough funds for a huge new border wall.
A remittances tax would have to be very high to raise enough revenue to pay for a wall, even assuming there is no fall off in revenue at higher rates.  The state of Oklahoma has a wire transmitter fee equal to about one percent of the funds transmitted.  In 2016, the tax raised $12,696,879.25 or $133.65 per illegal immigrant in the state.  Back of the envelope, a nationwide version of the wire transmitter fee would only raise about $1.6 billion annually.  If the nationwide wire transmitter fee tax was 5 times as high as in Oklahoma then it would raise enough money to pay for the wall in three to four years assuming there is no fall off in revenue at such a high rate or other disruptions don’t occur.
Oklahoma labels this tax a fee because it’s a fully refunded tax credit.  A full 96 percent of those who pay the fees don’t claim the credit.  David North of the Center for Immigration Studies argues that illegal immigrants pay virtually the entire tax because most of the credits aren’t claimed.  That’s probably right but North overstates his case.  The IRS estimates that about one in five folks eligible for the EITC do not claim it although there are many improper payments made too.  Furthermore, between 55 percent and 75 percent of illegal immigrants file tax returns, have money withheld from their paychecks, or both.  That being said, most of the people paying the tax are likely illegal immigrants but many Americans also pay directly.
Another reason that a nationwide wire transfer tax won’t pay for a wall is that a high rate will simply force remittances onto non-wire systems.  The most obvious alternative is sending remittances through banks or credit unions that are exempt from Oklahoma’s Wire Transmitter Fee.  Congress could try to impose a transfer fee for those funds but that would penalize millions of Americans transferring money abroad – including those of us who paid for college abroad.  The government could set up another tax credit scheme but that would be more bureaucracy and time added on top of an already overly complex tax system.  Using Bitcoin or sending  gift cards are also viable ways to remit large amounts of cash outside of the wire system
Illegal immigrant remitters will also be able to rely on their American citizen or legal immigrant friends and family members to transfer funds through wire services.  About 16.6 million people live in households with the 11 to 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States.  Many of those legal immigrants or U.S.-natives would be happy to remit money for their illegal immigrants family members.
As a last resort, remitters could use the black market.  Many unlawful immigrants entered the country illegally and some of them use fraudulent documents to work in the United States.  Surely they will find a way to illegally remit funds if the tax is large enough.  Expanding the size of the black market is not the point of a tax on remittances.
Trump’s proposed border wall is expensive and the Mexican government will not pay for it.  Taxing remittances by illegal immigrants is a proposed way of funding such a wall but it is unlikely to raise enough funds and will also directly tax many Americans.  Either the tax will have to raise much more revenue than I anticipate, the border wall will have to be a lot cheaper,  or both for a tax on remittances to raise enough money for this project.  If this wall ever gets built then American taxpayers will foot the bill – as usual.

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The many people who voted for Donald J. Trump scored a minor victory in his election. As in many touted wins there is a downside. The in power Congress has a different agenda than Mr. Trump and it does not bode well for any of us. Mr. Trump is gleefully attempting to be Presidential while the Congress is busily planning an agenda that will reduce healthcare and freedoms many of us currently enjoy. The labelled groups all have different ideas than most of us as to how the country should be run. No matter what side you are on it is wise to remember what affects one eventually affects all. Trump’s cabinet is a collective that will affect everything we do from education to security. As voters all of us want the best leadership but we seem to have relied on sources of information that subvert the truth. We are in essence being lied to on a daily basis by the government. The “government” at this time is current majority party who no matter what you think (or hope) are not working for you. It has been this way for years and these anti voter representatives  strive to convince you that they are on your side. It is the duty of every citizen to forget parties and look at what is actually being done and said in your name! The current White House resident was elected  due to low voter turnout rather than an overwhelming  majority. If you were disappointed in the election results then you need to educate yourself in what is and what isn’t in politics. Remember that under our Constitution the right to voice an opinion  is protected and that includes lies. We current have a minor serving as titular head of the nation and being diapered by  a host of unscrupulous people including many members of Congress.

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Brabble, Trumpspeak and crappenspiel! These are the attributes of the information coming from the Trump White House. In my opinion this administration is in a death spiral caused by the election of a Narcissistic child. There appear to no stops on this path and our less than stellar Congress is complicit. The Congress (Paul Ruyan and Bitch McConnell) have only their own interests in mind whenever they speak and with all actions they take. If the statement about liars pants being a blaze were true then we would have a fire in the Executive and legislative  branches that would be hard to control. With what we now know and have suspected , our government is broken. During the past 8 years when Obama was President, many attempts were made to correct the ship but the evil was so pervasive as to be an insurmountable wall. These evils are capable of creating a long lasting poorly functioning Government. With all of the last 20 years plus of see sawing we have become a segmented nation with the good wishes of our Congress and other influences. The election of Mr. Trump seems to be a stroke of good luck for the baser elements of our government. They are using Mr. trump as  “hat” to cover their own misdeeds and anti citizen schemes. It is unfortunate that too many voters do not realize what the election of Mr. Trump means and it is not good. It is not so much about Mr. Trump but more about the harm that can come from his “allowed” actions. Our neer do well Congress is content to “allow” events to unfold and step in with their own self serving agendas that have  nothing to do with the public good. Our solution to all of this improper and irregular Governance is to become “woke” and informed voters. Do not rely on your elected officials as they will just repeat what you as a voter asked for even thought they know it is not what is needed.

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The oft cited “American People” have been persuaded to shoot themselves in the foot by an entertainer and his loosely associated group of neer do wells sometimes called Congress. The still ongoing Presidential campaign brought more promises and empty superlative rhetoric than can be brought to fruition like the overblown numbers of  the touted “illegal voters”. To date this administration has begun to roll back safety measures for the environment that we all live in, is attempting to kill the little bit of healthcare that many of us now have, promising the return of jobs that are not possible to be returned and tweeting about things that do not have anything to do with governing. Now due to the high-flying rhetoric on the campaign trail many Americans who have been angry with the government now are having second thoughts but unfortunately we took the needle and damage is done. Our options now are push your representatives to do their jobs, do not take no for an answer , do not believe much of what they tell you and finally vote them out of office. The concept of  representatives being good people is and has been a misconception for years. We just never knew as  much as we know now thanks to electronic and social media. The job of representative is important and we deserve to have the right people in place. At this time we have people whose personal  perks (that we pay for) have been mandated by them! Their health care was never endangered during this “repeal and replace”, with that fact in place what incentive would they have to do anything for us?  It seems that they have one objective and that is to take care of themselves in any way they can and if it coincidentally does something for the voters then that’s a bonus. The solution is the vote and avoiding the politispeak that some many elected officials use when addressing  their constituents. We must have no illusions about our Congress, they are not on our side and it appears that they never will be. We as voters need to create a revolving door if need be to get the right people in place. Once we have that accomplished we need to demand changes in their salary and power. The power needs to be in the hands of the people as we are usually the recipients of their ill-fated laws and actions. It is apparent to me that these neer do wells are not listening to the people and the people are the reason they are in office. We can spend another election season of speeches that mean nothing or we can demand the truth then vote for or against the runner but we must be informed to do that.

Josh Barro
Business Insider 22 hours ago

l reaction to passage of health care – Buffalo Scripps
Last week, Vox dug into the Republican healthcare bill and found a provision that would exempt Congress and its staff from many of the bill’s effects.
This provision was bad “optics,” as they say in Washington.
But instead of taking it out — like you would usually do with a provision you aren’t wedded to and can’t defend politically — the House passed the American Health Care Act with the exemption intact after first passing a separate bill that would repeal the exemption that would be created by the AHCA if both bills became law.
There’s a reason for this mess, and it’s not about Republicans in Congress not wanting to be subject to their law.
It’s about Senate procedure.
Republicans are attempting to pass the AHCA through a process called reconciliation. This process, created by the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, allows the Senate to pass certain bills relating to the federal budget with just a simple majority. There is no need to get 60 votes — and, in this case, some Democratic support — as there is for other legislation.
A variety of complex rules govern what matters may and may not be considered through reconciliation.
One of those is that reconciliation must be conducted pursuant to reconciliation instructions passed by both chambers of Congress. That happened earlier this year — Congress sent reconciliation instructions to two Senate committees (finance; and health, education, labor, and pensions) that were designed to allow those committees to write bills making changes to healthcare policy.
The problem, as the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget explains, is that Congress’ healthcare is governed by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and that committee was not sent any reconciliation instructions.
Therefore, if a reconciliation bill makes changes to the way Congress gets its healthcare, it might become subject to a 60-vote threshold because it addresses a matter that is supposed to be the purview of a committee that doesn’t get to participate in reconciliation this year.
Why would the AHCA need to touch Congress’ healthcare in the first place? Because Obamacare included, at Republican urging, a provision requiring members of Congress and their staffs to buy insurance through the Obamacare exchanges.
That Republicans are in this position at all reflects how rushed and ad hoc their healthcare policymaking has been. They set about passing reconciliation instructions right after taking office because they hoped to repeal Obamacare very quickly. Since they didn’t know what their repeal strategy would be, they didn’t know which committees would ultimately need reconciliation instructions, and now it’s too late for them to change which ones have them.
Now their hope is to enact the AHCA and the companion bill that would undo the congressional exemption created by the AHCA. That companion passed the House on Thursday unanimously with Democratic and Republican votes.
In the Senate, that bill would need 60 votes to pass because it’s not a reconciliation matter.
Democrats clearly like the talking point that Republicans exempted Congress from the AHCA — and if the AHCA were enacted, Democrats would have the power to filibuster the companion bill and make it a matter of law. But politically, I’m not sure how it would land, as Republicans could say they are trying to apply the AHCA to Congress and it’s Democrats who are blocking that simple bill from becoming law.
Of course, in all likelihood, the Senate will pass a healthcare bill that differs extensively from the AHCA, which might make moot the whole matter of needing to change the rules about Congress’ healthcare.

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Apparently TOTUS is again blaming others for his failure, ineptitude or lack of governing ability. The recent focus is  a scrap of paper called the Constitution. The campaign promises made were at least overblown rhetoric with no basis in reality. The blame game appears to be the strongest suit in his deck of cards couple that with the flashy signing of executive orders which will at best bog down the courts and at the least create chaos in the states. It is without precedent that a President has moved in ways that have the potential to create a war footing at the cost of true security. Add in the push for the “great wall” and  repealing &  replacing “Obamacare”, this Healthcare action will leave many millions with less to zero coverage at a higher rate (to be clear several states never opted in so that coverage may not be affected). The “great wall” is another potential money pit as some areas do not need a wall due the terrain being a wall in itself. These two items have the potential to devastate State budgets and cause immeasurable harm to millions of American people. The blame for all of this has the fingerprints of a neer do well Congress who stated years ago the President Obama would get nothing passed, now hat has passed is being undone by a child! All of this with tacit and open approval of  a Congress who has no regard for their supporters , no matter what they say. This is possibly the worst Administration in years and we fell for the hype and dismissed the rhetoric. To toss out a few clarifying statements: We were allowed to shoot ourselves in the foot, we were led down the garden path and we were brought to water and water boarded! It will take the next President (if it’s not Pence) years to clear away the debris while our Congress if we re-elect them continues to range far afield doing what ever they want in Our Names. Our perception of Congress is that they are in charge and they are not-WE ARE!

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Do we need yet another reason to pay attention to who we elect to represent us? MA.

Journalist, ThinkProgress. Twitter: @atrupar. Email:
May 5
House Republican didn’t know the health care bill he voted for could cost his state $3 billion
Rep. Chris Collins didn’t read it before he voted for it.

Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) didn’t read the American Health Care Act (AHCA), legislation to dismantle Obamacare that will result in millions of people losing access to affordable insurance, before House Republicans voted to pass it on Thursday. And he had no idea the bill would cost his state billions of federal dollars used to insure thousands of his constituents.
During a CNN appearance on Thursday, Wolf Blitzer asked Collins if he’d actually read the AHCA before voting for it.
“I will fully admit, Wolf, that I did not,” Collins said. “But I can also assure you my staff did. We have to rely on our staff… I’m very comfortable that we have a solution to the disaster
“Congressman, this legislation affects a fifth of the U.S. economy and millions and millions of Americans — don’t you think it was important to actually sit down and read, read the language of this bill?” Blitzer pushed back.
Collins replied by suggesting he was hardly the only Republican who didn’t read the bill, which was rushed through before the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office could score it to detail its specific impact.
“You know, I have to rely on my staff, and I could probably tell you that I read every word, and I wouldn’t be telling you the truth, nor would any other member,” he said. “We rely on our staff, and we rely on our committees, and I’m comfortable that I understand this bill in its entirety, Wolf, without poring through every word.”
WATCH: Republicans prepare to vote for a health care bill they haven’t read
It wasn’t long ago that House Republicans touted a “Read the Bill”
But not reading bills can have serious consequences. Later on Thursday, Collins admitted that he didn’t know the AHCA will cost New York $3 billion in federal funds — money that’s used to insure 19,000 of his constituents.
From The Buffalo News:
Told by a Buffalo News reporter that the state’s largest loss of federal funds under the bill would be $3 billion annually that goes to the state’s Essential Health Plan, Collins said: “Explain that to me.”
The Essential Plan is an optional program under Obamacare, offered only by New York and Minnesota, that provides low-cost health insurance to low- and middle-income people who don’t qualify for Medicaid. State Health Department figures show that more than 19,000 people in Erie and Niagara counties were on the Essential Plan in January.
Asked by The Buffalo News if he was aware of the bill’s cut in funding to the Essential Plan, Collins said: “No. But it doesn’t surprise me for you to tell me that there were two states in the nation that were taking advantage of some other waiver program and New York was one of the two states.”
In an attempt to defend Collins’ comments, his spokesman, Michael McAdams, tried to blame The Buffalo News.
“Once again The Buffalo News is twisting a Republican’s words to fit its out-of-touch, liberal narrative,” McAdams said, according to the publication. “Congressman Collins has been intimately involved in the creation of this legislation from its inception… He understands the impact it would have on Western New Yorkers. To infer Congressman Collins doesn’t understand the disastrous impact Obamacare has had on our region and our nation is absolutely shameful.”
Collins is correct that he’s not the only GOP lawmaker who didn’t read the legislation before casting a vote for it. During a CNN appearance Friday morning, Freedom Caucus member Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) admitted that he too hadn’t read all of the AHCA before Thursday’s vote.
“I turned through every page,” Sanford said. “As to whether or not I got through some of the details on some of the pages, no. But yes, I attempted to read the entire bill.”

This is a far cry from the fall of 2010, when House Republican leaders unveiled their “Pledge to America,” which contained a “Read the Bill” promise.
“We will ensure that bills are debated and discussed in the public square by publishing the text online for at least three days before coming up for a vote in the House of Representatives,” it said.

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