AMERICAblog NewsAMERICAblog News http://americablog.com A great nation deserves the truth // One of America's top progressive sites for news and opinion Thu, 21 Sep 2017 21:42:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 Obamacare repeal update — all about pre-existing conditions and more http://americablog.com/2017/09/obamacare-repeal-update-pre-existing-conditions.html http://americablog.com/2017/09/obamacare-repeal-update-pre-existing-conditions.html#comments Thu, 21 Sep 2017 15:08:21 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143810 As you know, the Republicans may be within one vote of repealing the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. And while Donald Trump claims that the GOP bill protects people with pre-existing conditions, the consensus among health care experts is that Trump is lying. The bill guts protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

It’s all rather complicated, of course, but in a nutshell the GOP bill would preserve Obamacare’s requirements that insurance companies not turn you away for having a pre-existing condition. But, the bill would let insurance companies charge you anything they want for a plan that would cover your condition.

So, for example, if you had cancer, Blue Cross would be required to let you buy a policy. But, they could charge you 5x more than they charge everybody else who doesn’t have cancer. Now, they would do this in a tricky way. They might, for example, have two policies available in your state. One policy doesn’t cover chemo, the other does. The policy that does cover chemo costs 10x more per month. So, what happens? People without cancer buy the cheap policy, while people with cancer have no choice but to buy the more expensive policy they can’t afford, so they go without.

And that’s only one way. Another way the Graham-Cassidy Obamacare repeal bill will target people with pre-existing conditions is via annual and lifetime caps. Before Obamacare, insurance companies capped how much you could benefit from a policy over one year or over your entire life. For example, my old policy would only provide me $1,200 per year in prescription drug benefits — after that point, for the rest of the year, I was on my own. And many policies, mine included, had a lifetime maximum payment of $2 million. After which point, you lose your insurance and can’t ever buy insurance again. And while $2 million may sound like a lot, over a 65 year lifetime (until you get on Medicare), any serious condition could reach that limit. And for people with cancer, it often did.

But it’s not just people with cancer. Before Obamacare, the following were pre-existing conditions that could get your denied for insurance: allergies, asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, having gone for therapy. You don’t need to have cancer to be harmed by the Republican bill.

Cliff and I discussed the Obamacare repeal bill at length in our new podcast, below. And I tweeted several two-minute snippets of the podcast on very particular topics related to this issue. They include:

Why it matters that Republicans aren’t getting a “CBO score” before trying to pass this monstrosity.

What’s motivating Republican Senators to support the Graham-Cassidy bill when they know it will hurt their constituents? Corruption.

The states hurt the most by GOP Obamacare repeal include a number of states represented by GOP members of Congress: FL, PA, OH, KY, NC, AZ, ME, AK, NV, AR, LA, CO. Here’s the Senate switchboard number, to call your Senator: 202-224-3121.

6 key Senators to call on Obamacare repeal: AZ, AK, ME, OH, WV, TN.

How to call your US Senator about Obamacare repeal. I worked in the Senate — be angry, it works.

And here’s the entire podcast, below. Please subscribe to the UnPresidented Podcast on iTunes (then rate and reviews us, it helps a LOT to grow our community), then go to Patreon and for just $5 per month you can also subscribe to our premium podcasts that are behind a paywall (half our podcast are free, half are premium). If you like my work, please support me by subscribing to the podcast, and/or a straight donation works too. Thanks so much, JOHN.

Here as promised is the podcast:

red-donatePlease support our writing, video blogs, and upcoming podcasts with a $25 donation. (If you prefer PayPal, use this link.) We don’t make much on advertising, we need your support to continue our work. Thanks.

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What religious right leader had an affinity for gay sex art? http://americablog.com/2017/09/religious-right-leader-affinity-gay-sex-art.html http://americablog.com/2017/09/religious-right-leader-affinity-gay-sex-art.html#respond Tue, 19 Sep 2017 21:28:56 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143805 How’s that headline for a teaser?

In today’s podcast, Cliff Schecter I delve into a number of topics — primarily Obamacare repeal and Paul Manafort’s latest legal problems with the FBI — but we also touch on a number of other issues in the news, including the strange tale of a new bundt pan I purchased this weekend at an estate sale in DC that turned out to be the home of a top name in the religious right. Oh, it gets better.

Suffice it to say, in addition to a $4 cake mold, I walked away with a big helping of religious right hypocrisy.

I’ve posted our podcast below, and here’s the rundown of topics, and where you can find them in this episode:

During his UN speech Trump calls North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un “rocket man” (0:00), the GOP prepares to repeal Obamacare (again) with the worst bill yet (4:19), John buys a bundt pan from a gay-sex loving family values conservative (6:55), Hillary trolls Donald Trump deliciously (13:20), Don Jr. and Kellyanne turn down Secret Service protection (16:42), Sean Spicer tries to cleanse his soul at the Emmys (20:13), the physics of pee (29:23), former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort in deeper water than ever (30:06), more on the GOP effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (35:39), John offers some personal thoughts on his healthcare (51:00), Cliff provides some action steps on ACA repeal (54:30), Trump wants a military parade North-Korea style (58:25), and more about Seb Gorka’s penis (1:00:56).

And if you like our podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave us a rating & review (and if you don’t like iTunes, we’re on all the topic services, just Google my last name — it’s the UnPresidented Podcast, with me and Cliff Schecter). It helps us out a LOT to subscribe, rate and review the show on iTunes — so please do.

And to support the show by donating, with gives you a subscription to our premium episodes which are behind a firewall — half of our episodes are premium — go to Patreon and click the “Become a Patron” button on the right. A minimum contribution of $5/month gives you access to the entire show. (And thanks to all who have already subscribed — in just 3 weeks, we’ve already got 75 paid subscribers!)

Thanks for your support, and here’s our latest:

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Graham-Cassidy Obamacare repeal to get 2 minutes of debate http://americablog.com/2017/09/graham-cassidy-obamacare-repeal-get-2-minutes-debate.html http://americablog.com/2017/09/graham-cassidy-obamacare-repeal-get-2-minutes-debate.html#comments Mon, 18 Sep 2017 18:16:58 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143794 One of the many things the Republicans aren’t telling you about their latest effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which will cut life-saving health care for millions of Americans, is that the entire debate over the Graham-Cassidy amendment, as it’s called, will be a whopping two minutes.

Yes, you read that right, 2 minutes.

And sadly, yet again, the Republicans are reportedly within a vote or two of passing this latest Obamacare repeal travesty, this time with an even worse bill.

Why just two minutes?

In a nutshell, in order to avoid having to get 60 votes in the Senate, GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell is reopening up the budget reconciliation bill, to add the Obamacare repeal there. But the reconciliation bill has already used up all of its debate time, so there’s no time left to debate new amendments, which is what Graham-Cassidy is. Instead, under Senate rules, Graham-Cassidy — the repeal of your health insurance — can only be given two minutes of debate. That’s it. (And each additional amendment would also get two minutes. But if there were too many amendments, McConnell could just shut it down.)

So with two minutes of debate, the Republican is going to decide your life and 1/6 of the entire US economy. That’s shorter than it takes for Ted Cruz to cruise an adult Twitter account.

Just how bad Graham-Cassidy is

This latest bill is a combination of the old bill, that would literally kill people with pre-existing conditions and permit insurance companies to quintuple premiums for older Americans as compared to what they charge younger Americans, and a new block grant that would limit how much states get to pay for Medicaid, among other things, and that would phase out entirely in ten years.

The net effect would be to gut Medicaid, and permit insurance companies to stop covering life-saving, or simply expensive, treatments for people with pre-existing conditions. Or, they could simply charge people with pre-existing conditions an exorbitant amount for coverage, versus everybody else, which effectively makes it impossible for you to afford the treatment anyway.

And keep in mind what counts as a pre-existing condition, it’s not just cancer. Pre-existing conditions also include: allergies, eczema, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pregnancy, and even being a woman (before Obamacare, women would pay more for the same policies that men paid less for — because, woman).

What else will Graham-Cassidy do? Gut annual out-of-pocket caps that currently require your insurance company to pay 100% for treatment and drugs after you spend a certain amount of money in any one year. For example, I’ve already paid $2,000 out-of-pocket this year on doctor’s visit, labs, treatments etc. So for the rest of the year, I pay nothing for my doctor visits, treatments, Rxs, etc. Graham-Cassidy will permit states to water that down and exempt treatments, prescription drugs, whatever they want, so that you will have to keep paying and paying, and your insurance may not even cover you.

In the old days, for example, my insurance covered $1,500 a year in prescription drugs, and that’s it. And if you have asthma, among other things, you can easily hit that limit in three months. Not to mention, what happens when you have a life-saving drug that costs $1,000 or several thousand per month?

And people with cancer should forget about it. The Republican party is taking us back to the days where you can no longer afford to get treatment because of a combination of your premiums being so high (because you’re “sick”) and the coverage for your condition being so low.

Here’s how much premiums may go up

The Center for American Progress looked at how much premiums might go up for people with various pre-existing conditions. For example, if you have asthma, your premiums could go up over $4,000 per year. If you’re pregnant, they could go up $17,000 per year. And forget about major cancer — you could see a $142,000 annual increase in your insurance premiums. Here are some conditions and the annual premium increase under Graham-Cassidy:

How you can help

At this point, skip the petitions, and start calling members of Congress and/or showing up at protests outside their offices. While every member of Congress needs to hear the message “vote against any legislation that repeals the Affordable Care Act,” obviously the Republicans in particularly need to hear from you. And while ever Republican can use a phone call, there are a few in particular that we need to be focusing on.

a. You can contact your Senators by calling the main US Senate switchboard and asking the operator who they are: (202) 224-3121.

b. In particular, the following Republican Senators could use special attention,and may be winnable as they’re moderate and vulnerable as many of the other more conservative Senators. And the DC office phones are often too busy to get thru, in that case try the local office (and feel free to call both anyway).

Susan Collins (Maine):
DC: (202) 224-2523
Portland: (207) 780-3575
Lewiston: (207) 784-6969
Bangor: (207) 945-0417
Augusta: (207) 622-8414
Caribou: (207) 493-7873

Lisa Murkowski (Alaska):
DC: (202) 224-6665
Anchorage: (907) 271-3735
Fairbanks: (907) 456-0233
Juneau: (907) 586-7277
Mat-Su:  (907) 376-7665
Kenai: (907) 283-5808
Ketchikan: (907) 225-6880

John McCain (Arizona)
Phoenix:  (602) 952-2410
Tucson: (520) 670-6334
Washington, DC:

Dean Heller (Nevada): 
DC: (202) 224-6244
Las Vegas: 702-388-6605
Reno: 775-686-5770

Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia):
DC: (202) 224-6472
Charleston: 304-347-5372
Martinsburg: 304-262-9285
Morgantown: 304-292-2310
Beckley: 304-347-5372

 

Rob Portman (Ohio):
DC: (202) 224-3353
Columbus: 1-800-205-6446 (OHIO)
Cincinnati: 513-684-3265
Cleveland: 216-522-7095
Toledo: 419-259-3895

Cory Gardner (Colorado):
DC: (202) 224-5941
Pueblo: (719) 543-1324
Colorado Springs: (719) 632-6706
Denver: (303) 391-5777
Grand Junction: (970) 245-9553
Greeley: (970) 352-5546
Fort Collins: (970) 484-3502
Yuma: (970) 848-3095
Durango: (970) 259-1231

The only thing that can stop this bill is putting more pressure on these Republicans than they’re currently getting from their base. They need to fear us politically more than they fear the Deplorables. So call them and be firm. Especially if you’re from one of the states above.

Thanks so much. We’ve killed this before, and we can kill it again. We have to kill it again. And then, throw these bums out in November 2018. I for one have had enough. JOHN

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Trump tweets video physically attacking Hillary Clinton http://americablog.com/2017/09/trump-tweets-video-physically-attacking-hillary-clinton.html http://americablog.com/2017/09/trump-tweets-video-physically-attacking-hillary-clinton.html#comments Sun, 17 Sep 2017 14:11:19 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143783 Trump sold the Republican party out this week, twice. He needs to win back the Deplorables.

Cliff Schecter predicted in our latest podcast that Trump would win back his base by promising to waterboard ten Mexicans. Cliff was close. Trump chose physical violence towards Hillary Clinton.

 

 

 

Which raises a few issues. First, was Kathy Griffin really wrong to joke about violence against Trump now that Trump has repeatedly promoted violence against Hillary Clinton? (Remember, during the campaign Trump suggested that perhaps someone should assassinate Hillary.)

And second, Trump has spent all week calling for ESPN anchor Jemele Hill to be fired for calling Trump a “white supremacist.” But now Trump himself has called for violence against Hillary Clinton, a clearly sexist attack (among other things). We already knew that Donald “Grab ’em by the pussy” Trump had zero moral standing to call anyone else out for their behavior. But at what point do Republicans say enough is enough?

Then again, racism, sexism, physically mocking a reporter with a disability, and even embracing actual Nazis wasn’t enough to get the GOP to finally stop Donald Trump. So what’s a little misogyny?

The pundits assembled on CNN this morning seemed to find the video funny. They talked of Trump’s “authenticity” with the voters. Yes, Trump does come across authentic — the same way a white guy with a tiki torch yelling “Jews will not replace us” is authentic. The guy is real, all right. Nothing left to the imagination. And if you’re a hateful bigot, I’m sure you’ll applaud.

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Fox Sports analyst Clay Travis tells female CNN anchor about his love of “boobs” http://americablog.com/2017/09/fox-sports-analyst-tells-female-anchor-love-boobs.html http://americablog.com/2017/09/fox-sports-analyst-tells-female-anchor-love-boobs.html#comments Fri, 15 Sep 2017 19:34:29 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143773 Unbelievable.

Fox Sports analyst Clay Travis just told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin that he loves “boobs,” in a conversation about ESPN host Jemele Hill calling Donald Trump a white supremacist.

Baldwin was taken aback at first, and once she confirmed what Travis had said — he continued to talk about his love of boobs, repeatedly — Baldwin said she was appalled and ended the segment.

Travis is now crowing on his Twitter feed about having just sexually harassed Baldwin. Is Fox Sports okay with this?

Here is a short clip, I’m certain CNN will be posting the entire thing shortly.

And here is Baldwin yanking the sexist pig’s mic:

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Time-lapse video of Hurricane Irma rolling by Miami http://americablog.com/2017/09/time-lapse-video-hurricane-irma-rolling-miami.html http://americablog.com/2017/09/time-lapse-video-hurricane-irma-rolling-miami.html#respond Thu, 14 Sep 2017 14:28:28 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143770 A neat time-lapse video of Hurricane Irma from Friday, September 8, 2017 at 3pm, to Monday, September 11 at 9am.

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“Ted Cruz & masturbation are not things you can take lightly” http://americablog.com/2017/09/ted-cruz-masturbation-not-things-can-take-lightly.html http://americablog.com/2017/09/ted-cruz-masturbation-not-things-can-take-lightly.html#comments Wed, 13 Sep 2017 17:31:29 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143761 Family-values conservative Ted Cruz is embroiled in a Twitter sex scandal, while the nation reels from the after-effects of the second major hurricane to hit the US in the past month.

In today’s podcast, Cliff Schecter and John Aravosis discuss the Cruz scandal (2:30), Seb Gorka’s oddly-timed visit to Israel (8:19), Breitbart’s fury over Trump refusing to say “radical Islamic terrorism” (12:00), Steve Bannon’s “60 Minutes” attack on Hillary Clinton (16:46), Ted Cruz’s “safe word” (23:04), the recent spate of Republican retirements and whether they’ll help Democrats take back the Congress in 2018 (23:32), and climate change’s role in Hurricanes Irma and Harvey (49:16).

Ted Cruz

Conservative GOP Senator Ted Cruz.

You can hear today’s episode below, and if you enjoy the show, please help get us to the top of the podcast charts and grow our community by subscribing and leaving a rating & review on iTunes.

And help keep us on the air by signing up for a $5/month or more subscription at our Patreon page, which also gives you access to our premium podcast episodes (about half of our episodes are premium, only the free ones are on iTunes).

Thanks everyone.

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Four feel-good stories about Hurricane Irma http://americablog.com/2017/09/four-feel-good-stories-hurricane-irma.html http://americablog.com/2017/09/four-feel-good-stories-hurricane-irma.html#comments Mon, 11 Sep 2017 18:42:32 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143757 With all the harrowing stories from Hurricane Irma, I was noticing the occasional feel-good story as well. A reporter rescuing some dolphins; some people on a beach rescuing manatees; a little kid in Georgia buying lunch for someone with Florida license plates; and flamingos!

So, I’ve compiled them in place. Enjoy.

1. An NBC News correspondent rescues a baby, and then a full-grown, dolphin on a Florida beach.

2. A nine-year-old boy pays for Irma evacuee’s lunch. From ABC News:

A 9-year-old Alabama boy didn’t want a Florida evacuee to worry about lunch ahead of Hurricane Irma, so he paid for his meal with the help of his proud mother.

3. Manatees! In several different stories, Floridians rushed to the rescue of Manatees that got stuck when the storm surge came in.

4. And flamingos in the men’s room! The picture with this story is fabulous. It’s actually a photo from Hurricane Georges in 1998, when Zoo Miami put 50 flamingos int he men’s room for safe-keeping.

Busch Gardens also had a great video of them moving their flamingos to safety before Irma struck.

And here are the Busch Gardens flamingos in shelter:

______________

You can listen to a snippet of our latest podcast here. And to hear the entire episode, subscribe on Patreon.

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No, Hillary shouldn’t just shut up http://americablog.com/2017/09/no-hillary-shouldnt-just-shut.html http://americablog.com/2017/09/no-hillary-shouldnt-just-shut.html#comments Fri, 08 Sep 2017 13:35:22 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143752 Hillary Clinton’s new book criticizes Bernie Sanders, and has reignited a controversy over progressive unity, women’s rights, and whether the two are mutually exclusive.

I expressed the concern that, regardless of whether Hillary’s criticism of Bernie in the book was right, taking shots at Bernie now risked reigniting a Democrat civil war.

And, I argued, the last thing progressive need right now is fighting each other instead of Donald Trump.

A number of women who voted for Hillary argued that sexism played a huge role in Hillary’s loss, the issue had to be discussed, and asking Hillary to put it off was sexist. Many of them also called me sexist and racist (yes) for suggesting the Bernie criticism was ill-timed.

They argued that sexism played a huge role in Hillary’s loss, the issue had to be discussed, and asking Hillary to put it off was sexist.

As a longtime Hillary supporter, who has criticized Bernie a LOT for being divisive, I feel justified in holding Hillary to same standard,

I was also told that as a white man, I have no right to offer a political opinion on anything Hillary does.

Are Hillary’s critics demanding that women “shut up,” and is Hillary being silenced in the face of legitimate grievances about how she was treated in the 2016 election? Or has the Oppression Olympics on the left gone too far?

Cliff Schecter and I discuss all of this in our latest podcast. (Sasha the wonder-dog, who also refuses to be silenced, makes a cameo appearance.)

You can listen to a snippet of our podcast here. And to hear the entire episode, subscribe on Patreon.

red-donateWith the election of Donald Trump, AMERICAblog’s independent journalism and activism is more needed than ever.

Please support my work with a $25 donation. We don’t make much on advertising, we need your support to continue our work. Thanks.

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Trump kills the DACA Dream http://americablog.com/2017/09/trump-kills-daca-dream.html http://americablog.com/2017/09/trump-kills-daca-dream.html#comments Wed, 06 Sep 2017 13:00:16 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143748 Donald Trump yesterday rescinded President Obama’s DACA policy that let undocumented kids who arrived in the US before the age of 16 to apply for two-year renewable amnesty. Trump is now pulling the plug on DACA, leaving the kids in limbo, while punting the entire issue to Congress.

Cliff Schecter and I just published an hour-long podcast walking you through what Trump did today, and discussing whether there’s anything Congress or the Supreme Court can or will do to stop him. You can listen to today’s episode here on iTunes. And if you can support us financially, buy a premium subscription (that gives you access to twice as many episodes) on Patreon.

In a nutshell, it’s not clear that a GOP Congress is going to fix this, even though the polls show even a majority of Republicans favor keeping the “Dreamers” here. The problem is congressional conservatives, who will certainly try to tie any DACA compromise to the billions Trump wants for his racist Mexico wall and to even worse anti-immigrant legislation. I just don’t have a lot of confidence in the GOP Congress to fix this, but we’ll see.

As for the courts, a lot of people think Obama’s policy won’t survive a review at the Supreme Court. That means that even if Trump were to keep DACA, the GOP attorneys-general who have been suing to stop the policy, might be able to get the courts to strike it down.

The other topic Cliff and I discuss quite a bit in today’s podcast is the 2018 election, and whether Democrats have a chance at taking back the Senate. Cliff thinks there’s a chance that the country’s collective anger at Trump, and GOP extremism overall, might just swing the Senate at least.

And finally, if you enjoy our podcast, please support it by subscribing on iTunes, rating and reviewing us there (it helps a lot), and by buying a premium subscription (that gives you access to twice as many episodes) on Patreon.

More later. Thanks, JOHN

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Rush Limbaugh, hurricane truther http://americablog.com/2017/09/rush-limbaugh-hurricane-truther.html http://americablog.com/2017/09/rush-limbaugh-hurricane-truther.html#comments Wed, 06 Sep 2017 00:17:36 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143744 Rush Limbaugh is a hurricane truther. He thinks all the hysteria over Hurricane Irma is a conspiracy cooked up by “Big Water” and, for lack of a better phrase, Big Climate.

Limbaugh spent most of today’s screed going after Big Climate. You see, according to Limbaugh, a lot of meteorologists believe in climate change, so they’re trying to create hurricane-panic to convince people that climate change is real.

Limbaugh says, of course, that the media is part of the conspiracy. They all went down to Texas with the intent of making you think Hurricane Harvey was worse than it really was.

[T]he bias is built in. So there is a desire to advance this climate change agenda, and hurricanes are one of the fastest and best ways to do it. You can accomplish a lot just by creating fear and panic. You don’t need a hurricane to hit anywhere. All you need is to create the fear and panic accompanied by talk that climate change is causing hurricanes to become more frequent and bigger and more dangerous, and you create the panic, and it’s mission accomplished, agenda advanced.

Limbaugh goes on to say that the local TV is in cahoots with local retailers. And that’s why local TV gets so upset about hurricanes, so that you’ll go buy food and supplies at the advertisers of the TV news shows.

Oh but it gets better. Limbaugh says he can predict where the hurricane is gonna go even better than government scientists.

I’m constantly on guard against it. I’ve lived here since 1997, and I have developed a system that I trust, my own analysis of the data. And I’m not a meteorologist. I’m not gonna tell you what mine is because I don’t want to be misinterpreted as giving you a forecast. Well, I’m tempted to, though, because I’ve been exactly right since last Friday. I am tempted to tell you. ‘Cause I had people asking me back then. I’m tempted to tell you. But my better judgment says don’t go there.

Let me just put it this way. The latest National Hurricane Center forecast map, the track, which was released at 11 a.m. puts the Sunday target exactly where I told my buddies on Saturday and Friday night that it was gonna go, while the models all had it turning north up to North Carolina and Washington, D.C., and the Northeastern coast. That was just one data point that I kept looking at that told me where I thought this thing was gonna go.

Limbaugh being Limbaugh, the transcript rambles on for a long while. Out of his mind.

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Chapo’s Strap-on House http://americablog.com/2017/09/chapos-strap-house.html http://americablog.com/2017/09/chapos-strap-house.html#comments Fri, 01 Sep 2017 19:53:47 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143742 Absolutism on the left is no path to victory.

In our latest podcast, Cliff Schecter and I talk about the importance of holding Democrats accountable while still understanding that our greater fight is with Donald Trump.

We also discuss the latest on Trump-Russia and how the Mueller investigation, with the help of the IRS and NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, is closing in on Trump and his henchmen, including former campaign chair Paul Manafort.

You can listen to a 5-minute snippet of the show below, and you can subscribe to hear the full hour-15 version on Patreon: www.patreon.com/posts/episode-12-strap-14169849

Your subscriptions will help us grow the show (and get me a decent set of headphones). Thanks so much. JOHN

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The GOP finds FEMA Jesus http://americablog.com/2017/08/gop-finds-fema-jesus.html http://americablog.com/2017/08/gop-finds-fema-jesus.html#comments Thu, 31 Aug 2017 01:03:55 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143737 On the heels of Hurricane Harvey’s disaster in Texas, heartless Republicans in Congress are preparing to cut nearly $1 billion from America’s disaster assistance programs in order to pay for Trump’s racist wall.

At the same time, Texas Republicans have made it harder for Texans to force insurance companies to make good on disaster claims; while 23 of 24 members of Texas’ GOP congressional delegation voted against the Hurricane Sandy relief bill, meant to provide much-needed aid to people in the northeast.

But now that their own constituents are dying, the GOP has suddenly found FEMA Jesus. I discuss the latest GOP hypocrisy in my latest UnPresidented podcast.

You can listen below, then please subscribe and rate us on iTunes (it will help to get iTunes to feature us). And, to listen to our premium episodes (half will be premium), you can subscribe on Patreon.

red-donateWith the election of Donald Trump, AMERICAblog’s independent journalism and activism is more needed than ever.

Please support our work with a $25 donation. (If you prefer PayPal, use this link.) We don’t make much on advertising, we need your support to continue our work. Thanks.

And buy a t-shirt and support our work:

Get your Mar-a-Lago t-shirt! All proceeds benefit AMERICAblog’s Resistance work.

All the proceeds go to supporting our independent journalism at AMERICAblog.

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“Remember Senator, today you’re pro-choice” http://americablog.com/2017/08/remember-senator-today-youre-pro-choice.html http://americablog.com/2017/08/remember-senator-today-youre-pro-choice.html#comments Tue, 29 Aug 2017 21:06:02 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143728 A new episode of our UnPresidented podcast is out.

On today’s show, Hurricane Harvey ravages Texas, so Donald Trump’s first impulse was to pardon a racist “for the ratings.”

Then Trump flies to Texas, interfering with disaster relief, but getting a great photo opp of Melania mingling with the little people in stiletto heels (seriously).

Cliff and I also discuss the Texas congressional delegation that nearly unanimously voted against Hurricane Katrina relief funding. You’ll be surprised to hear that they’re all in favor of such spending for Harvey.

In our second half, we discuss the latest blockbuster news about Trump-Russia, including the revelation that during last year’s presidential campaign Trump was secretly working on a deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, financed by the Russian government. Yeah, good times.

That and more, with Cliff Schecter and John Aravosis.

As always, please subscribe to and rate our show on iTunes (if we get enough ratings, iTunes may feature us, which will help us a LOT).

And we’d love if you became a paid subscriber for our premium episodes on Patreon (about half of our show moving forward will be free, half premium). We’ll be using our donations to upgrade our equipment and hire a producer/sound engineer, and ultimately expand our show.

Thanks everyone, JOHN.

red-donateWith the election of Donald Trump, AMERICAblog’s independent journalism and activism is more needed than ever.

Please support our work with a $25 donation. (If you prefer PayPal, use this link.) We don’t make much on advertising, we need your support to continue our work. Thanks.

And buy a t-shirt and support our work:

Get your Mar-a-Lago t-shirt! All proceeds benefit AMERICAblog’s Resistance work.

All the proceeds go to supporting our independent journalism at AMERICAblog.

Follow me on Twitter & Facebook:





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Trump to obstruct disaster relief in Texas tomorrow http://americablog.com/2017/08/trump-obstruct-disaster-relief-texas-tomorrow.html http://americablog.com/2017/08/trump-obstruct-disaster-relief-texas-tomorrow.html#comments Mon, 28 Aug 2017 20:12:15 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143680 Donald Trump, himself an ever-growing disaster, is preparing to parachute into Texas tomorrow to interfere with relief efforts during the ongoing natural disaster unfolding in that state (it’s not over yet, the storm is now heading back to the gulf, and may regroup into a hurricane then head north!). The scenes on TV are horrific — from Texas neighborhoods completely underwater, to elderly women in nursing homes just sitting in chest-high water waiting to be rescued. Just heart-wrenching.

So what does Donald Trump do in response to this unprecedented devastation? He pardons a racist, and then plans a joy ride to undermine the ongoing relief in the ongoing disaster. Tomorrow, Tuesday, Trump will land in Texas to burnish his image on the backs of dislocated Texans who have lost everything.

Even more bizarre, in a press conference Trump is holding as I write this, he just said that he’s going back to Texas, and to Louisiana as well, this coming weekend, when again it’s going to be a disaster! What is he doing?

It is common knowledge in politics that you DO NOT have the president visit an ongoing disaster region. Why? Because his massive needs — from security to meetings with local officials — get in the way of local efforts to save lives. Because of Trump’s visit, local police will have to divert their attention from rescue work and focus on keeping Trump safe. Because of Trump’s visit, local relief may not even be able to get to people in need because Trump could be in the way, blocking all traffic. And because of Trump’s visit, local officials, who should be spending their time saving lives, will be ordered to a command performance briefing the narcissist in chief.

Surely Trump knows better. It’s a guarantee that his own staff, and disaster officials, have told him not to go to Texas — not yet, at least, when the storm is still ongoing and may even get worse (latest reports are that it might hit New Orleans next). But Trump is Trump, a childish narcissist who only thinks of himself. Desperate to move beyond the critical attention to his recent embrace of actual Nazis, and his pardon of a racist, Trump is happy to use drowning Texas as cannon fodder. So tomorrow he will.

IN OTHER NEWS

1. New Podcast

I’ve launched a new progressive podcast for the Resistance with my old buddy in politics, Cliff Schecter. Please help us get iTunes to feature it by subscribing, rating, and reviewing it on iTunes here. I know, you think others will do it so you don’t have to. We’ve only gotten 43 reviews so far (which is good actually, but we need more). Your additional subscription/rating/review will be a huge help!

Were starting with two episodes per week — one free to the public, and the other for subscriber’s only — subscriptions start at $5/month, the standard going rate for podcasts. I’d be very appreciative if folks would subscribe and help us grow the podcast. You can subscribe here on Patreon(We’ve posted a lot of free episodes to start with, to give you a flavor.)

Twitter: @UnPresidentPod
Facebook.

2. Mar-a-Lago tshirts!

We’re selling Mar-a-Lago tshirts, but definitely not the kind you can buy from the Trump folks. Our shirts commemorate the fact that Donald Trump’s incessant golf trips have now bankrupted the Secret Service — they’re out of money for the year. You can buy your Mar-a-Lago shirts here. All proceeds benefit my work, thanks.

That’s it for now. We’ll be recording a new episode of the podcast tomorrow, and please do check out our existing episodes on iTunes (and subscribe, rate and review them), then subscribe to our premium service at Patreon.

JOHN

red-donateWith the election of Donald Trump, AMERICAblog’s independent journalism and activism is more needed than ever.

Please support my work with a $25 donation. We don’t make much on advertising, we need your support to continue our work. Thanks.

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Welcome to our new Resistance podcast http://americablog.com/2017/08/welcome-new-resistance-podcast.html http://americablog.com/2017/08/welcome-new-resistance-podcast.html#comments Sun, 27 Aug 2017 16:06:53 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143652 I have joined with my longtime friend and progressive colleague Cliff Schecter in launching a new podcast dedicated to empowering the Resistance, called “UnPresidented.”

We do a minimum of two episodes per week. Half are open to everyone, and half are subscriber-only. We’re asking for a minimum subscription of $5/month, which is standard for most podcasts.

You can check out the free episodes on iTunes, Patreon, SoundCloud, Google Play and many other services. And you can subscribe to our premium episodes on Patreon.

What would be a great help in addition to signing up for the premium episodes is also subscribing to the podcast on iTunes, and then rating/reviewing it. If we get enough subscriptions and ratings/reviews in the first few weeks, iTunes may feature us in their “New & Noteworthy” section, which would be a huge boost. We have 32 ratings as of this writing, so your additional rating would be HUGELY important and helpful. Thanks.

Now, if you know my politics, Cliff’s are no different. We are proud Democrats who are also proud progressives — we’re here to fight the right, but we never shy away from taking our party to task when needed. At UnPresidented we believe that whatever our differences on the left, the way to win on the issues we care about, from immigration to civil rights, health care and climate, is for all of us to come together and resist Donald Trump.

We already have at least 8 free episodes up, and one premium, so there’s ample for you to check out for free. Here’s a list of our first 9:

Thanks as always for your support. Progressivism activism is what I do for a living. So your donations matter — they literally finance my work. So thank you for your continued support. I really do appreciate it.

JOHN

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As nation braces for devastating hurricane, Trump helps racists by pardoning Arpaio http://americablog.com/2017/08/nation-braces-devastating-hurricane-trump-helps-racists.html http://americablog.com/2017/08/nation-braces-devastating-hurricane-trump-helps-racists.html#comments Sat, 26 Aug 2017 00:32:52 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143656 Donald Trump just had his Hurricane Katrina moment.

Trump, who just last week embraced actual Nazis, used his first presidential pardon moments ago on Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of refusing to comply with a court order to stop violating the Civil Rights Act by racially profiling Latinos.

Arpaio was also a lead birther, promoting the racist myth that President Obama was born in Africa. He wasn’t.

Think about it. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are facing imminent devastation as a Category 4 hurricane bears down on Texas, and Trump’s first thought is how he can help a racist birther convicted of refusing to comply with the Civil Rights Act. That’s what this man is thinking about RIGHT NOW.

Ana Navaro just noted on CNN that Arpaio’s pardon didn’t happen in a vacuum. Sebatian Gorka just quit his job at the White House. Gorka, you’ll recall, is the far-right protege of Steve Bannon who has his own Nazi problem. Ana says Trump made the pardon to placate far-right bigots who will be outraged that Gorka has left the White House. And Trump never wants to disappoint a racist.

This comes on the heels of Trump embracing actual neo-Nazis and other white supremacists who violently marched last week on Charlottesville, Virginia. In response to the racist violence, Trump blamed the protesters peacefully objecting to the Nazi march.

At this point, after all the anti-Semitic slights from Donald Trump over the past few months, and all the racist outbursts over the last several years, from his attacks on an American judge of Mexican ancestry to his dishonor of an American Muslim family whose son died fighting for our country, Donald Trump has told us who he is: he’s a raging bigot.

The man is unfit for the office of president, and needs to be removed.

red-donateWith the election of Donald Trump, AMERICAblog’s independent journalism and activism is more needed than ever.

Please support our work with a $25 donation. (If you prefer PayPal, use this link.) We don’t make much on advertising, we need your support to continue our work. Thanks.

And buy a t-shirt and support our work:

Get your Mar-a-Lago t-shirt! All proceeds benefit AMERICAblog’s Resistance work.

All the proceeds go to supporting our independent journalism at AMERICAblog.

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Trump nominee says being gay is a “choice,” and gay marriage will lead to pedophilia http://americablog.com/2017/08/trump-nominee-says-gay-choice-gay-marriage-will-lead-pedophilia.html http://americablog.com/2017/08/trump-nominee-says-gay-choice-gay-marriage-will-lead-pedophilia.html#comments Mon, 21 Aug 2017 16:39:34 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143647 Donald Trump’s nominee to be the chief scientist at the Department of Agriculture thinks being gay is a choice, and that legalizing same-sex marriage will lead to legalize pedophilia.

His name is Sam Clovis, and these revelations come from CNN’s KFile, who uncovered that Clovis made these comments between 2012 and 2014, so they’re hardly ancient history.

Adding to the fun, Clovis isn’t even a scientist — but he’s nominated to be the chief scientist at Agriculture.

Here’s what Clovis said:

“Someone who engages in LGBT behavior — I don’t know what the science is on this, I think it’s still out — but as far as we know, LGBT behavior is a choice they make, Clovis says in a video obtained by CNN’s KFile. “So we’re being asked to provide Constitutional protections for behavior, a choice in behavior as opposed to a primary characteristic.”

“There’s no equivalency there between the civil rights issue associated between those protected classes and the civil rights of someone who engages in a particular behavior,” continues Clovis. “Follow the logic, if you engage in a particular behavior, what also becomes protected? If we protect LGBT behavior, what other behaviors are we going to protect? Are we going to protect pedophilia? Are we going to protect polyamorous marriage relationships? Are we going to protect people who have fetishes? What’s the logical extension of this? It can’t be that we’re going to protect LGBT and then we’ll pull up the ladder. That’s not going to happen, it defies logic. We’re not thinking the consequences of these decisions through.”

I’m always intrigued by homophobes who think the desire of men to sleep with other men is a “choice.” That means their heterosexuality is a choice as well. It suggests that the only reason they don’t have relations with other men is because they “choose” not to. In other words, Clovis is attracted to other men, he wants to be with other men, but doesn’t because he simply chooses not to.

I didn’t choose to be gay, and therefore I don’t think that straight people choose to be straight. The only people who think you choose your sexual orientation are people who have chosen their own — meaning, they can go both ways.

TMI, Clovis. TMI.

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Trump’s non-stop vacations have bankrupted the Secret Service http://americablog.com/2017/08/trumps-non-stop-vacations-bankrupted-secret-service.html http://americablog.com/2017/08/trumps-non-stop-vacations-bankrupted-secret-service.html#comments Mon, 21 Aug 2017 14:00:54 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143639 Donald Trump’s non-stop vacations to his various golf courses have bankrupted the Secret Service, USA Today reports.

The problem is the size of Trump’s extended family, plus the necessity of keeping agents full-time at Trump’s various golf courses up and down the east coast.

As a result, the Secret Service has already spent its entire budget allotted for the year, and it’s only August.

Get your Mar-a-Lago t-shirt! All proceeds benefit AMERICAblog’s Resistance work.

Among the costs:

– Keeping a permanent presence at Trump’s golf courses.
– Not only protecting the Trump children, but traveling with Eric and Don Jr. when they travel abroad to promote the Trump family business. During Eric Trump’s recent trip to Uruguay, the Secret Service had to spend $100,000 on hotel rooms alone.

A General Accounting Office report estimated that the cost of protecting Trump for a weekend trip to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida — which Trump calls the “Winter White House” — is $3 million per weekend.

And judging by the number of vacations Trump takes — the Washington Post calculated that in his first six months on the job, Trump took 3x as many vacations as President Obama — the Secret Service’s budget problems won’t get better any time soon.

Don’t get mad, get even. Buy your own Mar-a-Lago t-shirt — all proceeds benefit AMERICAblog’s Resistance work – we have various colors of shirts, and men’s and women’s styles:

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Hilarious breakdown of Trump’s chaotic four weeks (video) http://americablog.com/2017/08/hilarious-breakdown-trumps-chaotic-four-weeks-video.html http://americablog.com/2017/08/hilarious-breakdown-trumps-chaotic-four-weeks-video.html#comments Fri, 18 Aug 2017 21:39:38 +0000 http://americablog.com/?p=143636 CNN did a great breakdown of Donald Trump’s chaotic last four weeks in office.

Brooke Baldwin talked us through the list of disasters, that was so long she had to stop to get some water!

red-donateWith the election of Donald Trump, AMERICAblog’s independent journalism and activism is more needed than ever.

Please support our writing, video blogs, and upcoming podcasts with a $25 donation. (If you prefer PayPal, use this link.) We don’t make much on advertising, we need your support to continue our work. Thanks.

Subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

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