Monday, September 30, 2019

Monday Reading

As always, please go to the links for the full articles/ op eds.

E.J. Dionne, Jr., nails the imperative of holding nitwit Il Douche Donald "Rump" Trump to account for his latest, public attempt to get foreign intervention in our elections:
Trump’s egregious behavior in trying to bring down Joe Biden by itself encompasses nearly every transgression of his presidency: lies, coverups and the selfish misuse of power; putting his own interests ahead of our nation’s security; and an arrogant and unconstitutional dismissal of Congress’s legitimate authority.
And here is where those who see impeachment as a political mistake miss the point. Pelosi waited until the latest revelations to act because she understood a basic truth: Nothing would be better for our country in the long run — at home and around the world — than a decisive negative verdict on Trumpism from the American people.
But given what we have learned, nothing would be worse for our constitutional system than for Congress to sit by timidly in the face of clear evidence of Trump’s desire, once again, to get foreign help in an election and his absolute indifference to the law or any of his presidential responsibilities(our emphasis)
While the vile Trump and his addled attorney Rudy "Ghouliani" Giuliani were busy trying to gin up a scandal involving the Bidens and Ukraine, there was collateral damage to a distinguished career Foreign Service Officer who apparently wouldn't "play ball" in the scheme:
...[A]s investigations proceed and Americans consider these revelations, they should hold in mind another transgression: the president’s egregious mistreatment of one of the country’s most distinguished ambassadors. Even before the rough transcript of the call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was released, we knew that the administration had prematurely curtailed the appointment of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch following public attacks on her by the president’s eldest son and by his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani. Administration officials then falsely claimed that she was leaving her post “as planned.” Now, we also know that Trump went on to denigrate the ambassador in a phone call to a foreign leader, telling Zelensky that “the woman” was “bad news” and vaguely but ominously noting that “she’s going to go through some things.”
The op/ ed goes on to show how Trump and his bootlick Secretary of State Smug Mike Pompeo are systematically hollowing out the State Department and it's cadre of senior professionals, the better to have no push- back when they seek to further Trump's interests ahead of America's.

Russia watcher Julia Davis points out that not only is Trump looking out for his own interests in pushing Ukraine to "investigate" the Bidens, but yes, it's also the usual thugs:
The unconscionable demand for Ukraine to make “a deal” with an invader— which has annexed and occupied its territory and continues to fuel an armed conflict that has claimed more than 13,000 lives—would mean a surrender of Ukraine’s national interests for the benefit of the Kremlin. It would also lead to the lifting of sanctions against Russia for its aggression in Ukraine. Casting doubt on Russia’s involvement in the hack of the DNC server would potentially lead to the lifting of sanctions against Russia for its election-meddling and other malign activities.
Attacking the credibility of Biden, frequently described by Kremlin-controlled state television as “Trump’s most dangerous rival,” would also benefit Putin, who openly admitted that he wanted President Trump to be elected in 2016. That preference remains intact, in spite—or perhaps because—of multiple missteps by America’s bumbling commander in chief. Dmitry Kiselyov, the host of Russia’s most popular Sunday news program, Vesti Nedeli, urged Trump to keep digging in Ukraine for “the sweetest” kompromat of all: “Proving that Ukraine—not Russia—interfered in the U.S. elections.
The pressure on Ukraine to investigate Biden has been not only from Trump, but also from the Kremlin. One of the expectations, voiced on Russian state-television channel Rossiya 24 by analyst Alexander Kareevsky, was that taking down Biden would inevitably lead to the “revelation”—in fact, an outrageous fantasy—that the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was ordered by the Obama administration and carried out by Ukraine, not Russia.
In another fantasy, pundits on Russian state television continually assert that Trump’s impeachment is all but “impossible.” In the meantime, the impeachment fallout is beneficial for the Kremlin, creating a spectacle of unprecedented political turmoil in the United States while placing Ukraine in the untenable position of alienating both parties, as well as the country’s European allies, and distracting from Russian election interference and the imposition of any additional sanctions.  (our emphasis)
This is what you get when you have a compromised Russian asset sitting in the Oval Office, protected by a party composed of spineless, self- serving nullities.

We have to get this mention in concerning the efficacy of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) nearly ten years (!) on:
Poor people in Michigan with asthma and diabetes were admitted to the hospital less often after they joined Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. More than 25,000 Ohio smokers got help through the state’s Medicaid expansion that led them to quit. And around the country, patients with advanced kidney disease who went on dialysis were more likely to be alive a year later if they lived in a Medicaid-expansion state.
Such findings are part of an emerging mosaic of evidence that, nearly a decade after it became one of the most polarizing health-care laws in U.S. history, the ACA is making some Americans healthier — and less likely to die.
The evidence is accumulating just as the ACA’s future is, once again, being cast into doubt. The most immediate threat arises from a federal lawsuit, brought by a group of Republican state attorneys general, that challenges the law’s constitutionality. A trial court judge in Texas ruled late last year that the entire law is invalid, and an opinion on the case is expected at any time from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The case could well put the ACA before the Supreme Court for a third time.
Even with it's flaws, and despite a decade- long campaign of sabotage by Republicans and their unhinged jamokes in the judiciary, Obamacare is saving lives, Medicaid expansion among the most successful provisions.  That means the comfort- the- comfortable, afflict- the- afflicted Republican Party will continue to try to destroy it as long as it's able.

As always, we strongly recommend you check out Infidel 753's excellent link round- up for the best survey of interesting items you're going to find anywhere.  (Be sure to click on to Infidel's link to "oddities about life in the U.S." -- it's pretty revealing.)

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