The John McCain I Know Will Make the Most of This Moment

McCain knows very well what a threat to the Republic Donald Trump is. His final mission is to say it.

Source: The John McCain I Know Will Make the Most of This Moment

JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

John McCain’s diagnosis of incurable brain cancer rightly sends us back in time—back to stories of his heroism, character, and decency that contrast just a teeny bit with the behavior of a lying, draft-dodging president who once described sexually transmitted diseases as “my personal Vietnam.”

A big question right now in American politics is whether McCain will use that contrast—and the enhanced stature that his diagnosis has brought him—to do a couple of big things with the time he has left. The future of the Russia probe, the health care debate, and the soul of the Republican Party may hang in the balance.

Fifty years ago, on July 29, 1967, Navy Lt. Cmdr. McCain was strapped into his single-seat A-4E Skyhawk attack aircraft, awaiting launch off the carrier USS Forrestal in the Gulf of Tonkin. Suddenly an electrical malfunction caused a rocket to fly across the flight deck and hit a fuel tank a few feet away. McCain escaped the cockpit with only seconds to spare, rolled through the flames and went to help another pilot before the fire detonated a huge bomb, which flung him back 10 feet. The conflagration killed 134 sailors and airmen and injured scores more in the worst blaze aboard a ship since World War II.

This was neither McCain’s first nor his last brush with death. Seven years before, while in training, his AD-6 Skyraider had crashed into Corpus Christi Bay, and he had to squeeze out of the cockpit and swim to the surface. And in 1965, engine failure in his trainer jet forced him to eject over Virginia.

Then, on Oct. 26, 1967, four months after the Forrestal incident, during his 23rd perilous mission over North Vietnam, the wing of his A-4 was blown off by anti-aircraft fire, and he parachuted into a lake in central Hanoi. Badly wounded, he was pulled to shore, where he was kicked and spat on. Thus began a captivity that included repeated torture and long periods of isolation. McCain’s sense of honor led him to refuse a North Vietnamese offer to send him home early and out of turn (for propaganda purposes) because he was the son of an admiral. He remained a POW for five and a half years.

Aggressive brain cancer is a different kind of mortal threat—worse than the serious bout with melanoma McCain survived a few years ago. But he has already given notice that he isn’t going anywhere for now. “Unfortunately for my sparring partners in Congress, I’ll be back soon, so stand-by!” he tweeted on Thursday.

The big question: Stand by for what?

Read more at the link above~~

 

Jonathan Alter Lets Republican Propagandist Have It

Jonathan Alter Lets Republican Propagandist Have It – July 15, 2017

Please click on this link, or on the image, to watch the clip…
//embed.crooksandliars.com/embed/aqCfTBkx

Trump’s Coming Constitutional Crisis

Source: The Comey ‘Cloud’ Will Hang Over Trump Forever

Yes, liberal talk of dumping Trump is premature, but we’re in deep and brackish waters now.

We don’t know yet how Trumpgate will shake out, but one outcome is coming into view: a constitutional crisis. Sooner or later, we’re likely to have one.The contours of constitutional crises vary from country to country, though all feature a breakdown of the normal functioning of government. In the American system, they usually involve circumstances that were not anticipated by the framers or fights over the Constitution’s separation and delegation of powers.The trouble has come over issues like states rights (part of what led to the Civil War), presidential succession (In 1841, John Tyler was the first vice-president to take over after the death of the president and Congress wanted him to be “Acting President”), and disputed presidential elections, especially the one held in 1876between Samuel J. Tilden and Rutherford B. Hayes.

The best analogy to today’s madness is also the most recent—Watergate. In 1973, in what became known as the “Saturday Night Massacre,” President Nixon fired Attorney General Elliott Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William D. Ruckelshaus when they wouldn’t fire Archibald Cox, the Watergate special prosecutor.

The questions raised so far by Trumpgate are similar: How much power does the president have over the executive branch? Is it obstruction of justice if the president does it? Can the president be indicted?

As several former federal prosecutors confirmed this week, former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony on Thursday was a roadmap for special counsel Robert Mueller to follow as he builds an obstruction of justice case against President Trump. The two men, friends and former colleagues, view the law in similar terms. Mueller is unlikely to believe the word of an habitual liar over that of a Boy Scout. It’s unlikely that juries will, either.

One key fact—as Comey stressed— is that Trump told Attorney General Jeff Sessions, senior adviser Jared Kushner and others to leave the Oval Office so that he could be alone with Comey to tell him to stop the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn. This intentionality is harmful to “the newbie defense”—that Trump was new to the presidency and didn’t know that what he was doing was wrong—offered by House Speaker Paul Ryan and others. Ignorance of the law is no defense, anyway.

All of the other arguments from Trump apologists have also collapsed. According to former prosecutors, Trump’s use of “I hope” instead of “I order you” to stop the Flynn probe won’t get him off. “If you say, ‘Nice storefront you have here. Pity if something should happen to it,’ that doesn’t help you when you burn down the store,” says Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice. Neither would Comey’s “leaking” (a classic Trump diversion) or the fact that he didn’t immediately report the crime, which ignores an FBI director’s well-established obligation not to do anything to impede his own investigation.

Read more at the link above…

Trumpcare Is Medical Apartheid

Before Obamacare, if you were denied coverage and then got sick, you were thrown to the wolves.

Source: Trumpcare Is Medical Apartheid

Jonathan Alter 05.02.17 10:00 PM ET

Jimmy Kimmel was weeping on his show this week. After describing the heroic efforts of doctors to fix the heart defect of his newborn son, Billy, he said that baby Billy would be dealing with this congenital condition when he was a teenager and beyond. Then his thoughts turned to people who are not the children of late-night talk-show hosts. He told the audience that important meetings are underway in Washington right now. “No parent should have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life,” he said to thunderous applause.

Before 2010, millions of parents were faced with just that decision. As we wait to see if Republicans can ram through their new version of the health care bill—and I give them decent odds in the House—please join me on a quick trip back in time on this most wrenching of issues. It’ll help clarify the breathtaking cynicism of the GOP.

I’m talking here less about President Donald Trump, who wouldn’t know a community rating from a Nielsen rating if his life depended on it, than about other dishonest “public servants” who should know better, like House Speaker Paul Ryan, HHS Secretary Tom Price and Rep. Tom MacArthur, the New Jersey conservative who fashioned the latest compromise with the far-right Freedom Caucus.

Democrats are hardly covering themselves with glory on this one, either. Their efforts to defend Obamacare are often arid, abstract and disconnected from the powerful moral imperative at the heart of this issue.

First, the context. Let’s return for a moment to the Great American Double-Whammy—the way millions of Americans lost their health and their savings at the same time. Before Obamacare, more than half of all personal bankruptcies were caused by onerous health-care costs. Those who didn’t go bankrupt often sold their homes or spent much of their net worth to pay for their care or that of an ailing loved one. It wasn’t just cancer or heart disease that prevented people from getting insurance. High blood pressure, kidney stones, even allergies could be enough to deny you coverage. Then, if you got sick, you were thrown to the wolves. It’s hard to believe we lived so long in that shameful world.
While we did, Democrats advocated some kind of national health insurance—at least catastrophic coverage. Republicans mostly opposed it, but they had to figure out some way to deal with the middle-class Billy Kimmels of the world.

So state policy-makers came up with something called “high-risk pools,” where insurers would all contribute to help cover their outcasts, the ones they didn’t want wrecking their profits because of preexisting conditions. This sounded like a decent stop-gap idea and in the 1990s and 2000s it spread to 35 states.

Sadly, high-risk pools were a colossal flop. In 20 states, legislators provided no money to help with premiums for those in the pools. That meant few could afford the coverage. Only 226,000 out of 40 million uninsured—less than one percent—took part. In California, for instance, fewer than 1,000 people in the entire state were in the high-risk pools.
Now Trump, Ryan and company are pretending that these proven failures—state-run high-risk pools—are the way to keep their promises to anyone who has ever had a chronic or serious health problem. The president says with a straight face that those with preexisting conditions—one quarter of all middle-age and older Americans—will be “taken care of.” The speaker put out a press release Tuesday saying it was a “verified” fact that the new compromise bill would cover them. His proof is the high-risk pool—the Health Insurance Risk Sharing Plan (HIRSP)—in his home state of Wisconsin.

Read more at the link above~~