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Republican Donors Are Helping Cover Trump's Legal Bills

  • Trump’s campaign coffers are being filled through an aggressive fundraising operation.
Matt Ford / The Atlantic | September 20, 2017, 5:29 am

Anti-LGBTQ Hate Group Alliance Defending Freedom Attacks Michigan Elementary School For Trans-inclusive Policy

  • DOBBS: -- Bedeviled and beleaguered from every -- from 360 degrees, by media, the opposition party, his own party establishment.
  • International anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is once again trying to stop a local school district’s attempts to create an inclusive environment for transgender students.
  • During a September 18 Grass Lake school board meeting, anti-LGBTQ parent activists spoke out against the board’s policy allowing transgender students to use restroom facilities that align with their gender identity.
  • ADF’s letter urged the school district to “reverse the policy, … which states that students will be allowed to use sex-separated facilities such as restrooms and locker rooms corresponding to their gender identity regardless of biological sex.” The letter also threatened that the policy opens “the school district to a risk of litigation.”
Media Matters for America / Media Matters | September 20, 2017, 4:48 am

Hurricane Maria Approaches St. Croix As A Category 5 Storm, Will Hit Puerto Rico Tomorrow

  • On Monday evening, Maria crossed directly over the tiny independent state of Dominica, causing tremendous damage and leaving most homes on the island damaged or destroyed. 
  • Authorities in the most endangered areas of Puerto Rico have warned residents to evacuate or die. 
  • Héctor Pesquera, Puerto Rico's commissioner of public safety, was even more blunt.
  • "You have to evacuate — otherwise, you are going to die," he said, according to Telemundo, NBC's Spanish-language network. (Mark Sumner) / Daily Kos | September 20, 2017, 2:36 am

How The GOP Prompted The Decay Of Political Norms

  • President Trump’s approach to governance is unlike that of his recent predecessors, but it is also not without antecedents.
E.J. Dionne Jr. / The Atlantic | September 20, 2017, 2:23 am

CNN's Stephen Moore Thinks Pre-existing Conditions Can Be Covered With "some Kind Of Special Fund" So Other People Don't Have To Pay

  • DOBBS: -- Bedeviled and beleaguered from every -- from 360 degrees, by media, the opposition party, his own party establishment.
  • STEPHEN MOORE: I love this idea of passing it on to states and letting governors and state legislators figure it out.
  • BROOKE BALDWIN (HOST): Stephen, what about -- Let me ask you about a key piece, this is where people's ear really perk up, is on pre-existing conditions, right?
  • MOORE: Well, what you are going to have to do is have some kind of special fund so that people with pre-existing conditions are protected against price increases.
Media Matters for America / Media Matters | September 20, 2017, 1:43 am

Open Thread For Night Owls: Social Programs Suffer As $80 Billion More Is Added To Pentagon Budget

  • Where were the pundits and elected lawmakers who complain about the cost of providing healthcare to all Americans when the Senate voted to spend $700 billion on the military?
  • Many critics were raising this question Monday after the Senate—in what was portrayed as yet another indication of bipartisan support for endless war—overwhelmingly approved the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which will dump a larger sum of money into the military budget than even President Donald Trump asked for while also authorizing the production of 94 F-35 jets, two dozen more than the Pentagon requested.
  • Passage of the NDAA—which this year approves a $700 billion defense budget, an annual increase of $80 billion—is something of an automated process in Washington, one that often flies under the radar and garners little opposition.
  • However, with support for Medicare for All and free public college tuition soaring, many are calling attention to the hypocrisy of pundits who yell about the costs of single-payer healthcare providing debt-free higher education while remaining entirely silent about the war budget. (Meteor Blades) / Daily Kos | September 19, 2017, 11:33 pm

Five Questions About The Manafort Investigation

  • Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Paul Manafort, the onetime Trump campaign chairman, appears to be moving far more aggressively than any other part of the sprawling Russia investigation.On Monday night, The New York Times reported new details about the July raid on Manafort’s Virginia home.
Matt Ford / The Atlantic | September 19, 2017, 11:03 pm

Tucker Carlson Falsely Claims Trump’s Tweet About Wiretapping "may Have Been Right"

  • TUCKER CARLSON (HOST): Now Manafort, it ought to be noted, had an apartment inside Trump Tower during that time, so it's virtually certain that surveillance of him would have included other members of the Trump campaign staff, maybe even Trump himself.
  • Either the intelligence agency has gone rogue, pursuing its own goals without meaningful oversight from elected officials, or our officials are colluding with one another to lie to the public, apparently for political reasons.
  • Since the election, they have done everything in their power to reverse the results, or simply pretend it never happened.
  • In the name of protecting democracy they are doing everything they can to subvert the results of a democratic vote, irony of ironies.
Media Matters for America / Media Matters | September 19, 2017, 10:39 pm

Why Exactly Was Trump Talking To Manafort As Recently As Earlier This Year?

  • The spokesman for Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, issued a jazzy but meaningless statement Tuesday responding to reports that the FBI obtained two separate warrants to wiretap Manafort before, during, and after the 2016 election. CBS News, which confirmed the wiretapping story separately from CNN, writes:
  • "If true, it is a felony to reveal the existence of a FISA warrant, regardless of the fact that no charges ever emerged," Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said in a statement released Tuesday.
  • Paul Manafort fielding a phone call during the July 2016 GOP convention when he was serving as Trump's campaign manager.
  • Remember back in March when then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer tried to sell us on the notion that Paul Manafort "played a very limited role" in the Trump campaign, for which Manafort served as chairman? (Kerry Eleveld) / Daily Kos | September 19, 2017, 8:28 pm

The Two Republicans Who Will Likely Determine Obamacare's Fate

  • The fate of the GOP’s 11th-hour effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act likely will come down to two familiar faces in the health-care debate: Senators John McCain of Arizona and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.And in the last 24 hours, the fence-sitting Republicans were pulled in opposite directions by their state’s governors.
  • But both Murkowski and McCain remained publicly undecided on the Graham-Cassidy legislation, and without both of their votes, Republicans are short of the 50 they need for passage before a September 30 procedural deadline.
Russell Berman / The Atlantic | September 19, 2017, 8:01 pm

<em>CBS Evening News </em>highlights A Dangerous Pro-gun Group Funded Program That Encourages Teachers To Arm Themselves In Schools

  • NIKKI BATTISTE: This is the point of view of an elementary school principal firing at a mock gunman during a simulated school shooting.
  • Funded by a pro-gun group and donations, the training is free and began after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School nearly five years ago. Abbey Clements' 19 students survived, and now she is one of a dozen Newtown teachers fighting to keep guns out of classrooms. 
  • ABBY CLEMENTS: Never in a million years would I've guessed that one response to what happened in our town would be to arm teachers.
  • BATTISTE: In fact we saw just that scenario play out in this simulated classroom.
Media Matters for America / Media Matters | September 19, 2017, 7:38 pm

More Lawsuits Filed Over Trump’s Decision To End DACA

  • In the weeks since the Trump Administration announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program put in place by former President Obama in 2012 to protect undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children by their parents, it has faced a wide variety of pushback against the decision.
  • Over the weekend, a group of so-called “Dreamers” and beneficiaries of DACA filed a suit against the policy change in Federal District Court in San Francisco:
  • SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – San Diego attorney Dulce Garcia has regularly defended clients in immigration court.
  • Brought to the United States illegally by her parents as a child, Garcia is one of six immigrants who sued the Trump administration on Monday over its decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.
Doug Mataconis / Outside The Beltway | September 19, 2017, 7:30 pm

What Religious Right Leader Had An Affinity For Gay Sex Art?

  • 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.
  • 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.
John Aravosis / AMERICAblog | September 19, 2017, 6:08 pm

Appeals Court Rejects Absurd Claim Use Of Force Policy Violates Seattle Officers’ Second Amendment Rights

  • Previously, a district court ruled against the complaint filed by officers against the Seattle Police Department, city of Seattle, and Justice Department.
  • The “use of force” policy approved by a federal judge dictates an “officer shall only use objectively reasonable force, proportional to the threat or urgency of the situation, when necessary, to achieve a law enforcement objective.”
  • According to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals [PDF], “The City of Seattle has a significant interest in regulating the use of department-issued firearms by its police officers, and the [use of force policy] does not impose a substantial burden on the Second Amendment right to use a firearm for the core lawful purpose of self-defense.”
  • The appellate court’s decision makes clear that the firearms the officers would like to use more freely are issued by the city.
Kevin Gosztola / Shadowproof | September 19, 2017, 5:55 pm

Ryan, Trump Kill Bipartisan Health Effort, Force Vote On Reckless GOP Healthcare Repeal Bill Instead

  • The White House and House Speaker Paul Ryan didn't want a bipartisan health care effort interfering with their last-ditch push to strip health care coverage from millions of Americans, so they blackballed it.
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan and the White House have informed Senate Republican leaders that they oppose a bipartisan plan to stabilize Obamacare being written in the Senate, according to Trump administration and congressional sources, in a clear bid to boost the Senate's prospects of repealing the health law.
  • Oh, so forget about how many millions of people do or don't have health care coverage: the GOP needs a legislative win in order to save face.
  • Trump has threatened to withhold billions in Obamacare subsidies, which would upend private insurance markets. (Kerry Eleveld) / Daily Kos | September 19, 2017, 5:26 pm