USA – Trump tries political blackmail

 

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I know political threats are probably common, done privately, but Donald Trump is openly threatening Republicans who won’t rubber stamp his agenda.

All is not well in the once Grand Old Party.

Fox News: Trump on Freedom Caucus: ‘We must fight them’

President Trump on Thursday struck back at the House caucus that sunk his ObamaCare replacement bill, threatening their legislative careers if the staunchly conservative members refuse to get on board with the new president’s agenda.

Trump is attacking via Twitter of course.

Later Thursday, Freedom Caucus member Rep. Justin Amash returned fire in the Republican civil war:

Later, Amash told Fox News that “most people don’t take well to being bullied” and compared Trump’s tactics to those of a fifth grader.

Freedom Caucus co-founder Jim Jordan, however, refused to take Trump’s bait during an interview on “America’s Newsroom.”

“We appreciate the president,” Jordan said. “We’re trying to help the president, but the fact is you have to look at the legislation.”

He added: “I’m not here to assign blame to anyone…what I focus on doing is doing what I told the voters we’re going to do.”

And also a public spat between House Speaker Paul Ryan and a Republican Senator.

Ryan and a top Senate Republican engaged in a brief public spat Thursday about comments Ryan made earlier in the morning, seeming to suggest Trump should not try to work with Democrats.

“What I worry about, Norah, is that if we don’t do this, then he’ll just go work with Democrats to try and change ObamaCare and that’s not – that’s hardly a conservative thing,” Ryan told CBS.

Sen. Bob Corker, an avid backer of Trump’s during the presidential campaign who was among those considered to be vice president, shot back on Twitter: “We have come a long way in our country when the speaker of one party urges a president NOT to work with the other party to solve a problem.”

Ryan, during his news conference, dismissed Corker’s remarks.

“They’re not going to help us repeal ObamaCare, that’s my point,” Ryan said of Democratic lawmakers.

I wonder what is going on in private.

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85 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  31st March 2017

    Interesting article for Sir Alan’s favourable attention – from that horrible, lefty-liberal-anti-Trump-biased, Fake News cesspit, the failing New York Times. (Unfortunately there is no video to link to to enable him to have the additional satisfaction of refusing to watch it.):

    Is Obamacare a Lifesaver?
    “Now that the Republican Party has beclowned itself on health care, now that Obamacare repeal lies in rubble, now that every G.O.P. policy person who ever championed a replacement plan is out wandering in sackcloth and ashes, wailing, “The liberals were right about my party, the liberals were right about my party,” beneath a harsh uncaring heaven … now, in these hours of right-wing self-abnegation, it’s worth raising once again the most counterintuitive and frequently scoffed-at point that conservatives have made about Obamacare:

    It probably isn’t saving many lives.

    One of the most powerful arguments in the litany that turned moderate Republican lawmakers to jelly was that they were voting to “make America sick again,” to effectively kill people who relied on the Affordable Care Act for drugs and surgery and treatment. Tens of thousands of people, Democrats warned, would die if Paul Ryan’s stingy replacement took its place.

    We will not get to test the proposition, and nor should we wish to do so, since the replacement plan was such a botch. But this argument was still most likely false. Maybe Obamacare is a huge lifesaver, but so far the evidence is conspicuously missing.

    The Republican Party is not likely to be the vehicle for turning this insight into policy any time soon. But the point remains, and in their hour of relief and renewed ambition, even Obamacare’s most ardent defenders would do well to consider it.

    Correction: March 29, 2017
    An earlier version of this article misstated the direction of the recent shift in the American mortality trend. It has gone upward, not downward.

    Reply
    • High Flying Duck

       /  31st March 2017

      And a counterpoint from our Aussie neighbours…

      “Australia’s ambassador to the US, former treasurer Joe Hockey, has praised the Trump administration as a “practical” and “credible” force that is finding its feet 70 days into its four-year term, and called for a halt to “constant” criticism of the White House.

      In his first major speech to an Australian audience since Donald Trump took office, Mr Hockey said the Republican’s rise reflected a citizenry that felt “impotent” and heralded “the arrival of disruption into the mainstream of American politics”.

      He implored critics to give the unorthodox but “practical” administration a fair go, noted many Americans backed the President’s unprecedented attacks on the media, and predicted the failure to repeal Obamacare would not harm Mr Trump.

      “We need to avoid the temptation to become constant critics of the new US administration because it is not a carbon copy of the previous administrations,” Mr Hockey told The Sydney Institute on Thursday night.

      “The new Trump administration is very focused on practical policy outcomes. It is not beholden to ideology or tradition. It is not in the DNA of the administration to procrastinate or give undue deference to process.”

      Mr Hockey praised Mr Trump’s “very credible cabinet”, which he said fulfilled an election commitment to “drain the swamp” by selecting fewer appointees with prior government experience….

      …Mr Hockey said he suspected the President’s recent failure to repeal Barack Obama’s healthcare regime – his core election promise – would have “little negative impact” among Republican voters.

      “It will be seen as a failure of the system and will reflect poorly on the already poorly-regarded Congress,” he said.

      However, he warned “repeated failure does have a cost”, and “the goodwill and tolerance of your voter base can be patient for only so long”.

      http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/ambassador-joe-hockey-praises-practical-trump-administration-and-warns-against-constant-criticism-20170330-gv9z9s.html

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  31st March 2017


      No bites yet from the particular snapper I’m after, but patience usually pays off with this hobby. 😎

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  31st March 2017

        I’m not going to pretend to have a handle on the complexities of US healthcare, G. The politics of it is messy enough let alone the implementations. My guess is that most commentaries know little of either and if they knew more they wouldn’t have so much to say.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  31st March 2017

          How about if I see if I can a video about it?

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  31st March 2017

            * find.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  31st March 2017

              I’d stick to GIFs if I were you.

            • Gezza

               /  31st March 2017

              I can never get their audio tracks to work 😕

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  31st March 2017

              That’s why I like them.

            • Gezza

               /  31st March 2017

              Just as an aside, have you ever got a Xmas Card from Corky❓ 😳

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  31st March 2017

              No, and I’ve missed the relevance of that question.

            • Gezza

               /  31st March 2017

              I’m off his Xmas Card list again for this year apparently. Due to some misunderstanding probably. Just trying to find out if anybody’s actually on it. 😳

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  31st March 2017

              I have enough trouble trying to find out if anyone is on mine, G. Let alone sending them out in time.

    • Gezza

       /  31st March 2017

      🙄 Damn. I wondered about that link. Try again.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  31st March 2017

        Aw … come on. Just one freaking uptick? Took me ages to find that one. 😳

        Reply
        • Conspiratoor

           /  31st March 2017

          I dropped an uptick G. Damn fat finger might have hit the other one. Will petition the host for a database edit.
          What have I missed? Any controversy, flaming badgering to end the week?

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  31st March 2017

            I just read what people write & ask questions mostly c. You know me, I’m not one to complain or criticise other posters, except maybe one. 😳

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  31st March 2017

              One must put up with criticism from the riff-raff, G.

            • Gezza

               /  31st March 2017

              Yup. Hence my question about the Xmas Card. 😕

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  31st March 2017

              One usually broadcasts a Xmas message to the riff-raff, G.

            • Gezza

               /  31st March 2017

              Quite. One has done it oneself on YNZ.

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  31st March 2017

    Trump is only second to the start line on threatening primary challengers against party members who don’t toe the party line.

    The Democrats were way ahead of him in pressuring their own Senators to filibuster Gorsuch’s appointment. Somehow that didn’t get written up as “blackmail”.

    Reply
    • Joe Bloggs

       /  31st March 2017

      Pure Wilkinson drivel.

      The Republicans blocked Merrick Garland, even though 8 times in American history Supreme Court vacancies occurred during an election year and the elected presidents’ nominees were approved. The GOP stonewalled nomination of Garland for 239 days before the Senate term expired.

      The republicans should have approved Garland, and respected 200 years of history and the last 103 nominations and the rightful balance of powers.

      And before you get all drivelly and snowflakey again, that’s not just my opinion. That’s also the opinion of the New York University Law Review

      “there have been 103 prior cases in which—as in the case of Obama’s nomination of Garland—an elected President nominated someone to fill an actual Supreme Court vacancy and began the nomination process prior to the election of a successor. In all 103 cases, which go back all the way to the earliest days of the Republic, the sitting President was able to both nominate and appoint a replacement Justice—by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and regardless of the senatorial rules and procedures in place.

      Click to access %20NYULawReviewOnline-91-Kar-Mazzone.pdf

      There’s no blackmail in the Dems’ actions. Just a determination to behave in a principled and unified way.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  31st March 2017

        The usual b.s. from you, Joe.

        Senate Dems, let’s be very clear: You will filibuster & block this SC nom or we will find a true progressive and primary u in next election,”

        http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/02/neil-gorsuch-nomination-democrats-block

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  31st March 2017

          Er … quoting a tweet from Michael Moore like he’s … um … overweight leader of the Democrats is pretty desperate Al.

          Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  31st March 2017

              It was the Hill articles I remembered reading but when I went looking on Google the Moore one was the first to come up – no doubt because of his Lefty fan club.

            • Gezza

               /  31st March 2017

              The pages kept crashing the iPad’s Chrome so I gave up, Al. I’m not seeing a problem here. Dems who feel strongly that Trump is only a couple of rungs down from the Devil Incarnate seem to be warning other Democratic politicians they could lose votes during Congressional elections if they cosy up to El Presidental Whitening. Don’t the Republicans do that sort of thing too? Pretty sure they do.

              Also, when you look at some of the issues raised by Gorsuch’s decisions in those tweets and other articles about him, you know, there are grounds for concern about apppointing him as the next SCOTUS.And it didn’t help that, when Trumpy made his selection announcement, Gorsuch, in reply, crawled so far up all you could really see were his shoelaces at one point.

              That other chappy Garland would have been a better choice but the Republicans wanted to be nasty & blocked him. You can’t have it both ways, Al. Uh uh. No no no.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  31st March 2017

              I think you’ve been reading the partisan stuff, G. Most of what I’ve seen suggests Gorsuch is fine and the Dems have not managed to lay a finger on him during the hearings. I know nothing about Garland so can’t compare. Both got a high approval rating from the Bar Association. Gorsuch was actually nominated and supported by Democrat Senators for his previous positions I understand so I’m taking your critics with a grain of salt now.

              Dunno why your iPad keeps crashing but the threats were not simply about losing votes but direct threats from Democrat campaign groups to run alternative candidates against them in the Primaries.

          • Joe Bloggs

             /  31st March 2017

            par for the course for the whinger from whangarei – won’t stop me from pointing out his drivel though

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  31st March 2017

              I thought he was the Rooster from Russell?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  31st March 2017

              More of a rouster than a rooster, G.

            • Gezza

               /  31st March 2017

              You sure? You do a lot of … um … crowing, Al. 😬 Ask anyone. 😀

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  31st March 2017

              That wasn’t why my wife calls me one, G.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  31st March 2017

            Yet another thing you don’t know, Joe, but are too silly to realise: who does and doesn’t live in Whangarei.

            Reply
            • Joe Bloggs

               /  31st March 2017

              my error – i withdraw and apologise. You feral Northerners are hard to pick apart

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  31st March 2017

              First time I’ve ever been confused with PZ, Joe.

            • Joe Bloggs

               /  31st March 2017

              poor PZ, Alan 🙂

      • Yes, it’s all Dems perfect, well-intentioned, thoughtful, caring and Republicans BAD. One wonders why discourse is even permitted to the contrary and why the USA does not simply roll over to the divine deep state full of those fine and upright liberal Democrats.

        Reply
      • Conspiratoor

         /  31st March 2017

        Trump blew a lot of the born to rule dems away joe but theres still a few swilling around in the trough. What chance you think he can bring enough across to neuter the freedom riders?

        Reply
  3. Joe Bloggs

     /  31st March 2017

    It seems the swamp may have just become deeper and dirtier… why would the Wall Street Journal write that Mike Flynn has offered to testify about potential links between the trump campaign and Russia so long as he is offered immunity against prosecution? And what’s Flynn thinking of revealing?

    The WSJ claims that Flynn’s released a statement through his lawyer declaring that he had a story to tell – but was first seeking “assurances against unfair prosecution”. Does that rule out “fair prosecution”?

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/mike-flynn-offers-to-testify-in-exchange-for-immunity-1490912959

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  31st March 2017

      No, just Democrat AG prosecution.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  31st March 2017

        Well if it’s true & not just *fake news* it’s pretty gripping stuff, whoever he dobs in. They could be releasing a snake, but hope he gets granted immunity. 👍

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  31st March 2017

          Do you think? My guess it would just be a damp squib account of routine politicking the media will try to make a storm in a teacup about and the Democrats will try to find some obscure law/regulation/convention that he can be accused of violating.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  31st March 2017

            The time for guessing on this is … never, Al. Time for the man to step up & spill his guts! Military chappie. Should up to it. Nerves of steel.

            Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  31st March 2017

            Until he does there’ll be plenty of time for guessing, G. A bit of a random shooter is my impression though. Could be collateral damage or self-inflicted.

            Reply
          • Joe Bloggs

             /  31st March 2017

            Bear in mind that when he lied to the FBI about the nature of his contact with the Russian ambassador, he committed a felony offense. Under Title 18 USC 1001, the sentence for that crime alone is imprisonment in a federal penitentiary for up to 5 years.

            The main thrust of his lawyer’s letter is not an admission of any wrongdoing on Flynn’s part, but rather that Flynn is now at the center of a “highly politicized, witch hunt environment” that makes it imprudent to testify without assurances.

            But do you remember Flynn on Clinton? “When you got given immunity that means you probably committed a crime”. Seems that he has a different view of immunity as an indicator of guilt when it’s not his own guilt that’s on the line.

            Also seems hard to imagine why he’d want immunity if all he’s done is made a trifling judgement error, and if Flynn has approached the FBI as well as the committees, it’s hard to imagine this is nothing more than a storm in a teacup.

            However this could all be in relation to his work as a “foreign agent” of the government of Turkey rather than to anything related to the Russian election tampering.

            Reply
  4. I think you will find that it was his lawyer who claimed Flynn had a story to tell, not Flynn.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  31st March 2017

      He might be *leaking* it through his lawyer, Bj ? 😳

      Reply
    • Joe Bloggs

       /  31st March 2017

      and of course lawyers speak out on behalf of their clients without first obtaining approval to do so – like never…

      Reply
  5. Joe Bloggs

     /  31st March 2017

    trump is just an arsehole, a diversity-hating, misogynistic, xenophobic, lying aresehole – end of story:

    Trump has repealed an executive order that advocates believe will provide loophole for employers to discriminate against LGBT people.

    As part of his stated goal to strike down two pieces of federal regulation for every new policy introduced by the White House, the POTUS nixed Executive Order 13673 on Monday, along with two other Obama EOs. Known as the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Order,” that order required contractors who work with the federal government to demonstrate that they have complied with laws barring discrimination on gender identity and sexual orientation for at least three years. That policy was introduced in July 2014 along with an EO prohibiting bias against LGBT workers in all federal contracting.

    Although Donald Trump has claimed he would uphold the Obama order explicitly condemning anti-LGBT bias, civil rights groups argue that policy is more difficult to mandate without federal enforcement.

    http://www.salon.com/2017/03/30/trump-nixes-obama-order-preventing-federal-workers-from-being-fired-because-they-are-lgbt/

    he and his lying Republican buddies are just working their way through the statute books scouring every possible order for anything that’s good for women or minorities for the opportunity to make life hell for them.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  31st March 2017

      Never met a bit of time and money-wasting bureaucracy you didn’t like, did you Joe?

      Reply
      • Joe Bloggs

         /  31st March 2017

        more drivel

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  31st March 2017

          Have you had a rabies test lately, Joe? You seem to be foaming at the mouth rather badly.

          So Trump keeps the order banning discrimination and scraps the time-wasting form-filling crap the Left invented to posture with. Seems a win-win to me.

          Reply
        • High Flying Duck

           /  31st March 2017

          And yet Trump’s gender equality in his own company senior management is exemplary. Funny how facts can get in the way of a trope narrative.

          Reply
          • Joe Bloggs

             /  31st March 2017

            haha, funny that… here’s an impeccable source of “alternative facts” that points out how men working for his campaign were paid 35% more than women

            https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2016/06/04/donald-trump-campaign-pays-women-less-than-men/VIu0v2MUJiHqhvc5C0W5dO/story.html

            so much gender equality that trump’s just selected the least gender-balanced executive team in the last six presidencies. To find a less female-friendly cabinet, you have to go back to Jimmy Carter’s presidency, from 1977 to 1981.

            so much gender equality he’s also just appointed two men to head up two men to head up a women in the workplace initiative

            Incidentally, It’s also the first time since the late 1980s that there are no Latino people serving at this level of government. Bear in mind that the Hispanic population is the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority, according to U.S. Census figures, representing roughly 17% of the country.

            Oh and didn’t he just reverse federal protections for transgender students in schools?

            And what about trump responding to a woman’s question about equal pay by telling her to “do as good a job” as a man. Real nice.

            Try googling the expression pinkwashing

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  31st March 2017

              Goose and Gander, Joe:

              http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/may/27/donald-trump/donald-trump-says-clinton-foundation-pays-top-wome/

              It’s all b.s. from both sides but you love to wallow in that kind of crap.

            • Joe Bloggs

               /  31st March 2017

              Actually Alan, I agree with trump in his criticisms of the Clinton Foundation. Neither is an exemplar of respect for diversity.

              The difference is that trump’s president and the Clintons are washed up has-beens.

              That aside it doesn’t excuse trump’s decision to repeal the Obama order. As I said below this is simply out of sync with values of equality.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  31st March 2017

              It’s all bs. Joe. The free market wants the best employees and doesn’t give a hoot about sex or orientation. Businesses who don’t employ the best go broke. You only need to worry about who the loony Left are discriminating against with taxpayers’ money since they never go broke.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  1st April 2017

              I mentioned his business, not his campaign. So your counter arguement missed the mark quite badly there Joe.

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  31st March 2017

      The repeal of Executive Order 13673, although it most directly impacts the LGBT community, has implications for a wide swath of federal regulation designed to prevent discrimination against women and minority communities. The 14 laws it affects include the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation Act, as well as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The latter prohibits sex discrimination in the workplace, which the Obama administration extended in 2015 to include gender identity and sexual orientation.

      http://www.salon.com/2017/03/30/trump-nixes-obama-order-preventing-federal-workers-from-being-fired-because-they-are-lgbt/

      trump’s decision to repeal the Obama order is simply out of sync with values of equality.

      Reply
      • Nelly Smickers

         /  31st March 2017

        What you need to understand Bloggs, is that since *Barrack Hussein Obama* left the White House…..there’s a *totally new* regime in charge now –

        GOD BLESS AMERICA ❤

        Reply
    • You really think Trump gives a toss about how you carry on in your bedroom? I’d say he couldn’t care who you thought you were or who you did it with. He depended on the votes of conservatives, so like every politician before him he sat on many fences. The man wants to protect legal US citizens first nad foremost, seal the the borders and try to see if he can give employment an uplift. Never saw him say anywhere he hated diversity.

      Why does everyone imagine that the US should be happy to continue to allow illegal aliens – people with no claim to citizenship – when the rest of the world doesn’t. That is most true in the countries of the Middle East/ Asia and Au/NZ. No way in God’s earth is an alien going to get citizenship rights down under without being suitably skilled and having entered the country legally. We’re only lucky Au has taken a hard line with boat people and we have strict entry criteria and no land borders with third world countries.

      I do not understand why the States should be any different.

      Reply
      • Griff

         /  31st March 2017

        Yip send them wet backs home.
        .
        .
        .
        Who will pick the fruit,, mow the laws, nanny the kids.?

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  31st March 2017

          Robots, Griff. Don’t turn your back because they are coming.

          Reply
        • Griff

           /  31st March 2017

          Why does everyone imagine that the US should be happy to continue to allow illegal aliens…?

          Yip send them wet backs home.
          .
          .
          .
          Who will pick the fruit,, mow the laws, nanny the kids.?

          I thought the words them wet back would suffice.
          The illegals are a valuable cheap labor source in the USA.
          Someone has to do those jobs.

          .

          Reply
  6. Kitty Catkin

     /  31st March 2017

    Why do US politicians have name signs that say ‘Mr’ (and I assume Miss or Mrs) Whoever Whatever ? They can’t have any title except that-nobody’s a Sir, Lord, Lady or Dame. It’s really naff to say Mr Whoever Whatever, it should be Whoever Whatever or Mr, Mrs or Miss Whatever.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  31st March 2017

      In these days of gender confusion, cross dressing & gender reassignment it might just be to help other participants & the audience know where they all individually place themselves on the LGBTA & however many other letters have since been added gender identity spectrum?

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  1st April 2017

        Possible, but unlikely in that context. There has only been one openly lesbian politician in the Senate.

        Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  31st March 2017

      May be too much risk of duplicate Mr Whatevers – Bush, Kennedy … Smith.

      Reply
      • Anonymous Coward

         /  31st March 2017

        You and Kitty are intellectual equals tonight Al.

        Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  1st April 2017

        Putting Mr in front of their names won’t do anything to stop duplicates.It’s irrelevant.

        If there were two John Smiths, they’d both be Mr John Smith, which wouldn’t help at all. It really is naff to say Mr Firstname Lastname, it should be Firstname Lastname or Mr Lastname.

        Reply
  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  31st March 2017

    This is an objective look at the risks that Obama’s rules on spying have made it possible and likely for interceptions of US citizen communications to be shared and misused for political purposes.

    http://circa.com/politics/barack-obama-changed-how-nsa-intercepts-of-americans-like-donald-trump-could-be-shared

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  1st April 2017

      Key copied these laws I imagine,being part of ..5 eyes ..and all.

      Reply

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