President Trump Ramps Up North Korea “Fire and Fury” Threats

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Returning to our top story, President Trump on Thursday ramped up his threats of hitting North Korea with “fire and fury,” saying if the North were to carry out an attack on Guam, the U.S. would retaliate with military action, “the likes of which nobody has seen before.” This is President Trump speaking to reporters from inside his private golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey.

President Donald Trump: “And I think they—it’s the first time they’ve heard it like they heard it. And frankly, the people that were questioning that statement—was it too tough? Maybe it wasn’t tough enough. They’ve been doing this to our country for a long time, for many years, and it’s about time that somebody stuck up for the people of this country and for the people of other countries.”

North Korea responded in a statement calling Trump a “senile man who can’t think rationally.” The North also detailed its threat to strike Guam, saying it would launch four intermediate-range missiles into the waters off the U.S. territory.

Vetoes, bonds and late LePage surprises

The Legislature is back in Augusta on Wednesday for what’s set to be the last official day of the 2017 session.

They’re mostly back to vote on overriding 27 vetoes from Gov. Paul LePage, including bills that would set long-term solar policy, increase Maine’s tobacco-buying age to 21 and prohibit handheld cellphone use while driving.

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NYTimes: Trump May Expand Afghanistan War to Exploit Mineral Wealth

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The New York Times reports that President Trump is being pressured by a billionaire financier and a chemical executive to escalate the U.S. war in Afghanistan in a bid to exploit the country’s mineral wealth. The Times reports Trump discussed Afghanistan’s vast deposits of metals and rare earth elements with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and is reportedly considering sending an envoy to Afghanistan to meet with mining officials. A 2010 U.S. estimate found Afghanistan has mineral deposits worth nearly $1 trillion.

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Trump allegedly looking into ways that he could pardon HIMSELF for his evil deeds.

Donald Trump boards Air Force OneThe US president says he has “complete power” to issue pardons

A lawyer for Donald Trump says the US president’s legal team is not looking at ways he could pardon himself.

“I don’t know where this came from. There is nothing to pardon,” Jay Sekulow said.

On Saturday, Mr Trump said he had “complete power” to issue pardons, following reports he had asked advisers about the scope of his authority.

Criminal and congressional inquiries are underway into alleged collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign.

ExxonMobil Fined $2M for Russia Sanctions Breach Under CEO Tillerson, now your Secretary of State

HEADLINEJUL 21, 2017

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The U.S. Treasury Department has fined ExxonMobil $2 million for violating U.S. sanctions against Russia three years ago, when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson served as the oil company’s CEO. The Treasury said ExxonMobil showed “reckless disregard” for U.S. law in 2014 when it signed contracts with Russian oil magnate Igor Sechin to develop offshore reserves in the Arctic. The move violated sanctions placed on Russia after it invaded Ukraine and annexed the Crimean peninsula. Tillerson said at the time his company opposed Russia sanctions, calling them “ineffective.” At the State Department Thursday, spokesperson Heather Nauert was asked whether Tillerson had changed his views on Russian sanctions.

Heather Nauert: “This all predates his time here at the Department of State.”

Matthew Lee: “I understand that.”

Heather Nauert: “And so, I’m going to refrain from giving any comment on that at this time.”

Matthew Lee: “I understand this predates his time as secretary of state, but now he is in a position in which he is part of the team that is supposed to enforce sanctions, not violate them or allow others to violate them, so I think it’s relevant to know what he thinks about this decision today.”

Heather Nauert: “I think—I will say this. The secretary continues to abide by his ethical commitments, including that recusal from Exxon-related activities.”

Secretary of State Tillerson is known to have close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who awarded Tillerson the country’s Order of Friendship decoration in 2013. The Treasury Department’s $2 million fine against ExxonMobil was the maximum amount allowed by law. It represents just over two hours’ profit for the oil giant.

Let’s have a big hand for all of my fellow Amerikans who voted for Comrade Trump.  Stupid is as stupid does, and evil is what evil does.

God have mercy on your souls.

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Single-Payer Healthcare = Universal Coverage

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Meanwhile, proponents of a single-payer healthcare plan are organizing to urge Congress not only to stop the effort to repeal Obamacare, but to pass a bill that would guarantee Medicare for all. On Tuesday, former Vice President Al Gore became the latest prominent Democrat to speak in favor of single payer.

Al Gore: “The private sector has not shown any ability to provide a good, accessible, affordable healthcare for all. I believe, for example, we ought to have a single-payer healthcare plan.”

We’ll have more on the Republicans’ failed push on healthcare and the growing fight for single payer after headlines.

Single-payer healthcare is a healthcare system in which the state, financed by taxes, covers basic healthcare costs for all residents regardless of income, occupation, or health status. “Single-payer” describes the mechanism by which healthcare is paid for by a single public authority, not the type of delivery or for whom physicians work. In contrast, multi-payer healthcare uses a mixed public-private system.

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Trump to “Let Obamacare Fail” After Republicans Fail on Health Bill. (Fuckin’ right on.)

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President Donald Trump said Tuesday he plans to “let Obamacare fail,” after Senate Republican leaders failed in a bid to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act without a replacement in place. The move was opposed by four Republicans, including three women—Senators Susan Collins, Shelley Moore Capito and Lisa Murkowski, who along with Rob Portman said the effort would deprive millions of Americans of health insurance. All three Republican women were left out of a Senate working group comprised of 13 white men that drafted the initial healthcare bill. On Tuesday, President Trump suggested he might let insurance markets created under Obamacare go under, and then try to work with Democrats on a rescue.