RedState’s Water Cooler – Open Thread – 3/26/17 – Birth of the Navy

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This week, the RedState Department of History celebrates the United States Navy.

Tomorrow marks the anniversary of passage of the Naval Act of 1794, which authorized the creation of what eventually became the U.S Navy — but only after a lot of debate.

The young nation had been without a navy since 1785, when Congress sold the Continental Navy’s last ship, Alliance, due to a lack of funds.

However, the incursions of Muslim pirates around Algiers forced the hand of the Congress, which authorized the construction of four 44-gun ships and two 36-gun ships — but which also called for their cancellation if peace was agreed with Algiers.

The controversy centered on two key themes: finance and imperialism. A substantial amount of debate centered around whether the young nation could afford a standing navy, and whether it would provoke European powers if one was built. However, the measure was passed, and work began on “The Original Six”, if you will:

United States
Constellation
Constitution
President
Congress
Chesapeake

In 1796, with construction on the first three ships still proceeding, a peace agreement was brokered and the infant Navy was shuttered. However, President Washington urged Congress to allow the first three ships on the list above to be finished, and the rest followed after a dispute with France in 1798 led to the XYZ Affair and the undeclared “Quasi War” (we didn’t like them even then, I guess).

Of course, as any student of naval history knows, the USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned ship in the Navy. “Old Ironsides” still resides in the Charlestown Naval Yard to this day. She cost $302,718 to build in 1794 dollars, which works out to $6,580,826 in today’s money.

Enjoy today’s open thread!

 

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Tomi Lahren Is OUT At The Blaze

Glenn Beck apparently felt necessary to take a stand.

Popularity or principle.

Last week, there was heated controversy, after Beck suspended on-air personality, Tomi Lahren, after she appeared on “The View” and not only announced that she was pro-choice, but that conservatives who supported the pro-life cause were “hypocrites.”

The problem with Lahren had been brewing for some time, however, with some saying she was difficult to work with, making irrational demands of staff, and showing a general disregard for those around her.

The bigger problem is that she was thrust into the spotlight based on her millennial appeal, rather than any actual life experience or mooring in principle.

She referred to herself as libertarian, a conservative, and a “constitutional,” so basically, anything that sounded cool as a combo, even if it made no sense.

Youth and cutesy shtick will only take you so far. At some point, you have to prove yourself grounded, reasoned, and with a basic, working knowledge of where you stand.

Lahren is all over the map, declaring that the government “get out of her body” when it comes to the life of unborn children, and it took her to a place her employer, Glenn Beck, was not willing to follow.

An article with Page Six is reporting today that the suspension, which was at first said to be for a week, is now for good.

“Glenn is reminding the world of his conservative principles by sidelining Tomi after she insulted conservatives by calling them hypocrites,” one Beck insider told me.

“He’s trying to balance being a leading conservative thinker and also someone who can unify the country,” the Beck associate told me. “He just couldn’t sit by and watch as Tomi Lahren said there’s no way for conservatives to justify anything other than being pro-choice.”

Lahren’s contract was said to be up in September, so Beck is just helping her get a head start.

For Beck, it’s a gamble.

Lahren jumped the Trump train early and was welcomed into the sphere of Trumpidian cultism.

They tend to lash out at any who are seen as attacking one of their own, and by proxy, attacking their cult leader.

Lahren’s appeal is limited, however, and if Beck and The Blaze continue to hold to the higher standards of conservatism, it is a storm that can be weathered.

In other words, Good for him.

We should never waver in our support for the unborn.

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Watch Ted Koppell Tell Sean Hannity to His Face He’s Bad for America

There are few in the media who have shamelessly shilled for Donald Trump more than Sean Hannity. His very existence as a member of the “news media” is a disservice to the American people and veteran journalist Ted Koppell told him so to Hannity’s smug face.

Just watch. It’s glorious.

Yes, Sean, you are bad for America.

“You have attracted people who are determined that ideology is more important than facts,” Koppell said.

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Bill Maher Becomes Christianity’s Unlikely Defender

And this is a freedom that entertainers have that, unfortunately, our politicians have to tip-toe around.

You’re not going to catch me cheering on Bill Maher, as a general rule.

The man is no friend to Christians, having made our beliefs a target of scorn and ridicule for years.

That being said, he’s not exclusive with his disdain for religion, and he has not held his tongue in the usual, liberal way, as far as protecting Islam from criticism.

Again, he’s no champion for Christ, but in a recent episode of “Real Time,” Maher came out hard against apologists for Islam, in forcing them to look at the differences between Christians in the world and followers of Islam.

On Friday’s broadcast, the recent terror attack in London, where four people were killed was the hot topic.

One guest, Louise Mensch, a former Conservative member of the U.K. Parliament, and current Heat Street columnist jumped to the defense of the Islamic community in London.

 “The guy was British-born. His name was Adrian before his converted. And partisans of Russia were out in the streets saying it was an illegal immigrant who did it, trying to turn the London people against our Muslim friends and neighbors. And you’re not going to do that.”

Maher responded:

“Let’s not pretend this has nothing to do with Islam, the religion,” he said.

“It doesn’t,” Mensch responded. “It has nothing to do with Islam the same way Timothy McVeigh had nothing to do with Roman Catholicism.”

Ugh.

Tim McVeigh seems to be all they have. He’s the go-to reference point whenever someone needs to talk about the violence of Christianity – that, and the Crusades.

“Every time some bomb goes off, before it goes off, somebody yells ‘Allahu Akbar!’” said Maher. “I never hear anybody go ‘Merry Christmas! This one’s for the flying nun!’”

Heh. Good one.

Of course, those who feel the need to cover for Islam won’t let facts slow them down.

“When Christians do anything like this, do we ever say, ‘Christian terrorism’?” asked Yale professor and author Timothy Snyder.

“No. But is Christian terrorism as big a problem?” asked Maher in response.

“If you lived in Oklahoma City in the 90s,” injected MSNBC host Chris Hayes. “We’re talking about London here.”

Seriously? I think we have enough problems in the now that gazing backwards is probably counterproductive, at this point.

You’ve got to have more than that.

“That’s a false equivalency,” Maher shot back. “Are there Christian terrorist armies like ISIS?”

“The IRA that blew up London for 15 years!” Hayes exclaimed.

“Yes. But that’s the past! We’re living in the now. There was also the Inquisition,” retorted Maher.

Nice way to get in front of that, because you knew it was coming, eventually.

“Are there Christian terrorist armies now. .. like ISIS, Al Qaeda, al-Shaabab, Boko Haram? Are there armies like that in the world that aren’t Muslim?” he asked. “Let’s not f–k around anymore! Can we get real?”

“I literally don’t agree with you,” Mensch said. “Russia is sending Chechen militants into ISIS trying to leverage this against a billion people.”

He made sense.

He made a lot of sense, but the contortionist views of the left won’t be easily bent.

It makes me wonder if they actually hear themselves.

When they’re alone at night with their thoughts, do they ever go back and question their rationale, in the face of reality? Are these real beliefs they have, or are they so bound to their ideology that the narrative is all that matters?

I’m cautious about handing out kudos to somebody who has been so vile and insulting to the very core of who I am, but I’ll just hang one on the end of a very long pole and extend it to Maher, here. He was right on the money.

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Strangest Bedfellows: Major Trump Critic Joins The Donald In Attacking House Freedom Caucus

Politics can create the strangest of bedfellows and nothing could be stranger than seeing one of the leading critics of everything Donald Trump did and said during the 2016 election cycle joining forces with President temper tantrum to attack the House Freedom Caucus for derailing the fraudulent Obamacare repeal and replacement bill.

Here is President Trump taking to Twitter over the last few days in regards to the Freedom Caucus:

 

Just to be clear the Freedom Caucus didn’t help out Planned Parenthood or save Obamacare, they actually tried to get all Republicans, Donald Trump included, to stick to their campaign promises for the last 7 years to REPEAL Obamacare, not take Obama’s name off of it and replace it with Trump’s.

One of those Republicans whose been saying(and voting) for these last 7 years to repeal Obamacare has been Illinois RINO Rep. Adam Kinzinger.

Kinzinger, who spent all of the 2016 election cycle attacking every word and policy position of Trump’s, and who has openly admitted that he didn’t vote for Trump(or Hillary, and diffenetly not Gary Johnson), has joined in with Trump attacking the Freedom Caucus over their gaul to actually make the GOP stick to its campaing promises.

 

Congressman Kinzinger also retweeted Trump’s Sunday attack on the FC, Heritage, and the Club For Growth.

In a statement he released after Obamacare lite was pulled by Speaker Paul Ryan, Kinzinger actually said that he wants to work with Democrats on healthcare:

I’m ready and willing to work with anyone, Republicans and/or Democrats, to fix our broken healthcare system and make it better for the American people…..Our constitutional system makes it nearly impossible to push legislation that checks all of the boxes for one particular ideology. It’s why we work together, as a legislative branch, to put together legislation that best reflects the core interests of the American people. Issuing ultimatums and derailing progress is not in the interest of the American people, and a wholly self-serving tactic. The American people deserve better and we as a legislative body can do better.

Actually Adam, you and your fellow RINOs passed that “checks all the ideological boxes” repeal of Obamacare bill just last year and could have easily revived that legislation instead of the monstrosity of a bill Speaker Ryan and President Trump pushed. As it stands the actual repeal of Obamacare bill sits collecting dust in a committee and Heaven forbid someone mention Sen. Rand Paul’s repeal bill.

As The Right Scoop reported Saturday Rep. Kinzinger told RealClearPolitics that he wants to see the Freedom Caucus taken on publicly and wants everyone to work instead with the non-existent centrists Democrats:

 

So why would someone who called Donald Trump everything from a WWE performer(true statement, see Wrestlemania 23) to a potty mouthed 4th grader join in the smearing and attacking of the Freedom Caucus for rightly pointing out the ACHA wasn’t in keeping with the promises every Republican in Congress, and the White House, made to we voters?

Well, thats because for the first time Adam Kinzinger and Donald Trump have common cause; hating on Conservatives for not being spineless squishes.

As longtime RedState readers may recall this isn’t the first time Kinzinger has gone on the warpath against the Freedom Caucus for getting in the way of the perfectly designed plans of the GOP establishment, which makes what Kinzinger told RCP a big, fat, whopper of a lie.

When the Freedom Caucus helped to push John Boehner out as Speaker of the House and then insured that Rep. Kevin McCarthy didn’t get promoted to the job Kinzinger went all over TV, radio, and print media to attack the Freedom Caucus, the so-called Freedom Caucus as he put it, because he thought that internal division being made public was bad for the GOP.

In Adam Kinzinger’s world a good Republican joins with Nancy Pelosi to revive the corporate welfare of the Export-Import Bank, agrees that Boeing should sell airplanes to Iran as a part of their deal with President Obama, and openly supports amnesty for illegal immigrants at every turn.

Congressman Kinzinger is also finding common cause with President Trump because he too has some longstanding issues with the Heritage Foundation and Club For Growth(along with FreedomWorks, conservative talk radio, and the Tea Party.)

The problem ladies and gentleman isn’t with the Freedom Caucus, or conservative Senators like Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz(who combined were enough no votes to ensure Obamacare lite would die in the Senate) the problem rest with lying politicians like Adam Kinzinger and Donald Trump.

The two of you didn’t campaign saying you’d repeal the individual mandate just to replace it with a different kind of individual mandate, you didn’t promise us that you’d eliminate Obamacare subsides and turn them into tax credits, you didn’t campaign on keeping the high premiums and deductibles of Obamacare in place. You told us voters you would repeal Obamacare and this ACHA bill debacle just goes to show that we’ve been lied to. Not like that’s something new for Adam Kinzinger who lied during his entire 2010 campaign promising us Tea Party conservatives in Illinois that he was one of us, when he wasn’t, man gets a 33% rating at Conservative Review for a reason.

Enough of the lies, either get behind Rand Paul’s bill or dust off that same bill that passed last year so the entire nation can move on from the nightmare Obamacare and government run healthcare has created.

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New Trump Administration Ethics Problem Surrounds Batman

legobatman

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has ethics groups in a lather as the film producer may have touted one of his releases in violation of federal ethics rules.

In what is becoming a pattern with Trump officials another member of Trump’s administration has become the focus of media and watchdog groups over a possible violation of governmental ethics practices for promoting private business.

What has  Mnuchin in the crosshairs was his statement at a Friday media gathering where he said,  “You should send all your kids to “Lego Batman”. More than a simple film recommendation, Mnuchin has ethics oversight groups in a lather because he is named as an Executive Producer on the film. His Ratpac-Dune company, which he is soon to be divested from, was a financier of the film.

This follows other episodes where private endorsements arrived from the government leadership. Kelllyanne Conway received harsh rebukes when she openly proposed people go purchase Ivanka Trump’s products following Nordstrom’s announcing the store chain would drop her lines. President Trump himself has been criticized for announcing people should watch Fox  News for their political intake.

What is at question regarding Mnuchin’s comment is, did he truly pimp his movie, in violation of federal rules? The Friday meeting was hosted by the media company Axios, but rather than directly come forth with a promotional statement, it derived from a question posed towards him. Mnuchin even addressed the rule directly as he was flippantly answering.

  • Well, I’m not allowed to promote anything that I’m involved in. So I just want to have the legal disclosure that you’ve asked me the question and I am not promoting any product,” Mnuchin said. “But you should send all your kids to ‘Lego Batman.‘”

Despite his qualifying comment ethics oversight groups are focused on his words. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington released a statement: “It’s clear that Mnuchin did not learn any lessons from the Kellyanne Conway affair. This kind of thing happened, and will continue to happen, when there is a White House that does not take disciplinary action for ethical lapses.” Additionally, Open Secrets went after the Secretary following the meeting.

The Treasury Department issued an immediate statement, as well, to address the issue.

  • As his statement reflects, the Secretary clearly recognized that he generally may not promote private interests and specifically gave the legal disclosure that he was not promoting a movie, but answering a question he was asked directly.”

Except “send your kids to see Batman” is pretty much the definition of promotion.

In January Mnuchin pledged that he would divest his involvement from over forty companies within 90 days of his confirmation as Treasury Secretary. His Hollywood holdings were said to be divested after four months.

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In a Move Surprising Nobody, Donald Trump Attacks Conservatives on Twitter for His Failure

On March 11, I wrote a piece where I warned Donald Trump would attack Republicans as well as Democrats if the Obamacare replacement bill failed. It wasn’t a tough prediction to make.  I called a bookie in Vegas, and he wouldn’t even give me 1-10 odds. First, Trump used Judge Jeanine Pirro as his messenger to get Paul Ryan to step down as Speaker of the House. This morning, Trump set his sights on conservatives in Congress and conservative organizations.

He tweeted:

So he fails on the Obamacare replacement bill, and he’s blaming House Freedom Caucus members as well as Heritage and a group that backed him for President, Club for Growth.

I’ve said it before; Trump only cares about winning or losing. He wants to do tax reform but attacks the very people he will need to get it done because it is more important to him everybody else appear to be the “loser” in the Obamacare replacement fiasco. Trump doesn’t care about burning bridges because he still thinks he’s hosting a reality show. Such an approach is a problem because Washington DC is a place where relationships come in handy when wanting to get something done. Trump doesn’t have friends or people who are loyal to him. Trump has associates, lackeys, and sycophants. 

He thought he could be a bully and get Thomas Massie, Jim Jordan, and Mark Meadows to follow along, forgetting the entire time they are c0-equals in government. 

Compiling enemies lists, having staff attempt to berate members of Congress, and then using Twitter to slam the people you will need over the next four years is not a very bright way to go about doing the work of being President.

Then again, we’re talking about the host of The Apprentice. High expectations aren’t in the cards.

 

 

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Is Trump Considering A TV Personality And 9/11 Truther For The Next Supreme Court Seat?

Have you ever heard something so ludicrous that it sent you into wheezing, nose-running fits of laughter – until you find out it’s true?

For me, that moment came when someone suggested that President Trump could potentially be considering a TV personality for the next vacant SCOTUS seat.

Sure, Senator Lindsey Graham, in praising the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court by Trump, mentioned something about his fear of who Trump would pick for the seat left vacant by the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia. He said he didn’t know who Trump would pick – possibly a TV judge, or something.

You just couldn’t believe he’d go that far, however.

Then again, if Fox News personality, Judge Andrew Napolitano is to be believed, the president is absolutely considering it.

After meeting with President Trump twice during the transition, first in December and again in mid-January, the Newark, N.J.-born television personality told several people that Trump said he was on the list of judges from whom he was selecting a nominee for the high court.

“He said, ‘Trump said I’m on the list,’” said a source who spoke with Napolitano shortly after one of his meetings with the then president-elect. “He’s been saying that since the transition.”

Napolitano was suspended from Fox News for an indefinite length of time this past week for picking up incomplete and unsubstantiated information from an online discussion board, regarding British intelligence surveilling Trump at the behest of then-President Obama, and then presenting that rumor on air as fact.

The British government have vehemently denied the accusations and subsequent testimony by FBI Director James Comey before the House Intelligence Committee confirmed that there was no surveillance or “wiretapping” ordered regarding Donald Trump.

Still, undeterred, Napolitano sees a payoff that far exceeds a few guest spots on TV.

Friends warned Napolitano not to take the president too literally – or seriously. “He’ll take your call and invite you to the Oval Office, but he just wants you to say nice things about him on TV,” the source says he told Napolitano at the time. But that didn’t sink the ambitious judge’s hopes.

Trump released a list of potential replacements for the late Justice Antonin Scalia before the election, vowing to select Scalia’s replacement from that list — and followed through, tapping Tenth Circuit judge Neil Gorsuch for the nomination in January. Napolitano’s name did not appear on any public list.

I suppose Napolitano’s name is on a “special” list. In fact, the term Napolitano is using with those he’s told his exciting bit of news to is that he’s a “sleeper candidate.” He’s submitted his personal and academic works to the president’s office, so he’s actively vying for some sort of consideration.

He also visited with Trump during the transition to talk about the kind of judge needed to fill the SCOTUS seat left vacant by Scalia.

Trump ultimately chose Gorsuch, but should another seat come open, Napolitano feels like he is as good as in.

I guess with those kinds of ambitions, he’s not very worried that an internet hoax got him bounced, indefinitely, from his TV gig.

He has other options, in the meantime, and he is definitely a keen mind.

“I think 20 years from now, people will look at 9/11 the way we look at the assassination of JFK today,” he told radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in 2010. “It couldn’t possibly have been done the way the government told us.”

Or the way millions of Americans saw with their own eyes being carried out on national TV.

I guess with a reality TV presidency, the next logical step is an InfoWars Supreme Court nominee.

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Lo & Behold: A Replica of the Successful 2015 Obamacare Repeal Is Languishing in Committee

In 2015, Congress passed Obamacare repeal. Now, a replica bill has sat unaddressed in committee since March 8th and there’s a path to getting it to a floor vote quickly.

The Trump spin mill has been in overdrive since House Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the abysmal first attempt of the new administration and Congress at the promised “repeal and replacement” of Obamacare.

The Trump administration and the media sold the American Health Care Act as the last best hope for repealing Obamacare, which is a complete joke. The idea that Republicans in the House and Senate, who have largely run on Obamacare repeal in the last seven years, would suddenly give up because a bad bill didn’t pass is absurd.

Since the AHCA was presented and recognized for the dud it was, there has been an incredulity that after seven years of doggedly campaigning against Obamacare, Republicans weren’t unified and ready with a bill to repeal it.

So, now what?

That’s what many in the Republican caucus and outside interest groups are asking following Friday’s events.

Many have astutely pointed out that Congress passed a repeal bill in 2015, so why aren’t they simply doing the same now?

Alas, unknown to many, a replica of the 2015 bill was introduced by Rep. Jim Jordan (R – Ohio) on March 8th, just two days after the disastrous AHCA.

Rep. Jordan, a member of the much derided House Freedom Caucus, reiterated the familiar words of many Republican candidates across the country just before introducing H.R. 1436:

“Our goal is real simple: Bring down the cost of insurance for working families and middle-class families across this country. In an effort to do that we think you have to get rid of Obamacare completely. So tomorrow I will introduce a bill that every single Republican voted on just 15 months ago – the bill that actually repeals Obamacare. Our plan has always been repeal in one piece of legislation and replace in the other.

That’s right. The bill Rep. Jordan introduced earlier this month is a replica of the 2015 bill that passed in the House and Senate less than two years ago.

The bill has been languishing in committee ever since. However, there is one way it could move to consideration on the floor should an ambitious representative choose to take it on.

After a bill has been in committee for a certain period of time, a discharge petition can be circulated, which is privileged, to bring a bill out of committee and to the floor. But it must have a majority of the House. After the AHCA debacle that may seem unlikely, but consider the fact that this bill already passed in the last Congress. Repeal is the one thing a majority ostensibly agree upon.

There have been and will be endless autopsies over what went wrong with the AHCA, but one could insist that Republicans first post-Trump foray into Obamacare repeal didn’t have to go down the way it did.

Conservatives and the House Freedom Caucus took early blame for the AHCA’s passage or failure, even though moderates and the Tuesday Group became august denouncers of the bill as negotiations progressed. However, the HFC was asking for nothing less than what had passed in 2015.

“Conservatives expect nothing less than congressional Republicans to live up to their promises,” Jason Pye of FreedomWorks told RedState. “They passed this bill in the 114th Congress. Why can’t they do it now? This is the one aspect of this we all agree on, and it’s certainly a better option than the half-baked bill that leadership rolled out that didn’t really repeal ObamaCare.”

“But what about after repeal,” one might ask. “[H.R. 1436] gives us two years to work on a replacement that is grounded in real patient-centered, free market principles,” Pye stated.

What a sensible and prudent, but apparently novel, idea.

Rushing a replacement to Obamacare is asking for failure, as we saw with the AHCA. Pushing the bill through committee before the Congressional Budget Office gave it a score and having GOP leadership married to the bill already was poor planning, to say the least.

A clean repeal is what Republicans have been promising the American people for seven years. A clean repeal bill is sitting in committee, ready to go through the same process it breezed through in 2015 but in which the AHCA failed. As has been said before here, should Republicans fail to adequately reduce the cost of health care and increase access by repealing — and replacing to a degree — Obamacare, they will be seen as the biggest scammers in American politics for a generation.

The 2015 repeal bill is there, let’s pass it.

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President Trump, Coward: He Wants Paul Ryan To Step Down But Gets A Sycophant To Say It

Throughout 2015 and 2016, Donald Trump was sold by his campaign team and supporters as the ultimate alpha-male. He was the guy “who fights,” who “hits back,” “says what he means,” and generally, is the “manly man man.” In reality, Trump is a thin-skinned bully who shrinks when somebody goes back at him. His thin skin is legendary in that he is always whining how somebody or something is being “unfair” to him. He holds grudges that make the Hatfields and McCoys envious.

He’s also excellent at deflection. When asked about spreading the lie Ted Cruz’s father took part in the Kennedy assassination he said, “I just read it in the paper. I didn’t say it.” The “paper” in question is The National Enquirer. Earlier yesterday, Trump tweeted the following:

Naturally, people were wondering what Jeanine Pirro had to say or speculating he’d make an appearance. It wasn’t the latter. In fact, here are the first words she said:

Well, isn’t that special?

Trump couldn’t fight the battle himself, so he sent somebody to start it for him. And he sent a television sycophant to do it.

Despite all of the happy talk following the AHCA bill being pulled, Donald Trump and his inner circle were seething. First, their anger was directed at the members of the House Freedom Caucus, many of whom were not going to vote for the bill. Steve Bannon wanted to create an enemies list of those who voted “No.” It was Paul Ryan who convinced Trump not to do it.

Now, it looks like Trump, Bannon and the rest of Trump’s lackeys are going to make Ryan the scapegoat for the AHCA failure. Remember, Donald Trump sees failure as “losing” and being a “loser” is something he can’t have. I wouldn’t doubt if we say a lot of stories with those anonymous sources Trump hates showing up where people are expressing their “disappointment” with Speaker Ryan and how it “may be time” to “go in a different direction.”

Ryan is going to have to watch his back.

 

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