Showing posts with label Threats. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Threats. Show all posts

March 21, 2017

Trump: “I will Come After You” Threatens Lawmakers Not to Vote “No”


President Trump went to Capitol Hill on Tuesday morning to sell the House GOP leadership’s plan to overhaul the health-care system as the legislation races toward an expected vote on the House floor by the end of the week. Assuring Republicans that they would gain seats if they passed the bill, the president told Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, to stand up and take some advice.

“I’m gonna come after you, but I know I won’t have to, because I know you’ll vote ‘yes,’ ” Trump said, according to several Republican lawmakers who attended the meeting. “Honestly, a loss is not acceptable, folks.”

But after the meeting, Meadows told reporters that the president had not made the sale, that the call-out was good-natured and that conservative holdouts would continue to press for a tougher bill.

“I’m still a ‘no,’ ” he said. “I’ve had no indication that any of my Freedom Caucus colleagues have switched their votes.”

Trump is putting his considerable weight behind a proposal crafted by House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) that would represent a big win for the president and the speaker if the House approves it.
“We made a promise and now it is the time to keep that promise,” Ryan said. “If we keep that promise, the people will reward us. If we don’t keep our promise, it will be very hard to manage this.”

Ryan played down the chance that Freedom Caucus members could band together to bring down the measure. He insisted that conservatives should be happy that many of their demands, such as limiting the expansion of Medicaid and including work requirements for those who do receive coverage from the program for the poorest Americans, were part of his legislation. Ryan insisted that conservatives will realize that pushing for more significant changes, such as ending payments to states that accepted the Medicaid expansion, could jeopardize the legislation’s chances of passing in the Senate.

“If you get 85 percent of what you want, that’s pretty darn good,” Ryan said. “We don’t want to put something in this bill that the Senate is telling us is fatal.”

But the House vote is still expected to be narrow, and the package faces skepticism from conservatives and moderates in the Senate after a Congressional Budget Office study found that 14 million fewer people would have insurance by 2018 under the GOP proposal.

Trump arrived on the Hill to address a private meeting of House Republicans shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday, bringing with him many of his top White House aides. They included senior adviser Steven K. Bannon, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and senior policy adviser Stephen Miller.

After the meeting, he predicted that the legislation will pass the House.

“We’re gonna have a real winner,” he told reporters. “There are going to be adjustments but I think we’ll get the vote on Thursday.”
Inside the room, however, Trump did not get into much detail about what needed to be adjusted for the bill to win approval. He focused more on the political risks and rewards of passage, telling Republicans that they “kept passing and passing and passing” repeal bills under President Obama and would be punished if they did not make good on their campaign promises.

“We won’t have these crowds if we don’t get this done,” he said, referring to his Monday night rally in Kentucky.

“If we get this done, and tax reform, he believes we pick up 10 seats in the Senate and we add to our majority in the House,” said Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), the first member of Congress who endorsed Trump’s presidential bid. “If we don’t get it done, we lose the House and the Senate.”

The president’s sales push comes after Ryan and other House leaders released key proposed changes to the legislation on Tuesday night that they hope will help secure the bill’s passage.

The tweaks addressed numerous GOP concerns, including the flexibility the package would give states to administer their Medicaid programs and the amount of aid it would offer older Americans to buy insurance. The changes are the product of two weeks of negotiations that stretched from the Capitol to the White House to Trump’s Florida resort.

The bill’s proponents also appeared to overcome a major obstacle Monday after a key group of hard-line conservatives declined to take a formal position against the bill, known as the American Health Care Act.

The House Freedom Caucus has threatened for weeks to tank the legislation, arguing that it would not do enough to undo the seven-year-old Affordable Care Act. Their neutrality gives the legislation a better chance of passage: If the group of about three dozen hard-right GOP members uniformly opposed the bill, it could block its passage.

Their decision not to act as a bloc frees House leaders and White House officials to persuade individual Freedom Caucus members to support the measure — a process that Meadows, the caucus chairman, said is ­underway.

“They’re already whipping with a whip that’s about 10 feet long and five feet wide,” he said Monday. “I’m trying to let my members vote the way that their constituents would want them to vote. . . . I think they’re all very aware of the political advantages and disadvantages.”

Some of the changes announced Monday were made to placate conservatives, such as accelerating the expiration of the ACA’s taxes and further restricting the federal Medicaid program. But a major push was made to win moderate voters, including a maneuver that House leaders said would allow the Senate to beef up tax credits for older Americans whose premiums could increase greatly under the GOP plan.

There were signs Monday that the bill had growing support among the moderate wing of the House GOP. Rep. Tom MacArthur (N.J.), who had voted against the leadership in an early procedural vote on the health-care legislation, said that he was “satisfied enough that I will support the bill.”

MacArthur said he was assured that the measure would do more for older and disabled Americans covered under Medicaid and that an additional $85 billion in aid would be directed to those ages 50 to 65.

“That’s a $150 billion change in this bill to help the poor and those who are up in years,” he said.

MacArthur told reporters Tuesday that he is satisfied with the way the House amendment is structured and that he trusts that the Senate will further refine the legislation. He also said he is confident that the new changes will be enough to sway many of the approximately 50 members of the Tuesday Group, which he co-chairs.

“I believe the majority will vote for the bill,” MacArthur said after the meeting with Trump.

Several House Republicans from Upstate New York won an amendment that would allow counties in their state to keep hundreds of millions of dollars of local tax revenue that they forward to the state government to fund its Medicaid program. One member, Rep. Claudia Tenney, told the Syracuse Post-Standard on Monday that her support of the bill was conditioned on the amendment’s inclusion.

Opponents of the measure — Republicans and Democrats alike — called the deal a sordid giveaway on social media networks Monday night. Many compared it to the state-specific deals that were cut to pass the Affordable Care Act in 2009 and 2010 and panned by Republicans — such as the Medicaid reimbursement boost that then-Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) secured for his home state that Republicans mocked as the “Cornhusker Kickback.”

The Freedom Caucus had pushed for a variety of alterations, including an earlier phaseout of the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and a more thorough rollback of the insurance mandates established under the law.

But for political and procedural reasons, few of the group’s major demands stand to be incorporated into the bill.

“It’s very clear that the negotiations are over,” said Meadows, who met with White House officials at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., on Saturday.

Many Freedom Caucus members left Tuesday’s meeting resolved to continue to oppose the bill.

“The president always does a good job in these settings,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a co-founder of the caucus. “But the legislation is still bad, and doesn’t do what we told voters we would do.” 

Under the group’s rules, it can take a formal position to oppose the bill if 80 percent of its members agree. No Democrats are expected to support the legislation, meaning Republican leaders can afford to lose no more than 21 of their members.

Meadows said after Monday night’s meeting that taking a hard position against the bill “creates some dynamics within the group that perhaps we don’t want to create,” hinting at tensions in the group’s ranks.

One of its members, Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.), provided one of just three votes against the AHCA in the budget committee. But he decided to support the bill last week when he met with Trump in the Oval Office, emboldening House leaders who think that even hard-liners will be hard-pressed to oppose Trump.

Said Meadows: “This is a defining moment for our nation, but it’s also a defining moment for the Freedom Caucus. There are core things within this bill as it currently stands that would violate some of the principles of the Freedom Caucus.”

Attending the group’s meeting Monday were three senators who oppose the House bill: Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.). They hold leverage to block the bill in their chamber, where Republicans hold a two-seat majority. Cruz said he told the House members that the leadership strategy of pursuing distinct “phases” of legislation was a dead end and that they need to push for changes in the present bill.

“The Senate Democrats are engaging in absolute opposition and obstruction, and it is difficult to see that changing anytime soon,” Cruz told reporters after leaving the meeting.

Trump’s visit to the Hill on Tuesday signals that GOP leaders and the president consider bigger talks with key blocs of House members to be essentially complete. The effort now turns toward persuading individual members to vote for the package.

Ryan credited Trump’s backing in a statement Monday: “With the president’s leadership and support for this historic legislation, we are now one step closer to keeping our promise to the American people and ending the Obamacare ­nightmare.”

Trump’s visit Tuesday was his first appearance at the weekly House Republican Conference meeting since he became president. He last privately addressed Republican lawmakers as a group at the party’s policy retreat in Philadelphia in late January and has met with small groups of members on several occasions since.

Trump won the backing of Palmer and several other conservative House members Friday when he agreed to change the Medicaid portion of the bill, including giving states the option to institute a work requirement for childless, able-bodied adults who receive the benefit. Those changes were included in the leadership-backed amendments that will be incorporated into the bill before it comes to a final vote.
To address concerns expressed by a broader swath of GOP lawmakers — conservatives and moderates alike — leaders said they hoped to change the bill to give older Americans more help to buy insurance.

In an extreme case laid out in the Congressional Budget Office analysis of the bill, annual premiums for a 64-year-old earning $26,500 a year would rise from $1,700 under the ACA to $14,600 under the Republican plan.

House leaders said they intended to provide an additional $85 billion in aid to those ages 50 to 64, but the amendment announced late Monday did not do so directly. Instead, the leaders said, it “provides the Senate flexibility to potentially enhance the tax credit” for the older cohort by adjusting an unrelated tax deduction.

That workaround, aides said, was done to ensure that the House bill would comply with Senate budget rules and to ensure that the CBO could release an updated analysis of the legislation before the Thursday vote.

But it also means that the House members who pushed for the new aid will have to trust the Senate to carry out their wishes. And neither Meadows nor the Republicans marching in line behind Ryan took the president’s comments about the holdouts as a threat.

“I didn’t take anything he said as threatening anybody’s political future,” Meadows said.

“Oh, he was kidding around,” said Rep. Harold Rodgers (R-Ky.), a supporter of the bill. “I think.”

                                                             We Have a Fake President!

March 1, 2017

When Will Death Threats Stop Against Gays in Trinidad?

Jason jones, LGBT Activist

Trinidad-born, UK based gay rights advocate Jason Jones says he is now staying at a “safe-house” after receiving dozens of death threats online.
Jones last week filed a legal challenge against the government of Trinidad and Tobago, seeking to have laws criminalising homosexuality declared null and void.
Jones is challenging Section 13 of the Sexual Offences Act which identifies buggery as a criminal offence.
He is also challenging the Immigration Act of Trinidad and Tobago which identifies homosexuals as a prohibited class of persons, to be denied entry into T&T.
These laws are rarely enforced, but Jones has said that their mere existence contributes to a culture of homophobia.
 Jones said there has been a substantial negative response to his challenge, and people have been sending threats to him via Facebook.
Jones filed a police report but said the threats are being viewed as idle, and not legitimate.
However, he said he is in fear for his life and that all threats must be treated as serious.
“These are boldfaced death threats,” Jones told the Express. “People are not allowed to say this stuff. They are saying I deserve a bullet through my head, and I cannot do anything about it.”
Jones said he was forced to move out from where he was staying with a friend and he has also hired a security firm.
“I had to move out of my friend's house, because I didn't want to put him at risk,” he said.
However, he said the threats have not broken his resolve to pursue his legal claim and represent members of the Lebian/Gay/Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.
“My resolve is even stronger now so let them come,” he said. “I am ready for them.”
Despite the threats and negative responses, Jones said the positive response to his claim has been far greater.
Hundreds of people, he said, has reached out to him to congratulate him and to offer their assistance.
“Literally hundreds of people have messaged me to find out how they can become involved.”
He added that among the people who reached out to offer their support were several politicians and other high profile people.
 “This is really the moment that everyone has been waiting for to see a change in how we deal with each other in Trinidad and Tobago.”

February 1, 2017

Trump Seen as Threat to Europe also Prince Charles Statement

BRUSSELS — The president of the European Council warned Tuesday that President Trump was a potential threat to the European Union, including the American leader’s bellicose pronouncements with major geopolitical challenges like Russian aggression, China’s assertiveness and international terrorism.

In a letter sent to European leaders, Donald Tusk, the council president, wrote that those factors and “worrying declarations by the new American administration all make our future highly unpredictable.” He appeared to question whether the United States would maintain its commitment to European security under Mr. Trump’s leadership.

“For the first time in our history, in an increasingly multipolar external world, so many are becoming openly anti-European, or Eurosceptic at best,” Mr. Tusk wrote. The letter was released ahead of a European Union summit meeting in Malta on Friday; Mr. Tusk is responsible for setting the agenda for the meetings.

“Particularly the change in Washington puts the European Union in a difficult situation; with the new administration seeming to put into question the last 70 years of American foreign policy,” he wrote. 
The European Union has been struggling to contend with fractious internal forces. Among them: the vote by Britain to leave the bloc, the organization’s failure to establish a unified response to the arrival of hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers and the debt crisis that has driven many Greeks into poverty. And then there are external pressures like Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Before the election and since taking office, Mr. Trump has lauded the vote by Britain, known as Brexit, and said the country would thrive outside the European Union. He met with Nigel Farage, a populist leader of the campaign to leave the bloc, before seeing Prime Minister Theresa May. And at one point he went so far as to suggest that Mrs. May appoint Mr. Farage as Britain’s ambassador to the United States.

Mr. Trump has also praised President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and indicated he would pursue friendlier relations with Moscow, even as Russia encourages chaos on the European Union’s eastern border.

Mr. Tusk’s letter does not reflect a new policy for the European Union, and member states of the 28-nation bloc are not required to act on Mr. Tusk’s advice when they meet on Friday. But many European leaders have made their differences with Mr. Trump known.

After the United States said it was temporarily blocking refugees from entering the country, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany felt compelled to point out to Mr. Trump the obligations of nations under the Geneva Conventions to protect refugees of war on humanitarian grounds. And President Fran├žois Hollande of France said he had reminded Mr. Trump that “the ongoing fight to defend our democracy will be effective only if we sign up to respect to the founding principles and, in particular, the welcoming of refugees.”

Mrs. May, of Britain, sought in a meeting with Mr. Trump last week to confirm his commitment to NATO; he was dismissive of the alliance, the bedrock of European security, during his campaign.

Now, the sentiments expressed in Mr. Tusk’s letter are pushing European leaders’ exasperation with the American president further into the public view. 
Mr. Tusk has sounded the alarm about the existential crises facing the bloc before, but never with the urgency he displayed in the letter. And he has never before included a longstanding ally like the United States in the list of challenges.

“An increasingly, let us call it, assertive China, especially on the seas,” he wrote, “Russia’s aggressive policy toward Ukraine and its neighbors, wars, terror and anarchy in the Middle East and in Africa, with radical Islam playing a major role, as well as worrying declarations by the new American administration all make our future highly unpredictable.”

Much of the frustration Mr. Tusk displayed in his letter stemmed from what Guntram B. Wolff, director of Bruegel, a research organization in Brussels, said was Mr. Trump’s “de facto supporting” of populist forces that could further upend the European order.

Far-right populist challengers in France, Germany and the Netherlands have adopted some of his anti-establishment rhetoric in their own campaigns.

Still, Mr. Wolff said it was unwise to enter into a war of words with the Trump administration. “We need to uphold our values here, but does it mean that we need now a declaration where we put the United States on the same level as ISIS?” he said. “No, I don’t think so. I don’t think it that would be helpful in any way.”

The trans-Atlantic volley of opprobrium on Friday included an accusation by Peter Navarro, the director of Mr. Trump’s new National Trade Council, that Germany was manipulating its currency to gain a trade advantage. Mr. Navarro told The Financial Times that Germany was using a “grossly undervalued” euro to “exploit” the United States and its partners in Europe.

That did not sit well with Ms. Merkel, who defended the European Central Bank’s independent role at a news conference on Friday: “Because of that we will not influence the behavior of the E.C.B. And as a result, I cannot and do not want to change the situation as it is.”

The value of the euro is near a 13-year low compared with the dollar, allowing German carmakers and other manufacturers to sell their goods more cheaply in the United States. But German firms also employ around 670,000 people in the United States, including many in a BMW factory in Spartanburg, S.C., the carmaker’s largest in the world, and a Mercedes factory in Tuscaloosa, Ala. These are the sort of manufacturing jobs that Mr. Trump says he wants to keep in the United States.

Jan Techau, director of the Richard C. Holbrooke Forum in Berlin, a research center dedicated to diplomacy, said Mr. Tusk’s letter was less a warning to the American president than it was a message to Europeans not to be lured away from union, or to be tempted away from the bloc by favorable bilateral ties offered by the Trump administration. “He is encouraging everyone to fall into that trap,” Mr. Techau said of the American president.

Mr. Tusk, by contrast, is making the case for Europeans to stick together for their own survival. “He wants to remind them that there is something bigger at stake than just what they are going to be talking about in Malta,” Mr. Techau said.

Prince Charles:

“We are now seeing the rise of many populist groups across the world that are increasingly aggressive to those who adhere to a minority faith. All of this has deeply disturbing echoes of the dark days of the 1930s," he said. 

“My parents’ generation fought and died in a battle against intolerance, monstrous extremism and inhuman attempts to exterminate the Jewish population of Europe.”

Citing UN statistics, he added that a "staggering" 65.3 million people abandoned their homes in 2015 — 5.8 million more than the year before.

“The suffering doesn’t end when they arrive seeking refuge in a foreign land," he said. "We are now seeing the rise of many populist groups across the world that are increasingly aggressive towards those who adhere to a minority faith."

February 6, 2014

Boy Teen in Minnesota Receives Death Treats After Coming Out

Ryan Eichenauer, a Centennial High School student in Circle Pines, Minnesota, has gone public with death threats he's received since recently coming out as gay on Facebook. Ryan says the typed threats were placed on his desk before the start of class. 
Here's one of the death threats he's received so far:
"Ryan, I see there are many others who also want you dead. Good. And it's not just the two of us who have decided to speak up. It's everyone ... like you don't deserve to live in this world. Innocent people die every day, but the scum of the earth like you gets to live? ... that. That is about to change. No one likes the fact that you are alive. No one likes the way you show your sexuality. You are a ... sinner. Someone should do something about it…I will. I am not a coward. I protect the house of god from ... like you. I know you have been suicidal before and I hope you try it again...but go through with it you ... coward. I know you still cut your wrists. I've been told it's because you hate yourself. You think you are ugly. You think you are worthless. And guess what? You are! You wonder why people don't like you... it's because you are the ... under all of our feet. We intend to keep it that way. Enjoy your days while you still can. In my eyes they are numbered. Many others forgive...I don't. I can't wait for the day that I get to walk over your grave. And if you don't put yourself there, I will be glad to. Just do us all a favor and do it soon. ... kill yourself already, because we all know with you gone the world will be a better place. I know where we keep our guns, but I think I want to see you suffer, more than just a blow to the head. I want to see you weep with pain. I want to see your blood draining from your lifeless body. But as I've said before, I'm not the only one who wants this, we all do. We all ... hate you. Kill yourself now, and go to ...
"A little scared, I feel safe in my school," Ryan told a reporter. "Right now, mostly uncomfortable....The first threat I cried a lot. A lot of tears and emotions. Even though that was less threatening. Then this one came along. Is this what I am going to get forever, from now on?” 
Jonathan Higbee 

August 8, 2012

Fmer SNL Actor Jon Lovitz’s Life Threatened Over Taxes Joke

It was reported in April of former “Saturday Night Live” star Jon Lovitz talking with filmmaker Kevin Smith. Lovitz, who has played such characters as Tommy Flanagan, Hanukkah Harry and even former presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, vented about how the president thinks the rich don’t pay their fair share.
“This whole thing with Obama saying the rich don’t pay their taxes is f---ing bulls—t. I voted for the guy and I’m a Democrat, what a f---ing a—hole,” said Lovitz at his comedy club during a podcast. “If I make a dollar and out of every dollar I'm taxed at 50, half, at 50 cents, I have to give, isn't that like enough? For every two dollars you make, you have to give a dollar back. That’s not right. You’re not paying enough. It’s half! Half!”

In an interview with, Lovitz explained what happened after his comments towards the president, which actually prompted him to permit a security escort walk him to his car. It got so bad that he started to receive death threats.
The owner of the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club said he received one message that warned: “I know where you eat.”
Lovitz is quite befuddled as to why he is being accused of racism from the media, Democrats and strangers. The star of former television sitcom “The Critic” also feels that the media and other organizations, such as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), are on the attack when it comes to comedians.
“Your site and, they get the humor. The Huffington Post, their comedy guys have no sense of humor and their headlines are lying,” stated Lovitz. “I don’t see the president as black or white. He’s a man. What I find bizarre is how the quote liberals are bringing up race [and] saying, 'shut the f--- up.' I find them so close minded. I thought you were liberal. You should be tolerant of everybody whether they agree with you or not.” sent a Tweet to Lovitz Tuesday, in which the group said, “The Left may not ‘get’ you, but we definitely do.”
Meanwhile, weeks after the rant made its rounds across the Internet, many of his colleagues in the industry didn’t provide any comments and were “not supportive.” However, random people on the street would go up to Lovitz and thank him.
In the end, Lovitz is not seeking thanks and is not blaming the president for the current economic situation, but rather he feels Obama’s stance against the rich is a deterrent from the major problems facing the United States today.
“I meant what I said. I said what I said to make people laugh. I expressed myself in a humorous way,” concluded Lovitz in his interview. “Sometimes the best way to make ‘em laugh is to show ‘em how you honestly feel.”

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March 20, 2012

Lance Bass Gets Threatening Anti-Gay Hate Tweets

lance bass
Did anyone else see the Bass-signal that just went up?
Our favorite out-gay boy-bander, Lance Bass received some truly scary (and threatening) anti-gay hate rhetoric via text and just shared it on Twitter.
 (The Tweets are graphic)
Lance tweeted with this message: "(WARNING GRAPHIC)If I go missing -this guy did it- Jeez!Sad to know many LGBT kids deal w this irrational hatred daily"
lance bass twitter
Yikes. This dude's got some serious issues, the least of which being that he seems to be projecting his own dreams of being Lance Bass's "wife/girlfriend" onto millions of unsuspecting girls who probably never took it that seriously...
Don't worry Lance, we got your back.

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