WTF Community

Day 764

Updated 2/22/2019 2:59 PM PST

1/ Robert Mueller's sentencing memorandum is due to today before midnight in the prosecution of Paul Manafort. In filings like these, prosecutors typically outline all of the defendant's crimes, convictions, and their cooperation, which could also shed more light on how Manafort fits into Mueller's larger Russian investigation. [Editor's note: I've basically been waiting all day for this to drop. I'll update the blog when this is filed to reflect the latest.] (CNN / Associated Press)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

The Trump administration took aim at Planned Parenthood Friday, issuing a rule barring groups that provide abortions or abortion referrals from participating in the $286 million federal family planning program — a move that is expected to redirect millions toward faith-based providers.

Under the long-expected mandate, which opponents vow to challenge in court, federally funded family planning clinics can no longer refer a patient for abortion and will have to maintain a “clear physical and financial separation” between services funded by the government and any organization that provides abortions or referrals for abortions. Recipients of grants under the Title X program, which serves mostly low-income women, were already prohibited from performing abortions with those funds.

Critics, including 15 governors, decried the change as a “gag rule” that would undermine the physician-patient relationship and threatened legal action to block it from taking effect in their states. They’ve also described it as an indirect way to defund Planned Parenthood, which has long been a target of antiabortion activists as the nation’s largest provider of reproductive care services, including abortions.

Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen called the rule “unconscionable and unethical.”

“Imagine if the Trump administration prevented doctors from talking to our patients with diabetes about insulin,” she said. “It would never happen. Reproductive health care should be no different."

Wen has said the group could not accept funds under the new rule because it would compromise its ethical obligations to patients. The women’s health care provider serves about 41 percent of Title X patients and receives about $60 million from the program.

The family planning changes are part of a broader effort by the administration’s social conservatives to reshape how the federal government views family planning and LGBTQ rights. HHS has previously issued rules that allow employers to deny insurance coverage of birth control on religious or moral grounds.


:+1: I get what your saying and I’ve watched that John Oliver piece. It’s not about stopping abortion, ending a pregnancy is constitutionally protected right to bodily autonomy. If we remove that right, does any American have the right to bodily autonomy?


Could of stories that didn’t make the cut today:

A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant who is an alleged white nationalist with a hit list and a plan “to murder innocent citizens on a scale rarely seen in this country” has been arrested by the FBI in the Washington, DC area.

Christopher Hasson planned to “establish a white homeland” by force, according to court records filed in federal court in Maryland and first flagged Wednesday by George Washington University’s Program on Extremism.

But more than 24 hours after news broke that a Coast Guard officer — an avowed white nationalist — was allegedly plotting to kill Democratic politicians and journalists, Trump has, at least so far, not said a word.

Trump is eagerly anticipating his second summit with Kim Jong Un, touting his “really meaningful” relationship with the North Korean strongman and insisting he’s ready to give up his nuclear arsenal.

In Washington, he’s pretty much the only one who feels that way.

Many, including several of the president’s top advisers, are less excited. Some have expressed trepidation not only that the summit, scheduled to take place next week in Hanoi, may not yield big results. They worry, too, that Trump, eager to declare victory on the world stage, could make big concessions in exchange for empty promises of denuclearization.

House Democrats pushed ahead Friday with a measure that seeks to terminate President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration that he issued last week in order to circumvent Congress and build his wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.


Investigators with the Interior Department’s inspector general’s office came to believe Zinke had lied to them in the course of that inquiry and referred the matter to the Justice Department late last year.

Making false statements to federal officials constitutes a crime, but it can be difficult to prove because it requires prosecutors to show a person “knowingly and willfully” lied, rather than simply misstated a fact.


Mega T donor, Kelly Knight Craft who he placed as Ambassador to Canada is being nominated to be the Ambassador the UN

President Trump announced Friday evening that he will nominate Kelly Knight Craft, the U.S. ambassador to Canada and a major Republican donor, to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Craft is set to succeed Nikki Haley, pending Senate confirmation. Haley left the U.N. post at the end of last year. Craft is Trump’s second pick to replace Haley, after his earlier candidate, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, withdrew from consideration last week before being formally nominated.

Trump praised Craft’s tenure representing his administration in Ottawa as “outstanding” as he made the announcement on Twitter.


Yes…thanks for highlighting all that she and her Coal Baron husband represent.
It really gets worse every minute…

Wondering if there is a review needed by Congress. Do not remember what Haley went through…

Chris Sands, director of the Center for Canadian Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, describes Craft as warm and gracious and said she is often underestimated.

“She’s always, ‘Oh, you know, I’m not the policy expert.’ But she has a disarming quality. She’s not a policy intellectual, but she’s more emotionally astute and so I think she is more effective than she comes off,” Sands said.

Craft is married to billionaire coal-mining executive Joe Craft, and they are major Republican donors.

Craft has been ambassador during a low point in relations. Last year Trump called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weak and dishonest, words that shocked Canadians.


Indeed it does. And I forgot to add this kicker: Trump is seriously considering downgrading the position of U.S. Ambassador so it will no longer be a Cabinet post! Putin’s getting everything he wants – our world leadership role is being decimated.

The post, which had been a Cabinet level position under Haley, is widely expected to be downgraded.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had told aides he wanted the post downgraded after Haley leaves, an official familiar with his remark has told CNN. And Bolton has also been said to want the role downgraded, according to people familiar with his thinking.

The shift means Craft would wield less clout than her predecessor, both at the UN and within the administration, and as a result, would pose nowhere near the challenge to Bolton or Pompeo.




The fix is in.

Thx for tracking @Keaton_James this ‘it can’t get worse’ revelation

WTF WTF WTF WTF :exploding_head:


And she’s a 'both sides" kind of explainer of climate change.



Many are waiting for the Manafort Sentencing memo tonight…there are a few utterances re: when and if it will be tonight…




This topic was automatically closed 15 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

Really? I mean, really? Her appointment is outrageous on so many levels:

  • Kelly Craft and her husband were major donors to Trump’s campaign. Pay-to-play?

  • Her husband, coal baron billionaire Joseph Craft, owns the fifth largest coal company in the U.S. (Alliance Resource Partners) while she is a climate change denier. What a coincidence! As a powerful member of the U.N., will she act in humanity’s best interests or Big Coal’s?

  • Like so many Trump appointees, she appears to have almost zero relevant experience. In 2007, she was an “alternate delegate” to the U.N. (a token, “observational” position). She’s been ambassador to Canada for 16 months. Other than that, her primary qualifications are apparently her massive donations to Trump’s campaign and her membership in a coal dynasty.

  • Most disturbing to me is her husband’s close ties to former (and disgraced) E.P.A. head Scott Pruitt. Joseph Craft was a major contributor to Pruitt’s Oklahoma state government campaigns and he then went on to work hand-in-glove with Pruitt as the E.P.A. gutted federal coal regulations. Had Pruitt not been ousted, his influence peddling with Joseph Craft would have come under much closer scrutiny. See the NYT piece below.

Bottom line: This appoint reeks of the swamp.


If we really want to stop abortions, then we need to address the male part of the equation. Women don’t get pregnant by themselves.

And there is a great John Oliver YouTube video on Crisis Pregnancy Centers. They ought to not be government funded either.