The United States has been in a more or less perpetual state of war since the fall of 2001. That’s more than fifteen years. Whether you support or oppose wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and lower intensity conflicts in various other countries, it has left thousands of American men and women dead and far more with longterm injuries. The number of US military deaths is down dramatically from the middle years of the Bush presidency and even from the early years of Obama’s presidency. Military deaths in Afghanistan actually went up dramatically during Obama’s first term as he refocused the country from Iraq to Afghanistan. (According to iCasaulties.org, 1,544 American military personal died in Afghanistan during Obama’s first four years in office. The number to date this year is 11.)
We’ve been combing through a huge new report out today from the Russian news agency RBC, whose investigators previously helped TPM identify a Twitter account, @tpartynews, that was run by the notorious Russian troll farm that purchased $100,000 worth of Facebook ads. (sub req.)
A week ago there was a raft of articles suggesting that President Trump was somehow coming undone. Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman had prominent Republicans speculating about the ex-generals having to wrestle the nuclear ‘football’ away from the President. Quotes had him “unstable”, “losing step”, “unraveling.” Retiring Senator Bob Corker said: “I know for a fact that every single day at the White House, it’s a situation of trying to contain him.”
Why did President Trump make up this lie about President Obama not calling the families of bereaved soldiers? It wasn’t just Obama. He seemed to say that previous presidents didn’t do this at all or only did it rarely. Anyone who follows the news knows that’s not true. Basically all Presidents at some point talk about these conversations.
It seems hard to believe that he didn’t come up with this because he had no good explanation for the fact that he’s gone more than a week without making any contact with the families or even making any public statement on what happened.
President Trump falsely claims that President Obama and other former Presidents did not call the bereaved families of service members who died in the line of duty.
Trump, falsely, claims President Obama and other former President didn't make calls to bereaved families of service members who died. pic.twitter.com/FqWbxdkdFD
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) October 16, 2017
The following is a rush transcript of President Trump’s comments a few moments ago on Obamacare. There may be small textual errors. But it will give you a broad sense of what he said. It’s important to read.
President Trump just gave an angry, thrashing, desperate sounding series of remarks about Obamacare. He pressed the point that people think it’s an emergency now that he’s cut off CSR payments. And he thinks that’s good. He went on about how the health insurers only fund Democrats, lashed out at Democrats, says healthcare is going to be great once they repeal Obamacare. It struck me as more unhinged and febrile than usual for Trump. One continuing theme is that even through his anger and need to lash out he seems not to understand even the most elemental details of how the health care system or Obamacare works.
Here’s a bit of video that capture the tone …
In Austria's legislative elections, from which a Chancellor will be chosen, the free market People's Party (OVP), campaigning on a promise to reduce the number of refugees (primairly from the Middle East) and to limit benefits for immigrants, led the field with 31.6 percent. The Social Democrats (SPO) came in with 26.7 percent, which is a postwar low for a party that has been in power, or shared power, for most of the last 70 years. And the Greens, whose candidate had won the presidency last year, came in at 3.8 percent, less than enough to qualify for parliamentary representation.