Sunday, February 19, 2017

Trump Family Trips Cost Taxpayers $11.3M in One Month - Almost as Much as Obama's Cost in a Year

Donald Trump and Melania Trump. (photo: WSJ)
Donald Trump and Melania Trump. (photo: WSJ)

By Peter Walker, The Independent

18 February 17
We told you the man is not only a pussygrabber, but also a liar:
Jaunts to estate in Mar-a-Lago, and secret service charges for his son's business trips across the globe, are costing American taxpayers
onald Trump’s family’s trips have cost taxpayers nearly as much in a month as Barack Obama’s cost in an entire year.

The US President’s three visits to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida since his presidential inauguration, combined with his sons’ business trips, reportedly cost $11.3m (£9.1m).

Conservative watchdog Judicial Watch estimated Mr Obama’s travel expenses totalled an average $12.1m in each of his eight years in the White House.

“This is an expensive way to conduct business, and the President should recognise that,” said Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton, speaking to the Washington Post.

“The unique thing about President Trump is that he knows what it costs to run a plane. 

“Going down [to Mar-a-Lago] ain’t free.”

The three Mar-a-Lago trips in Palm Beach cost the federal treasury around $10m, based on figures used in an October government report analysing White House travel.

This includes cash for coast guards to patrol the exposed shoreline.

Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw also says it has cost local taxpayers $360,000 in police overtime for his three weekends in Florida since 20 January.

The Post also revealed it cost $88,320 to put secret service agents up in a hotel while son Eric Trump visited Uruguay to promote a Trump-brand condo tower.

Records show it cost $5,470 to put up secret service officials at the AlSol Del Mar hotel in the Dominican Republic, as they scoped out the area, ahead of a similar visit by Eric Trump.

The same records show more than $16,000 has been spent on secret service hotel bills for his two sons’ visit for a grand opening of a Trump-brand golf resort in Dubai.

The 70-year-old leader of the free world repeatedly criticised Mr Obama for his taxpayer-funded travel during his tenure.

He tweeted in January 2012: “President @BarackObama’s vacation is costing taxpayers millions of dollars----Unbelievable!” 

The Independent has contacted Mr Trump's communications director for comment.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

In unprecedented public letter, health professionals warn of Trump's 'grave emotional instability'

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA - SEPTEMBER 06:  Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump pauses during a campaign event September 6, 2016 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Trump participated in a discussion with retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Donald Trump careened his way through a rambling tangential diatribe of a press conference Thursday that left congressional Republicans and Democrats alike with their "jaws on the floor." Trump’s unhinged display underscored a letter published in the New York Times Tuesday and signed by 35 physicians and mental health professionals who broke with long-held ethics standards to address Trump's "grave emotional instability." They wrote:
Mr. Trump’s speech and actions demonstrate an inability to tolerate views different from his own, leading to rage reactions. His words and behavior suggest a profound inability to empathize. Individuals with these traits distort reality to suit their psychological state, attacking facts and those who convey them (journalists, scientists).
In a powerful leader, these attacks are likely to increase, as his personal myth of greatness appears to be confirmed. We believe that the grave emotional instability indicated by Mr. Trump’s speech and actions makes him incapable of serving safely as president.
The letter’s lead signatories were Lance Dodes, a retired assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and Joseph Schachter, former chair of the Committee on Research Proposals for the International Psychoanalytic Association.

They noted that they finally broke their "self-imposed" silence because it had "resulted in a failure to lend our expertise to worried journalists and members of Congress at this critical time."
We fear that too much is at stake to be silent any longer.
As I have noted before, public discussion of Trump's mental health has been mostly taboo, but the dam is beginning to break.

Last week, columnist Andrew Sullivan finally broached the topic in the mainstream media, saying:
I know we’re not supposed to bring this up — but it is staring us brutally in the face. I keep asking myself this simple question: If you came across someone in your everyday life who repeatedly said fantastically and demonstrably untrue things, what would you think of him?
On Sunday, Democratic Sen. Al Franken told CNN that "a few" of his Republican counterparts have expressed doubts about Trump's state of mind. This follows on an observation several weeks ago from veteran journalist Carl Bernstein that Republicans had been openly discussing Trump's "emotional maturity, stability."

Now the question becomes, just how long can Republicans continue to look the other way?

Friday, February 17, 2017

"President Trump is flailing like a man who fears he’s about to go under..."

US President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference on February 16, 2017, at the White House in Washington, DC..Trump announced Alexander Acosta as his new nominee to head the US Department of Labor, after his first choice, Andrew Puzder, withdrew from consideration on February 15. / AFP / Nicholas Kamm        (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
appalling levels of dysfunction in the White House that make self-inflicted wounds the rule rather than the exception.
Even appealing to the base and doing a campaign style rally in Florida will not, according to Robinson, make the problems go away.

Robinson notes, in the aftermath of today’s press conference,

It is unclear whether Trump is trying to fool the nation or fool himself.
He spends a good deal of time taking apart a tweet about the Democrats losing so badly that they had to come up with a fake story about Russia.   It is hard to parse or summarize that part of the column, which is fairly tightly constructed.  It is worth observing as does Robinson that the tweet ended with Trump’s favorite phrase “Fake news!” and yet that is contradicted by the complaint about low-life leakers in the intelligence community, to which Robinson notes

Not even a president can have it both ways.
That is, it cannot be both fake news and a leak of classified intelligence information.

It is worth noting that Trump was actually asked about this at the presser and did not handle it particularly skillful, even though it — like the question about his misstatements about the largest electoral margin since Reagan — were things for which he should have been prepared.  But then, Trump likes to wing it because he thinks he is smarter than those questioning him, and/or that he can use those questions and his response as a way to appeal to his base in attacking and belittling the media.

Further, Robinson goes further with the Russia story, a section of the column which ends thus:

The FBI is already probing reported contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence officials. We must, and I believe will, learn the truth.
This sort of crisis would test any White House. Based on its performance so far, it may drown Trump’s.
Robinson then goes through the apparent lack of real organization within Trump’s inner circle, managing along the way to mention a number of key figures and the conflicts, the fact that the administration still lacks a communications director, and then ends this section:

Among Trump’s inner circle, only senior adviser Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, seems to be having a relatively positive impact. Yes, this administration has reduced me to applauding nepotism.
Think about that for a minute.

Take a deep breath.

The column is not yet done.

Robinson then turns to the scene on the patio at Mar-A-Lago with the cell phones serving as illumination for reading documents in the aftermath of the Korean missile test.

After that, Robinson closes with two paragraphs, each with two sentences.

Here’s the first:

Trump said Thursday that his administration was running like “a fine-tuned machine.” A crash-test simulator, perhaps?
My only criticism of the question Robinson offers is that a simulator does no actual damage and provides potentially valuable information.  This is actually much worse.

Robinson concludes:

I guess things could be worse. Don’t ask me how.
Unfortunately, even as bad as what we saw today in the press conference, after which Joe Scarborough tweeted:

I do not think we have come close to the worst we are going to see, and experience.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Care for the old should be a right, not a privilege

My hope is that our twenty-nine year personal story, presented in two week intervals, about early onset dementia and neurosis will help others to understand the consequences of health care politics.  Part 1 described the influence of the author’s childhood.  Part 2 was about our moral dilemma and finding care facilities.  Part 3 considered secrecy within the industry.  Part 4 describes our experiences with the court.  Part 5 will be about our encounter with lawyers.    
Myths of Arizona Long Term Eldercare, Part 4

By George Templeton
Gazette Columnist
Home Again
It is difficult to distinguish between won’t and can’t.  We were frustrated by Sis’s feeling that she could not change the channel on the TV set without our help.  A person who will not try is certain to fail, but ALTCS considers only can’t.  They don’t understand that personality traits are permanent.  They only adjust in response to the situation. 
We toured all the homes in town in the two days that we had been allotted.  The emotional strain on caretakers far exceeds the physical demands of their jobs.  Our loved one’s anxiety, fear of men, and reclusiveness meant that she could not be expected to join in as a sharing communal member.  If she didn’t fit, we would be asked to take her out.  Most refused to take Sis because of her weight and crippled condition.  The only place in town that would accept Sis was an expensive skilled nursing facility.  But our family member could not tolerate a busy environment lacking privacy.  She would have to be drugged!
We changed our residence to the big city where there were more choices and took the ward into our home for a year.  The problem now was that venue was up to the original court.  If a lawyer had to appear before the judge, travel would cost thousands of dollars that the ward’s estate did not have.  If the judge ordered the venue to be changed to Maricopa County, a ward’s attorney, at added expense, in addition to the family conservator’s lawyer, would be required.  Past history and the fact that we were the only family did not matter.  The law takes priority and authority over blood relationships.  Whenever a loved one is mentally incompetent, they must have an additional independent lawyer because they don’t understand that they don’t need one.  Our ward’s money would remain with the court.  Now we would have to find a lawyer to get her funds released.
It’s the Law
Lawyer number three was afraid of the judge.  He refused to take our case, claiming “I have to appear before that judge”.  When we tried to discuss the medical situation we were told not to go there.  It was not relevant.  When we mentioned that my wife was intimidated by the court proceeding, he lectured us on court decorum, as though my wife had said something that the judge would not like.  He would not give us the name of any other lawyer who might take our case.  He was not on our side.
Lawyer number four agreed to argue our case before the judge, but the conservatorship papers had mentioned the restricted account that we wanted released.  We would have to go through the entire conservatorship process again and pay the price because of two words “restricted account” on the original document.  We had entered the world of official forms that only lawyers have and the cycle of bureaucratic delays resulting from their use.
Added time delays caused us to lose care facility openings that could have been ideal for Sis.  Our home was not designed like a nursing facility.  There were falling risks and we did not know how to care for Sis.  This tied our hands and confounded our attempts to secure an opening for our ward.
Government is here to help you.
The state refused to communicate with us.  We asked how long it took to roll onto ALTCS and their reply was six months.  In skilled nursing, that would add up to more than fifty thousand dollars.  When we asked why it took so long, their reply was that they did not have enough lawyers.  It seemed ironic that a social support network for the poor was so sewed up in costly legal proceedings.  Care for the old, which should be a right instead of a privilege, had become monetized and in the service of those who could play the game.  The problem is:  How can you secure care for your loved one when they have to be broke?  The funding that you need has to be unreachable.  There are two ways of planning to be broke, but both have drawbacks and expenses that somebody has to pay.
Mathematics can’t calculate what happens to money given to a lawyer without definition.  It is certainly out of reach.  The amount of a gift may not be sufficient to pay the care center through the ALTCS bureaucratic delay interval.
Web sources caution to beware of a lawyer’s trust that comingles funds, making it difficult to understand their disposition.  ALTCS does not like gifts and imposes a time penalty when one is used to make a ward broke.  The length of the delay equals the amount of the gift divided by the official skilled nursing rate for your locality (roughly $6649 per month).  If something bad happens during the penalty duration, you are on your own.  Your ward has to be broke before ALTCS will talk to you.  The positive thing about the lawyer’s trust is that it shows the assisted living facility that money for them is secure. 
Invoicing Ahead of Time 
Another way to handle the roll onto ALTCS is to prepay two months’ rent thus making the ward broke ahead of time.  That is the time quoted by ALTCS to begin payment following qualification, but it could be and has been much longer.  It avoids the gifting penalty.  However, care facilities are not always willing to do this.  They will not accept the risk of someone pending ALTCS.  Something unforeseen could happen during the early payment period and sometimes ALTCS takes longer to start paying.  They will evict your ward if you do not pay promptly even though ALTCS pays retroactively to the time of qualification.  The assisted living center will accept your personal payment.  They will explain they refund nothing.  It would inconvenience their rigid bureaucracy.
City Life
Our change of residence to the big city gave us more choices.   We were able to locate an assisted living center that was conveniently located.  It targeted a less wealthy cliental and it was customer driven.  Their highly motivated employees were proud of their humanitarian ethic.   They cared about us and their residents.  If we stayed there for one year or more they would accept the negotiated ALTCS rate without requiring us to personally supplement the ALTCS rate.  It was negotiated for each case by the care facility and was confidential.
Each person is different.  Each assisted living facility is different.  ALTCS allegedly would allow the ward to stay in a semi-private room, but that depends on the unique situation involving the confidential living center operating expense, desired profit margin, and conservatee income.  You won’t be part of the negotiation.  There is no way to put it in writing, because the state is absent and the situation is undefined until it happens.  Care centers will not accept any risk.  They often require a residency time of one year or more before they will be willing to accept ALTCS.  That benefit is a marketing perk instead of a reality.
You are at the mercy of a business plan, management changes, government policy, and paying the unknown difference between the private room rate and what ALTCS will subsidize.
A New Owner Again
The center was sold a year later.  The new owners believed in top-down micromanagement instead of bottom up customer service.  They had software that would catalyze their executive competence.  The old crew left.
The new owner implemented a care assessment that measured our resident to 0.01 points out of 2000 and charged accordingly.  The number of categories more than doubled.  They were different from those used by the previous management.  But nothing can be classified without clear definitions of the boxes it will be put in.
Each category on the new assessment had a different time standard, so it was not possible to document the amount of time spent in care.  Furthermore, the people performing the care were not defined and there was no revised resident service plan.  Subjective measures, like “manage and monitor” ruled the assessment.  Prices were raised and services, like laundry, became extra cost options.  The corporation’s lawyers set a time limit on our approval of their care assessment and they indicated that if we did not sign, they would charge for their services anyway.
Our family was not notified of any change in medical status or overt behaviors.  The new assessment portrayed our resident as dramatically different, with more than half of the points score attributed to a problem that did not even appear previously.  My analysis used a pie chart to contrast the assessments.  Because all the categories had changed, it was the only way to make any comparison.  The new assessment did not encompass and explain the old.  The old assessment did not predict the new one.
Precise measurement of a resident also carries with it the notion of unambiguous independent variables.  They should not interact and overlap with each other.  When they do, there is multiple counting that raises points. 
For example, you will pay a fee for management and administering medications that are effectively controlling a problem.  Our resident had been taking them since 1998 and there was no further action required.  Management and monitoring added additional points on top of those charged for overseeing medications.  If you take a pill, there will be additional points and charges even though the pill controls the problem and no one is doing anything special or different.  More points meant that care costs would escalate far beyond the already increased costs that were not part of our original ALTCS strategy.  It was our plan based on our charge’s remaining wealth.  It was never acknowledged by the care facility or by our lawyer.
The new management explained to us that our family member needed to be sicker, and more expensive to care for, if the ALTCS medical qualification was to pass.  They were the opposite of care centers that would help you through the ALTCS process.  They pointed out that a caregiver would not be present when the ALTCS exam was conducted, but by now the caregivers were the only ones with immediate personal knowledge of our dependent’s condition.  Did they really want us to succeed in qualifying Sis for state support? 
Unlike her first care facility, the new one would continue to accept ALTCS residents.  To qualify for ALTCS, your care receiver has to be broke, but the new management would not accept the ALTCS pay rate.  Government has increased regulations, paper work, and reduced its funding in recent years.  Guess where the extra money would have to come from.  How much would it be?  Nobody knows, because that depends on business secrecy, the details of the particular patient, and the case manager.  We would be only an ancillary factor.  Sis would continue to decline in health, posing an ever increasing need for care and a financial risk to us.  It was clear that the new management was not on our side.  It was time to look for another situation.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What Did @realDonaldTrump Know About Russia and When Did Donald Trump Know It?

Donald Trump in the Oval Office with Mike Flynn. (photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Donald Trump in the Oval Office with Mike Flynn. (photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Flynn's resignation just the beginning of big trouble for Trump

By Robert Mackey, The Intercept
14 February 17
wo important questions remain unanswered following the late-night resignation of Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn: What did the president know and when did he know it?

Flynn stepped down on Monday night, days after nine current and former U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials told the Washington Post that there was proof — in the form of intercepted phone calls — that he had lied to the public and to Vice President Mike Pence when he said that he had not discussed new sanctions imposed on Russia for election-related hacking in five conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on December 29 .

But Flynn’s claim in his resignation letter — that he had “inadvertently briefed the vice president-elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador” — made no mention of what Trump, at that time the president-elect, knew of the calls.

Looking back at one of Trump’s own tweets, which he posted on December 30 — the day after Flynn secretly urged Russia not to respond to the Obama administration’s new sanctions — makes it hard not to wonder if he knew about his aide’s effort to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin to delay.

Putin’s decision not to respond to the new sanctions reportedly surprised intelligence officials and led them to look more closely at their surveillance of the Russian ambassador’s communications, including his intercepted talks with Flynn. But Trump’s tweet suggests that it might not have surprised him.

Another new revelation — that Trump’s White House was warned late last month by Sally Yates, then the acting attorney general, that Flynn had lied about the content of his talks with the Russian ambassador — seems to suggest that Trump was feigning surprise on Friday when he was asked about reports that his aide had talked about sanctions.

In an appearance on Good Morning America on Tuesday, Kellyanne Conway made it clear that the White House did not want to answer questions about when Trump knew that Flynn had discussed sanctions with the Russians.

“The fact is, I can’t reveal what the White House knew or didn’t know, and who in the White House did or didn’t know,” Conway said.

Following Flynn’s resignation, demands for answers as to who authorized his outreach to the Russians came from senior Democrats in Congress, including Reps. Adam Schiff of the House Intelligence Committee, John Conyers Jr. of the House Judiciary Committee, and Elijah Cummings of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

“We in Congress need to know who authorized his actions, permitted them and continued to let him have access to our most sensitive national security information despite knowing these risks,” Conyers and Cummings said in a statement. “We need to know who else within the White House is a current and ongoing risk to our national security.”

While the Republicans who run those committees seem to have little interest in investigating Trump’s White House, Flynn could soon be compelled to testify under oath about who knew of his contacts with Russia by other Republican senators who are investigating Russian efforts to help Trump’s campaign, including Marco Rubio, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham.

“Gen. Flynn’s resignation is a troubling indication of the dysfunction of the current national security apparatus,” McCain said in a statement on Tuesday morning.

Elizabeth Warren and Ron Wyden, a Democratic member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, also called for more answers from the White House.

“The resignation of Michael Flynn, while necessary and appropriate, must not be the end of tough questions about Trump associates’ ties to Russia,” Wyden said.

Kurt Bardella, a former spokesman for the Republican-led House oversight committee, also criticized the current panel for failing to do its job.

For his part, Trump’s only public comment on the matter was an attempt to divert attention away from the question of whether he had directed his aide to conduct diplomacy with Russia before he was sworn in — to his annoyance at the fact that evidence of Flynn’s lie had been made public.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Thousands March Against Trump in Mexico City: 'Pay for Your Own Wall!'

Demonstrators march along Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City protesting the immigration and trade policies of President Trump, February 12, 2017. (photo: Liliana Nieto del Rio/LA Times)
Demonstrators march along Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City protesting the immigration and trade policies of President Trump, February 12, 2017. (photo: Liliana Nieto del Rio/LA Times)

“We are not against the American people. This is about Trump, who is spreading hate and division.”

By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
14 February 17
housands of demonstrators waving Mexican flags and hoisting signs denouncing President Trump marched through central Mexico City on Sunday, the largest mobilization so far here against what many label an anti-Mexican administration in the White House.

“We are not against the American people. This is about Trump, who is spreading hate and division,” said Maria Garcia, a former resident of Chicago who carried an unflattering, papier-mache likeness of the U.S. president as she marched through the Mexican capital.

“The United States and Mexico are natural friends and allies, but Trump is destroying this,” added Garcia, who later publicly burned the Trump effigy.

More than 20,000 people attended the march, according to an official city estimate.

The turnout was relatively modest in a city that regularly hosts massive demonstrations.

Organizers dubbed the event “Vibra Mexico” (roughly, Mexican vibe), and mounted an aggressive social media campaign encouraging people to attend.

While Trump was the main target, many participants also carried signs and chanted slogans against Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Coordinated protest marches also took place Sunday in other Mexican cities, including Tijuana, Monterrey, Merida and Morelia.

Protesters in Mexico City hoisted signs declaring, “Respect Mexico” and “We are all Mexico” as they marched down Paseo de la Reforma, the capital’s elegant, tree-lined main street.

Police turned out in force to maintain security, and a helicopter hovered overhead, but no violence was reported.

The march stretched about a mile and a half to the Angel of Independence, a landmark that is a common site of protests.

The turnout and emotion were indicative of the widespread indignation that Trump’s various policies on immigration and trade — widely viewed here as anti-Mexican — have sparked south of the border.

“Trump, pay for your own wall!” declared one sign in English, a reference to the president’s plan to build a new barrier along the almost 2,000-mile frontier between the two nations.

The proposal has been a flashpoint of criticism here. The Mexican government has rebuffed Trump’s insistence that Mexico would pay for the wall.

Miguel Posternak, 58, carried a sign in English denouncing Trump’s comments during the presidential campaign disparaging Mexican nationals in the United States.

“Undocumented Mexican immigrants are not criminals or rapists,” the sign read. “They are hardworking, friendly people. Just ask any American employer and you’ll see.”

Another sign declared: “Thanks, Trump, for uniting us.”

Along with the wall, Trump’s plans to step up deportations, slap a tariff on products imported to the United States and renegotiate trade deals have all raised ire in Mexico and raised fears of an economic collapse. The Mexican peso has been steadily declining in value against the U.S. dollar since Trump began rising in U.S. electoral polls late last year.

Peña Nieto, who did not attend the march, has spoken repeatedly of “unity” in recent days. He and other Mexican leaders have vowed to help deported compatriots returning to Mexico and to bolster aid for Mexican immigrants in the United States.

But there is little Mexican officials can do to curb Trump’s plans to build a wall and accelerate deportations.

While Trump was widely assailed, many protesters made the point that their gripe was not with the citizens of the United States.

“I admire the American people very much,” said Antonio Aguilera, 65, who carried a sign assailing both Trump and the Mexican president. “The problem in Mexico is that our leaders have robbed so much that we now have little left to fight back against Trump and his policies.”

Monday, February 13, 2017

Elizabeth Warren Won't Be Silenced - and Neither Will American Women

Elizabeth Warren. (photo: Michael Dwyer/AP)
Elizabeth Warren. (photo: Michael Dwyer/AP)
By Jessica Valenti, Guardian UK
08 February 17
“She was warned.  She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”
Mitch McConnell
enate Republicans seem to be under the mistaken impression that having elected a notorious misogynist as president means that they can stifle women’s voices without anyone noticing or caring.

That’s the only explanation I can muster for why they thought that it was acceptable – or strategically sound – to silence Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday night during a debate over Jeff Sessions’ nomination as attorney general. Republicans really must have thought it was in their best interest. They really must not be paying attention.

After claiming that Warren broke Senate rules by reading from a 30-year-old letter from Coretta Scott King opposing Sessions for a federal judgeship, majority leader Mitch McConnell said: “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

It’s a familiar refrain for most women – we’ve all had men try to shut us down and get frustrated when we dared to “persist”. So it should come as no surprise that Wednesday morning, #LetLizSpeak, #ShePersists and Silencing Elizabeth Warren were all trending on Twitter.

In the wake of Hillary Clinton’s loss and the massive Women’s Marches across the country, American women simply won’t stand for Republicans trying to shut us up.

What was especially loathsome about the Republican’s move was that they didn’t just silence Warren – they silenced Coretta Scott King, activist and widow of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. During Black History Month, no less. 

As writer Broderick Greer tweeted out: “Tonight we saw that folk will go to great lengths to silence black women, even after they’ve died.” Donna Brazile, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said: “It’s a sad day in America when the words of Martin Luther King Jr’s widow are not allowed on the floor of the United States Senate.”

Especially when those words are so pertinent to the issue at hand: Sessions’ suitability for the position of US attorney general. This is a man who was denied a federal judgeship amid accusations of racism; a man who, according to a former colleague, called organizations like the ACLU and NAACP “un-American”; a man who also reportedly referred to a black man as “boy”, an allegation he denies.

In a recent letter signed by more than 400 human rights organizations opposing Sessions’ nomination, the Leadership Conference on Human Rights wrote: “Senator Sessions has a 30-year record of racial insensitivity, bias against immigrants, disregard for the rule of law and hostility to the protection of civil rights.”

While these may be uncomfortable truths for Republicans to hear, they don’t get to stick their fingers in their ears or drown out the words of women who have real and substantive criticisms of Sessions. (And if you think this isn’t about women, consider that Senator Jeff Merkley read from the same letter later Tuesday night and was allowed to finish without interruption.)

After being silenced, Warren took to Facebook Live to read the letter instead; at last check it’s been watched more than 6m times. The censure by Republicans only served to shine a spotlight on Warren, and Scott King’s, message. It was a reminder that no matter what Trump does, no matter what measures Republicans make take – women will persist.