Blizzard Hits the East, 24 Million to Lose
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Vol. 6, No. 66
Blizzard: Much of the East Coast is blanketed with snow as a blizzard stretches all the way from Washington DC to Maine and north to Montreal. A blizzard warning is in effect for eight states.
As many as 80 million people are in snow country this morning. The National Weather Service’s office near Philadelphia called the storm “life-threatening” and warned people to “shelter in place.”
The streets are also covered with local news reporters keeping you up to date.
Up to two feet of snow is expected in some areas, affecting both train and air travel. More than 5,000 flights have been cancelled. Amtrak curtailed its service and New York’s Metro North train service is closing at noon.
Snow is expected to keep falling into tonight.
To Your Health: Twenty-four million Americans would lose their health insurance within 10 years under the proposed Republican healthcare reform bill while saving the government $337 billion, according to an evaluation by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
Much of the savings to the government would come from phasing out expanded Medicaid, which has insured about 14.5 million people. The bill also would reduce subsidies for poorer and older Americans, while cutting taxes for the wealthiest. It also eliminates the penalty for not buying insurance.
The report is in direct conflict with President Trump’s promise to bring health insurance to everyone. He said yesterday, “You’ll see rates go down, down, down, and you’ll see plans go up, up, up.” He said, “It will be a thing of beauty.”
Republican leaders were quick to cast doubt on the CBO report, and actually started before it was announced. “If the CBO was right about Obamacare to begin with, there’d be 8 million more people on Obamacare today than there actually are,” Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, said Sunday on ABC.
The CBO’s job is to make projections of income and deficits, and to evaluate the potential cost of legislation. They don’t always hit the nail on the head, but historically their record is pretty good.
What He Meant: The Department of Justice missed yesterday’s deadline to produce evidence of President Trump’s claim that President Obama ordered his phones to be tapped. The DOJ said it needs more time.
Neither the press nor some members of Congress are letting this slide.
Trump’s official explainers have begun prevaricating about his Twitter claim about Obama. Neither Trump nor his front people have offered proof of the claim made in three sequential tweets.
Seizing on Trump’s use of quotes marks in his reference to “wire tapping,” spokesman Sean Spicer said at yesterday’s briefing that “The president was very clear in his tweet that it was, you know, ‘wiretapping,’” Spicer said, putting up his fingers in the gesture of quote marks. “That spans a whole host of surveillance types of options.” Fine, if you say so. But in Trump’s final tweet on the subject he said, “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process.” Pretty clear.
Change Order: President Trump yesterday signed an order commanding every government department to examine where it can reorganize and save money. “Today there is duplication and redundancy everywhere,” Trump said. “Billions and billions of dollars are being wasted on activities that are not delivering results for hardworking American taxpayers, and not even coming close.
The Obit Page: Amy Krouse Rosenthal, a children’s book author, and memoirist who only days from her death published an article in the NY Timestitled “You May Want to Marry My Husband,” died yesterday at home in Chicago at age 51. She had ovarian cancer.
After 26 years of marriage, Rosenthal wrote what amounted to an advertisement for her soon-to-be widowed husband. She wanted him to have love again. “Here is the kind of man Jason is: He showed up at our first pregnancy ultrasound with flowers. This is a man who, because he is always up early, surprises me every Sunday morning by making some kind of oddball smiley face out of items near the coffeepot: a spoon, a mug, a banana.”