Health Care Re-write, He’s a Good Boy

To Your Health: The latest version of the Senate health care bill provides billions of dollars to hold down healthcare premiums while keeping two taxes on high earners that have supported Obamacare. It also keeps the deep cuts to Medicare.

Majority leader Mitch McConnell hopes this bill will appease the dissenters in his party. He’s short 10 votes and needs nine of them to change their minds.

The bill would give states $70 billion to hold down insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs. That’s in addition to $100 billion already proposed for that purpose.

The bill would convert open-ended Medicare to fixed payments to the states, which might mean millions of people would lose their insurance.

The bill would also allow insurers to offer policies that don’t meet the minimum standards set by Obamacare. This translates into policies that don’t cover the basics such as maternity, mental health, and addiction.

The success of this bill may hinge largely on the assessment of the Congressional Budget Office. How many people will lose their insurance? Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, currently one of the “no” votes, said in a radio interview, “I think failing to get this done would be really catastrophic.”

Who’s a Good Boy?: President Trump defended his son Donald, Jr yesterday during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, saying, “My son is a wonderful young man.” He went on, “He took a meeting with a Russian lawyer.  Not a government lawyer; a Russian lawyer.”

The younger Trump took the meeting with the understanding that the lawyer did represent the Russian government with information damaging to Hillary Clinton. Junior said no useful information was produced.

Admitting the nastiness of politics, the President said, ““I think from a practical standpoint, most people in politics would have taken that meeting.” Not all. Some would have called the FBI.

Frank Rich writes in New York magazine, that what the White House chief of staff described as the “nothing burger” of Donald Trump Jr’s meeting with a Russian lawyer is the “third rate burglary” of the Trump administration. Rich writes, “There will be no single smoking gun that will bring down this White House. It will be death by firing squad — or perhaps a sequence of firing squads — as the whole story inexorably pours out of the administration’s smoldering ruins,” Rich says, “The good news for those who want to see justice done is that this scandal not only resembles Watergate but also The Godfather — albeit a Godfather where every Corleone is a Fredo and not a single lawyer is as crafty as Tom Hagen.”

Murder x 4: A 20-year-old Pennsylvania man has admitted killing four young men who went missing last Friday, according to one of his lawyers. His lawyer, Paul Lang, said, “In exchange for that confession, Mr. DiNardo was promised by the district attorney that he will spare his life by not invoking the death penalty.”

Marched past reporters, the suspect, Cosmo DiNardo said simply, “I’m sorry.”

Investigators have found human remains in a 12 ½ foot deep common grave on DiNardo’s parents’ farm in rural Bucks County near the New Jersey border.

DiNardo, who is described as being mentally ill, has had about 30 previous run-ins with local police. He tried to sell the car of one of the victims for $500.

The Obit Page: Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize while he was in prison, has died of liver cancer at age 61.

Liu tried to protect student protesters from soldiers during what became the Tien an Men massacre in 1989. In 2009, he was sentenced to 11 years in prison for “inciting subversion of state power” after he helped write a petition calling for sweeping political reforms. He was not allowed leave from custody to get medical help out of the country.

Few Chinese know or will remember Liu. All references to him have been scrubbed from the Chinese internet.

What He Said: President Trump, on meeting Brigitte Macron, the 64-year-old wife of the French president, remarked, “You’re in such good shape. She’s in such good shape. Beautiful.”

He’s been in good form lately.

Wednesday night flying to France on Air Force One, Trump told reporters that he wants his border wall to have solar panels, and for it to be partially transparent. “As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them—they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It’s over.”


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Page Two

Jaw Meet Floor

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Small President

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Cuba Diaries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Alphabet of Maladies

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Healthcare Confusion Act

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Freedom from Speech

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Too Big to Fire

Friday, June 19, 2015

More Probable Than Not

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Been Said

" 'The enemy of the people,'" was what the president of the United States called the free press in 2017 ... It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase 'enemy of the people,' that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of 'annihilating such individuals' who disagreed with the supreme leader."
Arizona republican Sen. Jeff Flake speaking on the floor today.

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