President Obama’s statement on the GOP’s senate health care bill:
“The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill. It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else. Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums and higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover the costs, even as their plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care, or expensive prescriptions. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely.
Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm. And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.I hope our Senators ask themselves – what will happen to the Americans grappling with opioid addiction who suddenly lose their coverage? What will happen to pregnant mothers, children with disabilities, poor adults and seniors who need long-term care once they can no longer count on Medicaid? What will happen if you have a medical emergency when insurance companies are once again allowed to exclude the benefits you need, send you unlimited bills, or set unaffordable deductibles? What impossible choices will working parents be forced to make if their child’s cancer treatment costs them more than their life savings?
To put the American people through that pain – while giving billionaires and corporations a massive tax cut in return – that’s tough to fathom. But it’s what’s at stake right now. So it remains my fervent hope that we step back and try to deliver on what the American people need.”
Vanity Fair has more of Obama’s statement here.
Samantha Bee raises about $200,000 at Not the White House Dinner while roasting Trump, celebrating freedom of speech!
Once everyone filed in for the show, the mood was electric. Diners sat at round tables in front of the stage, while the majority of Bee’s audience sat above them, in stadium-style seats that wrapped around the pit. T-shirts were handed out each time Bee and her crew set up for the next segment, while “Great Moments for the Press and the Presidency” flashed on the monitors. At the end of the afternoon, Bee thanked her audience—”You were all unbelievable! I don’t think I’ve ever had more fun performing ever than I did tonight”—and noted that ticket sales for the event had raised roughly $200,000 for the Committee to Protect Journalists. More from Vanity Fair here.
How to Resist Trump’s Shock Doctrine. By Naomi Klein
“I noticed a brutal and recurring tactic by right wing governments. After a shocking event – a war, coup, terrorist attack, market crash or natural disaster – exploit the public’s disorientation. Suspend democracy. Push through radical “free market” policies that enrich the 1 percent at the expense of the poor and middle class.
The administration is creating chaos. Daily. Of course many of the scandals are the result of the president’s ignorance and blunders – not some nefarious strategy.
But there is also no doubt that some savvy people around Trump are using the daily shocks as cover to advance wildly pro-corporate policies that bear little resemblance to what Trump pledged on the campaign trail.
And the worst part? This is likely just the warm up.”
You must watch it here now.
Trump is already showing signs of trampolining on the Constitution. He wants to limit freedoms of the press and open up libel suits. By most accounts in his final White House briefing, press secretary Sean Spicer gave a briefing with the White House requirement that there be no audio or video recordings. At this point, one must ask where is the Trump administration headed when it now begins to insist that there be no recording of its official statements during press briefings.
Civil Rights Commission opening a 2-year probe into Trump administration citing president’s budget cuts to civil rights enforcement.
The federal watchdog group became concerned about the Trump administration after several agencies announced budget and personnel cuts in departments that oversee civil rights. The “proposed cuts would result in a dangerous reduction of civil rights enforcement across the country, leaving communities of color, LGBT people, older people, people with disabilities, and other marginalized groups exposed to greater risk of discrimination,” said the statement. More from NBC News here.
Trump’s blocking of Twitter users violates Constitutional rights!
A free-speech institute on Tuesday sent a letter to President Donald Trump demanding the prolific tweeter unblock certain Twitter users on grounds the practice violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Trump’s @realDonaldTrump account recently blocked a number of accounts that replied to his tweets with commentary that criticized, mocked or disagreed with his actions. Twitter users are unable to see or respond to tweets from accounts that block them. Read more from Reuters here.
Appellate Court Fourth Circuit denies Trump’s Muslim travel ban – view the full transcript here.
The full transcript of the US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upholding Trump’s Travel Ban. View it here online.