If you thought the Trumpcare bill in Congress was bad, well, Republicans are now trying to make Trumpcare, which is the proposed legal vehicle for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that provided millions of Americans with health insurance, a lot worse in order to appease members of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of far-right Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Republicans have, since Monday, made two major amendments to the original Trumpcare bill.
The first is the so-called “manager’s amendment”. What the manager’s amendment, if enacted, would end the popular and effective Medicaid expansion a lot sooner than the original bill would have, allows states to raid federal Medicaid funds and use them for purposes other than Medicaid, and makes the Medicaid funding cuts from the original bill a lot more severe, giving state governments, particularly those controlled by Republicans, an opportunity to deprive large numbers of people of health insurance. ThinkProgress, a left-leaning website, gave a more detailed description of the manager’s amendment here.
The second is the Meadows Amendment, named after U.S. Representative and House Freedom Caucus member Mark Meadows (R-NC). Among other things, the Meadows Amendment would allow private-sector health insurers to:
- deny health insurance to those with pre-existing medical conditions
- force women to pay more money for the same exact health insurance that men receive
- enact annual and/or lifetime limits on health care coverage
- force people to pay money out-of-pocket for vital preventative care, such as mammograms and vaccinations
It’s not hard to understand why most Americans don’t like Trumpcare.
Members of the University of Louisville’s Women’s Swimming and Diving team practiced swimming, rowing, and cycling moves at a Raleigh-Durham (NC) International Airport (RDU) moving walkway:
The video was originally uploaded to Facebook by Kelsi Worrell, a member of the University of Louisville Swim & Dive team.
The women’s swim & dive team at the University of Louisville is the most creative group of athletes that I’ve ever seen in my life. Instead of simply sitting around at an airport during a layover, they use a moving walkway to exercise and practice.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: The following blog post contains sexually suggestive and profane language. Reader discretion is advised.
Is THIS the real reason why House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) dropped out of the race for Speaker of the House of Representatives?:
Multiple sources within Bakersfield, North Carolina, & on Capitol Hill tell Gotnews.com that Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Renee Ellmers (R-NC) have been carrying on a long-running affair since 2011.
The affair is something of an open secret in Washington, D.C. Reporters at other publications, lobbyists, congressional staffers of both parties all know about it. One staffer for a congressman describes it as the “biggest open secret” in D.C. A lobbyist describes Ellmers as a “social climber who has ingratiated herself” with McCarthy.
House leadership also knows about the affair. Speaker John Boehner reportedly told McCarthy to stop the affair once McCarthy was elected Majority Leader says a well placed congressional staffer. At least one leadership staffer doesn’t think the affair ended. “They are unusually close,” says the staffer who insists that the affair is going on. “It’s weird if he’s not fucking her.”
Granted, it’s from a right-wing website citing unnamed sources, so it’s something that should be treated as merely allegations at this point. However, it has been alleged that Kevin McCarthy, who was the frontrunner for U.S. House Speaker until earlier today when he ended his campaign for speaker, and Renee Ellmers, a Republican congresswoman from North Carolina, have been involved in an extramarital affair with each other. McCarthy has a wife (Judy McCarthy, who is not an elected official to my knowledge) and two children, whereas Ellmers has a husband (Brent Ellmers, a surgeon who has never held elected office) and one child.
If you thought the Republican Party was in total disarray, wait until the mainstream media picks up on this story…
There is one simple reason why Hillary Clinton cannot defeat Scott Walker in next year’s general election for president: too many people have an opinion of Hillary.
If one were to look at page 50 of the latest polling data from Public Policy Polling (PPP) in North Carolina, a swing state that narrowly went for Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election, one will find that Scott Walker leads Hillary Clinton 47%-43% in a hypothetical general election matchup, with 10% of those unsure of who to vote for if the general election is between Hillary and Walker. However, of those who self-identify as Democrats, only 6% are unsure, whereas 9% of self-identified Republicans and 19% of independents (independents are a Republican-leaning group of voters in North Carolina) are unsure of who to support. To put that another way, most of the undecided voters in a Hillary vs. Walker matchup in North Carolina lean towards Walker, so it’s virtually impossible for Hillary to win North Carolina against Walker.
If one were to scroll down a page to page 51 of the polling data, one will find that Scott Walker leads Bernie Sanders 43%-35% in a hypothetical general election matchup in North Carolina, with 22% of those unsure of who to vote for if the general election is between Bernie and Walker. However, of those who are Democrats, 27% are unsure, compared to 12% of Republicans and 26% of independents. This means that Bernie is in a far better position to gain support in North Carolina than Hillary is, because there’s still a lot more people considering supporting Bernie in the general election should he win the Democratic nomination than those who are considering supporting Hillary should she win the Democratic nomination.
North Carolina isn’t necessarily a must-win state for Democrats in next year’s presidential election, but Democrats winning North Carolina would leave Republicans with very little chance of winning the presidential election. Should Scott Walker win the Republican presidential nomination, the only Democratic candidate who can defeat Walker in North Carolina is Bernie Sanders.
Thanks to a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision issued earlier today, same-sex couples across the entire United States of America can now enjoy the same legal right to marry that heterosexual couples have long enjoyed. To put it mildly, this is a huge victory for love and equality in America.
However, in 32 states, some, if not all, LGBT workers, can legally be fired simply because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity:
- In 21 states (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming), all workers can be fired on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
- In 3 states (Arizona, Missouri, and Montana), state employees cannot be fired on the basis of sexual orientation, but state employees can be fired on the basis of gender identity, and private-sector workers can be fired on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
- In 5 states (Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio), state employees cannot be fired on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity, but private-sector workers can be fired on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
- In 2 states (New Hampshire and Wisconsin), all workers cannot be fired on the basis of sexual orientation, but all workers can be fired on the basis of gender identity.
- In 1 state (New York), state employees cannot be fired on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity, and private-sector workers cannot be fired on the basis of sexual orientation, but private-sector workers can be fired on the basis of gender identity.
If the source I linked to above has inaccurate and/or outdated information, please leave a comment on this blog post with accurate information for a particular state.
While it is a huge victory for the LGBT movement to secure marriage equality in all 50 states, the fight for full equality for gays, lesbians, bisexual people, and transgender people is far from over. The next big fight in the LGBT rights movement should be to push for laws prohibiting public and private employers from firing people based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
I find it highly outrageous that 47 members of the United States Senate, all Republicans, signed a letter in a blatant attempt to undermine attempts at negotiating a deal with Iran to prevent them from developing nuclear weapons, apparently violating the federal Logan Act in signing the letter.
The 47 Senators who signed the Cotton Letter are as follows:
- Richard Shelby of Alabama
- Jeff Sessions of Alabama
- Dan Sullivan of Alaska
- John McCain of Arizona
- John Boozman of Arkansas
- Tom Cotton of Arkansas, the ringleader of the effort to undermine diplomacy with Iran
- Cory Gardner of Colorado
- Marco Rubio of Florida
- Johnny Isakson of Georgia
- David Perdue of Georgia
- Mike Crapo of Idaho
- Jim Risch of Idaho
- Mark Kirk of Illinois
- Chuck Grassley of Iowa
- Joni Ernst of Iowa
- Pat Roberts of Kansas
- Jerry Moran of Kansas
- Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate Majority Leader
- Rand Paul of Kentucky
- David Vitter of Louisiana
- Bill Cassidy of Louisiana
- Roger Wicker of Mississippi
- Roy Blunt of Missouri
- Steve Daines of Montana
- Deb Fischer of Nebraska
- Ben Sasse of Nebraska
- Dean Heller of Nevada
- Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire
- Richard Burr of North Carolina
- Thom Tillis of North Carolina
- John Hoeven of North Dakota
- Rob Portman of Ohio
- Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma
- James Lankford of Oklahoma
- Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
- Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
- Tim Scott of South Carolina
- John Thune of South Dakota
- Mike Rounds of South Dakota
- John Cornyn of Texas
- Ted Cruz of Texas
- Orrin Hatch of Utah, the Senate President Pro Tempore
- Mike Lee of Utah
- Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia
- Ron Johnson of Wisconsin
- Mike Enzi of Wyoming
- John Barrasso of Wyoming
All 47 of those individuals who I named are traitors to this country who are more interested in starting World War III by undermining the sitting President of the United States and allowing Iran to develop nuclear weapons that they could use to bomb the United States and our allies than doing anything that would actually be productive, such as fixing crumbling roads and bridges, making it easier for Americans to go to college, helping the private sector create more good-paying jobs, and so on.
Also, regarding the so-called “pro-Israel” lobby’s support for the Cotton Letter, the Cotton Letter puts Israel, as well as other U.S. allies and the U.S. itself, of even greater danger of an attack by Iranian forces, since the Cotton Letter is designed to undermine efforts to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons that could be used by Iran in an attack on the United States and its allies.
I’m calling for the U.S. Justice Department to bring up all 47 of the senators who signed the Cotton Letter on federal criminal charges for violating the Logan Act, which legally prohibits U.S. citizens who are not authorized diplomats from negotiating with a foreign government.
Cecile Richards, the daughter of former Democratic Texas Governor Ann Richards and the national head of the women’s health organization Planned Parenthood, praised Republican U.S. Senators-elect Cory Gardner (CO), Joni Ernst (IA) and Thom Tillis (NC) in a press release issued by the reproductive rights organization NARAL Pro-Choice America, despite the fact that Gardner, Ernst, and Tillis are all strongly opposed to reproductive rights:
“If you remember one thing about election night, it should be this: Far from women’s health and rights being a losing issue, it was an issue that helped both Democrats and Republicans win. That’s a huge shift,” said Cecile Richards, president, Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “Politicians like Cory Gardner, Thom Tillis and Joni Ernst won by moderating their positions on access to birth control and abortion. This data clearly shows that voters didn’t elect them to restrict women’s access to health care, and voters will hold them accountable to what they promised.”
Cory Gardner, Joni Ernst, and Thom Tillis did absolutely nothing to moderate their far-right opposition to reproductive rights. All three of them ran away from and/or outright lied about their opposition to allowing women to control their own health care decisions and their support for extreme anti-women’s rights measures like the Personhood Amendment. That’s not being moderate, that’s being afraid to admit their real anti-woman agenda, which would, among other things, result in more unsafe, backalley abortions and women being legally unable to obtain birth control.
What Cecile Richards said about Gardner, Ernst, and Tillis (doesn’t that sound like a shady law firm to you?) amounts to Richards giving political cover to Republicans by allowing them to lie about their medieval views on women’s issues and get away with it. What Richards said in that press release would make her mother roll over in her grave.