Our politics are divided. They have been for a long time. And while I know that division makes it difficult to listen to Americans with whom we disagree, that’s what we need to do today.
I recognize that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has become a core tenet of the Republican Party. Still, I hope that our Senators, many of whom I know well, step back and measure what’s really at stake, and consider that the rationale for action, on health care or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did.
We didn’t fight for the Affordable Care Act for more than a year in the public square for any personal or political gain – we fought for it because we knew it would save lives, prevent financial misery, and ultimately set this country we love on a better, healthier course.
Nor did we fight for it alone. Thousands upon thousands of Americans, including Republicans, threw themselves into that collective effort, not for political reasons, but for intensely personal ones – a sick child, a parent lost to cancer, the memory of medical bills that threatened to derail their dreams.
And you made a difference. For the first time, more than ninety percent of Americans know the security of health insurance. Health care costs, while still rising, have been rising at the slowest pace in fifty years. Women can’t be charged more for their insurance, young adults can stay on their parents’ plan until they turn 26, contraceptive care and preventive care are now free. Paying more, or being denied insurance altogether due to a preexisting condition – we made that a thing of the past.
We did these things together. So many of you made that change possible.
At the same time, I was careful to say again and again that while the Affordable Care Act represented a significant step forward for America, it was not perfect, nor could it be the end of our efforts – and that if Republicans could put together a plan that is demonstrably better than the improvements we made to our health care system, that covers as many people at less cost, I would gladly and publicly support it.
That remains true. So I still hope that there are enough Republicans in Congress who remember that public service is not about sport or notching a political win, that there’s a reason we all chose to serve in the first place, and that hopefully, it’s to make people’s lives better, not worse.
But right now, after eight years, the legislation rushed through the House and the Senate without public hearings or debate would do the opposite. It would raise costs, reduce coverage, roll back protections, and ruin Medicaid as we know it. That’s not my opinion, but rather the conclusion of all objective analyses, from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which found that 23 million Americans would lose insurance, to America’s doctors, nurses, and hospitals on the front lines of our health care system.
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.
That might take some time and compromise between Democrats and Republicans. But I believe that’s what people want to see. I believe it would demonstrate the kind of leadership that appeals to Americans across party lines. And I believe that it’s possible – if you are willing to make a difference again. If you’re willing to call your members of Congress. If you are willing to visit their offices. If you are willing to speak out, let them and the country know, in very real terms, what this means for you and your family.
After all, this debate has always been about something bigger than politics. It’s about the character of our country – who we are, and who we aspire to be. And that’s always worth fighting for.
A comprehensive and cogent statement, grammatically correct and more than 140 characters. And when I read it, I can hear his voice.
Those were the days.
As we spend each day reeling from the latest assault on democratic decency by the early onset Alzheimer’s Crimson Bratman, Crooks and Liars asks us to step back and remember the scandal seering through the blackened hearts and space for rent head cavities of the typical viewer of Fox News.
And, today, if you ask rancid, rabid Fox viewer who’s the better president, they’ll pick the Man of Tweet every time.
That’s how divorced from reality the pump truppets are. And we’re supposed to consider their point of view?
It’s like taking a date to a fancy restaurant, and you want to order a nice steak, but your date wants anthrax and tire irons.
With Grey Poupon.
This is why he needed to knock Hillary Clinton out of the presidency and why he’s keeping his little pony in check:
U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday intensified his accusations that NATO allies were not spending enough on defense and warned of more attacks like this week’s Manchester bombing unless the alliance did more to stop militants.
In unexpectedly abrupt remarks as NATO leaders stood alongside him, Trump said certain member countries owed “massive amounts of money” to the United States and NATO — even though allied contributions are voluntary, with multiple budgets.
His scripted comments contrasted with NATO’s choreographed efforts to play up the West’s unity by inviting Trump to unveil a memorial to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States at the new NATO headquarters building in Brussels.
“Terrorism must be stopped in its tracks, or the horror you saw in Manchester and so many other places will continue forever,” Trump said, referring to Monday’s suicide bombing in the English city that killed 22 people, including children.
“These grave security concerns are the same reason that I have been very, very direct … in saying that NATO members must finally contribute their fair share,” Trump said.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg defended Trump, saying that although he was “blunt” he had “a very plain and clear message on the expectations” of allies.
But one senior diplomat said Trump, who left the leaders’ dinner before it ended to fly to Italy for Friday’s Group of Seven summit, said the remarks did not go down well at all.
“This was not the right place or time,” the diplomat said of the very public harangue. “We are left with nothing else but trying to put a brave face on it.”
In another unexpected twist, Trump called on NATO, an organization founded on collective defense against the Soviet threat, to include limiting immigration in its tasks.
And Trump did say that the United States “will never forsake the friends who stood by our side” but NATO leaders had hoped he would more explicitly support the mutual defense rules of a military alliance’s he called “obsolete” during his campaign.
Instead, he returned to a grievance about Europe’s drop in defense spending since the end of the Cold War and failed to publicly commit to NATO’s founding Article V rule which stipulates that an attack on one ally is an attack against all.
“Twenty-three of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying for their defense,” Trump said, standing by a piece of the wreckage of the Twin Towers.
“This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States, and many of these nations owe massive amounts of money from past years,” Trump said as the other leaders watched.
Nicholas Burns, a former long-time diplomat and ambassador to NATO from 2001-2005, now a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, said every U.S. president since Harry Truman had pledged support for Article V and that the United States would defend Europe.
You undermine NATO, you give Putin more power.
Thanks, pump truppets.
The inspiring light to pump truppets everywhere said this:
I mean had Andrew Jackson been a little later you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart. He was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to he Civil War, he said “There’s no reason for this.” People don’t realize you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?
There are many things wrong with this but let’s focus on one part by quoting the liberal bias of history:
Look at when Andrew Jackson died, and look at when the Civil War began.
This is what you did in middle school when you didn’t study the chapters on Andrew Jackson or the Civil War in history class and the teacher hit you with a pop quiz. Unless, of course, the ghost of Andrew Jackson showed up in the White House and told Abe Lincoln, “There’s no reason for this!”
Did anyone know? Uh, yeah. This was also on the pop quiz.
Ok, fuck it, We’ve failed the quiz.
Or click here, and read this. It’s a doozy! (One highlight: Did you know the orange menace gave the greatest speech ever delivered on the floor of the House of Representatives?)
(An aide talks about the president’s address to Congress.)
TRUMP: A lot of the people have said that, some people said it was the single best speech ever made in that chamber.
In Lugenorange land, Daniel Webster ain’t shit!
What in your bunny basket today? Because you shouldn’t expect anything from the lying orange’s White House this year. Consider this from February:
Look out, Easter Bunny. You may be next.
President Trump hasn’t embraced many of Washington’s traditions. No Alfalfa Club dinner; no White House Correspondents’ Association dinner; no active first lady; no visits to D.C. schools, businesses or restaurants (except the one in his hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue); no trips to Camp David; and very few weekends even spent in Washington.
And the largest annual public event at the White House — the Easter Egg Roll — is still a big mystery.
The logistics that go into security, crowd control, activities and invitations for something this size are insane. Last year, 35,000 parents and children attended. Yet, no one has heard that any of the work is being done on this year’s event with only seven weeks to go.
A website that is not associated with the White House but is obsessed with the Easter Egg roll posted that the roll is set to be held on April 17 and promised that details will soon follow. But go to the official White House website and you get “no results” when you ask about anything Easter-related. And my efforts to reach anyone at the White House about it were unsuccessful.
Parents here in the nation’s capital and around the country keep checking. It’s kinda like waiting to get concert tickets. Only no one’s sure there’s going to even be a concert.
And this is driving parents crazy. February is the season for summer camp planning and entering the Easter Egg Roll lottery. Doesn’t the White House know this? The Trumps have a 10-year-old, after all.
When the godless commie Kenyan Muslim usurper was in the White House, the Easter Egg roll ran without problem. Now that we have a Christian conservative coalition approved pseudo-fascist in the Oval Office, the bunny is screwed.
WASHINGTON — President Trump received an urgent warning in February, informing him of a crucial date he was about to miss.
“FYI manufacturing deadlines for the Easter eggs are near,” said a Twitter post directed at Mr. Trump; the first lady, Melania Trump; and the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump. “Please reach out!”
The message came from Wells Wood Turning & Finishing, the company that supplies commemorative wooden eggs for the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, the 138-year-old celebration that has drawn 35,000 people to the South Lawn in recent years.
The staff of the company, based in Buckfield, Me., wondered whether the Trumps planned to continue distributing the wooden eggs as party favors, or whether they were even going to have a White House Easter Egg Roll at all.
By early March, the White House announced that the roll was on — Monday, to be exact — and soon followed up with a rush order for the wooden eggs.
By that time, the ovoid uncertainty had raised a question perhaps not as consequential as investigations into Russian interference in the presidential election, a legally dubious travel ban and a collapsed health care bill, but no less a window into the inner workings of the Trump administration: Could this White House, plagued by slow hiring and lacking an on-site first lady, manage to pull off the largest, most elaborate and most heavily scrutinized public event of the year?
“It’s the single most high-profile event that takes place at the White House each year, and the White House and the first lady are judged on how well they put it on,” said Melinda Bates, who organized eight years of Easter Egg Rolls as director of the White House Visitors Office under President Bill Clinton. “I’m really concerned for the Trump people, because they have failed to fill some really vital posts, and this thing is all hands on deck.”
White House party catastrophes have been the stuff of presidential nightmares in the past. During his first year in office, President Barack Obama drew harsh criticism for lax security procedures after a pair of aspiring reality-show celebrities successfully crashed a state dinnerhonoring the prime minister of India, with one of them managing to buttonhole Mr. Obama for a handshake.
The late start in planning by the Trump White House points to a smaller and less ambitious Egg Roll than in previous years. There may be half as many guests, a fraction of the number of volunteers to manage the invasion of the South Lawn, and military bands in place of A-list entertainers like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Idina Menzel and Silentó who have performed for Egg Rolls past.