After the House version of the Republican health care bill passed with only one vote to spare, the new Senate version of the Republican health care bill may not pass, as it does not have enough support to pass it at the moment.
The bill needs 51 votes in the Senate to pass, a majority. However, not all Republicans are on board. These 3 GOP senators just dropped their support for the Republican health care bill.
Shelly Moore Capito (West Virginia)
In a joint statement with Sen. Rob Portman on Tuesday, another one of an opposing voices on the GOP side, Sen. Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia announced that she would not be supporting the bill in its current form. She stated concern over its Medicaid policy's influence would have on the opioid epidemics in their states. Capito said "As drafted, this bill will not ensure access to affordable health care in West Virginia, does not do enough to combat the opioid epidemic that is devastating my state, cuts traditional Medicaid too deeply, and harms rural health care providers," Capito's side of the statement said.
Capito's state, West Virginia, gave President Donald Trump a 42 point lead in the general election, one of the biggest leads of Trump in any state. Because of Trump's influence in the state, her decision may spar a difference with her voters, as Trump supports the new healthcare bill.
Rob Portman (Ohio)
In a statement with Sen. Shelly Moore Capito (who I mentioned earlier) Portman told of his opposition to the bill. In his potion of the joint statement, Portman said "For months, I have engaged with my colleagues on solutions that I believe are necessary to ensure that we improve our health care system and better combat this opioid epidemic,"
Unlike Capito, Portman does not live in a heavily Trump-supporting state. While Portman's Ohio constituents did vote for Trump, they voted in less numbers than West Virginians. Ohio gave Trump an 8.1 point lead.
Jerry Moran (Kansas)
In a tweet, Kansas Senator Jerry Moran stated that he did not support the bill. Moran said:
Despite a big Trump win in Kansas during the election and a re-election victory for Moran, Kansas is still a very interesting state politically speaking. Attributing to Kansas' oddity, Kansas' governor Sam Brownback, a Republican, is the least popular governor in the United States among constituents. His unpopularity came after slashing state spending. It got so bad for Brownback that he almost lost his deep red state to a Democrat in 2014, a year where Republican majorities were at their peaks.
Perhaps this opposition is a good move for Moran, especially after Gov. Brownback's slashing on spending made Kansans angry.
So far, the Republicans do not have the support they need to get the healthcare bill passed through the Senate. While there is no exact number on supporting Senators, it is lower or at 49 as Republicans have 52 Senators and 3 (as seen above) have dropped out.
Republicans have less support in the Senate because they have less per capita members in the Senate compared to the House. The number of senators will greatly effect the support of the bill as Republicans only rammed the Healthcare bill through the House with no votes to spare. So, if they had the same support per capita in the Senate, the bill would get shot down.
Mitch McConnell, Republican House Leader (as seen in the photo) has decided to move the voting on the Republican healthcare bill to after the Fourth of July to try and attempt to get more votes.
Despite all the dropouts and the attempts, only time will tell wether the Republican bill will be a flop, or will be rammed through the Senate, only to get to Donald Trump's desk.
Making nuclear threats against the US, detaining US citizens and making a cult dictatorship state. North Korea has really scared America's pants off. But, the North Korea threat isn't so big when you consider what the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, really wants.
Like many dictatorships, North Korea does not use popularity and democracy to keep its power, but uses force and fear. In fact, North Korea has the 4th largest army in terms of active troops in the world, just ahead of Russia. And, North Korea has used many brainwashing tactics to keep its population in check, even on young children. All of this helps the Kim dynasty, to which the leadership belongs to, stay in power and stay in control, which is the ultimate goal of Kim Jong-un.
Aside from the brainwashing and troop numbers, there is one controlling power that helps Kim Jong-un keep the western world scared. Nuclear weapons. Famously, Kim Jong-un has tested many nuclear missiles and has been very public about it. What the US has to understand about North Korea's nuclear missiles is that they cannot hit the US, but the real threat is South Korea. South Korea's most populated city, Seoul, is well within range of North Korea's missile threat, which means that up to 25.6 million people in the Seoul metro are in danger of a nuclear strike. This is why the US has deployed a ballistic missile system called THAAD to South Korea that will stop any North Korean missile. The US has very little to worry about in its own safety, but has much to worry about in its Asian allies.
So, if they're not going to attack the US, they attack South Korea, right? Wrong. North Korea may be a crazy country, but Kim Jong-un isn't stupid when it comes to foreign policy. If North Korea were to attack South Korea, the US would respond for South Korea and the US forces would obliterate North Korean ones, as the US spends 611 billion dollars on the military and is vastly more equipped for a large scale war. This is why North Korea's threats against the US never materialize and are often regarded as "empty threats".
So, if North Korea will get crushed by our forces, why don't we just nuke Kim Jong-un? That would be the absolute last and worst thing to do. Attacking North Korea would lead to retaliation from China, who sees North Korea as a buffer between it and the pro-western South Korea. That's why China has imported $2.3 billion of goods to North Korea. Additionally, North Korea has the capability to nuke South Korea and kill thousands of US troops in South Korea. And, it would likely trigger World War 3. Despite a deadly side-effect for attacking North Korea, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said that military retaliation is "an option". Attacking North Korea is different from attacking Syria. Syria is a war-torn country that doesn't have a large, organized military. Unlike Syria, North Korea has citizens willing to die for their leader and has possessions of nuclear weapons, making an attack on them deadly to US allies in Asia.
From a military standpoint, it is best for both parties and for the world if the current state of Korea is kept, as both countries have drifted drastically in culture from each other and it would likely cause another World War.
With all of this in mind, Kim Jong-un's real goal is not to attack the US with a nuclear strike or conquer South Korea, it is to stay in power. As technology becomes more and more widespread, it is harder and harder for the North Korean regime to keep information within its borders and prevent new information from coming in. This is why North Korea bans all internet except for its state-run version, bans all western songs, and also bans any phone calls from the outside world.
Kim Jong-un's biggest challenge to this day is to stay in power. This is why he has purged his own uncle, sent thousands to prison camps for disagreeing with him, built nuclear weapons to defend his corner of Korea and has detained tourists who don't behave well in his kingdom, one of which was Otto Warmbier, who tried to steal a propoganda poster and was sent to a prison, to only return to the US and die of a coma.
The US shouldn't be worried about nuclear test launches or a new scandal by North Korea, they should be worried about letting their regime change attitude get to them, because if the US tries to change North Korea, its Asian allies could very easily be obliterated by North Korea's force. Kim Jong-un's only goal is to stay in power, and when the US tries to threaten it, their Allies' presence in the Pacific region could be in danger.
Terry McAuliffe, Virginia Governor and member of the Democratic Party, made some pretty crazy comments about gun violence while addressing the public on the shooting of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise.
The Virginia governor held a press conference to discuss the shooting incident during the Republicans' congressional baseball game practice, where the gunman James T. Hodgkinson shot Rep. Steve Scalise (he is still in critical condition) and wounded Zachary Barth, a congressional staffer .Halfway into the the press conference, McAuliffe was asked a question by a reporter. The reporter asked: "Governor, in general, do you think anything more needs to be done to protect politicians?" McAuliffe responded by saying "I think we need to do more to protect all of our citizens." and added "There are too many guns on the street... We lose 93 million Americans a day to gun violence,"
93 million Americans die daily to gun violence. What a crazy claim.
If the governors claim were true, every American would be dead in about 4 days, which has obviously not happened yet.
McAuliffe's claim is so off that it is less than a fraction of a percent of the real number. In reality, the amount of daily deaths of gun violence in the U.S. hovers around 30, which is far too many to be acceptable as no amount of deaths is acceptable, but is only 0.00000032% of Governor McAuliffe's claim.
Soon after McAuliffe made the statement, a reporter corrected the governor and said "93 million is a big number. Did you mean to say 93 million? Are you sure about that?" To which the governor replied "93 individuals a day." The governor did not even acknowledge he made a mistake on his numbers. Even though the governor corrected his statement to a different number, his figures are still not correct. The fact still stands that around 30 Americans daily are killed by gun violence, not 93. And, suspicions are swirling as to why the governor said 93 million instead of 93.
As of June 17th, the Virginia governor has not made any comment on his statement since the press conference where he made the statement. But, the fact still stands that the governor is wrong both ways, 93 and 93 million.
Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Representative for California's 12th district, avid Trump critic and Democratic House Leader. Pelosi has criticized and voted against many attempts to block science in the House and has supported scientists research. But, one of her recent tweets has raised eyebrows on her beliefs on how earth was created.
In a sea of tweets criticizing President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris pact, Pelosi tweeted:
The part that raised eyebrows was when Pelosi regarded the earth as "God's creation", indicating that Pelosi is possibly a creationist.
Unsurprisingly, Pelosi's statement sits more comfortably with Republicans around the nation. A Gallup poll found that 60% of Republicans believe that the earth was God's creation with no evolution, while only 38% of Democrats believed that God created the earth in its present form. Additionally, 40% of Independents believed that God created the earth.
The topic of creationism is a highly controversial topic that is often based around religion. While both major parties have groups of people who disbelieve and believe that God created the earth, Republicans have more people who are on the side supporting creationism's arguments, proven by the Gallup poll.
Pelosi referring to the earth as "God's creation" makes her less comparable scientists, the group she voted for on the House floor. Unsurprising to many, according to a 2009 Pew Research Poll, 97% of scientists believe that humans and living things have evolved over time, while 87% agree that evolution is due to natural processes.
Nancy Pelosi's tweet raises eyebrows and questions when it comes to her commitment to science, her understanding of her constituents and her faith. As of June 13, 2017, Nancy Pelosi hasn't responded to her tweet.
We all know Trumps infamous Twitter account... Everything from official announcements to rogue rampages come out of that treasure trove of a webpage, its a true gold mine of Trumpy statements. But lately, Trump's Twitter account has been under scrutiny. Not because of a rampage or a misspelled word in his tweet, but because the President blocked a few users on his account.
On Twitter, users have an option to block a user. When someone blocks an account, the blocker cannot follow the person they blocked and the person they blocked cannot follow the blocker. Additionally, they cannot view your tweets or send direct messages or "DMs" to you while they are logged in to Twitter. This means that a person blocked by Donald Trump cannot view his Tweets, essentially cutting off access to the President's Twitter account.
Some users of Twitter have been blocked by Donald Trump's personal account, @realDonaldTrump. Since Donald Trump's Twitter account is insanely popular and influential, the people who have been blocked feel like they have been cut off from the President's speech or opinion. Many of these people are even charging Trump's Twitter account with violating the First Amendment right of free speech. One such user is Holly O'Reilly, who posted a critical response to one of Trump's tweets criticizing the London Mayor after the London attacks, and was blocked by Trump.
A letter sent by the victims of Trump's Twitter blocking says that "This (Trumps) Twitter account operates as a ‘designated public forum’ for First Amendment purposes, and accordingly the viewpoint-based blocking of our clients is unconstitutional," And added "We ask that you unblock them and any others who have been blocked for similar reasons." The letter also states that if Trump does not comply with their request to unblock the accounts, a lawsuit is not out of consideration.
Jameel Jaffer, the executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and representative for the victims of Trump's blocking also made a comment. "Though the architects of the Constitution surely didn’t contemplate presidential Twitter accounts, they understood that the president must not be allowed to banish views from public discourse simply because he finds them objectionable," Mr. Jaffer said. He also added "Having opened this forum to all comers, the president can’t exclude people from it merely because he dislikes what they’re saying."
Since Trump's Twitter account is his personal account, he has no legal obligation to unblock users. But, an argument could be made that Donald Trump's Twitter account is key to the public's knowledge of the President's opinions and should be available to all. But, then again, it is possible to view Donald Trump's Twitter account without signing into your own account.
The letter from the blocked users was sent to the White House press counsel, Donald F. McGahn II; the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer; and the White House director of social media, Dan Scavino Jr. But, only time will tell whether the Trump team will respond and make their next move or ignore the requests and move on.
On Wednesday, May 31st, Kathy Griffin, stand up comedian and television host, posted a tweet which was intended to throw a jab at Trump for his previous comments but was interpreted much differently to the point where it could have been read as an assassination threat. Her tweet originally read "there was blood coming out of his eyes, blood coming out of his ... wherever, OBVIOUSLY, I do not condone ANY violence by my fans or others to anyone, ever! I'm merely mocking the Mocker in Chief", with an image of Donald Trump's head covered in blood and detached from his body attached to the tweet. The tweet has since been deleted from her account.
Historically, Griffin has been a strong critic of conservative policies and Trump. She showed this during the 2016 election by endorsing Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for the presidency.
Shortly after this picture had gone up, CNN announced that they had fired Kathy Griffin from their annual New Years Eve program. Additionally, Route 66 Casino Hotel in New Mexico announced on Facebook it had canceled a performance by Griffin scheduled for July at the resort.
In a brief Twitter statement, Griffin said that she "sincerely apologized" for her gruesome image of Donald Trump and added that she went "way too far". Finally, she ended by saying that "I went too far. I made a mistake and I was wrong".
On Friday, Griffin decided to approach the situation by holding a press conference, where she had her lawyer speak. Her lawyer, Lisa Bloom, made remarks that contradicted Griffin's original tweet including the severed image of Trump. Lisa Bloom stated that the statement was in full hyperbole and that Griffin captioned the tweet as "blood coming out of his eyes, blood coming out of his wherever. ". While it is correct that Griffin captioned the tweet with "blood coming out of his eyes, blood coming out of his wherever, Griffin didn't ever mention any form of satire in her tweet. Bloom later stated that "Kathy never imagined that it could be misinterpreted as a threat of violence against Trump". When using common sense, one will likely interpret a picture of someone gushing blood from their face and a head decapitated from their body as a death threat or assassination attempt. It's hard to imagine someone interpreting that differently from a violent image.
After her lawyer, Griffin went up to some remarks. In the beginning of the press conference, she apologized and echoed her Twitter statement. But, as the press conference rolled on, her words began to get sour. Griffin started suggesting that Donald Trump and his family were trying to ruin her life. She said "A sitting President of the United States and his grown children and the First Lady are personally, I feel, trying to ruin my life forever". Griffin's statement is clearly false. Even though she might feel attacked by the Trump family, the only mention of her by the Trump family was a tweet from both Trump himself and Donald Trump Jr., the President's son. The President's tweet reads: "Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself. My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!", while Donald Trump Jr.'s tweets are too many to put here.
After bashing Trump for trying to "ruin her career", Griffin talked of her "death threats" that she had been receiving. She said "The death threats that i'm getting are constant, and they are detailed and they are specific". While death threats are never good and should be taken seriously, Kathy Griffin should check herself because the tweet she just sent out could have been seen as one huge death threat to Donald Trump via tweet.
Near the end of her remarks, Griffin was in tears and implied "They're using me as a shiny object so that nobody is talking about (Trumps) FBI investigation". The claim that she is a "shiny object" to distract from the FBI investigation is baloney. The Trump family can respond to an image of Trump decapitated and bleeding from the head as the image is profane, and was an over-the-top personal attack on Trump and his family.
During the press conference, Griffin was even making jokes when talking about this serious matter. She started to burst into jokes and would occasionally blurt out negative comments about Donald Trump and his stances. Even though she is a comedian, she should know when to make jokes and when to not. And, in this situation, it is clearly not the time to make jokes.
Even though she apologized, Kathy Griffin should still think less of herself. She attacks a sitting President through a bloody face, yet she blunders at Trump when she is the only one to blame. Some younger members of Trump's family including Barron Trump, who Griffin once threatened to attack to get under Trump's skin, could have been traumatized by their father or grandfather (depending on where you are in the family tree) being mocked at with blood coming out of their face, signaling death. Her joke went way too far, is extremely inappropriate and is not funny at this point, considering that Trump has children and a family that may have a hard time coping with an image like this. Kathy Griffin has to think before she posts.
Lastly, Kathy Griffin should really know when the time is right to publish satirical content. She is an adult, and posting an image of Donald Trump with blood gushing from his face is completely inappropriate. Yet, after she apologized for this act, she still jabs at Trump for trying to "ruin her life" while there isn't even a suggestion that Donald Trump deplores Kathy Griffin. Griffin's actions were irresponsible, and should be all apologized for by sending a sorry to the First Family, who has likely been affected by this gruesome image.
Kathy Griffin, please be more careful with your actions towards Donald Trump, as it could have a negative effect his family and your career, and sincerely apologize for the hatred you created, the things you fight against.
After President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate change accord, there has been much outcry from Democrats and leftists. Former Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called Trump's decision a "historic mistake" and Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer regarded Trump's decision as "greatly damaging to America's future" and praised China for doing "much more than him". But, leftists are missing a key part of Trump's promise on the Paris accord that Trump himself mentioned profusely in his speech and on twitter.
When President Trump announced his decision to leave the Paris climate accord on Thursday, he highlighted his unprecedented decision to withdraw from the climate agreement. This decision alone made headlines that spread around the world, informing millions. But, many on the left side of the political spectrum took just the headline and missed a crucial part of Trump's speech. Trump stated his intent to re-negotiate a new climate deal that would protect "American interests". Trump said in the Paris climate deal speech "...time to pursue a new deal that protects our environment, our companies, our citizens and our country." Trump also took to twitter to express his intent to re-negotiate. Trump re-tweeted South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham's tweet affirming his support for the re-negotiation.
Many Democrats and leftists reacted to Trump's decision by not even mentioning the re-negotiation part of Trump speech. CNN Political Contributor and Fmr. Obama Official Van Jones commented on Trump's decision by saying that "you cannot deal with facts, you cannot deal with science, you cannot deal with economics and you cannot deal with jobs (with the Trump White House)" Jones also added "you cannot deal with anything but mythology and slogans." His long-winded response did not mention Trump's intent to re-negotiate. Also, Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi sent out a tweetstorm on Trump's Paris withdrawal, calling Trump's decision an "embarrassment", but none of her tweets commented on Trump's re-negotiation initiative.
As well as leftists, some major media organizations have ignored this part of Trump's speech. MSNBC's online video about Trump's Paris pull-out cut out the segment where he proposed re-negotiation. As well as MSNBC, Mic, a news organization, also left out Trump's re-negotiation proposal in their main article reporting on Trump's withdrawal.
Trump's proposal to edit the Paris agreement was quickly shot down by European leaders from Germany, France and Italy, effectively ending any chance that the re-negotiations will take place. The leaders said that "The agreement is a vital instrument for our planet and its economies." Additionally, Russia and China reaffirmed their support for the agreement.
The US will not be able to start the process to pull out of the agreement until December 12, 2018, exactly 3 years after the agreement was signed, so for the time being, the US will still be in the Paris accords.
As well as hard criticism for Trump's withdrawal from the Paris deal, some liberal politicians and news networks may have just drowned the only possibility of re-entering the Paris accord by ignoring a segment of Donald Trump's speech. But, only time will tell wether Trump will try at re-negotiation or take the Europeans by their word and not re-negotiate.