The “RKTGBASK” News, 22 March 2017

Inclusion does not equal endorsement.


The American Health Care Act’s authors and supporters in the White House “say it’s about reducing government interference and bringing back choice to individuals. But you can’t choose something you can’t afford.” Jesse Berney, “The Health Care Debate Is About Values” (Rolling Stone)

“President Trump inherited probably the biggest inventory of problems, certainly foreign policy problems, than any other president ever has.” Dina Powell, freshly named as a member to the Trump Administration, using “probably” to great effect while conveniently forgetting Reconstruction, the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Great Recession. Just as a partial list. Probably. (Twitter)

“As a candidate, [Donald Trump] got to accuse the establishment of trashing the country. He played hype-man for a future in which he’d refresh our ideals. Now he’s accountable in the present to all the men and women whose lives haven’t become fairy tales since he took office. That’s not fun. That’s a full-time job, and that’s the one thing Donald Trump has never wanted.” Katy Waldman (Slate)

“Donald Trump runs the federal government like a man who ran casinos into bankruptcy while personally walking away with millions.” Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) (Twitter)

It’s almost ” as if somebody selected the single year and the precise 2 pages that would do [President] Trump least harm- and found a way to release only those.” David Frum, commenting on the convenient two pages of Donald Trump’s 2005 tax returns “leaked” last week. (Twitter)

“I voted to overturn a job-killing coal regulation before it could do serious damage to Indiana’s economy. When it was introduced in the waning days of the Obama Administration, they called it ‘The Stream Rule’, but at home in Indiana, we knew it for exactly what it is, ‘the coal rule.’ It would have effectively locked-up (sic) half of the nation’s coal supply below ground, and thus destroyed as many as a third of America’s coal mining jobs.” Senator Todd Young (R-Indiana) in an email to constituents with a subject titled “This Goes Great With Lunch.” Which is, in one constituent’s view, an odd way to title an email that celebrates Neil Gorsuch because in a meeting Gorsuch name-dropped the Hoosier state, but even odder when knowing that “The Stream Rule” actually was a regulation preventing coal slag and waste from being dumped into rivers and streams. (Todd Young Senate Office; official email)


1— There is only one male northern white rhinoceros left. In the world. (Foreign Policy)

19— The United States is 19th in the world for giving foreign aid to other countries. The US spends less than one percent of its budget on aid to other countries. The average American believes that 31 percent of our budget is sent to other countries as financial aid. (Kaiser Family Foundation; APM Marketplace)

28— The percentage of Americans who use no lock device on their smartphones is 28 percent (no thumbprint, PIN, passcode, nothing). Security experts decry this practice. (Pew Research Center)

71— 71 percent of Republicans say there are some circumstances where it is acceptable for the US to use torture. (Pew Research Center)

90— The Trump Administration has suspended or reversed more than 90 regulations since the president took office. (New York Times)

180— 180 children go missing in India every day. (BBC)

300,000— New York City brought in 12.7 million international visitors in 2016. The city is expecting 300,000 fewer visitors from overseas this year due to the strong dollar and the “unwelcoming” political atmosphere. This reduction in international tourism is expected to result in over 600 million dollars in lost sales. (APM Marketplace)

Other Things:

Links: (1.) How Premiums, Subsidies, Tax Credits, and Health Insurance Costs Would Change Under the ACHA vs. the ACA (Trump/Ryan Care vs. Obamacare) (Kaiser Family Foundation interactive) (2.) “We’re killing half of all species” (Foreign Policy) (3.) The Trump Administration released its proposed discretionary spending budget. It cuts everything from Meals on Wheels to PBS. Watch Elmo discuss getting fired and losing health care here. (4.) London Attack: What We Know and Don’t Know (New York Times)

The vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on the “Repeal and Replace Obamacare” American Health Care Act is tomorrow, Thursday, March 23. Up to 24 million people will lose their insurance. Medicaid will be block granted (many disabled, children, and elderly in nursing homes depend on this care) and up for work requirements (many disabled, children, and elderly in nursing homes are— it seems needless to point out — unable to work). The ACHA would also contribute to further instability in the health care market, affecting those who receive their health insurance from their employers. Oh, and it would give a massive tax cut to billionaires while cutting aid, subsidies, and opportunities for health care for non-billionaires. If you feel like contacting your Representative, you have until tomorrow.

Know anyone with a student loan? The Trump administration has just made it easier to inflict even more pain on those who hold federal and private student loans.

Nigerian refugees to Cameroon are being forced to return to Nigeria after escaping the violence and terror of Boko Haram.

Today’s Title comes from the United States Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts. The other justices are Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito, Sonya Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. (Hence, RKTGBASK) Neil Gorsuch is the current nominee to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last year. According to a new poll, only 43 percent of Americans can name one sitting member on the third co-equal branch of the American government. If you can name one Justice, you’re in the minority. (Washington Post; CSpan)



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