Friday, June 30, 2017

Trump is a small and hateful man said a GOP man

http://samuel-warde.com/2017/06/trump-small-weak-man/


Thursday morning, Trump lashed out at the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” tweeting:
“I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!”
Leading members of Congress, to include Democrats and Republicans alike, were quick to speak out against Trump,  including former members of Congress as well.
Asked by NBC’s Brian Williams how he feels as a “former, yet proud Republican office-holder, former Rep. David Jolly of Florida stated he found the Twitter tantrum to be “heartbreaking, ” that “many of us are still looking for answers and looking for leadership within Republican Party. But listen – Hill Republicans are answering to the same base that Donald Trump is, the same voters, and that’s why nothing will change today.”

Continuing, he stated that: “Trump is a man with hate in his heart, a small and weak man with a special type of cruelty to insult a woman on the world’s stage over her appearance,” adding that “he owes Mika Brzezinski an apology, but he’s not going to do it.”
Concluding, Jolly told Williams that “we can’t overlook the fact that Donald Trump tonight is the face of the Republican Party. The party that once proudly boasted of Lincoln and Ike and TR [Teddy Roosevelt] and Reagan and the Bushes is now represented by a man who… insults women and war heroes and immigrants and the disabled. And, as that is Donald Trump, that is today’s Republican Party.”

'I was played for a fool!' He voted for Trump but now wishes he voted for Hillary.

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/05/he-played-me-for-a-fool-kentucky-trump-supporter-laments-he-should-have-voted-for-hillary/


In a heartbreaking interview, one Kentucky voter for President Donald Trump revealed that he believed it when Trump told voters he would fight for them. Now, however, Trump is cutting programs that help people like him survive while jobs are scarce.
Wesley Easterling noted that Trump had a kind of “charisma about him, something different.” The county he lives in typically goes for Democrats but in 2016 it went for Trump, despite having one of the highest poverty rates in the country.
Easterling is on food stamps and Medicaid and he believed Trump when the then-candidate swore he’d never touch Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Trump lied and Easterling and his family are fearful they’re going to lose critical benefits they need to stay afloat.
“I mean, I felt just like I was — just like he played me for a fool,” he said with a look of sadness in his eyes. “I mean, I kind of took it personal.”
Easterling does have one light at the end of the tunnel, he recently graduated from a pipe welding program at a local community college. He’s trying to get a job at a local refinery so he can get off of federal assistance.
He admitted if he could vote again he’d cast his ballot for former Secretary Hillary Clinton “without a doubt.”
When asking Easterling’s neighbors about Trump cutting federal programs that help him while he’s getting back on his feet, one man had just two words: “Tough luck.”
Easterling isn’t alone, Trump’s recently announced cuts hit rural communities the hardest. Already, many were struggling to keep schools open and farmers and ranchers continue to struggle after drought. Even conservative Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) isn’t happy with Trump.
“I won’t say it’s not going to happen, but remember that I don’t think Congress has paid much attention to the president’s budget ever since Reagan, and they usually come in the transom and we simply throw ’em back out,” Roberts said. “Those programs have been very good programs. We’re going to keep those.”
“I’m not saying not to be concerned, but I’m saying, ‘Hey, be a partner, and if there are some kind of savings you can come up with, let us know,” he continued. “We’ll protect the program, but let us know (how you can help).’”
Cuts also will go to water and wastewater plants that help provide clean water to communities. The White House claims it’s because the private sector can do a better job at cleaning water than the municipal infrastructure can. That’s exactly what happened to Flint, Michigan when Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI) replaced a system with a private sector solution to a non-existent problem.
Trump promised Flint he would help them. Instead, he cut their funding and is working to replicate the problem nationwide.
“This budget seems to really go after the people that got the president elected,” said Zack Clark of the National Farmers Union.
You can watch Easterling’s story below:

Trump's FAKE NEWS crusade is the stuff of dictators.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/huppke/ct-trump-fake-news-cnn-huppke-20170628-story.html


The president of the United States has now declared that CNN, NBC, CBS and ABC along with the "failing" New York Times and the Washington Post are not news organizations staffed by professional journalists but mere fabricators of baseless information.
"They are all Fake News!" Donald Trump wrote in yet another wildly unpresidential Twitter salvo.
Let's pause to appreciate what this means: The president of the United States is issuing a blanket declaration that six of the most prominent and respected news outlets in the country are not to be trusted.
What prompted these latest hysterics from Trump were the resignations of three CNN journalists in the wake of the retraction of a story published on the network's website.


The story, citing one anonymous source, claimed the Senate intelligence committee was looking into a meeting between the head of a Russian investment fund and Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci shortly before Trump took office.
Saying the story did not meet the network's editorial standards, CNN pulled it from the website the night after it was published and apologized to Scaramucci. The network then accepted the resignations of the three journalists involved in the piece.
That doesn't sound like something a fake news network would do. It sounds like a news organization taking swift responsibility for screwing something up and journalists taking responsibility for their actions.
Scaramucci seemed to think so as well, responding via Twitter: "CNN did the right thing. Classy move. Apology accepted. Everyone makes mistakes. Moving on."


But apparently the president didn't get the memo about moving on. He used the moment to pillory a network he has feuded with in the past and paint a wide array of news outlets with a preposterously broad brush.
Then White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders continued the "fake news media" blasting during Tuesday's press briefing after she was asked why the CNN resignations weren't enough to calm the president's ire.
"I think it's the constant barrage of fake news that is directed at this president, probably, that has garnered a lot of his frustration," she said.
She also said: "News outlets get to go on, day after day, and cite unnamed sources, use stories without sources."
There are many problems inherent in those two comments.
For starters, you'll note that something is only "fake news" when it's critical of President Trump. Was the New York Times story that broke the news that Hillary Clinton used a private email account while serving as secretary of state fake news? No.
Was any of the coverage of Clinton's email server — coverage that dominated the latter part of the presidential campaign — fake news? Nope.
Was a recent Washington Post story detailing how the Obama administration handled Russia's attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election fake news? Not at all. In fact, Trump crowed about that story, tweeting: "Just out: The Obama Administration knew far in advance of November 8th about election meddling by Russia. Did nothing about it. WHY?"
And what about anonymous sources? Trump claims reporters just make up stories and cite sources that don't exist. But apparently that doesn't apply to the Washington Post story on Obama and Russia, which cited "interviews with more than three dozen current and former U.S. officials in senior positions in government," most of whom "agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity."
Were those made-up sources? Or are those solid sources because it's a story Trump can use to shape his own narrative? I guess that story from the fake-news Washington Post is real news because Trump says so.
Adding to the absurdity of the administration's full-frontal assault on the free press was Sanders' endorsement during Tuesday's press briefing of a web video by conservative laughingstock James O'Keefe, who makes deceptively edited undercover "gotcha" videos aimed at embarrassing organizations that conservatives love to hate.
The video in question shows a CNN producer — he produces health segments and has nothing to do with the network's political coverage — questioning whether there's anything to the Trump/Russia scandal. Given O'Keefe's track record, it's impossible to know how the video was edited, and regardless, people at news organizations are allowed to have differing opinions on the validity of news stories.
Sanders said: "There's a video circulating now — whether it's accurate or not, I don't know — but I would encourage everyone in this room and, frankly, everybody across the country to take a look at it. I think if it is accurate, I think it's a disgrace to all of media, to all of journalism."
You're a spokesperson for the leader of the free world and you're encouraging all Americans to check out a video that may or may not be accurate? And you're doing it while complaining about fake news and representing a president whose incessant, repeated and often inexplicable lies have been widely documented and decisively debunked?
Trusting the Trump administration right now requires a suspension of disbelief. There is no accountability for any lies or fabrications, only finger-pointing and attempts to sow distrust in our democratic institutions.
Journalists, like anyone else, are capable of lying or making stuff up. But when that happens, we wind up out of a job. Quickly.
If you refuse to believe that and prefer Trump's attempt to get you to doubt everything you hear, consider these words from Hannah Arendt, an American political theorist who wrote extensively about totalitarianism:
"A people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please."
That's what Trump wants. He wants to do as he pleases.
Don't let him. 



Trump: Derelection of duty: Adam Schiff talks about Russia not acting on Russia hacking into the US

http://www.bluesidenation.com/politics/dems-just-got-tough-on-trump-and-sent-him-an-ultimatum-that-will-have-him-shaking/


Nicholas Burns, a former US ambassador to NATO and George W. Bush administration official, accused President Trump of “dereliction of the basic duty to defend the country” for Trump’s disinterest in Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Burns testified before the Senate intelligence committee Wednesday. Mr. Burns said he finds it, “dismaying and objectionable that President Trump continues to deny the undeniable fact that Russia launched a major cyber attack against the United States — regardless of what party he launched it against.” He questioned why the president had not launched an investigation of his own in order to protect the United States from future cyber attacks of this nature.
Adam Schiff (D-CA) was asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper on The Lead about Nicholas Burns’s testimony —  in particular the “dereliction of duty” assertion. Tapper read some of Burns’s statement to Schiff and said, “That seems rather strong. What do you think?”
“I would completely agree with that. The national security needs of the country have to come first, they certainly have to come as a higher priority than whatever effect this would have on how he views the legitimacy or the size of his election victory. That is not of great consequence here. Right now the message the Russians are getting is that they’re not gonna pay much of a price for this. Indeed their best spokesperson is the President of the United States… because he is the one casting doubt on what they did.”
Schiff added that, “We are very poorly prepared if the Russians interfere in the midterms — if this president won’t acknowledge what happened in his own election, what hope do we have that he’ll speak out when they do this again?”
The question is how long Trump and his closest allies can continue to pretend the Russian interference didn’t happen and/or isn’t important. Polling continues to show that the overwhelming majority of Americans take it as fact that the Russians interfered with the 2016 presidential election. Perhaps more importantly, the majority of Americans believe that Donald Trump has tried to interfere with the investigation into the Russian interference.
One realizes Trump is a long admirer of a certain F├╝hrer, but clearly the Goebbels approach is not working here. The lie was big enough, it has been repeated enough, but, crucially, people are not believing it.

Bigly Lie: 'Trump has never encouraged violence' according to spokesman

http://www.bluedotdaily.com/trump-has-never-encouraged-violence-heres-a-list-that-proves-sarah-huckabee-sanders-wrong/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=PA&utm_campaign=facebook_PA


HOT TOPIC

“Trump Has Never Encouraged Violence”, Here’s a List That Proves Sarah Huckabee Sanders Wrong



You’d probably thought that no one could possibly be worse at speaking for the President that Sean Spicer.  I did. We were all so very wrong.  Enter Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
The Deputy White House Press Secretary was trotted out to defend President Trump’s misogynistic tweet attacking MSNBC anchor Mika Brzezinski on Thursday, and in the course of Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ statement, claimed that “The president in no way, form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence. If anything, quite the contrary.” 
That is a laughably incorrect statement. And one that is fairly easily refutable.
The Washington Post refuted Huckabee Sanders’ words with a little trip down memory lane:
August 2015
Trump attacked Bernie Sanders for letting Black Lives Matter protesters hijack his stage and said that kind of thing would be physically stopped at one of his events.
“I don’t know if I’ll do the fighting myself or if other people will,” he clarified.
November 2015
“Get him the hell out of here, will you, please?” Trump said of a protester. “Get him out of here. Throw him out!”
The next day, after video emerged of the protester being treated roughly, Trump said the man was “so obnoxious and so loud” that “maybe he should have been roughed up.”
February 2016
Trump said after someone threw a tomato at a rally: “If you see somebody with a tomato, knock the crap out of them.”
March 2016
“We have had a couple [protesters] that were really violent, and the particular one when I said I’d like to bang him, that was a very  —  he was a guy who was swinging, very loud and started swinging at the audience and the audience swung back, and I thought it was very, very appropriate.”
Trump added: “He was swinging, he was hitting people, and the audience hit back, and that’s what we need.”
(Trump couched this as self-defense, but reporters who attended the rallies said they never saw protesters initiating violence.)
March 2016, again
Talking about someone rushing the stage: “I don’t know if I would have done well, but I would have been out there fighting, folks. I don’t know if I’d have done well, but I would’ve been — boom boom boom boom.”
Trump then mouthed, “I’ll beat the crap out of you.”
March 2016, again
“Part of the problem and part of the reason it takes so long is nobody wants to hurt each other anymore, right?”
March 2016, again
“In the good old days this doesn’t happen because they used to treat them very, very rough.”
March 2016, again
Trump suggested he would pay the legal fees of those who remove protesters if they get sued.
“Get him out,” Trump said. “Try not to hurt him. If you do, I’ll defend you in court, don’t worry about it.”
That only goes to March of last year. There are undoubtedly more examples, such as when Trump semi-subtly encouraged “2nd amendment people” to “take care” of Hillary Clinton.  Not only is the statement that Donald Trump does not encourage violence easily disprovable, it’s the exact opposite of the truth. And “The exact opposite of the truth” could be this administration’s slogan.

/Trump is not well' Mika and Joe write a summary of their thoughts. Read it all

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/donald-trump-is-not-well/2017/06/30/97759ee0-5d0f-11e7-9b7d-14576dc0f39d_story.html?tid=ss_fb&utm_term=.710dce11866a


 
President Trump launched personal attacks against us Thursday, but our concerns about his unmoored behavior go far beyond the personal. America’s leaders and allies are asking themselves yet again whether this man is fit to be president. We have our doubts, but we are both certain that the man is not mentally equipped to continue watching our show, “Morning Joe.”
The president’s unhealthy obsession with our show has been in the public record for months, and we are seldom surprised by his posting nasty tweets about us. During the campaign, the Republican nominee called Mika “neurotic” and promised to attack us personally after the campaign ended. This year, top White House staff members warned that the National Enquirer was planning to publish a negative article about us unless we begged the president to have the story spiked. We ignored their desperate pleas.
 Play Video 2:00
'Morning Joe' hosts respond to Trump's barrage of tweets
MSNBC anchor Mika Brzezinski said President Trump's attacks "worry me about the country," on June 30. She and "Morning Joe" co-host Joe Scarborough pointed to Trump's "alarming" pattern of especially vicious attacks on women as Trump tweeted out more insults. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)
The president’s unhealthy obsession with “Morning Joe” does not serve the best interests of either his mental state or the country he runs. Despite his constant claims that he no longer watches the show, the president’s closest advisers tell us otherwise. That is unfortunate. We believe it would be better for America and the rest of the world if he would keep his 60-inch-plus flat-screen TV tuned to “Fox & Friends.”
For those lucky enough to miss Thursday’s West Wing temper tantrum, the president continued a year-long habit of lashing out at “Morning Joe” while claiming to never watch it. During his early-morning tirade, Mr. Trump spit out schoolyard insults about “low I.Q. Crazy Mika,” “Psycho Joe” and much worse. He also fit a flurry of falsehoods in his two-part tweetstorm.
Mr. Trump claims that we asked to join him at Mar-a-Lago three nights in a row. That is false. He also claimed that he refused to see us. That is laughable.
The president-elect invited us both to dinner on Dec. 30. Joe attended because Mika did not want to go. After listening to the president-elect talk about his foreign policy plans, Joe was asked by a disappointed Mr. Trump the next day if Mika could also visit Mar-a-Lago that night. She reluctantly agreed to go. After we arrived, the president-elect pulled us into his family’s living quarters with his wife, Melania, where we had a pleasant conversation. We politely declined his repeated invitations to attend a New Year’s Eve party, and we were back in our car within 15 minutes.
Mr. Trump also claims that Mika was “bleeding badly from a face-lift.” That is also a lie.
Putting aside Mr. Trump’s never-ending obsession with women’s blood, Mika and her face were perfectly intact, as pictures from that night reveal. And though it is no one’s business, the president’s petulant personal attack against yet another woman’s looks compels us to report that Mika has never had a face-lift. If she had, it would be evident to anyone watching “Morning Joe” on their high-definition TV. She did have a little skin under her chin tweaked, but this was hardly a state secret. Her mother suggested she do so, and all those around her were aware of this mundane fact.
More significant is Mr. Trump’s continued mistreatment of women. It is disturbing that the president of the United States keeps up his unrelenting assault on women. From his menstruation musings about Megyn Kelly, to his fat-shaming treatment of a former Miss Universe, to his braggadocio claims about grabbing women’s genitalia, the 45th president is setting the poorest of standards for our children. We were heartened to hear a number of Republican lawmakers call out Mr. Trump for his offensive words and can only hope that the women who are closest to him will follow their examples. It would be the height of hypocrisy to claim the mantle of women’s empowerment while allowing a family member to continue such abusive conduct.
 Play Video 2:57
Trump's 'Morning Joe' tweets are just the latest step in a years-long feud
The Fix's Callum Borchers explains the years-long feud between President Trump and the hosts of MSNBC's “Morning Joe.” (Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post)
We have known Mr. Trump for more than a decade and have some fond memories of our relationship together. But that hasn’t stopped us from criticizing his abhorrent behavior or worrying about his fitness. During the height of the 2016 presidential campaign, Joe often listened to Trump staff members complain about their boss’s erratic behavior, including a top campaign official who was as close to the Republican candidate as anyone.
We, too, have noticed a change in his behavior over the past few years. Perhaps that is why we were neither shocked nor insulted by the president’s personal attack. The Donald Trump we knew before the campaign was a flawed character but one who still seemed capable of keeping his worst instincts in check.

Trump just called for 32 Million People to lose their health insurance coverage.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/06/30/dont-sugarcoat-this-trump-just-called-for-32-million-people-to-lose-health-coverage/?utm_term=.b204abbf636d



Don’t sugarcoat this. Trump just called for 32 million people to lose health coverage.

President Trump’s profound ignorance about policy and the inner workings of our system, and his total disinterest in informing himself about these topics, have produced an unfortunate result: Many of his tweets about matters of substance tend to get ignored as Trump just being Trump. Meanwhile, the viscerally disgusting insults (such as the one claiming Mika Brzezinski bled from her face lift) make international news.
But Trump’s tweet this morning about health care actually does matter, a lot:
This is getting a lot of attention today, but mainly as a call for Republicans to adopt a particular legislative strategy. As such, it makes little sense: Republicans are struggling to find 50 votes for their current repeal-and-replace bill, with many moderates balking, so it’s hard to see how outright repeal could get a bare majority.
Beyond this, though, it’s worth taking Trump’s tweet as an actual policy statement. Trump has now called for total repeal of the Affordable Care Act, with no guarantee of any specific replacement later, or even a guarantee that any replacement would ever materialize at all.
It’s hard to estimate what would happen if Republicans did act on this and Trump signed it. Republicans probably wouldn’t be able to repeal some key portions of the Affordable Care Act — particularly its insurance market regulations — via a simple majority “reconciliation” vote. But they could theoretically repeal things with a budgetary orientation, such as the individual mandate and the Medicaid expansion and the subsidies to lower-income people why buy insurance on the exchanges.
We can estimate the impact of repealing those things. Indeed, the Congressional Budget Office has already done so, when it analyzed a previous version of a GOP repeal bill over a year ago. And this analysis found that repealing those things would result in 32 million people losing coverage by 2026, 19 million of them people who would lose Medicaid coverage.
 Play Video 1:27
Fact Check: Does the Senate health-care bill include cuts to Medicaid?
President Trump and his advisors claim spending for Medicaid will continue to increase under the Senate health-care proposal. CBO projections suggest otherwise. (Video: Meg Kelly/Photo: Julio Negron/The Washington Post)
This is unequivocally what Trump has now called for. And it is substantially worse than what is currently being debated in the Senate, which would result in 23 million people losing coverage over 10 years, 15 million of them from Medicaid, per the CBO.
“When Republicans floated their repeal bill back in 2016, CBO concluded that 32 million people would lose coverage, relative to the current baseline, by 2026,” Nicolas Bagley, a health policy expert at the University of Michigan, emailed me today. “Fully 19 million people would be kicked off of Medicaid. Those coverage losses are even grimmer than the losses from the House and Senate bills that are currently under discussion.”
Whether Trump meant this or not, or even knew what he was calling for, are irrelevant. That’s because it could theoretically happen. In fact, conservative Senators such as Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ben Sasse of Nebraska are actively calling on fellow Republicans to go forward with repeal alone right now. Sasse doubled down by tweeting an endorsement of Trump’s demand.
Trump, it pains me to inform you, is the president. When he calls on Congress to do something, he is basically saying that he would sign it if they did do it. There is no reason to treat this as trivial or frivolous, simply because Trump is an ignoramus and a buffoon. Indeed, Republicans have in fact voted for repeal multiple times in the past. The only reason they aren’t doing so right now is because repeal cannot pass, now that there is a Republican in the White House who would actually sign such a bill. (Yes, Trump would sign such a bill in two seconds. He called for one today, remember?)
In this sense, Trump’s tweet is actually kind of useful. It reveals once again that Republicans have been running a massive scam on Obamacare for years. They constantly fulminated for repeal, and voted repeatedly for it, in the full knowledge that Barack Obama would veto it and they would not face the consequences of their rhetoric and vote. The promise of unspecified replacements allowed Republicans to claim they would act to make sure millions didn’t lose coverage, without saying how. But now that repeal could become a reality, they are no longer willing to vote for it, because they would be held accountable for those consequences. By calling for straight-up repeal right now, Trump has now inadvertently called their bluff.
Indeed, it’s not even clear that Senate Republicans can pass repeal and replace, because it has become obvious that even this would result in many millions losing health coverage, extracting an immense human toll that is now a genuine possibility. Moderate Republican Senators have conceded this to be the case, and their seemingly genuine qualms about this constitute a pleasant surprise. But Republicans who have no serious misgivings about such an awful outcome have resorted, for political reasons, to all manner of lies and obfuscation to obscure this reality.
This includes Trump and the White House, who have dissembled relentlessly about how their plan would leave everybody covered and wouldn’t cut Medicaid at all. But now Trump has confirmed that he is indeed for full repeal, full stop — which would result in 32 million fewer covered — without any guaranteed “replacement” providing any cover to advance the lie that millions wouldn’t lose coverage. Trump has unmasked his own scam.
* BLEEDING HEART REPUBLICANS OBJECT TO TAXES ON RICH: Note how Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) is now criticizing the GOP health bill:
“It’s not equitable to have a situation where you’re increasing the burden on lower-income citizens and lessening the burden on wealthy citizens. That’s not a proposition that is sustainable, and I think leadership knows that.”
That’s nice, but there is no way the final bill will not do this to a great extent, even if throw a bit more  spending into it. Yet Corker will still vote Yes in the end.
* IS WHITE HOUSE PLANNING TRADE WARS? Axios reports that at a tense meeting this week, top White House officials debated whether to launch trade wars by seeking to boost tariffs on steel and other imports. Trump and top adviser Stephen K. Bannon favor this. But:
More than 75% of those present … were adamantly opposed, arguing it was bad economics and bad global politics. At one point, Trump was told his almost entire cabinet thought this was a bad idea. But everyone left the room believing the country is headed toward a major trade confrontation. The reason, we’re told: Trump’s base — which drives more and more decisions, as his popularity sinks — likes the idea, and will love the fight.
We’ll find out soon enough how real this is, but for now, the disturbing thing is that it is perfectly plausible that this actually is the “thinking.”
* DEBUNKING WHITE HOUSE NONSENSE ABOUT MEDICAID: Trump and the White House like to say that the health bill wouldn’t actually “cut” Medicaid, because spending would still rise more slowly. Michelle Lee sets the record straight:
In 2017, the federal government spent $393 billion on Medicaid. If no change is made to the current law, that spending is expected to be $624 billion by 2026. The CBO calculates this by taking several factors into account, such as projected enrollment growth, health-care costs, inflation, population growth and policies that states may enact … But things would change under the Senate bill. Instead of Medicaid spending growing to $624 billion by 2026, it would be $464 billion — a difference of $160 billion in 2026. This means a reduction of $772 billion over 10 years, from 2017 to 2026.
It’s amazing that what the White House claims is not a cut would somehow result in 15 million fewer people on the program, isn’t it?
* REPUBLICANS FACE DAUNTING SUMMER AGENDA: NBC’s First Read crew points out that Republicans have a ton of hurdles ahead, even putting aside the health care mess:
Trump and Congress have a lot on their plate before their summer recess in August — raising the debt limit, passing a budget, moving on tax reform. It’s a daunting agenda during the best of times. And it’s much, much harder with a distracted president, a commander-in-chief whose approval rating is in the 30s and 40s.
Just wait until Trump starts tweeting about the debt limit.
* WHY REPUBLICANS KEEP PUSHING FOR REPEAL AND REPLACE: Paul Krugman explains it:
Because Republicans spent almost the entire Obama administration railing against the imaginary horrors of the Affordable Care Act — death panels! — repealing Obamacare was bound to be their first priority. Once the prospect of repeal became real, however, Republicans had to face the fact that Obamacare, far from being the failure they portrayed, has done what it was supposed to do: It used higher taxes on the rich to pay for a vast expansion of health coverage. Correspondingly, trying to reverse the A.C.A. means taking away health care from people who desperately need it in order to cut taxes on the rich.
Right. And no matter how hard they hope for a magical escape hatch from the political and moral predicament this has created, this is what they will be supporting if they vote Yes.
* JOE AND MIKA HIT BACK: Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski write a joint op ed hitting back at Trump’s claim that Brzezinski was “bleeding badly from a face lift,” claiming that the face lift never happened and that Trump “is not well.” Note this:
The president’s unhealthy obsession with our show has been in the public record for months … This year, top White House staff members warned that the National Enquirer was planning to publish a negative article about us unless we begged the president to have the story spiked. We ignored their desperate pleas.
It’s hard to know what’s stranger about this anecdote — the suggestion that White House staffers made this warning or the claim that they demanded a show of groveling to the president.
* WHITE HOUSE DEFENDS TRUMP’S MIKA TWEET: Top Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway was asked on “Good Morning America” if she endorses Trump’s tweets about Brzezinski. Conway replied:
“I like the fact that the president uses his social media platform to connect directly with Americans. And in this case … the president normally does not draw first blood. He is a counter-puncher.”

The funny thing about this is that it’s probably more about keeping Trump’s ego puffed up than about persuading anyone else. Trump likes to think of himself as a “counter-puncher.”