24 days after Congress let CHIP lapse, Pennsylvania Republican is targeting transgender kids

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Republicans in Congress let funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program expire, and now, 24 days later, a state lawmaker in Pennsylvania is targeting transgender kids as a condition of renewing the program in that state. State Sen. Donald White is attaching an amendment to CHIP reauthorization that would ban “reimbursement for gender or sex reassignment surgery or gender or sex transition services, including, but not limited to, physician’s services, inpatient and outpatient hospital services, prescribed drugs or counseling services related to such surgery or services.”

White seemed to indicate that his amendment was meant to address surgeries. “It is completely inappropriate to use state funds to pay for sex change operations for children,” he said in a statement. “This program provides vital health care services for Pennsylvania’s children. It is irresponsible to allow its limited resources to be used for sex change procedures.”

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Can Trump quit hurling insults long enough to unite Republicans around tax cuts for the rich?

The White House is gearing up to make an all-out push for that package of tax cuts for rich people that is Republicans’ last chance to end 2017 looking like they have a clue what they’re doing. The problem is, Donald Trump is once again getting in his own way. With Trump about to head to Capitol Hill for lunch with Senate Republicans, he’s feuding with Sen. Bob Corker—again. Corker went on the Today show Tuesday morning and ever so politely told Trump to butt out of the tax bill-writing process, saying:

“What I hope is going to happen is the president will leave this effort, if you will, to the tax-writing committees, let them do their work and not begin taking things off the table that ought to be debated in these committees at the proper time.”

That was in response to Trump promising no changes to 401(k) accounts.

Continue reading “Can Trump quit hurling insults long enough to unite Republicans around tax cuts for the rich?”

Trump administration bars government scientists from speaking at climate change conference

Under Donald Blowhard Trump, Republican thought leaders continue implementing their lifelong dream of kicking objective reality in the shins because reasons.

The Environmental Protection Agency has canceled the speaking appearance of three agency scientists who were scheduled to discuss climate change at a conference on Monday in Rhode Island, according to the agency and several people involved.
John Konkus, an E.P.A. spokesman and a former Trump campaign operative in Florida, confirmed that agency scientists would not speak at the State of the Narragansett Bay and Watershed program in Providence. He provided no further explanation.

The “former Trump campaign operative” is of course sufficient explanation on its own. As for what the scientists are being barred from discussing:

Scientists there will unveil the report on the state of [Narragansett Bay], which E.P.A. scientists helped research and write. Among the findings will be that climate change is affecting air

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Georgia legislator says she was trying to be ‘provocative’ with HIV ‘quarantine’ comments

Ah, the old “I was just trying to be edgy” defense.

Betty Price, the wife of former HHS Secretary Tom Price, is defending her comment about quarantining people with HIV as an attempt to be provocative about a public health crisis. […]
“I made a provocative and rhetorical comment as part of a free-flowing conversation which has been taken completely out of context.” she said in a statement to the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Saturday.

In that aforementioned free-flowing conversation, Price had mentioned “quarantine” and noted how Americans with HIV are not dying as “readily” as they once did.

“It seems to me it’s almost frightening the number of people who are living that are potentially carriers, well not carriers, with the potential to spread, whereas in the past they died more readily and at that point they are not posing a risk. So we’ve got a huge

Continue reading “Georgia legislator says she was trying to be ‘provocative’ with HIV ‘quarantine’ comments”

23 days after CHIP expired, Virginia preparing to tell families their kids will lose health coverage

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Nearly 9 million children across the country are in the Children’s Health Insurance Program, with 65,000 of them (along with 1,100 pregnant women) in Virginia. Thanks to Republicans in Congress letting the CHIP program expire, Virginia now faces a December 1 deadline to let families know that their children’s coverage will end on January 31. That could mean disaster for children and their families:

The result would look would like this: a child with asthma who loses health insurance will have nothing to prevent future asthmatic episodes and will almost certainly end up in the emergency room, said Dr. Richard Bennett, a pediatrician at the Bon Secours Richmond Community Hospital.

“The coverage that would have cost a few dollars to hundreds of dollars will now cost a family thousands to tens of thousands of dollars,” Bennett said.

The ripples would expand from there. The child would likely miss

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White House’s top white nationalist could become Trump’s new communications director

Last week Trump’s White House sent senior “policy” adviser Stephen Miller before the nation’s cameras to give a press briefing on the White House’s newest immigration “policy” theories. His answers were peppered with dog whistles and talking points promoted by white supremacists. It was a bizarre performance by the dead-eyed policy adviser of no particular qualifications, but his hostile demeanor and insult-laden responses appear to be exactly what Trump wants to see in front of the cameras.

And so all grow’d up Children of the Corn extra Stephen Miller finds himself on the list of potential Scaramucci successors, as Trump and team ponder whether to make him—and this is apparently a legitimate story and not an Onionesque satire—the new White House communications director.

Steve Bannon likes the idea of Miller for the job, and Miller was the hero of the West Wing after he attacked Acosta as a “cosmopolitan” for

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An unstable commander in chief: Trump’s ban on transgender troops was result of a tantrum

We already knew that Donald Trump’s new ban against transgendered troops in our nation’s military came as a surprise to military leaders. Now we’re learning that the impetus for the sudden policy change was considerably more crude than even detractors suspected.

The short version? Politico reports that Donald Trump announced a ban on transgendered military members because he was frustrated with the government’s lawyers trying to explain the implications of such policies to him.

President Donald Trump’s White House and Defense Department lawyers had warned him against the transgender military ban for days. They were concerned about the ramifications of the policy, how military officials would respond and what legal backlash it could cause, two West Wing officials familiar with last month’s discussions said. The lawyers thought there would be plenty of time for more discussions and were analyzing arguments.
Frustrated with being “slow-walked,” in the words of one White House

Continue reading “An unstable commander in chief: Trump’s ban on transgender troops was result of a tantrum”

In Texas, the number of poor women on birth control dropped after Planned Parenthood was defunded

When the Framers of the Constitution wrote about freedom of religion, it is certain that they meant that government should not force certain religious beliefs on the citizens of this country. Indeed, the First Amendment asserts that individuals and groups have the right to practice (or not) any religion they choose. Yet, Republicans insist on turning their religious beliefs into law. And there is no other example of this that is quite so egregious as their obsession with abortion and Planned Parenthood.

In Texas, Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood have already caused all kinds of havoc like an increase in teen abortion rates. And a new study shows that four years after Planned Parenthood was dropped from the state’s family-planning program for low-income women, “the number of clients obtaining birth control dropped by 41 percent.”

Using the state’s own data, the Center for Public Policy Priorities reported that, from 2011 to 2015,

Continue reading “In Texas, the number of poor women on birth control dropped after Planned Parenthood was defunded”

In Texas, the number of poor women on birth control dropped after Planned Parenthood was defunded

When the Framers of the Constitution wrote about freedom of religion, it is certain that they meant that government should not force certain religious beliefs on the citizens of this country. Indeed, the First Amendment asserts that individuals and groups have the right to practice (or not) any religion they choose. Yet, Republicans insist on turning their religious beliefs into law. And there is no other example of this that is quite so egregious as their obsession with abortion and Planned Parenthood.

In Texas, Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood have already caused all kinds of havoc like an increase in teen abortion rates. And a new study shows that four years after Planned Parenthood was dropped from the state’s family-planning program for low-income women, “the number of clients obtaining birth control dropped by 41 percent.”

Using the state’s own data, the Center for Public Policy Priorities reported that, from 2011 to 2015,

Continue reading “In Texas, the number of poor women on birth control dropped after Planned Parenthood was defunded”

In Texas, the number of poor women on birth control dropped after Planned Parenthood was defunded

When the Framers of the Constitution wrote about freedom of religion, it is certain that they meant that government should not force certain religious beliefs on the citizens of this country. Indeed, the First Amendment asserts that individuals and groups have the right to practice (or not) any religion they choose. Yet, Republicans insist on turning their religious beliefs into law. And there is no other example of this that is quite so egregious as their obsession with abortion and Planned Parenthood.

In Texas, Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood have already caused all kinds of havoc like an increase in teen abortion rates. And a new study shows that four years after Planned Parenthood was dropped from the state’s family-planning program for low-income women, “the number of clients obtaining birth control dropped by 41 percent.”

Using the state’s own data, the Center for Public Policy Priorities reported that, from 2011 to 2015,

Continue reading “In Texas, the number of poor women on birth control dropped after Planned Parenthood was defunded”

Paul Ryan: When we lose in 2018 it will be the Republican Senate’s fault

Fun times. While Senate Republicans are trying to contain Trump, and pretend like everything happening in America, 2017 is perfectly normal, House Speaker Paul Ryan is taking a big dump on Senate Republicans.

“If we don’t do our job we will depress turnout,” Ryan told the Wisconsin State Journal. “I am frustrated as well.”

Ryan blamed inaction on the Senate, which recently failed to pass a bill to repeal Obamacare.

“We’re pretty frustrated with the slow pace of things (in the Senate), but in the House, we’ve actually done most of our agenda except for welfare reform and tax reform,” he said. …

“The problem isn’t having President Trump sign bills into law and it isn’t getting bills out of the House—the problem is getting these bills through the Senate,” he said.

Sure, he says, there are “distractions” out there (not mentioning the distraction in chief’s name) “whether

Continue reading “Paul Ryan: When we lose in 2018 it will be the Republican Senate’s fault”

Paul Ryan: When we lose in 2018 it will be the Republican Senate’s fault

Fun times. While Senate Republicans are trying to contain Trump, and pretend like everything happening in America, 2017 is perfectly normal, House Speaker Paul Ryan is taking a big dump on Senate Republicans.

“If we don’t do our job we will depress turnout,” Ryan told the Wisconsin State Journal. “I am frustrated as well.”

Ryan blamed inaction on the Senate, which recently failed to pass a bill to repeal Obamacare.

“We’re pretty frustrated with the slow pace of things (in the Senate), but in the House, we’ve actually done most of our agenda except for welfare reform and tax reform,” he said. …

“The problem isn’t having President Trump sign bills into law and it isn’t getting bills out of the House—the problem is getting these bills through the Senate,” he said.

Sure, he says, there are “distractions” out there (not mentioning the distraction in chief’s name) “whether

Continue reading “Paul Ryan: When we lose in 2018 it will be the Republican Senate’s fault”

Paul Ryan: When we lose in 2018 it will be the Republican Senate’s fault

Fun times. While Senate Republicans are trying to contain Trump, and pretend like everything happening in America, 2017 is perfectly normal, House Speaker Paul Ryan is taking a big dump on Senate Republicans.

“If we don’t do our job we will depress turnout,” Ryan told the Wisconsin State Journal. “I am frustrated as well.”

Ryan blamed inaction on the Senate, which recently failed to pass a bill to repeal Obamacare.

“We’re pretty frustrated with the slow pace of things (in the Senate), but in the House, we’ve actually done most of our agenda except for welfare reform and tax reform,” he said. …

“The problem isn’t having President Trump sign bills into law and it isn’t getting bills out of the House—the problem is getting these bills through the Senate,” he said.

Sure, he says, there are “distractions” out there (not mentioning the distraction in chief’s name) “whether

Continue reading “Paul Ryan: When we lose in 2018 it will be the Republican Senate’s fault”

Paul Ryan: When we lose in 2018 it will be the Republican Senate’s fault

Fun times. While Senate Republicans are trying to contain Trump, and pretend like everything happening in America, 2017 is perfectly normal, House Speaker Paul Ryan is taking a big dump on Senate Republicans.

“If we don’t do our job we will depress turnout,” Ryan told the Wisconsin State Journal. “I am frustrated as well.”

Ryan blamed inaction on the Senate, which recently failed to pass a bill to repeal Obamacare.

“We’re pretty frustrated with the slow pace of things (in the Senate), but in the House, we’ve actually done most of our agenda except for welfare reform and tax reform,” he said. …

“The problem isn’t having President Trump sign bills into law and it isn’t getting bills out of the House—the problem is getting these bills through the Senate,” he said.

Sure, he says, there are “distractions” out there (not mentioning the distraction in chief’s name) “whether

Continue reading “Paul Ryan: When we lose in 2018 it will be the Republican Senate’s fault”

Republicans in disarray insist that fighting Trump is ‘healthy’

The first six months of the Trump presidency will go down as the least productive, most tumultuous ever for a unified government. The Republican House, Senate, and White House should be a juggernaut of dystopian productivity. Instead, we’re heading into the August recess with the Senate two weeks earlier than planned, having taken taken precautions to make sure Trump can’t make recess appointments while they’re away. What Republicans have managed to achieve in the past few months has been done without any help from the administration or to actually isolate and hamper Trump.

Among its more notable successes this year, and against Mr. Trump’s objections, Congress passed a tough Russia sanctions bill with a veto-proof majority, which the president begrudgingly signed this week. Congress also approved a law to help veterans get health care—a bipartisan, bicameral, messy but ultimately successful effort that came together with zero involvement from the administration.

Continue reading “Republicans in disarray insist that fighting Trump is ‘healthy’”

Trump emerging as one of weakest executives in history as Republicans, cabinet heads openly defy him

Donald Trump is fast becoming one of the weakest presidents the nation has ever seen after going to war with a federal government that is defying him at every turn. Despite the fact that he has lashed out repeatedly at congressional Republicans, for instance, they are brazenly ignoring him. The same goes for Trump’s cabinet heads, who are clearly going about their business as if Trump were nothing more than pesky a flea on their behind. Annoying? Sure. But essentially toothless.

First, let’s just appreciate how desperately Trump wants Republican lawmakers to take the wrap for his failure in leadership. He blamed them today for our souring relationship with Russia, adding, “the same people can’t even give us HCare!” He declared his superiority over them yesterday in a statement on the Russia sanctions bill, asserting that he could make “far better deals with foreign countries than Congress.” And last week after

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With Trumpcare back in the grave, red states move to slash Medicaid on their own

Since the dream of destroying Medicaid died with the latest Trumpcare failure, the Trump administration and red state governors are going to have to just do what they can with their existing powers, and those powers are making life as miserable as possible for those people who have Medicaid. One of the first things the Trump administration did was to relax the rules so that states could fundamentally alter and shrink the program.

At least six states with GOP governors— Arkansas, Kentucky, Arizona, Maine, Wisconsin and Indiana — have already drafted plans meant to introduce new rules people would have to meet to be eligible for Medicaid, which provides healthcare to the poor.
Some want to add work requirements or introduce drug testing for recipients. Others want to raise premium prices. […]

Critics say the proposed changes will leave fewer people on Medicaid and hurt the poor and vulnerable.

“There are

Continue reading “With Trumpcare back in the grave, red states move to slash Medicaid on their own”

NAACP issues travel warning for Missouri based on its new ‘Jim Crow Bill’

We’ve had no shortage of baffling, head scratching and nauseating moments in the last six months. Republicans are determined to take us back in time with regard to every indicator in terms of social progress and equality—and they aren’t stopping anytime soon. In Missouri, Gov. Eric Greitens recently signed a bill that could only be described as a throwback. In fact, the local NAACP is calling it the “Jim Crow Bill.” And they are warning travelers about visiting the state now that the bill has been signed into law.

Americans used to getting warnings about the potential dangers of traveling overseas, but this summer, the NAACP put out an extraordinary warning about travel here at home — in Missouri.

The warning advises “extreme caution,” saying travelers could be subject to “discrimination and harassment.”

The bill has to do with the ability to file discrimination claims on the basis of race,

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Trump is not going to let Trumpcare go

It is now August. The House of Representatives got the hell out of town last week. Senate leadership is rushing to the doors. And popular vote loser Donald Trump is still having his Trumpcare tantrum.

While Republicans in the Senate have announced plans for bipartisan hearings on health care beginning when Congress returns to work after Labor Day, the White House is making clear that President Donald Trump continues to look for more immediate answers on a GOP health care bill that would involve getting only a majority of Republican votes in the Senate, as he meets Wednesday afternoon with one key GOP lawmaker, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio. […]
Portman has made clear to reporters in recent days that while last week’s defeat of the GOP ‘skinny’ bill was a setback, he’s not ready to give up on the GOP figuring out how to get to 50 votes in

Continue reading “Trump is not going to let Trumpcare go”

Trump is not going to let Trumpcare go

It is now August. The House of Representatives got the hell out of town last week. Senate leadership is rushing to the doors. And popular vote loser Donald Trump is still having his Trumpcare tantrum.

While Republicans in the Senate have announced plans for bipartisan hearings on health care beginning when Congress returns to work after Labor Day, the White House is making clear that President Donald Trump continues to look for more immediate answers on a GOP health care bill that would involve getting only a majority of Republican votes in the Senate, as he meets Wednesday afternoon with one key GOP lawmaker, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio. […]
Portman has made clear to reporters in recent days that while last week’s defeat of the GOP ‘skinny’ bill was a setback, he’s not ready to give up on the GOP figuring out how to get to 50 votes in

Continue reading “Trump is not going to let Trumpcare go”