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Senate To Move Ahead On Health Care Reform Votes That Seem Unlikely To Succeed

  • Just since the beginning of the month, we’ve seen Senate Republicans delay a planned vote on their health care overhaul until after the July 4th recess because they didn’t have the votes to pass it in its then-current form.
  • WASHINGTON — The Republican health care push was declared dead Wednesday morning.
  • On the cusp of a humiliating and politically disastrous defeat, President Trump and the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, took extraordinary resuscitative measures on Wednesday to pump oxygen back into their badly fading effort to overturn the Affordable Care Act.
  • It may be only a temporary reprieve, but a fight that seemed finished just hours earlier was renewed and headed for a pivotal vote next week.
Doug Mataconis / Outside The Beltway | July 20, 2017, 1:38 pm

CBO On GOP Obamacare Repeal: 22m Uninsured, $13k Deductible, Premiums Soar For Older

  • The Congressional Budget Office released yet another analysis of yet another Republican Obamacare repeal plan, and this time the numbers are still awful.
  • According to CBO, 22 million fewer Americans will have insurance under the Senate Republican plan (the plan passed by the House GOP will lead to 23 million uninsured), and while premiums will drop over ten years for younger Americans, for older Americans (age 50 and up) they’re likely to soar.
  • Most troubling, for me, CBO noted that premiums may soar for older Americans.
  • Last night, I reported on the new CBO numbers for the simple repeal plan that the GOP was considering yesterday.
John Aravosis / AMERICAblog | July 20, 2017, 1:23 pm

The <em>NY Times</em> Missed An Opportunity To Press Trump On Health Care Specifics

  • The New York Times is drawing well-earned plaudits for yesterday’s news-making interview with President Donald Trump.
  • But in contrast to its other successes, the Times missed out on an opportunity to get Trump to answer questions about health care policy.
  • Based on the voluminous excerpts from the interview the paper has published, which “omit several off-the-record comments and asides,” the Times reporters appeared to make no real effort to get at any of the contradictions surrounding Trump’s health care position, or to elucidate for their audience the type of policies he favors.
  • Here are all the questions The New York Times reporters asked Trump about health care, as well as one comment that inspired a response:
Media Matters for America / Media Matters | July 20, 2017, 11:58 am

Trump Is Fixated On How Long French President Macron Held His Hand

  • In his now already-infamous interview with the NYT’s Maggie Haberman, Donald Trump went off, a lot, about the fact that French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron held his hand.
  • All I can imagine is that Trump is talking about that uncomfortable long handshake they had at the Bastille Day parade.
  • I have to think that Macron did this as a sort of counter to Trump’s notorious man-shaking handshake.
  • Speaking of Macrons and hands, Trump also shaked-and-yanked Macron’s wife, Brigitte, on arriving in Paris recently.
John Aravosis / AMERICAblog | July 20, 2017, 11:18 am

Mueller Charges Across Trump's 'red Line' As Investigation Expands

  • Trump may have just laid down the boundary, but Special Counsel Robert Mueller is already crashing through.
  • FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said.
  • Another area of the investigation is looking into the banks that routed all the Russian funds into the United States—banks that just happened to have another Trump connection.
  • Agents are also interested in dealings with the Bank of Cyprus, where Wilbur Ross served as vice chairman before he became commerce secretary, as well as the efforts of Jared Kushner, the President’s son-in-law and White House aide, to secure financing for some of his family’s real estate properties. (Mark Sumner) / Daily Kos | July 20, 2017, 10:35 am

Is Closing Guantanamo Still Conceivable?

  • Tomorrow marks the six-month anniversary of the inauguration of President Donald J.
  • Trump’s Guantanamo policy is a microcosm of his approach to so much, particularly in foreign affairs and national security policy.
Joshua A. Geltzer / The Atlantic | July 20, 2017, 10:34 am

John McCain Diagnosed With Brain Cancer

  • Arizona Senator John McCain, who underwent surgery last Friday to remove what was initially described as a blood clot from an area above his left eye, has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer that seems likely to keep him out of action for at least several months:
  • WASHINGTON — Senator John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee known for his independent streak over more than three decades representing Arizona in the Senate, has brain cancer, his office disclosed Wednesday night in a statement from the Mayo Clinic.
  • “It was very emotional,” said Senator John Hoeven, Republican of North Dakota, who was present.
  • “He has never shied from a fight, and I know that he will face this challenge with the same extraordinary courage that has characterized his life,” Mr.
Doug Mataconis / Outside The Beltway | July 20, 2017, 10:33 am

<em>Fox & Friends</em> Hosts Defend Trump's Attacks On Sessions' Recusal: "Donald Trump Is A Fighter"

  • AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): Also yesterday, the president was giving an interview and was very critical of the U.S.
  • STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): Well, you know why he did the interview? Today marks six months in office.
  • BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): The problem was, he said he gives bad answers to easy questions.
  • KILMEADE: That's what led to even Republicans calling for Jeff Sessions to recuse himself. 
Media Matters for America / Media Matters | July 20, 2017, 8:53 am

Morning Digest: New Orleans Has A Crowded Race To Succeed Outgoing Mayor Mitch Landrieu

  • On Monday, fundraising numbers covering the period from April 8 to July 6 were due, giving us a good look at everyone's financial strength three months out from Election Day.
  • Cantrell, who represents about one-fifth of the city on the council, launched her campaign back in March.
  • Both Charbonnet and Cantrell are African-American Democratic women, and either would be the city's first female mayor, but there are big differences between the two candidates.
  • And while Charbonnet is close to political insiders, Cantrell, who rose to prominence for her work helping her neighborhood recover from Hurricane Katrina, won her council seat by defeating an opponent who was backed by both Landrieu and local Rep. (Daily Kos Elections) / Daily Kos | July 20, 2017, 7:32 am

The Bipartisan Opposition To Sessions's New Civil-Forfeiture Rules

  • “President Trump has directed this Department of Justice to reduce crime in this country, and we will use every lawful tool that we have to do that,” he said at a gathering of law-enforcement officials on Wednesday.
Matt Ford / The Atlantic | July 20, 2017, 7:31 am

Voter Integrity Commission's Kris Kobach On MSNBC: "We May Never Know" If Clinton Really Won The Popular Vote In 2016

  • KRIS KOBACH: We may never know the answer to that -- we will probably never know the answer to that question, because even if you could prove that a certain number of votes were cast by ineligible voters, for example -- 
  • TUR: Is that why you guys -- is that why this commission [on voter integrity] exists, because the president believes that he would have won the popular vote? 
  • KOBACH: I'm glad you asked that question, because actually, that is not the reason that the commission exists.
  • TUR: So, again, you think that maybe Hillary Clinton did not win the popular vote? 
Media Matters for America / Media Matters | July 20, 2017, 5:48 am

CBO Releases Obamacare Repeal Draft Score: 17 Million Lose Insurance Next Year, 32 Million By 2026

  • The Senator and his family are reviewing further treatment options with his Mayo Clinic care team.
  • Senator McCain appreciates the outpouring of support he has received over the last few days.
  • As of now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will force his unhappy caucus to vote on a motion next week to proceed to some version of Obamacare repeal or Trumpcare replacement. It's unclear as of now whether that will be a reboot of the 2015 repeal bill, or a go at the futile Better Care Reconciliation Act, what they euphemistically call a "replacement" for Obamacare.
  • CBO and JCT estimate that enacting the legislation would affect insurance coverage and premiums primarily in these ways: (Joan McCarter) / Daily Kos | July 20, 2017, 4:30 am

Trump's Voter-Fraud Commission Has Its First Meeting

  • Getting served with seven different lawsuits is probably a bad way to start any job.
  • The LDF lawsuit finds in the new commission a veritable rogues gallery of voter suppression.
Vann R. Newkirk II / The Atlantic | July 20, 2017, 4:28 am

Watch Chris Jansing Expose Voter Fraud Commission Member's Lies To His Face

  • CHRIS JANSING (HOST): I'm joined now by a member of that commission who was in the meeting. Ken Blackwell is the former secretary of state of Ohio. It's good to see you again. The president has made it clear, he thinks that there have been millions of cases of fraud, something that has never in any way been proven. How are people supposed to trust that given what the president has said, given the fact that both the head of this commission and the vice chair are Republicans, that this is going to be any kind, fair judgment of what actually happened? 
  • BLACKWELL:  I hope the public listened in to our meeting today, it was streamed live. And what they saw was a bipartisan commission that focused on the mission of protecting the concept of one person, one vote in the country. You know, sometimes we go too large. There are hundreds of decisions that are made, important decisions that are decided by one vote. And we want to look at ways that we can guarantee that all of the votes cast are legally cast ballots. 
  • JANSING: Would you be better off making sure that people who are entitled to vote can vote? Because the fact of the matter is there have been studies on this. There have been a lot of secretaries of state who are very concerned, who as you know better than anybody, this is their job, very concerned about already the requests that have been made. Let me play for you what the California secretary of state had to say about this today. 
  • XAVIER BECERRA:  They know what the truth is when it comes to voter fraud. There have been studies. There have been investigations. There have been reports issued. And they all say the same thing. Voter fraud is extremely rare and always very isolated. 
Media Matters for America / Media Matters | July 20, 2017, 2:47 am

Kushner, Manafort, Donald Trump Jr. To Appear Before Senate Committees Investigating Russian Hacks

  • After slow-walking and/or stonewalling the investigation into potential Trump campaign links to the Russian government, the explosive news that Jared Kushner, campaign head Paul Manafort, and Donald Trump Jr.
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee, meanwhile, will be hearing from "witnesses" Paul Manafort and Donald Trump Jr. (Hunter) / Daily Kos | July 20, 2017, 1:28 am