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Trumpcare: The Album, old socialists, Up With People!

Friday, June 16, 2017




► In today’s NY Times — GOP senators might not realize it but not one state supports the Republican health care bill — It’s no secret that the American Health Care Act is unpopular. In recent national polls, only about 29 percent of Americans support the bill. It is the most unpopular piece of major legislation Congress has considered in decades — even more unloved than TARP (“the bailout”), and much more unpopular than the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

► From TPM — Study: Political uncertainty driving two-thirds of 2018 Obamacare premium increases — The bulk of the premium increases in the Affordable Care Act exchanges expected next year can be blamed on the political uncertainty driven by the Trump administration, a report by an actuarial firm found this week. Experts at Oliver Wyman estimated that two-thirds of the rate increases in the 2018 plan year will be due to the White House’s refusal to say whether it will continue paying out key Obamacare subsidies to insurers, as well as the ambiguity as to whether the law’s individual mandate will be enforced next year.

► From Vox — We asked 8 Senate Republicans to explain what their health bill is trying to do — Senate Republicans can’t answer simple and critical questions about the health care bill they’re crafting in secret. Some still can’t say what it’s trying to do — other than garner enough votes to pass the Senate — or how they believe it will improve the American health care system.

EDITOR’S NOTE — The Entire Staff of The Stand LOVES this photo. It’s like an album cover for Trumpcare. Brilliant!




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Lawmakers reach deal on paid family leave for all workers — Workers in Washington would enjoy the best paid family leave benefits in the nation under a tentative accord reached by Democratic and Republican lawmakers late Wednesday. “We’ve reached agreement on a framework,” Rep. June Robinson (D-Everett) said Thursday. “It will be the strongest policy in the country.” It’s not a done deal. Details must still be written into legislation and approved by the House and Senate. But legislators involved in the negotiations sounded confident Thursday the paid-leave program created a decade ago but never implemented will soon get off the ground. “I’m very pleased with the results of the negotiation,” said Sen. Joe Fain (R-Auburn). Wednesday’s agreement culminates years of efforts and a changing political dynamic.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Inslee pressures lawmakers as budget talks near the brink — again — In a repeat of 2013 and 2015, state lawmakers have pushed budget talks to the brink of a potential government shutdown. Gov. Jay Inslee has threatened to block any attempt to extend the June 30 deadline.




► In today’s NY Times — Why are so many young voters falling for old socialists? (by Sarah Leonard) — Politicians like Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn have carried the left-wing torch in a sort of long-distance relay, skipping generations of centrists like Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, to hand it to today’s under-35s. Both Britain and the United States used to have parties that at least pledged allegiance to workers. Since the 1970s, and accelerating in the ’80s and ’90s, the left-wing planks have one by one been ripped from their platforms. This left many voters with a sense that there is no left-wing party devoted to protecting the interests of the poor, the working class and the young. Meanwhile, people my age — I’m 29 — are more in need of a robust leftist platform than ever.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Of course, Bernie also looks good by default…

► In today’s Washington Post — Trump lashes out at Russia probe; Pence hires a lawyer

► From The Hill — Trump disapproval hits 64 percent in AP poll

► From HuffPost — Hillary Clinton’s old campaign Twitter springs back to life to troll Trump

► In today’s NY Times — World offers cautionary tale for Trump’s infrastructure plan — The rest of the planet bears a warning for President Trump’s plan to lean heavily on private business in conjuring a trillion dollars’ worth of American infrastructure: Handing profit-making companies responsibility for public works can produce trouble. In India, politically connected firms have captured contracts on the strength of relationships with officialdom, yielding defective engineering at bloated prices. When Britain handed control to private companies to upgrade London’s subway system more than a decade ago, the result was substandard, budget-busting work, prompting the government to step back in. Canada has suffered a string of excessive costs on public projects funneled through the private sector, like a landmark bridge in Vancouver and hospitals in Ontario. By contrast, China has engineered one of the most effective economic transformations in modern history in part through relentless investment in infrastructure, traditionally financed and overseen by an unabashedly powerful state.

ALSO at The Stand — America for sale — CHEAP! (Needs work.)




► In today’s Seattle Times — Amazon to buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in bid to become major grocer — is buying Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition ever and a huge move into the grocery space it’s been trying to crack for a decade.

► From The Root — Writers Union to Ebony magazine: Pay like you weigh #EbonyOwes — What happens when Ebony magazine promises over and over again that it’s going to pay its freelance writers “soon,” but reportedly throws an expensive Super Bowl party in Houston and hosts a lavish company event in Los Angeles with money that was initially earmarked to pay said freelancers? A union steps in and tells the magazine it needs to put up or shut up.




► Gather ’round, kids. Let the Entire Staff of The Stand tell you about the Super Bowl halftime shows we had back when America was great, before all the nipple slips and bird flips. A troupe called Up With People had that gig five times between 1976 and 1986. Created in the mid-1960s and funded by the likes of Halliburton, GM and Exxon, this Denver-based group set out to counter the hippie subculture of the time and inspire good morals among The Youth. Smile ‘Til It Hurts, a 2009 documentary about UWP, claimed that the group emphasized extreme right-wing politics and its rules were similar to those of a religious cult, including arranged marriages. We don’t know about that. But in today’s cynical and divided America, we could all use a little reminder of UWP’s powerful message: “Up! Up with people! You meet ’em wherever you go. Up! Up with People! They’re the best kind of folks we know.”


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