Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski- the Health Vote Heroines – by Gail Collins – NYT

“And he underestimated two Senate Republicans, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. John McCain’s “no” vote was the high point of the drama, but Collins and Murkowski were the fierce, consistent forces of resistance that gave McCain his opportunity.
My favorite moment came when Trump dispatched Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to warn Murkowski that if she continued to vote against the bill, her home state of Alaska would lose stuff it wanted from the federal government.”

Sally Yates: Protect the Justice Department From President Trump – The New York Times

“The spectacle of President Trump’s efforts to humiliate the attorney general into resigning has transfixed the country. But while we are busy staring at the wreckage of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ relationship with the man he supported for the presidency, there is something more insidious happening.

The president is attempting to dismantle the rule of law, destroy the time-honored independence of the Justice Department, and undermine the career men and women who are devoted to seeking justice day in and day out, regardless of which political party is in power.”

The Sanctimony and Sin of G.O.P. ‘Moderates’ – by Paul Krugman – NYT

“And three senators, including McCain, declared in a press conference Thursday afternoon that they would indeed vote for this “skinny reform” — but only if assured that the House would go into conference rather than simply passing it. That is, they were willing to vote for something they know is terrible policy, as long as they were assured that it wouldn’t actually become law. The dignity of the Senate, 21st-century style.You might ask, why not just vote no and try to come up with actually good policy? Because, as they also know, Republicans don’t have any good policies to offer, so a bum’s rush is the only way they can pass anything. And, until that last-minute vote, McCain, who has demanded a return to “regular order” in the Senate, turns out to be perfectly willing to help the bums get rushed.”


According to this comment by Socrates, John McCain redeemed himself at the end.


is a trusted commenter Verona NJ 8 hours ago

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
Susan Collins of Maine
John McCain of Arizona

Three moderates from three corners of America went out and prevented an American healthcare massacre.

They deserve our thanks and applause.

As for the 49 Republican Senators who voted blindly for a healthcare insurance massacre of the American people, I hope the truth gets out to all Americans that they were actively trying to hurt, maim and kill their fellow countrymen, women and children through healthcare abandonment and they are forever shamed and shunned for their immorality, sadism and lack of basic humanity.

America’s healthcare system is an international disgrace and the greatest healthcare rip-off in the world…. and they proposed to fix it by destroying the ACA and replacing it with tax cuts for the rich ?

What is it like to have no conscience, no humanity and no human decency ?

What is it like to vote for your fellow Americans to ‘drop dead’ ?

What is it like to sponsor a GOP Death Panel for the poor, the sick and the injured ?

Only in America – only in Republistan and in the morally sick and twisted Trumpland created by Republican ignorance, greed and cruelty – did they proudly trying to kill their own citizens.

The Make America Sick Again campaign is a failure, thanks to three moderate Republicans, but what about those 49 sickos who voted for it ?

Eternal shame and damnation is forever theirs.

And eternal thanks to President Obama and the Democrats for Making America Great Again.

The Climate Lab That Sits Empty – By Hillary  Rosner – NYT

“The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration first sought funding for this program without success in 2012 and is trying yet again this year. But there seems to be little hope that lawmakers will finally provide the roughly $5 million for the machine and attendant research program. Worse, the whole national greenhouse-gas monitoring program may be at risk, if Congress approves President Trump’s proposed cuts to climate science.

Losing that program would be catastrophic to the world’s ability to track and address climate change. The monitoring system, called the Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network and run by NOAA, is the most extensive network of its kind. It also provides the scale against which every other international institution calibrates its greenhouse gas measurements.”

No Insurance- but for 3 Days- Health Care Is Within Reach – by Nicholas Kristof – NYT

The patients swamped the county fairground here for a three-day health extravaganza of free care organized by Remote Area Medical, an aid group that holds these events across the country. This one involved about 1,400 volunteers serving 2,300 men and women who needed care of every kind.Some patients camped out for three days at the fairground gate before the clinic opened to make sure they would be treated.

Wow- Trump Can’t Terminate – by Gail Collins – NYT

Gail Collins today is priceless. For everything else, there is Mastercard.

“Trump appears completely unaware that he’s beginning to look like the worst terminator in history. Introducing Tom Price, the secretary of health and human services, at an event this week, the president jovially said that Price had better get the health care bill passed through Congress, “otherwise, I’ll say: ‘Tom, you’re fired.’ I’ll get somebody.”

This was at that Boy Scouts jamboree when Trump did such a great job of impersonating your Uncle Fred Who Gets Drunk at Family Dinners. How many of you think the Boy Scouts have been yearning for the day when the president would come to their big event, tell the teens that their federal government is a “sewer,” recount a long and incoherent story about a real estate developer who went off to make whoopee on his yacht, and brag incessantly about having won the election? On the plus side, Trump did not misrepresent the Scout position on Hezbollah.”

To understand this brilliantly funny last line, you will have to read all of Gail’s column.

‘First They Came For …’ – by Charles Blow – NYT

It is no longer sufficient to brand Donald Trump as abnormal, a designation that is surely applicable but that falls significantly short in registering the magnitude of the menace.The standard nomenclature of normal politics must be abandoned. What we are witnessing is nothing less than an assault on the fundamentals of the country itself: on our legacy institutions and our sense of protocol, decency and honesty.In any other circumstance, we might likely write this off as the trite protestations of a man trapped in a toddler’s temperament, full of meltdowns, magical thinking and make believe. But this man’s vindictiveness and mendacity are undergirded by the unequaled power of the American president, and as such he has graduated on the scale of power from toddler to budding tyrant.”

Bravo, excellent op-ed. Continue to Blow-  Charles. I’m so sick and exhausted regarding this president that I do not want to read anymore about Donald Trump, and his slow demolition of our country. And yet,  the great writers find more to say, and better ways to say what we already know. You are a strong member of a strong team. Just this week, Frank Bruni discribed how Trump is stalking Hillary Clinton. Ross Douthat explained why Trump’s turning on Session is proof that Trump is an incompetent idiot. Your not so easy to summarize. Perhaps, we had better stop Trump, before he destroys our democracy. Hitler did it, and it does happen, when enough people refuse to speak up and fight back.

Here is a comment I enjoyed.

Bruce Rozenblit is a trusted commenter Kansas City,MO 4 hours ago

But yet!

In spite of all of Trump’s transgressions, his defiling of the Office of the Presidency, his non stop lies and daily demonstrations of serious mental illness and steadily advancing dementia, millions cling to him as if he we the second coming. Why is that?

1) Because these people want a second coming and chose Trump. He is their deliverer.

2) Because his supporters are now faced with the possibility that they have all been conned, duped and defrauded. As one woman told the press, “I wouldn’t have voted for him if he was an idiot.” She concludes that Trump is therefore not an idiot because she voted for him. In other words, rejecting Trump means she has to reject herself, her own judgement. She can’t do that so she continues to support Trump. His supporters have boxed themselves in.

3) They have been bribed with jobs that will not return. Low and unskilled factory jobs are gone forever. Automation has killed them off. Any new plants that are built must be highly automated to compete in the global markets. This new Foxconn plant that will be built (with the assistance of $3 billion in tax giveaways) may employ several thousand, but many if not most of those jobs will be high tech, skilled and highly skilled.

This is how dictators rise to power. They promise the downtrodden the world, things they cannot deliver. They fall for con and turn a blind eye to the transgressions. Then it’s too late. Ask Jeff Sessions about it.
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A Trump Tower of Absolute Folly – by Ross Douthat – NYT

“Donald Trump’s campaign against his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, in which he is seemingly attempting to insult and humiliate and tweet-shame Sessions into resignation, is an insanely stupid exercise. It is a multitiered tower of political idiocy, a sublime monument to the moronic, a gaudy, gleaming, Ozymandian folly that leaves many of the president’s prior efforts in its shade.

Let us walk through the levels of stupidity one by one. First there is the policy level — generally the lowest, least important in Trumpworld, but still worth exploring.

To the extent that any figure in the Trump administration both embodies “Trumpism” and seems capable of executing its policy ambitions, it is Sessions, who is using his office to strictly enforce immigration laws and pursue an old-school law-and-order agenda.”

Brilliant Ross Douthat, just brilliant.

Here is a top comment I found interesting>


Connecticut 6 hours ago

I’m a board-certified psychiatrist who has worked extensively in the forensic arena. I have evaluated many people for age-related mental compromise. I have watched videos of Trump from years ago (interviewed by Chris Matthews and many others) and watched and listened to him over the last few years. It’s clear to me that Trump’s cognition and judgment have progressively declined, and his utterances are those of a compromised individual. Your article amply demonstrates Trump’s lack of logic, poor judgment (defined as the ability to foresee the consequences of one’s actions), and his poor impulse control. His immature and mindless blather is filled with moment-to-moment contradictions and semantic mantras of repetition (“Believe me” or “beautiful”) indicating an inability to think and speak coherently. While he has not had a major “stroke” I am certain he has not-so-subtle indications of vascular compromise that would show up on brain scans. Aside from his severe personality defects, he is cognitively and emotionally compromised by virtue of organic brain changes, and the 25th Amendment would be an appropriate remedy.

Donald Trump’s Dominatrix – by Frank Bruni – NYT

“At this point I think it’s fair to say that Donald Trump has gone beyond taunting and demonizing Hillary Clinton to a realm of outright obsession.

He’s stalking her.

He can’t stop tweeting about her. Can’t stop muttering about her. On Monday he addressed tens of thousands of boy scouts at their Jamboree, and who should pop up in his disjointed thoughts and disheveled words? Clinton. He dinged her, yet again, for having ignored voters in Michigan, which he won.

The Jamboree, mind you, was in West Virginia.”

Well done Frank Bruni. Here are the two top comments, I suppoort. It is with horror and admiration that I note that Christine McMorrow posted at 6 AM. That is serious commenting.

Christine McM is a trusted commenter Massachusetts 4 hours ago

“He can no more retire her than Miss Havisham, in “Great Expectations,” could put away her wedding dress.”

Oh Frank! What an image! I guess one could also call him the Ancient Mariner, with Clinton as his albatross.

I too have pondered why on earth he keeps dragging that poor woman out on the stage with him, to shadow box when he runs out of states to crow about.

Maybe she represents his own self doubts that yes, she was Door #1 and polls had her winning, but isn’t he wonderful for surprising the world?

But man, his relitigating and reliving the campaign is getting old. It’s more than a nervous tic or campaign Tourette’s syndrome. It’s downright frightening.

He does it because he’s jumping on the nation’s collective hate for all things Clinton, especially HER. You see, for Trump women exist mainly to reflect his glory–and Clinton did everything but.

She represented every female teacher, relative, or authority figure that wouldn’t let Donald get away with lying. In the debates she drove him mad with her mastery of detail.

But let’s face it, the man is sick. And manipulative. She’s a convenient foil because in the end she’s fun to kick around and isn’t there to taunt him as she did during the debates.

Or is she? His obsession with Hillary Clinton shows she’s still renting space in his head, reminding her of every female that knew all the answers.

They say that adults keep reliving high school. In Donald’s case it may be grammar school.

Reply 683 Recommended

Socrates is a trusted commenter Verona NJ 2 hours ago

“Who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts? Right?” Mr. Trump said to tens of thousands of children on Monday.

Who the hell begins a speech to children with a shout-out to ‘hell’ ?

TRUMP continued: “Secretary Tom Price is also here today. Dr. Price still lives the Scout oath, helping to keep millions of Americans strong and healthy as our secretary of Health and Human Services. And he’s doing a great job. And hopefully he’s going to gets the votes tomorrow to start our path toward killing this horrible thing known as Obamacare that’s really hurting us.

(APPLAUSE by Boy Scout crowd)

Boy Scout crowd chant: “USA! USA! USA!”
Who the hell propagandizes tens of thousands of young boys to hate a constructive health care program that gave health insurance to 20 million Americans ?

Who the hell turns a Boy Scout Jamboree into a Nuremberg Rally from the 1930’s ?

Who the hell tells a crowd of young boys “what do you think the chances are that this incredible massive crowd, record setting, is going to be shown on television tonight? One percent or zero? The fake media will say….”President Trump spoke before a small crowd of Boy Scouts today.” That’s some — that is some crowd. Fake media. Fake news.”

Who the hell has the biggest Presidential Inferiority Complex in United States history ?

Who the hell voted to decorate the Oval Office with a Grand Old Psychopath who took a sacred boyhood oath of honor with his bathroom mirror ?

Reply 668 Recommended

Population Growth – Letter to the NYT by Philip Warburg

To the Editor:“Fixing a Major Piece of the Climate Puzzle” (news article, July 14) identifies a major and growing contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions: the use of hydrofluorocarbons in air-conditioning. But the solution isn’t simply to switch to a refrigerant less damaging to our environment.

Durwood Zaelke of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development is briefly quoted referring to population growth as one of the factors leading us to greater reliance on air-conditioning and, more broadly, to accelerated global warming. He’s right. Population growth will have a big effect on our global environment, yet we seldom face that issue head-on.The United Nations has just updated its “World Population Prospects,” and the numbers are stunning. Under a slow-growth scenario, we will have 9.6 billion people on this planet by 2100. On the high end, there will be 13.2 billion of us — a 76 percent increase above today’s 7.5 billion.

It’s time to get serious about encouraging policies at home and abroad that stand a chance of steering us toward the lower end of those United Nations projections. Family planning, birth control and voluntary abortion aren’t dirty words; they’re keys to our environmental survival.”

PHILIP WARBURG, NEWTON, MASS.The writer is a nonresident senior fellow at Boston University’s Institute for Sustainable Energy.