McCain Again Refuses to Support Obamacare Overhaul

By Christina Wilkie. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on Friday said he “cannot in good conscience vote” for the latest GOP Obamacare repeal plan.

McCain is one of four Republican senators who have been undecided on the proposal, known as the Graham-Cassidy bill, and his opposition dealt the bill’s chances a significant blow. Health care stocks jumped on the news.

In a statement, McCain said his opposition stemmed in large part from how rapidly the bill, nicknamed for Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, was being pushed through the Senate in order to meet a September 30 procedural deadline.

McCain said he cannot vote for the bill without knowing how it will affect premiums, how much it will cost, and how many people it would help or hurt.

“Without a full CBO score, which won’t be available by the end of the month, we won’t have reliable answers to any of those questions.” he said. (Read more from “McCain Again Refuses to Support Obamacare Overhaul” HERE)

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Is Obamacare Finally Safe?

By Politico. Obamacare has endured more than seven years of political attacks, dozens of congressional repeal votes and four Supreme Court challenges. But as of today, the Democrats’ universal health care law is as secure as it’s ever been.

Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) opposition to the latest repeal effort sponsored by his closest friend in the Senate likely doomed the bill — and with it, the hope that Republicans could fulfill their campaign pledge to undo Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement before a Sept. 30 deadline.

On top of that, the insurance markets are alive and, despite skyrocketing premiums and dwindling competition, face no threat of immediate collapse.

While the GOP repeal effort may not be over, it took a severe hit with McCain’s opposition just days before a Sept. 30 deadline. The 52-member Republican conference can afford to lose no more than two members. McCain joined Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) as public “no” votes. In addition, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is widely viewed as a “no” — she trashed the bill to her local paper on Friday — and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is skeptical; both opposed the Senate repeal effort in July. (Read more from “Is Obamacare Finally Safe?” HERE)

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Controversy Follows on Her Heels as Melania Takes to the Garden

The sirens of the fashion police were blaring Friday after Melania Trump ventured forth into the White House garden.

“Melania Trump has made another public appearance in a pricey outfit,” wrote Kate Taylor on Business Insider, contrasting Melania Trump’s outfit, which included a plaid shirt that looked ordinary but had started life with a $1,380 price tag, with the gardening fashions of Michelle Obama.

“Obama used the garden as a place to showcase her down-to-earth fashion,” Taylor wrote, noting that Obama was praised for wearing J. Crew sweaters to show her common touch.

Some commenters didn’t even care about the facts as they attacked Melania Trump.

As multiple pictures showed, she wore sneakers.

Independent Journal Review decided the fuss belonged on the compost heap and looked into a true comparison of first lady outfits. He noted that Obama wore Jimmy Choo boots that retail for $1,150, while Melania Trump wore $50 Converse sneakers.

“So depending on how you look at it, Michelle Obama is the really out-of-touch first lady gardening. Her shoes were potentially $1,100 more expensive then Melania’s,” he wrote.

You can catch Obama’s pricey boots here, just after the 4:10 mark:

He then suggested that trying to diminish the first lady by attacking her clothes was a waste of time.

“Perhaps the lesson we should all learn here is that a first lady is a human being with a lot of pressure on her and we should stop trying to attack them based on their fashion choices,” he wrote, adding, “All first ladies wear expensive things, idiots.”

During her time in the garden with members of a local Boys & Girls Club to harvest a variety of vegetables, Melania Trump stressed the need for healthy eating.

“I’m a big believer in healthy eating because it reflects on your mind and your body, and I encourage you to continue to eat a lot of vegetables and fruits so you grow up healthy and take care of yourself. It’s very important,” said the former model. (For more from the author of “Controversy Follows on Her Heels as Melania Takes to the Garden” please click HERE)

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Surveillance Footage Reveals Murder-Suicide in Illinois House Fire

When Pamela Ringenberg awoke to the frightening sound of a smoke alarm in her Bloomington, Illinois home, she had no idea the horror that awaited her.

According to a statement by police, Ringenberg “frantically searched for her family members but was unable to find them.” She then fled to get help from her neighbors.

It wasn’t until later, when home surveillance camera footage was viewed, that the true horror was apparent: Her husband, Eric Ringenberg, 33, had allegedly been the culprit.

According to police, the 33-year-old father of two hid the family cellphones in the kitchen cabinets, returned to the basement where he had been with his sons, and murdered them.

He then hanged himself, setting the house on fire immediately beforehand. Firefighters found all three bodies as they rushed into the home Tuesday morning.

It was later confirmed through an autopsy that Eric Ringenberg’s death was from suicide and that both boys had been strangled. Pamela Ringenberg was hospitalized for smoke inhalation.

After such an extreme loss, she issued a statement to her friends and family on Facebook, asking for prayers and that they “refrain from judgement and understand this is a very difficult time.”

This is a difficult time that far too many parents go through.

By definition, filicide is the killing of one or more children by a parent, stepparent or other parental figure.

A study in the Forensic Science International journal published over three decades worth of data regarding this crime, reporting devastating results: The average number of kids killed by their parents every year totaled 500.

In 72 percent of recorded cases, the children were six years old or younger. One-third of the victims were under one year of age.

The study’s objective is to generate research that “may help identify at-risk populations and improve prevention and treatment.”

(For more from the author of “Surveillance Footage Reveals Murder-Suicide in Illinois House Fire” please click HERE)

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Polygamists’ Lawsuit: ‘If Gay Marriage Is Legal, Then Polygamy Marriage Should Be Legal’

A group of polygamists and a “machinist” who claims to want to marry his computer are challenging homosexual “marriage” in Mississippi.

Chris Sevier and others filed a federal lawsuit reasoning that same-sex “marriage” is part of the religion of secular humanism, and since it is of a religious nature, the state has no right to recognize it over other faith-based “marriages” such as polygamy, zoophilia, and machinism.

The belief that two men or two women can have a marriage is a religious leap of faith, the plaintiffs argue. Therefore, government sanctioning it goes against the Constitution’s Establishment clause.

“Gay marriage is not secular,” Sevier said. “Just like polygamy, zoophilia, machinism, and other forms of perspective marriage are also not secular. All forms of parody marriage are equally part of the religion of secular humanism.”

By sanctioning same-sex “marriage,” the suit says, the courts overstepped their constitutional bounds by favoring one religious view over another. Either homosexual “marriage” is unconstitutional and the state has no right to recognize it, or homosexual “marriage” should be accepted along with other marriage beliefs, such as polygamy. (Read more from “Polygamists’ Lawsuit: ‘If Gay Marriage Is Legal, Then Polygamy Marriage Should Be Legal'” HERE)

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The Georgia Tech Riot’s Dark Message to America

Georgia Tech may be the unlikeliest of places to witness violent riots, but in the current climate of campus insanity it seems no college is immune from student unrest.

On Monday, cop cars burned down and police were pelted with rocks in retaliation for a “non-binary” student shot to death by law enforcement over the weekend. The slain student brandished a knife at officers while demanding that they shoot him . . .

Regardless of the evidence, aggrieved Techies took it as an act of police brutality against the LGBT community and decided upon violence.

Georgia Tech was not the first place to see such aggressive demonstrations on a college campus this year. Riots took over the University of California – Berkeley over a planned Milo Yiannopoulos speech in February, resulting in several people assaulted by leftist demonstrators over the suspicion they may like Milo.

Leftist students took over Evergreen State University in May after a liberal professor suggested it was a bad idea to kick out all white students and faculty for a day of protest. After forcing the offending professor to flee campus, students effectively took most of the faculty and wouldn’t allow to them to even use the restroom unless they agreed to their ridiculous demands. (Read more from “The Georgia Tech Riot’s Dark Message to America” HERE)

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Look Who Likes Kim Jong Un Now

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is growing in popularity on America’s political left-wing as the despot engages in a war of words with President Trump.

Progressives have shown an increasing willingness to embrace the brutal dictator as a means of attacking Trump, and some in the media have given the brutal dictator friendly, celebrity-like coverage.

Left-wing activists, meanwhile, are eagerly spreading pro-North Korea propaganda and making excuses for the dictator’s murderous activities.

Un’s public attacks on Trump on Tuesday prompted praise for the dictator by some in the media.

Washington Post columnist Petula Dvorak fawned over Un in a column published Friday morning. (Read more from “Look Who Likes Kim Jong Un Now” HERE)

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Frat Banner Probed for Causing ‘Uncomfortable Feelings’

A university has ended its investigation into a brash banner, characterized by critics as sexual harassment, hung outside a fraternity building at Wichita State fraternity – for all of five minutes one day – because officials have admitted the speech was covered by the First Amendment.

The banner, which faced a neighboring sorority recruitment event, said “New Members Free House Tours!”

The school had launched a Title IX investigation into the incident after a student reported the banner, claiming it caused “uncomfortable feelings.”

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education wrote a letter to the school explaining that the speech was constitutionally protected.

A short time later, the school “affirmed the expression was protected by the First Amendment and dropped its investigation.” (Read more from “Frat Banner Probed for Causing ‘Uncomfortable Feelings'” HERE)

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Obama’s Top ‘Spy’ Drops Bombshell About Trump

By Bob Unruh. It was only a few months ago that James Clapper, President Obama’s director of national intelligence, issued a flat denial when asked if he knew of a FISA court order to wiretap the Trump campaign in 2016.

Now he’s abruptly changing his story, admitting that Trump could have been recorded on wiretaps.

Clapper said in an interview with CNN Wednesday night it’s possible that Trump was recorded as part of the government’s surveillance of Paul Manafort, who served briefly as Trump’s campaign manager.

Clapper continued to claim Wednesday that he wasn’t aware of a FISA warrant against Manafort.

But when asked by Don Lemon if it was “possible the president was picked up in a conversation with Paul Manafort,” Clapper said, “It’s certainly conceivable.” (Read more from “Obama’s Top ‘Spy’ Drops Bombshell About Trump” HERE)

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Trump Vindicated? Manafort Wiretapping Report Lends Credence to Claim

By Fox News. A new report that former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was wiretapped under secret court order could bolster President Trump’s explosive March claim about surveillance under the previous administration, after months of media mockery.

The CNN report said the surveillance of Manafort continued into early 2017, covering the period before and after the November presidential election. This reportedly covered a stretch when Manafort was known to talk to Trump, though it’s unclear whether Trump’s discussions were ever picked up.

Also unclear is where the wiretapping occurred. Manafort has a residence in Trump Tower, as well as a home in Alexandria, Va.

But the report has forced the media to give a second look at Trump’s widely derided claims this past March that former President Barack Obama had his “wires tapped” at Trump Tower. The hashtag “TrumpVindicated” was taking off on Twitter Tuesday morning. (Read more from “Trump Vindicated? Manafort Wiretapping Report Lends Credence to Claim” HERE)

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Jimmy Kimmel Knows Comedy, Not What Ails Obamacare, Conservatives Say

Jimmy Kimmel may be a funny man, but he doesn’t understand Obamacare, according to a U.S. senator who the late-night TV host slammed this week as dishonest in describing a Republican alternative to the health care law.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., one of the chief authors of legislation to partially repeal Obamacare, sought to make himself clear Thursday morning on a friendlier show.

“Jimmy doesn’t understand, not because he’s a talk show host—[but] because we’ve never spoken,” Cassidy said on “Fox and Friends” of Kimmel’s contention that Senate Republicans’ bill would abandon Americans with pre-existing medical conditions.

“He’s only heard from those on the left who are doing their best to preserve Obamacare,” Cassidy said of Kimmel and his appraisal of the bill. “He’s not heard from me, because we’ve not spoken.”

Cassidy, a physician, apparently meant they haven’t talked about the details of his bill. The legislation, drafted with three fellow Republican senators—Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Dean Heller of Nevada, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin—would repeal Obamacare’s mandates requiring individuals to obtain health insurance and larger employers to offer it.

Other conservatives came to Cassidy’s defense on the particulars of the so-called Graham-Cassidy legislation.

In his own interview with “Fox and Friends” Thursday morning, Mike Needham, chief executive officer of Heritage Action for America, the lobbying affiliate of The Heritage Foundation, said Kimmel’s estimation of the Graham-Cassidy bill was incorrect.

“What Section 106 of the bill says is that every single state has to make sure that there continues to be affordable access for people with pre-existing conditions,” Needham said, adding:

The entire thing is kind of what is wrong with the way we talk about policy in this country. I am sure Jimmy Kimmel is a nice guy, I am sure he is very well intentioned, but he is both wrong on what this bill does, and he doesn’t understand. There’s a whole bunch of conservative ideas as to how we can take care of people with pre-existing conditions.

President Donald Trump, who had announced he would sign the Graham-Cassidy bill, tweeted Wednesday night:

Graham, co-sponsor of the bill, also came to Cassidy’s aid in the pop culture battle:

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, whose daughter received care at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for a heart condition similar to that of Kimmel’s son, said the entertainer isn’t an authority on health insurance just because his son had a major medical issue.

In a piece published Wednesday in The Daily Wire, Shapiro wrote:

It’s absurd on a logical level: having a child with a heart condition doesn’t make you an expert on health care anymore than it makes you an expert on heart surgery. I should know—as I’ve said before, and only in response to Kimmel’s invocation of his own son, my daughter received open heart surgery at a year-and-a-half old at CHLA, at the hands of the same magnificent doctor Kimmel used.

So by this logic, my opinion should be treated with precisely the same kind of moral weight Kimmel’s is. But I don’t think that the fact that my daughter had her heart fixed at CHLA is what grants me credibility to talk about health care.

Joe Walsh, a former Republican congressman from Illinois, said Kimmel’s comments show he is out of touch with mainstream America.

According to Cassidy’s website, the Graham-Cassidy bill would give states the freedom to waive Obamacare regulations, protect patients with pre-existing conditions, and provide block grants to states by “equalizing the treatment between Medicaid expansion and non-expansion states through an equitable block-grant distribution.”

A former Republican senator and presidential candidate, Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, also helped draft the Graham-Cassidy bill, which is expected to go to a Senate vote next week, Politico reported.

“This guy, Bill Cassidy, he just lied right to my face,” Kimmel said on Tuesday night’s show, referring to Cassidy’s appearance nearly four months ago, adding:

For lots of people, the bill will result in higher premiums, and as far as lifetime caps go, the states can decide on that, too—which means there will be lifetime caps in many states … Not only did Bill Cassidy fail the Jimmy Kimmel test, but he failed the Bill Cassidy test, too.

The comedian and host of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” was referring to a comment Cassidy made on the show in late May. “We’ve got to have insurance that passes the Jimmy Kimmel test,” the Louisiana Republican said then.

Also on Tuesday night’s show, Kimmel said the Graham-Cassidy bill actually is contrary to the “Kimmel test,” which, he said, is: “No family should be denied medical care, emergency or otherwise, because they can’t afford it.”

Kimmel previously announced on air in May that his son, Billy, was diagnosed with a heart condition and underwent successful surgery. He said Tuesday night that under the “current plan,” meaning Obamacare, his son’s medical treatment would be covered.

“Our current plan protects Americans from these [insurance] caps and prevents insurance providers from jacking up the rates for people who have pre-existing conditions of all types, and Sen. Cassidy said his plan would do that too,” Kimmel said.

Then, on Wednesday night’s show, Kimmel slammed Cassidy and the Senate bill again, saying:

Oh, I get it. I don’t understand because I’m a talk show host. Then help me out, which part don’t I understand? Is it the part where you cut $243 billion from federal health care assistance? Am I not understanding the part where states would be allowed to let insurance companies price you out of coverage for having pre-existing conditions?

Cassidy also replied on Twitter to criticism distributed by National Public Radio:

Ed Haislmaier, a senior research fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Health Policy Studies, told The Daily Signal in an interview Thursday that Kimmel’s comments were misinformed.

“The bill does retain prior law,” Haislmaier said of the Graham-Cassidy legislation, adding:

It doesn’t change prior law on [pre-existing conditions] and … a lot of this was dealt with before Obamacare. …

In terms of the actual Graham-Cassidy bill, they specifically say that they have to cover…they have to explicitly use the money in a way that makes sure that people with pre-existing conditions have access to health care. So it reinforces that.

(For more from the author of “Jimmy Kimmel Knows Comedy, Not What Ails Obamacare, Conservatives Say” please click HERE)

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No, the Electoral College Is Not a ‘National Security Threat’

Following Hillary Clinton’s electoral defeat and Donald Trump’s ascension to the White House, numerous progressives came out of the woodwork to call for the end of the Electoral College in favor of a national popular vote.

While most of the arguments against our over two-century-old system revolve around it not being purely democratic and being weighted toward smaller states, a recent commentary in Politico has stretched that attack to an absurd limit.

Matthew Olsen, a member of the National Security Agency under President Barack Obama, and Benjamin Haas, a West Point graduate and current student at Stanford University, argued that the Electoral College is antiquated and even dangerous because hostile foreign powers can micro-target populations in certain states to tip the election.

Further, the writers argue that the Founders couldn’t possibly have imagined how new technology, like Facebook, could perpetuate false ideas and that foreign powers would disseminate lies.

This leads them to suggest moving to a national popular vote, which they suggest is somehow a safer way to elect presidents.

Their arguments demonstrate both an amazing amount of hubris in assuming they, our nouveau elite, know better than the Founders, and stunning ignorance in thinking the creators of the Constitution had no experience with “fake news.”

There is a lot to untangle from what seems to be a rather absurd and roundabout excuse for Clinton’s defeat, but it’s worth debunking.

Why We Have an Electoral College

The Electoral College was not just a quirky idea the Framers cobbled together without serious consideration for how it would be used by future generations.

The office of the presidency and the method by which our leaders would be selected are perhaps the most explicit aspects of the Constitution, and they were the products of ferocious debate.

The Founders wanted to create a system by which the country’s only true national leader could be chosen by a process that would contain vital elements of both federalism—or state power—and democracy.

Also, given their vast experience of dealing with foreign powers that wanted to see America fail, and local manipulators who wanted to tip elections, the Framers of the Constitution created a carefully calibrated process that would help create a stable, legitimate system to serve a free people.

The product was a brilliant process, born of design and compromise, that has created over two centuries of stable and virtually uncontested elections.

This accomplishment often goes unacknowledged. But as governments rose and fell through the centuries, ours has steamed along. We have, in part, the Electoral College to thank for this political miracle.

Foreign Intrigues

As the Politico writers noted, Alexander Hamilton defended the Electoral College in Federalist No. 68.

Hamilton believed the indirect method of “electors” choosing a president after the states had voted in their separate capacities would protect America from foreign intrigues that would seek to enable “Manchurian” candidates to become president.

The Politico writers dismiss this reasoning, saying:

Hamilton and his colleagues never could have envisioned a year like 2016, when an enemy state—Russia—was able to manipulate America’s election process with stunning effectiveness.

Actually, they could.

The late 18th and early 19th centuries were rife with foreign powers meddling in American elections. It was in some ways much easier for the superpowers of Europe to use propaganda in fighting proxy wars to tip the scales of our elections one way or another.

For example, Citizen Edmond Genet, a French diplomat to the United States, tried to tip the American population toward supporting his country in its wars against Great Britain in the 1790s.

He and other French radicals engaged in a massive campaign to turn Americans against President George Washington’s administration to get a pro-French candidate elected. This more or less failed, and Washington served two terms without serious challenge.

The fact is, there is simply no way of entirely avoiding outside influence and the flow of information in a free country.

It is something America has perpetually dealt with, and mostly overcome.

Fake News, Nothing New

The argument that “fake news” is simply a modern phenomenon that the Founders couldn’t have anticipated is absurd.

That fraudulent stories and ideas could be rapidly perpetuated and could change people’s minds was widely understood and acknowledged by the men who created our form of government.

At the Constitutional Convention, curmudgeonly Founder Elbridge Gerry said the following of fake news and democracy:

The people do not want [lack] virtue, but are the dupes of pretended patriots. In Massachusetts it had been fully confirmed by experience, that they are daily misled into the most baneful measures and opinions, by the false reports circulated by designing men, and which no one on the spot can refute.

Campaigns then and thereafter were filled with false reports, unsubstantiated rumors, absurd accusations, and a whole lot of lies.

What was the Founders’ solution to this problem? Create a system that fostered a culture of free speech and debate while mitigating the impact of pure democracy.

The answer is not a national popular vote or government censors determining what is real news and what is fake. It’s in supporting the First Amendment and the wisely crafted electoral system that the Founders gifted us with.

Ultimately, fake news, micro-targeting, and “voter suppression” can hardly be blamed for Clinton’s electoral defeat when she couldn’t be bothered to campaign in one of the states that ultimately swung the election.

And simply having the larger, national pool of voters can’t prevent foreign governments from trying to sway votes and tip elections.

The fact that Trump turned solid blue states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania red is a sign that the Electoral College works the way it was intended. It vindicates the idea that regional interests are diverse and that a national candidate should appeal to small and mid-size states, not just the most populous ones.

While the Politico writers bemoan foreign influence in American elections—a worthy concern—pointing to the Electoral College as the problem is barking up the wrong tree.

And if they are so worried about what they called vote “hacking,” perhaps they should support the voter fraud commission that could help weed out illegal votes and ensure election integrity in the states instead of laying waste to our time-tested electoral process.

Regardless, the Electoral College is not a danger to the United States. It is instead a critical element of preserving our national sovereignty and the federalism that strengthens it. (For more from the author of “No, the Electoral College Is Not a ‘National Security Threat'” please click HERE)

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