McConnell Tells Trump Of Two Paths For Healthcare; Delays Vote

Republicans Will Work On Rewrite Over 4th Of July Holiday In Hopes Of Crafting Something Passable

Politico, and others, reporting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called President Trump and explained if the Senate health plan fails, Republicans would lose all leverage and be forced to work with  Democrats on a bipartisan bill to save failing insurance markets. (Imagine that, working on a bipartisan bill on health care that perhaps the majority of the country could support. That makes too much sense.) Trump had apparently been leaning toward letting “Ocare crash & burn” (as he recently put it in a Tweet) if the bill didn’t pass.

Meeting with Republican Senators after the vote delay was announced, Trump encouraged them to have another crack at it.

And we want to emphasize: in no way does this mean the Republican bill is dead. In fact, what’s happening now looks very similar to what happened with the House bill: pulled at first because it didn’t have enough votes, then an agreement was hammered out.

Finally, we want to call your attention to this opinion piece from the National Review, which we completely agree with (and this may be the only time you’ll ever catch us saying that!) It calls out Trump (as we’ve been doing) on his promise not to touch Medicaid, but says in today’s political climate it’s easy to toss things like that aside simply because they want a “big political win more than a much more difficult policy win (and for the Democrats to have a big political loss).”

Democrats Need to Keep The Pressure On

While Trump lamented “ZERO Democrats” were helping out while Republicans were toiling away, Democrats say they’d be perfectly happy to help out, if help out stopped meaning voting for a terrible bill they had nothing to do with just because the President says so. North Dakota Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp put it this way: “The price of admission for me sitting down with you is I’m not willing to [per capita] block grant Medicaid and eliminate Medicaid expansion.” [Politico]

Meanwhile, progressive groups started patching together plans for rallies to coincide with the holiday weekend. 

Let Nature Take Its Course: No Need to Antagonize A Rabid Dog

We really object to headlines like these: “On Senate Health Bill, Trump Falters in the Closer’s Role” [NY Times] and “Who’s Afraid of Trump? Not Enough Republicans…” [Washington Post]

Not because they’re “fake news”, but because they’re “so obvious they’re not news at all.” Because they serve no positive purpose, except to possibly make Trump really, really agitated. So why would we care about that? Even if you want to stand up and show you’re not afraid of the President, even if have legit reasons to be really mad at him, you do realize a lot of what this guy does, he does out of spite? (“If they screw you, screw them back 10 times as hard.”)

Update: We called it! Mere hours after we wrote the above story, this Trump Tweet (one of his first out of the box this morning):

Really, New York Times and Washington Post? Couldn’t you have just left him alone? Because now he’s more engaged. Because now your taunts risk spurring him into some vile action just to prove you wrong.

Whatever Happened To Trump’s Own Health Care Plan?

You know, the one that would cover people “beautifully”? You know the one back in January Trump told the Washington Post was pretty much ready: “It’s very much formulated down to the final strokes.” Except…the White House never released a health care plan of its own. How easily we forget…

Remember back in March, when Trump Tweeted:

It’s still within Trump’s power to make Obamacare “crash & burn” (as he’s put it): by not making cost sharing payments to health insurers. (And it’s apparently something he’s still considering.) But what strikes us about this Tweet is the use of the word “me”. As if he’s the guy to talk to if you wanna cut a deal on “Ocare”, not McConnell or Ryan. As if “the buck stops here.” How easily we forget…

He also Tweeted:

What? That should’ve been a sign of real trouble ahead. Because selling insurance across state lines was something the President talked about incessantly as a path to cutting premiums. But who’s even talking about that anymore. How easily we forget…

Super-Mini Editorial: If You’ve Been Generally Dismayed By The Trump Agenda, But You’re Also Busy, So Were Waiting Around For A Really Critical Moment To Step Up And Protest…

It’s now.

New Ransomware Hack Again Uses Tools Stolen From U.S. National Security Agency

The New York Times suggests the timing of the new cyberattack may have been significant: the eve of a holiday celebrating Ukraine’s break from the Soviet Union. In the first wave of attacks, ATM machines in Ukraine stopped working, as did radiation detectors at the old Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

It then spread to places as far-flung as Denmark and Australia, and also hit the drug-maker, Merck, in the U.S.

While the origin of the new attack is unknown, Wired reports it was far more sophisticated than the WannaCry ransomware attack in May, which has been tied, at least loosely, to North Korea. In that attack damage was limited when security experts discovered a “kill switch” that allowed them to disable it.

The effectiveness of the new attack is likely to renew a face-off between the government and software makers. The National Security Agency, and other agencies, hires hackers to identify vulnerabilities in popular software, but then does not tell the manufacturers about the bugs. Instead the government stockpiles them to use later as cyber-weapons (for instance to help sabotage missile launches.) Since the U.S. has not been the primary target of the attacks so far, this debate has remained somewhat muted.

Speaking Of Ukraine…

Former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort disclosed he received $17-million in consultant fees from a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party. He earned those fees over a 2-year period before his work on the Trump campaign. But he didn’t disclose them before, even though he was supposed to.

Taxpayers Are Already Paying For Trump’s Wall

The Trump Administration is ordering models this summer of what the border wall with Mexico might look like. Even though there is no money allocated for the wall yet in any federal budget…wait for itthe money will come from The Department of Homeland Security which will take $20-million from other programs to pay for the prototypes.