We Normally Don’t Report On Polls; This One’s An Eye Opener

Senate Health Care Bill Approval Just 12%, But That’s Not What Caught Our Attention

Even though 12% support is a very, very small amount of support, [USA Today] we weren’t really surprised at the massive public disapproval of the Senate’s version of Trumpcare. Were you? A separate, similar poll puts the approval number at just 17% [NPR/PBS].

What’s more alarming to us about these polls, is the deep divide they show between who supports it and who doesn’t. And also what people know about it. The USA Today poll shows 80% of Republicans supporting repealing Obamacare, and more than a third say it should be repealed even if there is no replacement at all. Just 11% of independents and 2% of Democrats agree with that.

The NPR/PBS poll shows slightly less robust support among Republicans, only 35% approval, but that could be because nearly 40% of Republicans say they “have not heard enough about it to have an opinion.” And that makes Republicans by far the most ignorant group. Only 13% of Democrats said they don’t know enough about it (but of course Democrats are a bunch of elitist know-it-alls).

The NPR/PBS poll also shows more than 50% of Republicans supporting a full repeal even without a replacement.

Painting an unbelievably topsy-turvy picture: because the group of voters that are most steadfast in their support of the President continue to be those that stand to lose the most if he gets his way and 22-million low-income Americans get kicked off health care.

There’s A Lot Of Noise Surrounding The Health Care Bill Right Now, So Let’s Sort Out What’s Really Going On:

• Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants a new version of the bill ready to go by tomorrow. That’s so he can get it to the Congressional Budget Office in time for it to stand a chance of passing before the Senate’s next, longer summer recess. After this Friday, the Senate comes back July 10th, but then leaves again July 31st for the entire month of August. (Although some Senators have suggested they’ll stay on if that’s what’s needed to get a bill passed.) [Congressional Calendar]

• Since negotiations continue to be in secret, behind closed doors, there’s very little info on how a revised plan might be different. Jeff Greenfield, writing in Politico, warns not to count Mitch McConnell out just yet. Some Republicans, tongue-in-cheek for now, have started referring to “Plan B” with the “B” standing for Bipartisan.

• Republican “Moderates” hint the core of their opposition is related to the massive investment income tax cut to the rich that’s part of the Senate’s proposal. Senator Susan Collins of Maine makes the very common-sense point that doing away with the tax makes no sense, since the tax “is not something that increases the cost of health care.”

The Atlantic has a good scorecard of what each Republican Senator who’s come out in opposition to the bill is really looking for.

Now To The Noise! Trump To The Rescue!! Promises “Big Surprise”!!!

President Trump spent most of the day doing what we predicted he’d do: lashing out at New York Times and Washington Post articles with headlines that ridiculed him by suggesting the great deal maker has been unable to close the deal on health care (and has largely been shunted aside from negotiations in favor of Vice President Mike Pence.)

Later in the day, in a ceremony with the Chicago Cubs (yes, they won the World Series last year, and already visited the White House: but their owner is a big Trump contributor and supporter,) Trump said he’s got a “big surprise” coming.

Of course, Trump’s “big surprises” often end up being “no surprise”. For instance, all the unbelievable stuff the investigators he sent to Hawaii (who he never actually sent to Hawaii,) were finding out about President Obama’s birth certificate.

One other thing that caught our attention: Trump made a point in his Tweets lambasting the Washington Post to point out it’s owned by Amazon (something as far as we know he hasn’t done before), and accusing Amazon of not paying it’s fair share of taxes. Wait a minute, we thought that was called “smart.” And anyway, as TheStreet.com points out, it isn’t true.

Just a week or so ago, Trump sat just two seats away from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at a White House tech conference. (Even then, the fact he wasn’t seated directly next to Trump might’ve been a sign of something.)

Of course, Trump calling out Amazon could lead to anything or nothing. (Just like the “big surprise.”) But it’d been interesting to see Trump, who’s so far backed away from economic battles with China, and Mexico and Canada, go after the 6th biggest company, and the 2nd wealthiest person in the U.S., just because they own a newspaper that made fun of him and he wants to spite them.

And the Washington Post continues to troll Trump, now with an article that more-or-less fat-shames him. That’s gonna go over well…

Tillerson Blows His Top!

According to Politico, the Secretary of State unloaded on a Senior White House staffer, accusing him of “torpedoing proposed nominees” for some of the many unfilled State Department positions, questioning Tillerson’s judgment, and leaking unflattering stories about him to the media. At the receiving end: Johnny DeStefano, chief of the Presidential Personnel Office. Tillerson implied the President’s chief headhunter was acting like he “knew better” about who should be working for Tillerson than the Secretary himself.

Department Of Homeland Security Won’t Extend Laptop Ban

The DHS announced what it’s calling “enhanced security measures” for all incoming international flights, but it won’t include an in-cabin laptop ban. In March, the U.S. banned laptops on flights from 10 airports in 8 countries. Those will stay in place. Airlines lobbied hard against an expansion of the ban. When President Trump shared his “great intel” with the Russian foreign minister in the Oval Office, it apparently had to do with a terrorist plot involving laptops carried onto international flights.

Record-High Temperature Socks An Already Steamy Pakistan

128.3 degrees Fahrenheit. The hottest ever. That’s contributed to water and power shortages in a relatively small country with a population of 180-million people.

Climate change? A huge potential global strategic threat? Nah…

Yet this morning German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she’s putting climate change at the top of the agenda at a meeting of world leaders she’s hosting in Hamburg next week. Trump, who recently pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate accords, is scheduled to attend. Without referring directly to Trump, at a preview event for the G20 meeting Merkel said: “Those who think that the problems of this world can be solved with isolationism or protectionism are terribly wrong.”