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Jun 06 2017

Pondering the Pundits

“Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from> around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

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Katrina vanden Heuvel: Time for Democrats to unite around Medicare for all

“It’s an unbelievably complex subject,” President Trump said in February, discussing the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act. “Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.” It was a typically absurd proclamation for the president, who more recently bragged about how quickly he mastered “everything there was to know about health care.”

As complicated as health care is, the case against Trump’s health-care bill is simple. Trump promised to provide “insurance for everybody”; the American Health Care Act passed by the House last month would cause 23 million Americans to lose their coverage. Trump promised not to cut Medicaid; the AHCA would slash more than $800 billion from the program. Trump promised to protect people with preexisting conditions; the AHCA would allow discrimination against such patients. As National Nurses United Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro put it, Republicans are essentially proposing “a 21st Century version of ‘Lord of the Flies.’

For Democrats, opposing Trump’s plan, which a measly 8 percent of Americans support in its current form, is a no-brainer. But with health care emerging as the American people’s top concern , according to recent polls, Democrats would be wise to seize the moment, go on the offensive and rally around a bold alternative to the Republican Party’s backward vision. It’s time for progressives and Democrats to unite behind Medicare for all.

Eugene Robinson: Trump is out of control

The statements President Trump issued on Twitter in recent days lead to a chilling conclusion: The man is out of control.

I know that is a radical thing to say about the elected leader of the United States, the most powerful individual in the world. And I know his unorthodox use of social media is thought by some, including the president himself, to be brilliant. But I don’t see political genius in the invective coming from Trump these days. I see an angry man lashing out at enemies real and imagined — a man dangerously overwhelmed. [..]

We already knew that Trump had a narrow mind and a small heart. Now we must wonder about his emotional stability, his grasp of reality, or both.

David Leonhardt: The Lawless Presidency

Democracy isn’t possible without the rule of law — the idea that consistent principles, rather than a ruler’s whims, govern society.

You can read Aristotle, Montesquieu, John Locke or the Declaration of Independence on this point. You can also look at decades of American history. Even amid bitter fights over what the law should say, both Democrats and Republicans have generally accepted the rule of law.

President Trump does not. His rejection of it distinguishes him from any other modern American leader. He has instead flirted with Louis XIV’s notion of “L’état, c’est moi”: The state is me — and I’ll decide which laws to follow.

This attitude returns to the fore this week, with James Comey scheduled to testify on Thursday about Trump’s attempts to stifle an F.B.I. investigation. I realize that many people are exhausted by Trump outrages, some of which resemble mere buffoonery. But I think it’s important to step back and connect the dots among his many rejections of the rule of law.

Gary Younge: We were told Corbyn was ‘unelectable’. His fightback shows he’s anything but

At a drinks party in central London, not long after Jeremy Corbyn had been elected leader of the Labour party first time round, a young journalist talked me through the facts as she saw them.

“He’s already lost the election,” she said.

“I think you’ll find he just won an election,” I told her.

“I mean 2020,” she said, referring to what we all assumed would be the next general election. “Are we talking about 2020 in the past tense now?” I asked.

The trouble with received wisdom is that it rarely comes with a receipt. With the provenance of the “wisdom” unacknowledged, the recipient passed it on as though it were the self-evident expression of their own genius: an inarguable fact plucked from a clear blue sky.

For the past two years, it has been received wisdom that, when put before the national electorate, the Labour party under Corbyn was unelectable. Not simply that it would lose, but that there was no plausible way it could compete. These were not presented as opinions but as facts. Those who questioned them were treated like climate change deniers. Those who held the wisdom were the scientists. To take Labour’s prospects seriously under Corbyn was to abandon being taken seriously yourself.

Moustafa Bayoumi: Trump’s Twitter attacks on Sadiq Khan reveal how pitiful the president is

How long can we keep watching this endless car crash that is Donald Trump’s presidency? The world has pressing problems to solve, from climate change to global terrorism, but instead of contributing resources and wisdom from the United States, Trump relentlessly gets in the way of solutions and exacerbates problems, all the while turning our shared tragedies into his own spectacles.

We shouldn’t be passive onlookers to Trump’s pantomime presidency any longer. It’s time we learn how to read Trump more judiciously, if only to learn how to deal with him better.

Take Trump’s obtuse reaction to the heinous terrorist attacks on the London Bridge. Only this American president would hear the words of capitulation in London mayor Sadiq Khan’s reasonable advice, made during an interview, that Londoners should not be alarmed by an increased and armed police presence on the streets following this terrorist attack.

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