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Jun 28 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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Richard Eskow: GOP ‘Health’ Bill: Death, Disaster and Gilded Age Greed

The Republican Senate’s draft health bill differs from the House version, but its basic purpose is the same: Give millionaires and billionaires a massive new tax cut by slashing health benefits for millions of Americans, and take care away altogether from millions more.

People will die if this bill becomes law, but that doesn’t seem to trouble the Republicans’ conscience. The only thing they seem to fear is losing their jobs. That’s why this bill was written in unprecedented secrecy. That’s why it, like the House version, obfuscates and misdirects to conceal its true goals.

Robert Reich: It’s Time for Medicare for All

Mitch McConnell is delaying a vote on the Senate Republican version of Trumpcare because he doesn’t yet have a majority.

Some Senate Republicans think the bill doesn’t go get rid of enough of the Affordable Care Act. Others worry that it goes too far – especially in light of the Congressional Budget Office’s finding that it would eliminate coverage for 22 million Americans.

What should be the Democrats’ response? Over the next weeks or months, Democrats must continue to defend the Affordable Care Act. It’s not perfect, but it’s a major step in the right direction. Over 20 million Americans have gained coverage because of it.

But Democrats also need to go further and offer Americans a positive vision of where the nation should be headed over the long term. That’s toward Medicare for all.

Joe Romm: Al Franken’s Devastating Strategy For Taking on Trump’s Team of Climate Science Deniers

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) has emerged as one of Congress’ most devastating questioners of the myriad climate science deniers who fill President Donald Trump’s Cabinet.

And it’s largely because the comedian-turned-senator combines two abilities rarely seen together — actual knowledge of climate science and genuine communications chops. Franken knows how to tell a good story, and as the best science communicators will tell you, the best messaging requires storytelling.

Just last week Franken dismantled Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in one hearing, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry in another. And by dismantled, I mean his doggedness drove Zinke to spout nonsense answers that a top climatologist called “stupid and ignorant,” while it drove Perry to simply lose his cool — a take-down that has since gone viral.

Jeremy Binckes: Yes, the White House is gaslighting America

On Wednesday morning, CNN’s Brian Stelter wrote that supporters of President Donald Trump see “a war” going on between journalists and Trumpworld — “a war they are thrilled to fight.” And in the face of legislative disaster — the “Art of the Deal” businessman has shown he’s out of his depth on health care — the president is happy to go to his plan B, which is an all-out assault on the media.

On Wednesday morning, Trump lashed out on Twitter to attack the New York Times. [..]

Trump’s attack on the news media Wednesday was a continuation of his crusade on the press, which continued through Tuesday afternoon’s press briefing. During the White House’s first on-camera briefing in days, deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders pounced on CNN’s retraction of a Russia investigation story, saying it was “dangerous for America” if the media “can’t be trusted to report the news.

Bill Moyers: All of Donald Trump’s Lies

This weekend, The New York Times performed a noble public service by publishing nearly every lie Donald Trump has told since taking the oath of office (just four months and a few days ago, but it seems like an eternity, no?). The op-ed chart of tiny but readable font fills the entire page, until at one point, in the mind’s eye, they appear to morph into termites burrowing deep into the foundation of democracy, leaving sawdust in their wake.

One subtitle reads: “Trump Told Public Lies or Falsehoods Every Day for His First 40 Days.” Another reminds us: “Trump’s Lies Repeat — and Shift With Repetition.” David Leonhardt and Stuart A. Thompson, the journalists in charge of the project, wrote:

“We are using the word ‘lie’ deliberately. Not every falsehood is deliberate on Trump’s part. But it would be the height of naivete to imagine he is merely making honest mistakes. He is lying.”

Their effort deserves the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. We also hope that once they finished the task, they rushed right home to a long and cleansing shower.