A small but important step for GOP in health care marathon

July 27, 2017

(CNN)A heartfelt standing ovation from both sides of the aisle welcomed Sen. John McCain as he cast the 50th vote to take up Obamacare repeal. The decorated veteran and war hero, who returned to Washington after being diagnosed with brain cancer last week, said “to hell” with the “bombastic loudmouths” — it’s time to get something done. The 2016 election was a call for change after Americans lost faith in…

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‘A Better Deal’ is more of the same from Dems

July 25, 2017

(CNN)Democrats would like voters to believe the party’s slogan for its new economic agenda rolled out Monday, “A Better Deal,” describes a program aimed at fighting for regular people — even though it mostly rings like a sales pitch for a discounted item at a shopping mall. Worse, the specifics of the strategy are a path to more electoral failure, because “A Better Deal” embraces falsehoods about economic power while…

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I read about Bannon and Clinton so you don’t have to

July 22, 2017

(CNN)“Devil’s Bargain” — Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Joshua Green’s in-depth exploration of the mind and machinations of former Breitbart News boss and Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon — and “Shattered” — a painstaking account of Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful campaign by Jonathan Allen, also of Bloomberg, and Amie Parnes of The Hill — have both climbed the bestseller lists and monopolized the attention of the chattering classes since their releases. (“Shattered” was…

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Who’s behind GOP’s stunning defeat on health care?

July 18, 2017

(CNN)Monday night, two Republican Senators — Mike Lee and Jerry Moran — announced that they would not vote to send the health care bill to the floor. The announcement marked a stunning defeat for a Republican Party that controls the White House and Congress and which has made this item the top priority for years. As the blame game now begins, everyone in Washington will be asking — who killed…

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Kid Rock, The Rock and our rocky future

July 16, 2017

(CNN)It looks like these days everyone with a Wikipedia entry or a star on the Walk of Fame is thinking of running for public office. Another Rock — former professional wrestler turned action star-hero “The Rock,” Dwayne Johnson — might be the person challenging President Donald Trump for re-election in 2020, assuming the President makes it that far. A campaign committee formally filed the papers to draft him for president….

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We need to hear FBI nominee’s view on hate crime epidemic

July 12, 2017

(CNN)With hate crimes increasing in the past year throughout the country, too many Americans are fearful they will become the next target of violence simply based on their race, religion, gender, disability, national origin, gender identity or sexual orientation. Hateful rhetoric and the violence inspired by such rhetoric makes us less safe. Those that carry out hate crimes seek to tear communities apart. This occurred recently in the city of…

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Stanley: Is Trump an enemy of free speech or merely exercising it in a way that liberals dislike?

July 7, 2017

(CNN)Slowly, tweet by tweet, we are building an etiquette of online behavior. The rule is: be as nasty as you like, but there may well be consequences. The exception seems to be Donald Trump, who sometimes seems like he is on a one-man mission to test the limits of free speech. The President, on the other hand, did not say “sorry.” He tweeted: “My use of social media is not…

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McConnell’s test: Can he do more than obstruct?

June 27, 2017

(CNN)Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is facing a major test this week. Since revealing the details of the Republican health care plan, McConnell has watched as a number of important senators in his own party announced their concerns or opposition. Some, such as Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, have urged him to postpone the vote based on the assumption that, at this moment, it would not pass the upper chamber where…

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President Stephen Colbert in 2020?

June 26, 2017

(CNN)“Ladies and gentleman, please welcome the 46th President of the United States: Stephen T. Colbert.” Colbert’s remarks came Friday during an appearance on the Russian late night TV show, “Evening Urgant.” While being interviewed by the show’s host, Ivan Urgant, Colbert revealed that he had a big announcement. Then, with a straight face, Colbert declared, “I am here to announce that I am considering a run for president in 2020.”…

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Would Trump make a good royal?

June 23, 2017

(CNN)The power of the British monarchy has been on display during recent tragedies. Leave it to Prince Harry to spoil it all. Who, after all, could survive the nonstop attention and demand for selfies? Who would thrive under such scrutiny, and do it all while wearing a gold crown weighing more than three pounds? It would take a certain type of person. The sort of person who fills his court…

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Wenstrup: Baseball aside, we’re all playing for the same team

June 16, 2017

(CNN)I never expected a baseball field in America to feel like being back in a combat zone, but Wednesday morning it did. I was pulling on my batting gloves and heading to the batting cages along the first base line when I heard the crack of a rifle shot. I turned — only to hear my Mississippi colleague and fellow Iraq War veteran Trent Kelly yell, “shooter!” Join us on…

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Trump’s doublespeak in Saudi Arabia

May 22, 2017

(CNN)If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Donald Trump, it is that he has no qualms about contradicting himself to get what he wants. In Saudi Arabia, he wanted a $110 billion arms deal — not to promote peace and tolerance, as he later proclaimed in his Sunday speech. Thus, his speech will not “be remembered as the beginning of peace in the Middle East,” as he loftily put it,…

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Who gets hurt by GOP’s ‘pro-life’ hypocrisy

May 20, 2017

(CNN)What does it mean to be pro-life? In today’s GOP, one thing: restricting access to safe abortion. Even if this doesn’t actually decrease the number of abortions, but just makes them more dangerous. Even if it means women and their children remain poor and vulnerable. Even if it means cutting off other necessary health care and aid. Even if it means women are injured. Even if it means women and…

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Rand Paul: Sessions’ sentencing plan would ruin lives

May 16, 2017

(CNN)The attorney general on Friday made an unfortunate announcement that will impact the lives of millions of Americans: he issued new instructions for prosecutors to charge suspects with the most serious provable offenses, “those that carry the most substantial guidelines sentence, including mandatory minimum sentences.” Mandatory minimum sentences have unfairly and disproportionately incarcerated a generation of minorities. Eric Holder, the attorney general under President Obama, issued guidelines to U.S. Attorneys…

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