Commentary on faith & politics committed to the truth in Jesus Christ and in all things around us. America once loved God but has become a land fallen, in love with money.Our politicians sellout votes for money, for favor to the rich. The Religious Right embrace mammon's ideology and glorify nationalism equating politics with faith, so "of the nation" instead of just "in the nation". The Religious Left cling to the nobel cause but decline the cure so afraid of a real internal personal relationship with the heavenly Father that yearns so very much to be close to them. As it is both Right and Left are so bereft of real introspection. Pray we all have the courage to stand up for what is right in one of the toughest places to do so - our in-group. A change is coming.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

McConnell's Determination To Pass The Healthcare Bill Is A Bigger Danger To U.S. Than Putin

Sen. Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, as much the face of the company in a company town as President Trump, continues to seem willing to do anything to pass his health care bill, one reasonable people aren't willing to poke with a stick, except ask for help from the Russians to drag it across the finish line.

It makes McConnell — in the arena of health care, with this particular bill — the most dangerous guy in Washington this week. To the 22 million Americans who will be without health insurance by 2026 if this bill passes, it actually makes McConnell and all the 12 other angry men in the room who helped him draft this bill a lot more dangerous than even a bum like Vladimir Putin.

This is so much more important than the kind of political carnival we saw in Hamburg for the G20 summit. Now Donald Trump says that he asked Putin — asked him twice! — about Russia trying to fix our last presidential election. Trump also says that he and Putin will now team up on cyberattacks so that election hacking and "many other dangerous things" never happen again. Of course this is election hacking that Trump dismissed as if it were climate change.

Even Sen. Marco Rubio says that forming an alliance with Putin on cyberattacks would be like doing the same with Syria's president, Assad, on chemical weapons. More appropriately, it would have been like putting Willie Sutton in charge of security for banks back in the days when Willie's career was robbing them. Putin is a political gangster, one you wouldn't trust if he told you the water in the Black Sea is wet. The first thing Trump should have done in Hamburg after shaking hands with this guy was immediately count his fingers. But now the two of them are an official buddy movie, not only ready to clean up the Middle East, but election hacking as well.

I was speaking the other day in London with a young Romanian man about what he called the "G2 summit" in Hamburg, which meant Trump and Putin.

"The two of them remind me of my father," the man, Alex, said to me. "They are big, but only in their own minds."

But as much of a danger as Putin is to the rest of the world, McConnell and any Republicans who plans to vote for his health care bill are more of a clear and present danger to the poor in this country, to the elderly, to women who rely on Planned Parenthood, to all who will lose health insurance because of Republicans in the Senate who are in almost a ferret-like frenzy to put legislative points on the board.

These people aren't looking to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act because they honestly think their plan is better. They aren't doing it because they think it is the right thing to do. They are doing it because they said they would, and are afraid they will lose face if they don't. There's your democracy in action right there.

They won't stand up to this President on anything that matters. But now they try to act principled about a bill that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, a place in our government that continues to assert and protect its integrity, recently shot out of a cannon. This isn't the devil liberal media elite saying that under the plan conceived by McConnell that 15 million more people would be uninsured in America by next year. This is the CBO saying that. It is the CBO talking about premiums going through the roof for the poor and the elderly, while tax breaks to the wealthy will be given out with both hands.

It is the Congressional Budget Office who says that within three years "few low-income people" could afford to purchase any health-care plan if McConnell gets his way. Again: This isn't about what is right, or about principle. It is about McConnell and the Republicans getting their way, after seven years of acting as if the Affordable Care Act is more of a threat to us than Putin or any other tinhorn despot from across the world.

As much of a danger as Putin is to the rest of the world, McConnell and any Republicans who plans to vote for his health care bill are more of a clear and present danger.

 (ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO/AP)

On Sunday there is a headline in the Washington Post about how uncertain Republicans are about a legislative "victory" before they all go on their summer vacations in August. Victory for whom? For the snake oil salesmen who have convinced enough Americans that only they, Republicans in Congress, are really looking out for them?

Here is what Gov. Andrew Cuomo said to me about McConnell Care or Trump Care, whatever you choose to call it, on Sunday morning:

"They're putting ultra conservative zealotry over preventing human misery. It's disturbing and unprecedented. Make no mistake: New Yorkers are going to be hurt and they're going to be hurt by the exact people sent to Washington to look out for them."

They look out for themselves, while somehow convincing enough gullible Americans that those who fight them on this health care bill, fight honorably and at the tops of their voices, are the enemies of the people here. In a city of lies and professional liars, that might be the most shameful lie of all.

- Mike Lupica


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