News & Politics

The Morning Briefing: Healthcare Delay, Media Snark, Obama Luxury Vacations and Much, Much More

Good Wednesday Morning.

Here is what’s on President Trump’s agenda today:

  • In the morning, President Donald J. Trump will receive his daily intelligence briefing.
  • The President will then lead a tribal, State, and local energy roundtable.
  • In the afternoon, the President will participate in a meet and greet with the Chicago Cubs.
  • The President will then meet with immigration crime victims to urge passage of House legislation to save American lives.
  • In the evening, the President will depart the White House en route to the Trump International Hotel, where he will give remarks at the Republican National Committee dinner.
  • The President will then return to the White House.

Healthcare vote postponed, lawmakers take field trip to the White House

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced yesterday that the vote on the “replace” version of Obamacare has been delayed. Afterward, Republican lawmakers took a field trip to the White House to talk to President Trump.

Senators expressed concerns about different aspects of the bill, including lawmakers from states expanding Medicaid, conservatives raising concerns about elements of the bill, and others about the tax cuts to the wealthy paired with cuts to Medicaid, a source in the room said.

What needs to be done is to repeal the entire mess and let the free market kick in. If you want health insurance, great, buy it. If you prefer to pay out of pocket because you are young and healthy, go for it. If you only want catastrophic insurance for your family, make that choice.

McConnell’s announcement to delay the vote came less than a day after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office announced that 22 million more Americans would be uninsured over the next decade if the Republican Senate bill passed. That news alone had caused some Republicans to want to take a step back and get more questions answered.

How many of these people would be uninsured willingly? It makes no economic sense for young, healthy people to purchase health insurance, especially at the Obamacare prices. Sadly, the Democrats want younger, healthier people, who are saddled with student loans and possibly a mortgage, to carry the additional burden of inflated health insurance costs to subsidize the system.

One thing is clear: Obamacare is a failure and something has to be done. And that something should be trashing it.

“For the country, we have to have health care and it can’t be Obamacare, which is melting down,” Trump said before the closed-door session. “This will be great if we get it done, and if we don’t get it done it is just going to be something we aren’t going to like. And that is OK and I understand that very well.”

Sarah Huckabee Sanders under fire at WH presser

The White House held a televised press conference yesterday (paging Jim Acosta) and it got a little heated with Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

The feud between the Trump White House and CNN reached a fever pitch Tuesday during a feisty press briefing where Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders slammed “fake news” and said Americans “deserve something better.”

Sanders conducted the first televised briefing in a week, following complaints from the press corps that too many are being held off-camera. She took the podium in place of Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who was on Capitol Hill for a GOP Senate luncheon.

When she was asked about the recent CNN story retraction, just one of many recent embarrassments for CNN, she responded:

“There are multiple instances when that outlet has been wrong—there’s a video circulating now, whether it’s accurate or not, not sure—but I encourage everyone to take a look at it. If it is accurate, I think it’s a disgrace to all of media, to all of journalism.”

Huckabee Sanders made a good point: “If we make the slightest mistake, it is an absolute tirade from a lot of people in this room, but news outlets get to go on, day after day, and cite unnamed sources, and use stories without sources.”

And then things turned interesting.

Brian J. Karem, executive editor of The Montgomery County Sentinel, a local newspaper in Maryland, then accused Sanders of being “inflammatory.”

“You’re inflaming everyone here,” Karem said. “We’re here to ask questions, you’re here to provide answers—what you did is inflammatory—everybody in this room is just trying to do their job.”

Sanders fired back and said that the problem is “the dishonesty that often takes place in the news media.”

“It is outrageous to accuse me of inflaming a story when I was trying to answer a question,” Sanders added.

CNN did not get called on during the briefing.

Democrat Dick Durbin’s office will not release its emails with failed GOP assassin

Senator Dick Durbin’s office says they will not release correspondence with the GOP congressional shooter.

An Associated Press report says, “Hodgkinson also visited the office of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose campaign he had worked on as a volunteer, and was in email contact with the two Democratic senators from his home state.”

The “two Democratic senators from his home state” of Illinois would presumably be Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth.

Durbin’s office said “Mr. Hodgkinson contacted our office to state his opinion on a variety of legislation over the years. Those emails were all given to USCP and are part of the current investigation.” When asked if they would release the emails to the public, there was no response. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) also refused to respond to the Daily Caller’s request.

Sarah Palin sues NYT over Giffords shooting link

Former Veep candidate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has filed a defamation suit against the New York Times. The Times ran an editorial linking the 2011 shooting of then-congresswoman Gabby Giffords to Palin following the attempted assassination attempt of GOP congressmen practicing in Virginia for a charity softball game.

The editorial, attributed to the Times’ editorial board and titled “America’s Lethal Politics,” initially linked Palin’s rhetoric to the shooting that killed six people and wounded 13 others, including then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

The paper posted a correction the next day admitting that “no such link was established.”

This myth was debunked years ago.

The editorial also claimed, incorrectly, that a now-infamous ad from Palin’s political action committee put “Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs[sic].” The Times also corrected that statement, admitting that the crosshairs on the map targeted “electoral districts, not individual Democratic lawmakers.”

“The Times used its false assertion about Mrs. Palin as an artifice to exploit the [Scalise] shooting,” Palin’s attorneys stated in the suit.

“The Times published and promoted its Editorial Board’s column despite knowing … the false assertion that Mrs. Palin incited [Tucson shooter Jared] Loughner to murder six people,” the suit added. “In doing so, the Times violated the law and its own policies.”

Obama’s lavish luxury vacations questioned

I don’t care where he spends his own money, I just care when he was spending taxpayer funds.

The Democratic base is growing increasingly frustrated with former President Barack Obama’s actions after leaving office, including a seemingly endless tour of millionaire and billionaire luxury retreats, according to Democrats and activists contacted by Fox News.

There are plenty of elites in the Democratic Party.

“These trips are like the lifestyles of the rich and famous,” said Democratic strategist Pat Caddell. The former adviser to ex-President Jimmy Carter believes that President Obama’s vacations are unprecedented, and a far cry from how Carter spent his first few months out of office.

“I think the Bernie Sanders wing of the party, when they see President Obama, whom they instinctively want to defend being the corporatist president, I think it makes the base uneasy,” said Caddell.

It gets better:

Left-wing activists told Fox News they are troubled by what they see as a trend by Obama to distance himself from the base of the party. It’s not just vacations. The president also has enjoyed hefty fees for speeches to prominent Wall Street firms. It’s all part of a trend, they say, of Obama trying to join the fabled 1 percent.

“Obama is not as wealthy or as conservative as Trump, George W. Bush, or George H.W. Bush, but he enjoys what used to be called ‘the lifestyle of the rich and famous,’” said Dr. David Michael Smith of the Houston Socialist Movement. “I am not surprised by Obama’s several recent foreign vacations. As president, he disappointed millions of supporters who hoped he would be a strong advocate for working-class people.”

Even John Oliver chimed in:

“I’ll tell you who should kick back a little less,” said HBO host John Oliver in an interview with Seth Meyers. “This might be controversial – I’m a little sick of seeing photos of President Obama on vacation with Richard Branson. Just tone it down with the kite-surfing pictures. I’m glad he’s having a nice time – America is on fire.”

He’s not the president anymore.

Other Morsels:

An ICE agent visited a restaurant. About 30 employees quit the next day, its owner says.

Feds give $20,000 grant to musical about ‘bad hombre’ illegal immigrant and lesbian

Democratic Rep: citing uncomfortable data is white privilege

Innocent man released from jail after drywall was mistaken for cocaine

Teens accused of stealing money for jewelry, cars and teeth

Venezuela’s president says police helicopter fired on Supreme Court

At least 1 U.S. nuclear plant’s computer system was hacked

Twitter hires new head of diversity

And that’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!