Health Care Fantasyland
Top Republicans have spent years pretending that it’s easy to fix the health care system and lying about both Obamacare and their own proposals. They’re still doing it.I found it particularly sad to watch Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House, stoop to offering the same kind of obvious untruths as President Trump regularly does. On Tuesday, Ryan insisted — with no factual basis — that the new bill would protect the sick. “Politicians always stretched truth & cherry-picked facts,” the economist David Rothschild tweeted yesterday. “But very concerning that career politician, Speaker of House, just flat out lies.
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“Trump is grappling with the harsh reality of governing and media scrutiny, which he has told friends he hoped would eventually abate,” my colleague, Robert Costa,. What President Trump had misunderstood, and what seems to have only dawned on him slowly and incompletely, is that capturing the presidency isn’t the final battle for respect and prestige. Instead, it’s a chance to compete in a much tougher arena, where the struggle for victory is governed by different rules.
Steve Bannon, the necessary man: Column
Liberals are licking their lips about an imagined civil war in President Trump’s White House, one pitting Steve Bannon against Jared Kushner and a New York crowd. That’s wishful thinking for the most part. Bannon is still a hugely important figure in the administration, and he’s not going anywhere. And that’s because everyone recognizes that they need him.Bannon’s been said to be a wartime consigliere, they guy you put in charge when you go to the mattresses. The person you need in the middle of a campaign but whom you can dispense with when the war is over. That’s a good point, except for one thing. The war isn’t over.
Unfamiliarity with the job; after all, there’s no job or experience that can actually prepare you to be the most powerful person on the planet and to run one of the world’s most complex bureaucracies. But Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James B. Comey is a perfect illustration of the specific reasons why the wins Trump promised and craves seem so elusive — and why, without a personality transplant, even the presidency can’t deliver Trump the respect and affirmation he do desperately needs.
Let’s work backwards, shall we?
One of Trump’s most persistent problems as president is his administration’s persistence in treating the media, colleagues in Congress and the general public in a way that suggests they believe we are fools, or at least possessed of. While it’s true that the constantly-roiling news cycle means that some of Trump’s worst acts have shrunk against the enormity of the whole, certain items inevitably stick in a way that Trump doesn’t seem to understand and has little tolerance for.
Macron leads in French opinion polls heading into Sunday election
French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has a big lead in opinion polls heading into Sunday's election. Reuters reports that Macron leads right-wing National Front candidate Marine Le Pen by 23-26 percentage points in opinion polls conducted ahead of the runoff election.Macron, who is pro-European Union and wants to unify the left a nd the right in France, has been a favorite over Le Pen, an anti-immigration nationalist, since the conclusion of the first round of the election last month.Voters in France are heading to the polls two days after Macron's campaign was hacked and a massive archive of emails and documents were leaked online.
Thefor Comey’s dismissal was that Trump was troubled by the former FBI director’s treatment of his opponent, Hillary Clinton, during the election. The accompanying attempt at “House of Cards”-style spin was that the White House was , theoretically because Democrats blamed Clinton’s loss on Comey and would be happy to see him gone. This gossamer-thin bit of schtick asks those of us who are the targets of it to forget , the and . It’s insulting to be told to ignore the man behind the curtain when the performer isn’t even doing the basic work of making the illusion compelling or convincing.
Beyond what the Trump administration wants the public to believe about Comey’s firing, the president ran in to trouble with his FBI director because he wanted things Comey was unable or unwilling to deliver.
Canada's Opinion of America Hits New Low
Canadians are so unhappy with America they're apparently canceling visits to the U.S.Canadians really aren't happy with Americans, according to a new poll released this week. And, perhaps predictably, President Donald Trump is to blame.
The presidentthat the Obama administration had wiretapped him, an allegation Comey actively refuted. And while Trump’s letter terminating Comey alluded to three occasions on which Comey apparently informed Trump that he was not personally under investigation, there was nothing Comey could have done to clear the persistent speculation about what Russia might have done to put Trump in the White House and why.
Rich people in private live can surround themselves with sycophants who can tell them soothing lies without consequence. The director of the FBI is not the president’s valet, nor someone eager to broker a business deal by pretending friendship with him. The Post is not. The Secret Service’s job is to protect the president’s body, not his peace of mind. There is no one in the United States who has an obligation to make the president feel good about himself, except perhaps the first lady, and even .
Roger Stone contradicts Trump: I spoke with him ‘very recently’
Stone added that Trump "knows" he would have fired former FBI Director James Comey.Load Error
Finally, Trump doesn’t seem to recognize the difference between an ephemeral victory and a substantive one.
Ramming a health-care bill that, and that is , through the House of Representatives is technically a victory for Trump in that it’s something he wanted to happen and that did happen. But if the House vote hasn’t been greeted as the equivalent of the passage, signing and implementation of the Affordable Care Act it’s because those two events are not in fact the same thing. And however good the bill’s passage in the House made Trump feel, there is a vast gulf between that momentary glow and the actual impact the law, if passed, could eventually have on Americans’ health care and Republicans’ electoral prospects. Trump’s quest for short-term wins has a tendency to set him up for long-term frustrations.
Perhaps Trump’s wildly unusual campaign for the presidency convinced him and his advisers that they could take a similarly radical approach to governing. Even on the campaign trail, though, Trump performed the basic functions it takes to win an election: he gave stump speeches, showed up to debates, cultivated surrogates and held a convention. Now, it turns out that you can’t replace the basic functions of government with: no matter how rich you’ve been in the past, or how powerful you are in the present, wishing doesn’t make it so. And insulting the intelligence and integrity of the people you need to turn fantasy into reality, as much as that’s even possible, doesn’t help.
Approval of President Trump drops to lowest since inauguration: Reuters/Ipsos poll .
<p>Public approval of President Donald Trump has dropped to its lowest level since his inauguration, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday, after Trump was accused of mishandling classified information and meddling with an FBI investigation.</p>Load Error