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Saturday, September 23, 2017

During a 90-minute speech in Alabama, purportedly to support Senator Luther Strange who faces a special primary election next Tuesday, Trump diverted into an extended rant on the NFL. His ire was focused primarily on Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players who have participated in silent protests during the national anthem. "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He is fired. He's fired!,'" Trump shouted to a cheering audience. Trump suggested that any fan who sees a player take a knee during an NFL game should "leave the stadium ... pick up and leave." He said that people wouldn't be missing much anyway since the league has made modest efforts aimed at avoiding debilitating brain injuries. "They are ruining the game," Trump said. read more

Friday, September 22, 2017

If Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) goal was to play a consequential role in the fight over health care, he's succeeded beautifully. Two weeks ago, it was McCain who seemed to throw a lifeline to the repeal crusade, telling reporters he was prepared to support the Graham-Cassidy proposal. And this afternoon, it was the veteran lawmaker who announced his opposition to the Graham-Cassidy plan, effectively sealing its fate. McCain added that he'd consider a bill like Graham-Cassidy "were it the product of extensive hearings, debate and amendment," but that hasn't happened. read more

The National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) warned Republicans on Thursday that the Senate's latest ObamaCare repeal bill would place a massive burden on states. "Taken together, the per-capita caps and the envisioned block grant would constitute the largest intergovernmental transfer of financial risk from the federal government to the states in our country's history," NAMD's board of directors wrote in a statement Thursday. The NAMD, which is a coalition of Medicaid directors from every state, noted that while the proposal is intended to create maximum flexibility, it does not provide the statutory reforms necessary "commensurate with proposed funding reductions." The GOP bill would also require states create their own health-care programs by 2020, which the directors argue is a massive undertaking. read more

Thursday, September 21, 2017

An Oklahoma City police officer shot and killed a deaf man who was holding a metal pipe on Tuesday night, authorities said. According to police spokesman Capt. Bo Mathews, neighbors told Sgt. Chris Barnes that 35-year-old Magdiel Sanchez could not hear his commands. It remains unclear whether Barnes heard those warnings before discharging his weapon multiple times. Barnes and Lt. Matthew Lindsey went to Sanchez's home to investigate a hit-and-run that had occurred earlier in the evening, Mathews said. Sanchez's father was allegedly the driver of the car that fled the scene. The two officers found Sanchez, who did not have a criminal record and was not involved in the hit-and-run, on the porch of the house holding a 2-foot-long metal pipe. A neighbor told The Associated Press that Sanchez often carried the pipe to scare off the neighborhood's many stray dogs. read more

Monday, September 18, 2017

President Donald Trump's inaugural committee raised an unprecedented $107 million for a ceremony that officials promised would be "workmanlike," and the committee pledged to give leftover funds to charity. Nearly eight months later, the group has helped pay for redecorating at the White House and the vice president's residence in Washington. But nothing has yet gone to charity. What is left from the massive fundraising is a mystery, clouded by messy and, at times, budget-busting management of a private fund that requires little public disclosure. Among the head-scratching line-items was the pre-inaugural Lincoln Memorial concert, which came with a $25 million price tag, according to four of the people. The price dwarfs a similar event staged eight years earlier for Obama's first inauguration. Obama's concert had 10,000 ticketed seats -- twice the size of Trump's -- and cost less than $5 million. W's inaugural committee spent $2.5 million on its concert on the National Mall. read more


This never happened under Obama, even though the same issues were salient then.

Colin Kaepernick started his personal protest during the preseason of 2016 --- while Obama was President. Obama spoke about his thoughts on what Kaepernick was doing, yet somehow he didn't call for his firing nor call him an S.O.B..

In a measured tone of voice, Obama said he believed that "honoring our flag and our anthem is part of what binds us together as a nation," but noted that, "what makes this country special is that we respect people's rights to have a different opinion and to make different decisions about how they want to express their concerns."

The test, Obama argued, "is not when it's easy, but when it's hard. And I think that it's also important for us to recognize that sometimes out of these controversies, we start getting into a conversation, and I want everybody to listen to each other. So I want Mr. Kaepernick and others who are on a knee, I want them to listen to the pain that that may cause somebody who, for example, had a spouse or a child who was killed in combat, and why it hurts them to see somebody not standing. But I also want people to think about the pain that he may be expressing about somebody who's lost a loved one that they think was unfairly shot.

And one of the things that I always say about American democracy is, it can be frustrating, but it's the best system we've got," Obama concluded. "The only way that we make it work is to see each other, listen to each other, try to be respectful of each other, not just go into separate corners ... " thinkprogress.org

I'm not sure how their financial comfort in anyway detracts from the points they are trying to make.

I've never seen certain posters list the net worth of any individual being discussed over their personal or political stances that have absolutely nothing to do with affluence. Until now. Evidently the speakers' words should somehow be viewed through the lens of their personal wealth, a new standard never applied outside of this small particular group of individuals being critiqued by those who've never walked in their shoes nor lived in their skins and experienced their version of America that doesn't happen under the lights of television and fame.

The President of the United States just called gainfully-employed, tax paying citizens of this nation who peaceably use their platform to bring light to the continued social injustices facing the communities of which they belong to as "S.O.B.(s)", which also insidiously labels their mothers as "B's" who gave them birth. Yet this same President saw a mob of white supremacists shouting anti-Semitic and racist slogans, from whose ranks emerged a homicidal lunatic that killed and injured numerous citizens standing in opposition to such anti-American ideals and publicly states that he saw "good people" amongst this rabble.

People identify themselves for what they are and what they believe. This thread stands as testament to that fact and believe me, this is not going to be forgotten nor ignored any longer by many people who strive to make America more inclusive and just, not more exclusive, divided, and unjust.


Only the points that apply to you were directed at you. Of course I added my own thoughts as well, not in response to anything that you said. I figured the two would be obvious, sorry if that wasn't the case.

First, there is no precedence for kneeling during the national anthem being anything that would violate a personal conduct clause. It would have to be stated in direct language because no one is going to find that respectful kneeling is somehow just cause for termination. The anthem is a political statement if there ever was one. Anybody denying that is lying. If the players stated that kneeling was their religious right as a means of showing respect to this nation while maintaining that their deity ranks superior and is the only one they will stand for, there goes your case.

On the player front, you're missing the forest for the trees. After today, the majority of athletes are going to become far more vocal than we're used to, and if people want to push back, they are not backing down any longer. Gal is quantifying this with her contemporaneous posts. If ownership chooses to stand with Trump, you are going to see players wanting to get the hell out from under them. This is slave/owner revisited. These athletes will not be owned by anyone any longer, and the most prominent among them are taking the lead. And as soon as white athletes add their voices to the choir the dynamic will change.

Tomorrow is going to be a strange day, just watch. Teams have to be together as teams, but players aren't robots and they are not jesters for their billionaire owners no matter what Trump thinks. We might see which locker rooms are united and which are divided in ways we haven't before. The NFL has 8 minority coaches out of 32 and every coach is wondering the mindset of their players when game time tomorrow arrives. It will be an interesting day, but then again maybe it won't be as soon as the national anthem is over.

Here's what the owners are saying in regards to El Presidente's remarks:

"The callous and offensive comments made by the President are contradictory to what this great country stands for," 49ers CEO Jed York said. "Our players have exercised their rights as United States citizens in order to spark conversation and action to address social injustice. We will continue to support them in their peaceful pursuit of positive change in our country and around the world."

Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy: "It's unfortunate that the President decided to use his immense platform to make divisive and offensive statements about our players and the NFL. We strongly believe that players are leaders in our communities and positive influences. They have achieved their positions through tremendous work and dedication and should be celebrated for their success and positive impact. We believe it is important to support any of our players who choose to peacefully express themselves with the hope of change for good. As Americans, we are fortunate to be able to speak openly and freely."

Stephen Ross of the Miami Dolphins: "Our country needs unifying leadership right now, not more divisiveness. We need to seek to understand each other and have civil discourse instead of condemnation and sound bites."

Giants owners John Mara and Steve Tisch: "Comments like we heard last night from the President are inappropriate, offensive and divisive. We are proud of our players, the vast majority of whom use their NFL platform to make a positive difference in our society."

The Bills, meanwhile, said they had a team meeting Saturday night to discuss what owners Terry and Kim Pegula called "divisive and disrespectful" Trump remarks.

"Our players have the freedom to express themselves in a respectful and thoughtful manner and we all agreed that our sole message is to provide and to promote an environment that is focused on love and equality," the Bills said in a statement.


Yep, tomorrow is going to be #takeaknee Sunday, watch. But it won't just be about BLM anymore, it's going to be a giant "STFU President Trump" for trying to diminish professional sports player's rights by attempting to threaten their employment.


Professional sports athletes are contract employees, not at will. Their negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreements dictate what owners can and cannot do as it regards their employment and the compensation they are owed. All the leagues operate on salary caps which have specific ramifications outlining the conditions teams pay their players and maintain their payrolls.

Arbitrarily firing players because the owner doesn't agree with that player's beliefs would destroy the competitive balance of teams and quite frankly if such a practice became common, would give players carte blanche to leave crappy teams for those likely in major markets occupied by a far more open-minded fan base if they desire to.

People understand that the First Amendment only limits the government and that speech comes with consequences. That isn't the issue and shouldn't even be a matter of conversation at this point. Donald Trump may be naive enough to see NFL players as disposable commodities who can be immediately replaced and that may be so for some. But to these owners, unless they have valuable players who are competitive in their leagues, their franchises aren't worth pig ---- and the players now understand and know this.

Trump has now unleashed a beast and professional sports owners are going to have to deal with this. It's one thing for a President to stand opposed to one's political leanings but it's completely another for a President to act as though athletes sacrifice their constitutional rights for the sake of a healthy paycheck. Athletes are going to turn right around and say the same thing about the white power structure as well. At some point most everyone is beholden to someone for compensation unless wealth came through birth. Welcome to the new age of activist athletes, and if that kills sports for many Americans, that's a small price to pay if it can diminish the indiscriminate killing of far too many non-convicted Americans at the hands of LEOs.

Brookings: More Than 21M People Will Lose Coverage Under Graham-Cassidy

A new report from the Brookings Institute estimates that 21 million people will lose their health insurance by 2026 under Senate Republicans' latest bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The report cautions that it's a very conservative estimate that doesn't take into account the bill's per-capita Medicaid caps and the individual market turmoil the plan would likely create. The true number of uninsured people, the authors note, is likely much higher.

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