Wiretap: To the shock of no one, the Obamacare compromise fix is now compromised and unfixed

Remember that oh-so-promising health care compromise? Well, Trump has changed his mind on it again. Some Republicans who were ready to support it now are ambivalent. But Lamar Alexander, the Republican half of the bipartisan team that authored it, says it will pass by the end of the year. So, who knows? And Margo Sanger-Katz writes for Upshot that Trump may have unwittingly (how else?) stabilized Obamacare in trying to attack it. Via The New York Times.

Trump said he had called someone in the family of everyone who had been killed in action during his presidency. The Washington Post checked. He had not. Trump had called about half the families the Post reached. What the Post did learn, though, in calling 13 families was that Trump had offered $25,000 to one grieving father. The check never came. Once the Post ran the story, the check was in the mail.

It’s not just that Trump felt the unseemly need to compare (favorably, of course) his response to fallen troops with those of his predecessors. It’s that the troops themselves seem to have been totally lost in the discussion. Via The New Yorker.

Arizona Republic columnist E.J. Montini translates John McCain’s speech so that Trump, who speaks a different language, can understand it. Here goes: McCain called Trump a phony and a punk, but in a nice way.

Now that ISIS has lost its caliphate, it will probably revert to its guerilla roots and may well be more dangerous than ever. Via The New York Times.

U.S. oil production is at record levels. Imports are at their lowest point since the 1990s. Prices are way down. So, in the Republican political world, now is the perfect time for a new push in Congress on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Via The Los Angeles Times.

Dana Milbank: If free trade causes abortion, wife-beating and infertility, as the latest fake news from the White House have you believe, why stop there? Why not also concede, say, that the attempts at the Muslim travel bans caused the U.S. soccer team to lose out on the World Cup? Or that Trump’s election has caused a surge in irritable bowel syndrome? Via The Washington Post.

While the United States suffers through an epidemic of opioid addiction, in much of the rest of the world, people die in preventable pain. Via The Atlantic.

Leonard Pitts: If the center, in fact, can’t hold — and it doesn’t look as if it can — Democrats have no choice but to move left. Via the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Democrats seem to be listening, at least on the issue of immigration, where they have definitely moved to the left. In other words, don’t expect any major compromises on Dreamers or on Trump’s wall. Via Vox.

From The National Review: Pro football fan Andrew McCarthy has determined that Colin Kaepernick is not good enough for NFL owners to have colluded against him. Here’s a guess: McCarthy may know more about football players than he does about football owners.


National Fish and Wildlife Services photo by Susanne Miller, via Flickr: Creative Commons