Trump Tells Senators House Health Bill ‘Mean’

Honestly, I don’t even know what to say anymore.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump told Republican senators Tuesday that the House-passed health care bill he helped revive is “mean” and urged them to craft a version that is “more generous,” congressional sources said.

Trump’s remarks were a surprising slap at a Republican-written House measure that was shepherded by Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and whose passage the president lobbied for and praised. At a Rose Garden ceremony minutes after the bill’s narrow House passage on May 4, Trump called it “a great plan.”

The Senate GOP’s Plan to Repeal Obamacare: Don’t Let Anyone See Their bill

From Vox:

Senate Republicans have decided their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare wouldn’t fare well in the sun, and so they have shielded it from any public scrutiny.

The bill — its contents still a mystery — could be voted on in the coming weeks without any committee hearings, expert testimony, or public debate.

The House cut plenty of corners in passing the American Health Care Act. The bill was rushed through marathon late-night markup sessions, and the House voted to pass it before the Congressional Budget Office finished estimating what its effects might be. Still, there was a rowdy, if abbreviated, public debate, and the final bill was wildly unpopular with the public — and so Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decided the Senate would skip the usual legislative process entirely.

Instead, a group of 13 senators met in private rooms and Senate Republicans talked health care at their secluded lunches while reporters waited for updates that were usually opaque. Members were instructed not to divulge what was discussed in the meetings and aides were chastised for leaking to the press.

The private talks have been fruitful; Republican senators are now edging closer to a health care bill that could pass. It would likely lead to millions fewer Americans having health coverage and billions of dollars being cut from Medicaid, the nation’s largest insurer, as the House bill did. The upper chamber is mere weeks away from an expected vote, even though most senators have yet to see any legislative text.

France is offering US scientists 4-year grants to move to the country and do research

From Business Insider:

If you are an American scientist, student, teacher, or business person working on climate change solutions, France would love for you to stay awhile.

Following President Trump’s June 2 decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement — a multi-country pact that acknowledges global warming poses serious threats to humanity and the environment — the French government has created an outlet for people from all countries who still want to fight climate change.

The website is called Make Our Planet Great Again.

Researchers, teachers, and students can apply for a four-year grant that allows them to continue their studies or instruction, fully financed. The site also provides information on how to move to France by obtaining a work visa and residency permit.

The website explains: “You will be able to stay in France at least for the duration of the grant, and longer if you are granted a permanent position. There is no restriction on your husband / wife working in France. If you have children, note that French public schools are free, and the tuition fees of universities and ‘grandes écoles’ are very low compared to the American system.”

Russian Cyber Hacks on U.S. Electoral System Far Wider Than Previously Known

From Bloomberg:

Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously reported.

In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. The hackers accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on Election Day, and in at least one state accessed a campaign finance database. Details of the wave of attacks, in the summer and fall of 2016, were provided by three people with direct knowledge of the U.S. investigation into the matter. In all, the Russian hackers hit systems in a total of 39 states, one of them said.

The scope and sophistication so concerned Obama administration officials that they took an unprecedented step — complaining directly to Moscow over a modern-day “red phone.” In October, two of the people said, the White House contacted the Kremlin on the back channel to offer detailed documents of what it said was Russia’s role in election meddling and to warn that the attacks risked setting off a broader conflict.

This is alarming and infuriating. I’m sure President Trump is extremely angry that the Russians infiltrated and perhaps disrupted the foundation of our democracy.