Revelation 13:1-3

The Two Beasts

13 I looked and saw a beast coming up from the sea. This one had ten horns and seven heads, and a crown was on each of its ten horns. On each of its heads were names that were an insult to God. The beast that I saw had the body of a leopard, the feet of a bear, and the mouth of a lion. The dragon handed over its own power and throne and great authority to this beast. One of its heads seemed to have been fatally wounded, but now it was well. Everyone on earth marveled at this beast,

Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell smiles as he leaves the chamber after announcing the release of the Republicans' healthcare bill, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell smiles as he leaves the chamber after announcing the release of the Republicans' healthcare bill, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

American health care up for grabs again this week as Senate Republicans unveil their plan. Big changes. Democrats cry foul. It’s up for a vote next week. In Georgia, a big Republican win and setback for Democrats. On Twitter, the President says ‘I didn’t tape Comey’ — after suggesting maybe he did. We’ve got close calls with Russian jets, the terrible Philando Castille tapes, Bill Cosby’s hung jury, the death of Otto Warmbier. This hour On Point: Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines. -- Tom Ashbrook


Stephen Hayes, editor-in-chief of The Weekly Standard. (@stephenfhayes)

Juana Summers, senior writer for CNN Politics. (@jmsummers)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst. (@JackBeattyNPR)

From Tom's Reading List

Washington Post: What the Senate bill changes about Obamacare — "Senate Republican leadership unveiled their health-care bill Thursday morning, after weeks of crafting it behind closed doors. The bill takes major steps to roll back provisions of the Affordable Care Act but doesn’t go as far as the House’s version. In both bills, the spending cuts made by Medicaid and other programs would go to fund a substantial tax cut for the health-care industry and the rich."

NPR: After Georgia Win, A Triumphant Trump Returns To Campaign Trail In ... — "Still basking in the glow of a big Georgia special election victory for the GOP, President Trump pushed aside the controversies that have hamstrung his administration in the past month and returned to the stage most comfortable to him — the campaign trail."

CNN: Philando Castile shooting: Dashcam video shows rapid event — "What's most shocking is how fast it happened. It took just 40 seconds for an ordinary traffic stop to turn deadly — from a police officer saying, "Hello, sir," to him firing seven shots at a seated motorist. But the police dashboard camera video released Tuesday adds a visceral element to what police witnesses had described — unnerving even in the context of other police shootings and after a video taken by Philando Castile's passenger went viral."

Week In The News Highlights

Senate Health Care Bill

Stephen Hayes: "In effect, this is two different bills welded together. One basically keeps in place the structure, the architecture of Obamacare and increases spending in the near term, and then the trade off there for conservatives is reforms in the long term to Medicaid and other things. The question facing Republican senators is, whether you believe that the near term spending and the preservation of this architecture of Obamacare is worth the promise of these future reforms. And I think history would tell us that there's reason to be skeptical that we'll see the reforms that are promised.

Juana Summers: "This isn't just about a legislative victory for one side or the other, there are real people, both wealthy and not wealthy, young and old, who are trying to figure out how to best come up with coverage and health care for their families. There's no question that, taking many partisan views out of it aside, if either the Senate bill that was released on Thursday, likely to see a vote next week, or the House bill, either one were to pass, it will fundamentally reshape and industry that is responsible for an enormous chunk of the American economy, that affects every household in this country.

Republicans Score In Georgia Special Election

Juana Summers: "This would have been a really humbling defeat for Republicans. This was the most expensive house race we've seen, which I think is an indication of just how grueling 2018 is going to be for the national parties ... Democrats have some learning to do about how to best handle the president in these competitive districts. It's going to be a different playbook than we saw in 2016, when almost every single moment of every race that we watched across the country was about the president invoking then-candidate Trump at every step of the way.

Russia And State Election Security

Jack Beatty: "These 21 states, we need to find out what states they are. And we need to find out what happened in those states with voter rolls. Local reporting is coming up with some interesting findings. Dallas County, for example, overwhelming for Hillary Clinton, it was targeted 17 times according to their sources, by outside groups trying to get their voting rolls. And neighboring counties that we were Republican, were not ... I just can't believe that over there in Russia they know how to target these counties.

New Video Of Philando Castille Shooting

Juana Summers: "This really shows one of the clearest pictures we've seen yet of these fatal encounters between African American men and police. What strikes me most is that just 74 seconds elapsed from when that traffic stop happened until Philando Castille was shot. And it's really hard to hear the pain and see that reality come out.

Stephen Hayes: "As heartbreaking as the actual video itself was, there was another video of his girlfriend talking to the 4-year-old who was in the car, that is absolutely tragic and heartbreaking.

This program aired on June 23, 2017.

Democrats were disappointed with the outcome of the election in Georgia.  Some blamed Nancy Pelosi, as part of the Old Guard, others were just depressed.  However before accepting any of this, listen closely to the caller, who was actually on the ground volunteering as to why the "Centrist" Democratic candidate lost.  And keep in mind that Bill Clinton was the most important Centrist Democrat elected in the 20th century.  And because of his centrism, he could do to the working-class/middle-classes what Reagan could not do: Ignore unions; encourage the "new Jim-crow" incarceration; and remove the safety-net that protected women and their children, while the people saw him as a heroic public servant.


Democrats Need To Manage Election Expectations Better, Rep. Bustos Says


June 27, 20174:57 AM ET

David Greene talks to Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos who won her Illinois district — which Trump also won — with a wide margin on an economic message, which she says her party should take a lesson from.


When Democrats lost the most expensive House race in the history of the United States last week, it forced a new round of self-assessment for a party that had already suffered big losses in 2016. But the chair of the Democratic National Committee, Tom Perez, does not seem to be among those critics of the House leadership. Last week on "The View," he doubled down on his support for House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.


TOM PEREZ: The person in the Congress singularly most responsible for the passage of the Affordable Care Act was Nancy Pelosi. Thank God she was leading the House of Representatives during the passage of that. She has fought her entire career for fairness, for opportunity for everyone.

GREENE: Now, among those looking hard at the vision for her party is Rep. Cheri Bustos of the state of Illinois. She's actually the only member of the House Democratic leadership who does not hail from one of the coasts. And she is in our D.C. studios this morning. Congresswoman, welcome.

CHERI BUSTOS: Good morning.

GREENE: So does the Democratic Party have a leadership problem right now?

BUSTOS: Well, you know, let's look at the Georgia race that you were just referring to. I think it was more that we could have managed expectations a little bit better. You know, we lost that seat by 23 points just about a half a year ago, and we came within four last week. So I think if we had gone into that saying, look, this is going to be a very, very tough hill to climb. And it's not impossible but it's also not probable. And I think it was just more of a matter of managing the expectations, which we have to do going forth.

In the last four special elections that we've had over the past several weeks, we made double-digit gains in every single one of those. So that's worth celebrating. Sure, you know, we didn't cross the finish line in the fashion that we had hoped, but we did a lot better than many would have thought, also.

GREENE: But doesn't managing expectations - is that enough? Are you prepared to tell Democratic voters in, you know, the next big election, we might not win a lot of these seats. We might not take the House but we're going to come close. Is that what you think Democrats want to hear?

BUSTOS: No. No. It absolutely is not what Democrats want to hear. I'm a former college athlete. I played basketball and volleyball, and...

GREENE: So you know that coming close is not the same as winning...

BUSTOS: No. It's not, it's not. And I like to win. But I also know that when you play a really, really tough team in the first game, if you come close, then you look at the second game. And you look to finish the job. And we've got 400 candidates and 90-some seats throughout the country that are looking at running. That's a lot of people who have interest in taking on Republicans who are casting some horrible votes right now.

This health care bill that we passed out of the House with all Republican votes is so harmful to especially towns like I represent - small towns in middle America, in the heartland. These are areas that Donald Trump did very, very well in. And I think he sees it as fly-over country now. He...

GREENE: Well, let me just - if I can ask you, if I may, I mean, just yes or no - do you have full confidence in Nancy Pelosi leading your party right now?

BUSTOS: I have confidence that we are going to move things forward, that we've got the right candidates who are running. And frankly, David, it's a little bit of a sideshow right now. I mean no disrespect to any of my colleagues who are taking this fight very public. But I think what we need to focus on is making sure we have the right candidates who are going to work hard, who are going to show up in these smaller towns in counties that are not highly populated and listen to people. You know, politicians are known to be, you know, long-winded and do a lot of talking.

GREENE: (Laughter) I've never heard that before.

BUSTOS: (Laughter) But, you know, there's a reason we have one mouth and two ears. And we need to show up and listen to people and then base our policies on what we're hearing back home when we come back out here to Washington.

GREENE: Well, you do something in your district called Cheri on Shift. You shadow workers on the job when you're home in your district. That could strike some as just sort of a photo-op, but can you explain to me the true value in that? And is that something that you think Democratic candidates need to do more of?

BUSTOS: Well, I don't treat it anything like a photo-op. I treat it as a way to get to know people. I've done more than 50 of these, where I've been a welder, or a beekeeper, or a carp processor, or a UPS driver. But I work right alongside people doing their everyday jobs. And when I'm alongside, I ask them about their families - whether they were able to take a vacation last year, what they do for fun, if they've gotten a raise in the last five years. And you learn a lot about people and their families and their hopes and their dreams.

I don't just use it as, you know, where I put a welder's helmet on and I'm doing some spot welding in the back of a truck. We have a conversation. And then I take what I learn from all of these different shift works that I do, and I go back to Washington and I look at legislation that's supportive of folks back home.

GREENE: OK. Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, Democrat of Illinois. Thanks for the time this morning.

BUSTOS: Thank you, David.

Copyright © 2017 NPR.

 In Listen Liberal (2016), Thomas Frank spells this dilemma out and warns against Centrism in Democrats.

Naomi Kline in NO Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump's Shock Politics and Winning The World We Need (2017) she tell how to "shock the monkey" into letting go.  She begins her text with Shock.  Shock she posits is a word that has come up again and again since Donald Trump was elected in November 2016--to describe the poll-defying election results, to describe the emotional state of many people watching his ascent to power, and to describe his blitzkrieg approach to policy making.  A "shock to the system," in fact, is precisely how his adviser Kellyanne Conway has repeatedly described the new era.

Kline writes that though Trump breaks the mold in some ways, his shock tactics do follow a script, one familiar from other countries that have rapid changes imposed under the cover of crisis.  Trump and his cohorts are trying to pull off a domestic shock doctrine.  The goal is all-out war on the public sphere and the public interest, whether in the form of antipollution regulations or programs for the hungry.  In their place will be unfettered power and freedom for corporations.  It's a program so defiantly unjust and so manifestly corrupt that it can only be pulled off with the assistance of divide-and-conquer racial and sexual politics, as well as a nonstop spectacle of media distractions.  And of course it is being backed up with a massive increase in war spending, a dramatic escalation of military conflicts on multiple fronts, from Syria to North Korea, alongside presidential musings about how "torture works."

If Klein's paradigm does not work for you, read Michael Flynn and Michael Ledeen's Field of Fight (2016) and understand why Trump went out of his way to avoid firing Flynn, even going to the extent of firing James Comey because he could not be corrupted.  He tried blackmail to shut Comey up, but it seems to have backfired as he has to tweet lie after lie to cover up his political faux pas.


Politics This Week: Health Care And Obama's Russia Reaction


Views: 39

Comment by mary gravitt on June 28, 2017 at 1:07pm

NO! is never enough in the face of a monster unless you are well armed.  The best weapon is knowledge and understanding that capitalism & neoliberalism are twins of the same beast.


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