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A Pre-existing Peaceful Protest

Donald Trump, in his palatial golf resort in Bedminster, NJ, before an unmasked audience of wealthy club members, promised to sign a new executive to require health insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions.

His audience, in the club where membership costs some $350,000, did not wear face coverings against the coronavirus, Trump said, because they were engaging in "peaceful protest" against the news media.

“If the press in this country were honest and wasn’t corrupt and fake our country would be so much further ahead,” Trump said to the delight of his country club friends.

Fake, huh.

"Over the next two weeks I’ll be pursuing a major executive order requiring health insurance companies to cover all preexisting conditions for all companies," Trump said. "That’s a big thing. I’ve always been very strongly in favor. We have to cover pre-existing conditions."

Well, Trump must know full well that insurance companies already are required to cover patients with pre-existing conditions. That requirement is contained in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). or Obamacare, which Trump has tried to kill off since his election and is currently in court trying to do so.

And, who was the impetus for the ACA? It was Trump's predecessor, President Barack Obama, aided by his vice president, Joe Biden, Trump's likely opponent.

So who's fake?

How Trump can believe that the American people are so stupid and gullible as to swallow that garbage is unimaginable. But unfortunately, millions are that stupid and millions do believe him. No matter what he says, bald-faced lie or not, they swallow it hook, line and sinker. They run around with their red MAGA hats and refuse to wear face masks while this guy prepares to undermine the very healthcare they need -- especially in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, which he has so pitifully mismanaged.

Then, think of this.

While he was spewing those lies in the gilded setting of the Bedminster Golf Club, his administration henchmen and Senate Republicans were refusing to extend the $600 per week emergency unemployment benefits for those who lost their job because of the pandemic. Instead, they've been pushing to slash that to $200, while some Senate Republicans want no extension at all.

Their reasoning? Too many people who get the $600 will simply stay home because that's more than they earned at work.


At some point, that benefit will end. It won't be permanent income. Who would trade their actual job that produces an actual income for that temporary payment? It's a ridiculous argument, worthy only of mean spirited, out-of-touch politicians like Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who was one of the first to cook up that excuse.

The Republicans also insist on shielding employers from liability in lawsuits brought by workers for failing to provide protections against covid-19 infection. As a result of that and the other issues involved, negotiations with Democrats have broken down and nothing is being done.

So today Trump issued four executive orders purportedly to provide a $400 unemployment payment extension through the end of the year, protect against evictions, defer student loan payments, and provide a payroll tax holiday for people making less than $100,000 per year.

More slight-of-hand from the Trumpster.

First, only $300 of that $400 will be provided by the federal government; the other $100 is to come from the states--if they can pay it. The states are broke and have been clamoring for help from the feds, which Trump and the Republicans have denied.

Second, his authority to make the $300 available is likely to be challenged in court because

it is the Congress, not the president, that has responsibility for providing the funds needed to finance such programs.

The payroll tax "holiday?" If Congress doesn't act to make that cut permanent, those taxes will be due, writes @byHeatherLong, economics correspondent for The Washington Post. And, oh, don't forget what the payroll tax finances: Social Security.

Eighty-seven days, and counting.

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