Author Archives: ChescoD

Trump lawyer’s firm steered millions in donations to family members, files show

The Guardian, 6/27/17. [If it weren’t for the “drain the swamp” motif, this would be just one more exposé of hypocrisy, misuse of non-profit status, and exploitation of the poor and gullible. But when the principal is a lawyer connected to the same sorts of corruption that he is defending the president against, the story goes deeper….]

More than 15,000 Americans were losing their jobs each day in June 2009, as the US struggled to climb out of a painful recession following its worst financial crisis in decades.

But Jay Sekulow, who is now an attorney to Donald Trump, had a private jet to finance. His law firm was expecting a $3m payday. And six-figure contracts for members of his family needed to be taken care of.

Documents obtained by the Guardian show Sekulow that month approved plans to push poor and jobless people to donate money to his Christian nonprofit, which since 2000 has steered more than $60m to Sekulow, his family and their businesses….

keep reading at The Guardian

Senate GOP Obamacare replacement would lead to 22 million more uninsured in 2026, CBO estimates

by Jacob Pramuk, CNBC, 6/26/17. A measure like this will hurt thousands of Chester County residents! See our calendar for a rally against this bill in West Chester on Friday June 30.

The Senate’s Obamacare replacement bill would lead to 22 million more Americans uninsured in 2026, while average premiums are expected to fall after climbing at first, according to a Monday report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

The CBO’s estimate of the plan’s effect on the number of uninsured Americans could influence whether Republican senators support it, as GOP leaders walk a thin line in trying to win the votes needed to pass their plan. The estimated growth in the number of uninsured Americans is slightly lower under the Senate plan than the bill that passed the House last month, which the CBO said would lead to 23 million fewer covered in 2026.

Average premiums for single individuals would rise by 20 percent and 10 percent in 2018 and 2019, respectively, relative to current law, according to the CBO. …

keep reading at CNBC

Pew report on attitudes toward guns

One chart from summary of report on guns and ownership from Pew Research Center, 6/22/17. One can understand disagreements between those who do and don’t own guns. What is harder to understand, or at least to justify, is that our federal and state governments are so resistant to changes where a majority of Americans agree, such as the top 6 on this chart:

See the summary for more info, such as the intriguing result that gun owners are less concerned than non-owners about gun safety practices in households with children.

Healthcare talking points

Almost every Pennsylvanian will be affected by the Republicans’ disastrous plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Their plan is not a health plan at all; it is a tax cut for the wealthy than contains an anti-health plan.

There are more than 5 million Pennsylvanians with preexisting conditions; the Republicans’ health care plan would jeopardize their care. More than 715,000 Pennsylvanians have benefited from Medicaid’s expansion; the GOP’s health plan will roll back funding for Medicaid and impose caps on coverage. More than 3,200 people died of a drug overdose in Pennsylvania in 2015; the GOP bill slashes funding to the Medicaid programs that combat the opioid epidemic.

The Republicans’ health plan is projected to increase premiums for working families by 20% next year. It will charge an age tax on older Pennsylvanians and throw seniors who are in nursing homes on the street. It will make prescription drugs unaffordable for millions. It endangers women’s health by defunding Planned Parenthood.

“This proposed bill is unconscionable. It is heartless, immoral, and wrong. This bill, crafted in secret and thrust upon those who have to vote on it, is harmful to the millions of people depending on health care for themselves or their families. Our medical care is not a financial ledger; our lives and those of our parents and their children are at stake,” said Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairman Marcel L. Groen. “We are better than this. As a nation, we are a caring people. We do not give to the rich at the expense of the poor. Rich or poor, young or old, we must oppose this legislation with everything we have. Let’s fix what needs to be fixed in the Affordable Care Act and maintain all the good that the act has accomplished. Let’s stop playing games with people’s lives.”