Michael Corcoran at FAIR catches the New York Times calling the Republicans' health care plan, such as it is, a "universal" health care plan. Republicans have not actually offered anything that would approach "universal" coverage, other than the "opportunity" to buy health care coverage. But this "opportunity" has always existed -- yes, even in the days when 50 million people, not 30 million, had no health insurance -- and good luck getting decent coverage if you're not part of a pool, as employees of a corporation offering health insurance would be, or, indeed, as all Americans would be under a Medicare-for-all, single-payer health care plan, a plan which gets majority American support in poll after poll after poll, but can't even be mentioned in the "liberal" media articles about health care which all pretend the Affordable Care Act is TEH MOST LIBRULZ PLANZ POSSIBLEZ!!!!!
Institute for Policy Studies report finds that 100 American CEOs have, by themselves, more retirement security than 116 million Americans. Progressive Insurance's CEO, for example, can count on collecting over $1 million every month when he retires -- and he probably thinks it's not enough! Those who bellow that TEH CEOZ EARNED TEH RICHEZ!!!!! might want to describe how, exactly, they earned them, and will want to consider if "buying off politicians to get preferential tax treatment" is really "earning" anything. And those who go all Henny-Penny before corporate scare numbers about pension fund insolvency might want to consider whether these 100 CEOs could maybe do a little more about that than they're doing.
Matt Richtel and Andrew Pollack at the New York Times dive deep into taxpayer-funded cancer research and wonder, rightly, whether private corporations profit too much from that research, and at taxpayer expense. The corporate arguments in favor of feeding at the taxpayer trough (and, naturally, against any attempt by our government to hold prices down for consumers/taxpayers) are all typical rhetorical hostage-taking: our government can't do it alone (though we could if we brought back the 91% tax bracket on millionaire income!), and private involvement ensures needed treatments get to the public, because there's just no other way. But sure, right-wingers, tell me again how gluttonous corporate executives "earn" their money, particularly when (in one hospital administrator's testimony) "(t)he market is so reliant on the knowledge and know-how that comes out of the government and academic labs."
A Daily Caller investigation finds that the EPA has failed to clean up over 300 Superfund sites, many with "unknown dangers." I wouldn't interpret this information (which describes foot-dragging from both polluters and the EPA) as a call to abandon all efforts at pollution regulation, as so many right-wingers would like us to do -- I'd more easily interpret it as a call to fund EPA efforts properly, which Congresses have generally refused to do for one reason or another, and to force polluters to cooperate with such efforts. Don't worry, though: when Donald Trump "drains the swamp," the EPA will do its job and polluters will finally meet justice! I kid, of course.
President Obama plans to withdraw most of the Arctic and parts of the Atlantic Oceans from consideration for new offshore drilling sales, using authority derived from the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1953. He won't be the first President to invoke this authority, though right-wingers will act like he is, and it would actually be rather difficult for a President Trump to undo what he does here, though a Republican Congress could go ahead and change the law. For "energy security," of course, which for Republicans never seems to mean developing energy from the wind and the sun.
Finally, we learn from Nina Metz at the Chicago Tribune "How Jimmy Stewart's War Service Affected 'It's a Wonderful Life.'" Not many folks know this -- and certainly no one would have spoken of it to the public then! -- but Mr. Stewart suffered from PTSD after 15 months of air combat in WWII, and his first film afterward was "It's a Wonderful Life," a role he took reluctantly, as he'd hoped to do a comedy after what he'd experienced. If you've seen the film -- particularly that last scene with his family before he takes off in his car, where he's dripping with desperation and rage -- you can see the echoes of his war experiences. Given the extreme reluctance of most returning WWII American soldiers to talk about their experiences (Catch-22 and Slaughterhouse-Five wouldn't arrive until the '60s), it's almost the only contemporary echo of that experience you can get.