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Americans Don’t Buy Tax Cuts, Polls Show

Polls: Americans aren’t buying key White House arguments for tax overhaul. NPR: “As Republicans scramble to assemble a tax overhaul bill, Americans aren’t even sure that Congress should be focusing on reshaping the tax system. Only about one-quarter of Americans believe that passing a tax overhaul should be “the top priority for the president and Congress,” according to a CBS News poll released Wednesday; 70 percent said other things should be “addressed first.” And even Republicans aren’t particularly enthused: Only about half (51 percent) said an overhaul should be the top issue.”

Trump Wants ACA Mandate Repeal To Pay For Tax Cuts

Trump is tying tax reform to Obamacare repeal. GOP leaders wish he wouldn’t. Slate: “After working through the night on the fraught policy and political implications of fitting a $5 trillion tax cut into a $1.5 trillion box, the Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee received a morning surprise from the White House. The president of the United States has an opinion: ‘Wouldn’t it be great to Repeal the very unfair and unpopular Individual Mandate in ObamaCare and use those savings for further Tax Cuts…’ If you get rid of the mandate, CBO will score that as 15 million fewer people having health insurance, right off the bat. And since those who choose not to purchase insurance are likely to be younger, healthier people, it sends risk pools out of whack, spiraling up insurance costs for those who need it. Democrats didn’t put the individual mandate into the Affordable Care Act for kicks. It’s an integral part of making insurance markets work.”

WH Sabotages ACA Open Enrollment

WH sabotage undermines ACA open enrollment. VOX: “Republicans failed to repeal Obamacare. Now who’s going to make it work? Democratic politicians, grassroots groups, and the donor class poured their blood, sweat, tears, and money into stopping the Republican crusade to repeal the Affordable Care Act this summer. They succeeded. The law is still here. But the ACA is still in mortal danger. President Trump has already taken steps that will increase premiums next year. He can stop enforcing key provisions like the individual mandate. Open enrollment, which begins November 1, is particularly at risk: Advertising to sign people up for the Obamacare marketplaces has been cut by 90 percent, and in-person assistance was slashed by 40 percent… ‘Enrolling people is just different. You’re not fighting back; you’re not crushing something. You’re helping people sign up for health care,’ this person said. “You have to make three connections to be able to understand how critical this work is for the ACA to survive.’ Trump’s sabotage has real consequences. One pro-Obamacare advocate put a figure on the cuts: 1.1 million fewer people enrolled in health coverage next year. That’s the best-case scenario.”

GOP Pushes Judicial Approvals

GOP Set to Confirm Slew of ‘Extremist’ Judges. Common Dreams: “In an under-discussed push to ‘reshape the courts in Donald Trump’s image for decades to come,’ the Senate this week is quietly gearing up to confirm a slew of federal judges who critics say have records littered with ‘breathtaking hostility toward civil rights and equal justice.’ The packed week of hearings began on Tuesday, when three Senate Democrats—Tim Kaine (Va.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), and Joe Donnelly (Ind.)—joined their Republican colleagues in voting to confirm circuit court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, who has in the past called the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision ‘erroneous’ and suggested that Obamacare’s employer birth control mandate amounted to “an assault on religious liberty. ‘With a lifetime appointment, Barrett can impose her extreme anti-choice ideology onto women and families for much longer than Donald Trump will occupy the White House,’ said NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue in a statement following the Senate vote. ‘Barrett’s confirmation proves that the anti-choice GOP is more concerned with advancing its out-of-touch agenda than upholding our basic human rights.'”

Trump Voter Commission Exposes Data

The “voter fraud” commission wants your data but can’t keep it safe. Alternet: “The voter-fraud-checking program championed by the head of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity suffers from data security flaws that could imperil the safety of millions of peoples’ records, according to experts. Indivisible Chicago, a progressive advocacy group in Illinois, filed a public-records request with Illinois and Florida for information on the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program. Crosscheck was created and run by the Kansas secretary of state’s office and is often cited by Kris Kobach, Kansas’ secretary of state, as a way to identify voters casting ballots in more than one state. Indivisible Chicago then posted emails and other documents it received, including messages exchanged between elections officials in Illinois and Florida and Crosscheck. The emails and records revealed numerous security weaknesses. Crosscheck’s files are hosted on an insecure server, according to its own information. Usernames and passwords were regularly shared by email, making them vulnerable to snooping. And passwords were overly simplistic and only irregularly changed.”

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