What do you do when Donald Trump gives out your cellphone number in a televised campaign rally? South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Trump rival for the GOP presidential nomination, made the most of The Donald’s rude move by releasing a video in which he demolishes his phone (more than one, actually) by doing everything short of blowing it up.
The YouTube video, posted by IJ Review and titled “How to Destroy Your Phone With Sen. Lindsey Graham,” shows the senator smashing a Samsung flip phone in various ways — a golf club, a wooden sword, a cinder block — and also chopping it with a meat cleaver, putting it in a toaster oven with pizza bagels, dropping it in a blender with some Red Bull, lighting it on fire and dropping it from a rooftop.
“Or if all else fails, you can always give your number to The Donald,” Graham says toward the end of the 1:04 clip.
Graham isn’t exactly a technophile, so maybe he didn’t know he didn’t need to destroy his phone to get a new number (and there are much better ways to get rid of an old phone). More likely, though, the senator found a clever way to take advantage of the attention Trump provided for him and his campaign while also finally upgrading from his flip phone to a smartphone.
Probably getting a new phone. iPhone or Android?— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 21, 2015
Graham has struggled to make headway in a crowded Republican presidential field, drawing the support of less than 1 percent of registered GOP voters in recent polls. That would leave him off the stage in the Aug. 6 Fox News debate, which is limited to 10 of the 16 candidates. Trump, by the way, is almost assured of a spot. So the senator and his campaign need all the attention they can get — and the new video sure is getting attention. Since it was published to YouTube yesterday, it’s already been viewed more than 1 million times.
As expected, groups representing hospitals sued the Trump administration Wednesday to stop a new regulation would require them to make public the prices for services they negotiate with insurers. Claiming the rule “is unlawful, several times over,” the industry groups, which include the American Hospital Association, say the rule violates their First Amendment rights, among other issues.
"The burden of compliance with the rule is enormous, and way out of line with any projected benefits associated with the rule," the suit says. In response, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services said that hospitals “should be ashamed that they aren’t willing to provide American patients the cost of a service before they purchase it.”
Between December 2017 and July 2019, enrollment in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) fell by 1.9 million, or 2.6%. The Kaiser Family Foundation provided an analysis of that drop Monday, saying that while some of it was likely caused by enrollees finding jobs that offer private insurance, a significant portion is related to enrollees losing health insurance of any kind. “Experiences in some states suggest that some eligible people may be losing coverage due to barriers maintaining coverage associated with renewal processes and periodic eligibility checks,” Kaiser said.
Billionaire John D. Arnold, a former energy trader and hedge fund manager turned philanthropist with a focus on health care, says Big Pharma appears to have a powerful hold on members of Congress.
Arnold pointed out that PhRMA, the main pharmaceutical industry lobbying group, had revenues of $459 million in 2018, and that total lobbying on behalf of the sector probably came to about $1 billion last year. “I guess $1 bil each year is an intractable force in our political system,” he concluded.
The Wall Street Journal’s Richard Rubin says Elizabeth Warren’s proposed taxes could claim more than 100% of income for some wealthy investors. Here’s an example Rubin discussed Friday:
“Consider a billionaire with a $1,000 investment who earns a 6% return, or $60, received as a capital gain, dividend or interest. If all of Ms. Warren’s taxes are implemented, he could owe 58.2% of that, or $35 in federal tax. Plus, his entire investment would incur a 6% wealth tax, i.e., at least $60. The result: taxes as high as $95 on income of $60 for a combined tax rate of 158%.”
In Rubin’s back-of-the-envelope analysis, an investor worth $2 billion would need to achieve a return of more than 10% in order to see any net gain after taxes. Rubin notes that actual tax bills would likely vary considerably depending on things like location, rates of return, and as-yet-undefined policy details. But tax rates exceeding 100% would not be unusual, especially for billionaires.