TODAY'S FAIR SHOTS - MARCH 23, 2017

1-WSJ: Trump's 'Endless Stream of Exaggerations, Evidence-free Accusations, Implausible Denials and Other Falsehoods'

2-Health Care Vote Could Cement Atrocious 'First 100 Days'

3-ULLCO Takes Action on Labor Bills

4-FAX Your Senator From Your Mobile Phone - The RESISTBOT


1. The Wall Street Journal editorial board, aka "the crazy uncles in the attic," have declared a trust deficit that threatens to irretrievably sink Donald Trump's presidency.

   It's only two months in, folks:

   If President Trump announces that North Korea launched a missile that landed within 100 miles of Hawaii, would most Americans believe him? Would the rest of the world? We're not sure, which speaks to the damage that Mr. Trump is doing to his Presidency with his seemingly endless stream of exaggerations, evidence-free accusations, implausible denials and other falsehoods.

  The latest example is Mr. Trump's refusal to back off his Saturday morning tweet of three weeks ago that he had "found out that [Barack] Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory" on Election Day. He has offered no evidence for his claim, and a parade of intelligence officials, senior Republicans and Democrats have since said they have seen no such evidence. 

  Yet the President clings to his assertion like a drunk to an empty gin bottle, rolling out his press spokesman to make more dubious claims. Sean Spicer-who doesn't deserve this treatment-was dispatched last week to repeat an assertion by a Fox News commentator that perhaps the Obama Administration had subcontracted the wiretap to British intelligence. 

  That bungle led to a public denial from the British Government Communications Headquarters, and British news reports said the U.S. apologized. But then the White House claimed there was no apology. For the sake of grasping for any evidence to back up his original tweet, and the sin of pride in not admitting error, Mr. Trump had his spokesman repeat an unchecked TV claim that insulted an ally... 

  Two months into his Presidency, Gallup has Mr. Trump's approval rating at 39%. No doubt Mr. Trump considers that fake news, but if he doesn't show more respect for the truth most Americans may conclude he's a fake President.

  Read more, if you can figure out a way past the paywall: https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-presidents-credibility-1490138920?emailToken=JRryd/98ZHqRhtQ9bsw1kUUyY7IJB%2BKPWkiSJ2rHNknGtXjUvfPknvlk34Ls8TL1HQ%3D%3D

2. President Donald Trump is well on his way to the worst "first 100 days" in presidential history, with the exception of the unfortunate President William Henry Harrison, who at least had the excuse that he died after a month. 

   With the assist of House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, Trump might cement that status in a House vote tomorrow on a health care bill that demonstrates the "repeal and replace" crowd running Congress doesn't have a clue about how to govern. Trump directly threatened Republicans with defeat in the next GOP primary elections if they do not support a bill that is estimated to take 24 million people in the next 10 years off the rolls of those covered by insurance.

   The New York Times captured the nature of the effort to deal former President Barack Obama a retroactive defeat in an editorial.

   Even though Texas continues to have the highest percentage of uninsured residents among the states, that number has dropped dramatically under the Affordable Care Act. The 2016 campaign is over. It's time for Congress to focus on improving ACA rather than blowing it:

  Unlike President Barack Obama, whose clear objective was to expand access to medical care, the Republicans have no coherent idea or shared vision of what they want to achieve and what problem they mean to solve...

  In place of a common vision is a truly unappetizing stew. Modest subsidies to help people buy insurance are the Mini-Me versions of Obamacare policies, so reduced as to be almost completely useless to millions of people, especially older and lower-income people and those in states with high medical costs, such as Alaska, North Carolina and Oklahoma - all of which happen to have voted for Mr. Trump. Another provision is an old conservative hobby horse championed by people like House Speaker Paul Ryan: cutting federal spending on Medicaid, which provides insurance to 74 million poor, disabled and elderly Americans. The main goal here is to cut taxes for the rich, even though the change would devastate beneficiaries, state government budgets and public hospitals...

  In a better world, this bill would never have seen the light of day, much less be offered for a vote. It is no fair-minded person's vision of what the American health care system should look like. It is designed to let Mr. Ryan and Mr. Trump declare that they have driven a stake through the heart of Obamacare, no matter the collateral damage to millions of Americans.

   Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/21/opinion/a-republican-health-care-bill-in-search-of-a-problem.html?ref=opinion

3. The United Labor Legislative Committee today took positions on bills having to do with human trafficking, "Buy American," wage theft, state employees and Unemployment Insurance. ULLCO:

   OPPOSED HB 2204 by Rep. Kyle Kacal, R-College Station (companion is SB 1416 by Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock), which would scale back a law on the use of American-made iron and steel in water projects in Texas;

   OPPOSED HB 463 by Rep. Tony Dale, R-Cedar Park, the return of a bill that would deny Unemployment Insurance benefits in situations where employees give long advance notice of intent to leave the company only to be fired on the spot. This bill falls into the "No good deed goes unpunished" category and would disrupt a long-standing mutual courtesy between employers and employees on the issue of notice. Workers who think highly enough of employers to allow for an orderly replacement process only to lose weeks or even months of employment as a result would be penalized. This is a mean-spirited effort to reward bad behavior by employers, who would not be charged under UI for a dismissal that never should have taken place. If the bill becomes law, our advice to working people in Texas would be to simply stop giving notice when they plan to resign;

   ENDORSED HB 1615 by Rep. Roberto Alonzo, D-Dallas (companion is SB 571 by Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio), which would establish a career ladder that would offer step-up wage increases for many state employees;

   ENDORSED HB 665 by Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, which would require state and local contractors to verify that a company being hired on a public project has not committed wage theft;

   OPPOSED HB 153 by Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler, which would cut off municipal licensing requirements. Such licenses often enhance the health and safety of working people and customers;

   ENDORSED HB 29 by Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston (companion is SB 1569 by Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston), an omnibus bill that advances the attack on human trafficking in Texas; and

   ENDORSED SB 128 by Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston (companion is HB 272 by Senfronia Thompson), which would require commercial driver's license applicants to take a training course on human trafficking.

4. The RESISTBOT launched on social media giving citizens the ability to FAX their representatives from their mobile phone. Text RESIST to 50409

Our office tested it and loved it. Here's more info: https://resistbot.io/index.html