Saturday Selects: The Failure of AHCA

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write on the ocassional Saturday. This week I’m talking the AHCA.

The GOP controls both houses of Congress and the White House. For seven years they’ve talked about repealing the Affordable Care Act, the landmark healthcare legislation signed into law by President Obama. The ACA has more Americans insured than at any other point in history. But no one says the law is perfect. Some have seen premium hikes in recent years. Some small, rural areas have only one insurer to choose from. Insurers claim that enrollees are sicker than they anticipated.

With the imperfections in mind one would think the GOP would have an easy path to repeal. Wrong. Not because they didn’t try but because the bill they put forth was such a disaster that members from every faction of the GOP came out against it. The final nail in the coffin of the AHCA was the removal of language in the bill that would require insurers to provide basic preventative services in all policies. Why someone would seek the removal of such language is simply beyond my comprehension.

The GOP quickly realized that the ACA is far from perfect, but their own attempt at healthcare reform turned out to be an historical dud.

I don’t see why legislators can’t look at the deficiencies of the ACA and set out to fix them rather than set out to repeal and replace a law that has helped more than 20 million people gain coverage.

New ‘Game Change’ Book, Miniseries to Document 2016 Presidential Election

Remember Game Change? The HBO movie adapted from the book about the 2008 election. I’ve probably seen that movie a few dozen times.

The authors wrote a second book in their series after the 2012 election. And now they’re continuing after the most recent election. HBO has already contracted the rights to adapt the forthcoming book into a miniseries.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie that followed the 2008 election. HBO typically does these types of projects quite well. My expectation is that the new miniseries will be no different. I anticipate several books, movies, and documentaries will come out in the years to come about what happened on election night and in the months leading up to the election.

Have any interest in the book or HBO miniseries?

On President’s Day

I think few people recall that President’s Day was originally meant to celebrate the birthday of George Washington. Now everyone just says President’s Day like we’re supposed to remember and honor all of our presidents. Nah. What I’m especially not going to do is honor the current president in any way.

But let’s make this about books. I’m still trying to figure out which book written by a president I’m going to read for my 2017 Reading Challenge. The one that still really sticks out for me is Decision Points. Of course written written by George W. Bush. Most definitely not because I agree with anything he stood for it enacted, but because his presidency was the first I experienced and understood just a tiny bit of what was going on. Also because his presidency was not a good one by any measure, I think it’d be interesting to learn about the decisions he made and those he didn’t.

But I’m likely going to amend the requirement to include books written about presidents. A few that come to mind who I think would be the subject of great books are FDR, Truman, LBJ, Lincoln, Washington, Jackson, and Nixon.

I’ve asked this before but I’ll ask again, tell me a book you enjoyed that was written by or about a president. Also, no one says it has to be an American president!

Also, the media can’t even agree on the proper way of writing out the holiday. Presidents Day. President’s Day. Or Presidents’ Day. Damn fake news. 😂

You Can’t Always be Reading

This is obvious. People have work or family or sleep that takes up time. These things are unavoidable. We can try to read as much as possible, but we still can’t always be reading.

Some have told me they don’t watch much TV. I understand that. Now that I’m working again my TV is on maybe an hour a day during the week. But there’s this network I think Americans should be aware of and maybe even watching as much as possible. It isn’t new. It isn’t a cable news network that will just feed into your own beliefs. It’s C-SPAN.

It’s the network that was founded to give Americans a glimpse into our own government. There are no commercials. There are no ads of any kind. There are no talking heads telling you what you should think of what you’ve seen. What you do see is your elected officials conducting day-to-day business. You hear their words straight from their mouths. And I think that’s the best way to hold elected officials accountable.

No one is changing their words and no one is telling you what you should think. Just you and the official.

So the next time you find yourself with some downtime and you’re not in the mood for a book, I’d recommend turning to C-SPAN. 15 minutes. A half hour. You may just learn something you didn’t know before. I don’t see how that could be a bad thing.

Should I do This?

People are becoming more and more politically active, but not everyone is outspoken and open about it. I’ve just read multiple reports of people doing something great. They’re buying dozens of copies of books like 1984, The Handmaid’s Tale, and In The Garden of Beasts, but guess what they’re doing with the books they’re buying? They’re giving them away!

The stories I’ve read about have included anonymous buyers who simply ask that the bookstore give the books away while telling the lucky readers to stay aware. Every instance has resulted in every book being taken. I want to do this.

I’m not sitting on a pile of cash to buy dozens of books to give away, but again I’m willing to make a sacrifice to get people reading and start conversations. It would definitely be on a smaller scale than the ones I’ve read about. Maybe 10 copies of 2-3 books. But I wouldn’t want to stay in the shadows. I’d want to do the whole thing myself. I’d want to hear what people have to say about the topics in the books and how they relate to current ongoings.

I’m already sending three books to the White House with a message to President Trump. What do you think about doing this too?


Goodreads

Bookstagram

Twitter

YouTube

The White House is Being Swamped…With Books

See what I did there?

President Trump has more than his fair share of critics. And one group is inundating the new president with books. I said I’d write a letter to him with some book recommendations, but why write a letter recommending books when I can just send them!?

So I’ll do it. I’ll send a handful of books with short notes off to the White House. The odds of him ever seeing the books or the notes are incredibly unlikely, but I think it’s worth the few dollars it’ll cost me. It isn’t much different from calling your representative or senator. You won’t have them on the other end of the line, but your message will be heard by someone.

I encourage everyone to grab a book, write an inscription, and send it off to the White House. I know for certain I’ll be sending Night, To Kill a Mockingbird, and a copy of the US Constitution.

Saturday Selects: The Ban

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write that fall outside the general bookish theme of the blog.

Donald Trump signed an executive order yesterday banning immigrants and refugees from seven countries. Syria. Iran. Iraq. Libya. Somalia. Yemen. Sudan. He’s done this under the guise of national security, claiming that this action is meant to protect us from terrorists. But it has been widely reported by multiple reputable news outlets that no attack carried out on US soil since 9/11 involved someone from any of the countries.

Makes you wonder what the hell is actually going on, right? If we’re banning people from our lands under a false pretense, then what’s the real reason for the ban? I’ll tell you, but I think you already know. One of Donald Trump’s major campaign promises was some form of a ban on Muslims entering the country. He’s making good on that promise.

The United States has failed all refugees. We have resources and the ability to take in many refugees, but we don’t. “The greatest country in the world” has all but refused to lend its hand to refugees all over the world. Refugees are escaping war, persecution, and tyrannical governments. Are these not the people we want to stand up for? Are we content just standing on the sidelines as the refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe only worsens? Is this really the American way?

Donald Trump is not putting America first, as he likes to say. He’s putting America on an island while the rest of the world backs away from us.

Roxane Gay Pulls Book From Simon & Schuster

Roxane Gay is a bestselling author you may have heard of. She did something recently I can only respect and applaud. She has a book forthcoming through Simon & Schuster, as does Milo Yiannopoulos.

I understand there’s a real chance you’re unfamiliar with either name. Milo is a leader of the alt-right. Just think of extreme, extreme conservativism. The group had no issue with any of Trump’s remarks heading into election day.

So as Roxane Gay was preparing to send off her book to be published later this year, she didn’t. She held on to it rather than send it off to a publisher willing to give Milo a larger platform for hate speech. Her words not mine. She’s not the only one with concerns. Other authors forced Simon & Schuster to release a statement on the publishing deal inked with Milo Yiannopoulos, but as of yet no one else has taken the action to pull their book from the publisher.

We all know people can say and do whatever they want to. That’s not what this is about. It’s about the platform being offered. At some point someone along the line has to say enough is enough. That they respect his right to his opinions, but the company believes there to be a better fit for his voice elsewhere.

Instead they reportedly gave him a $200k advance. Simon & Schuster dropped the ball. And now they’re paying the price.

Stand up for what you believe in just like Roxane Gay and Milo Yiannopoulos. We all should. But the United States is no place for hate.

An Unlikely Bestseller

Becoming a bestseller is not an exact science. Sometimes Oprah will mention a book and sales skyrocket. Or an adaptation causes a surge. But what about a book published decades before that sells well throughout each and every year? Not bestseller well, but well enough to require reprints fairly often. You know the books I’m talking about. Classics widely read in classrooms all over the country.

It turns out that current events can also cause a book to jump off shelves if people believe it may have some resemblance to what’s going on in the real world. Enter 1984. It’s the top selling book on Amazon right now because many believe we might be entering a world not much different from what Orwell describes in the book.

I’ve read it. But I think a reread may be in order. Perhaps I’ll take a page from Kellyanne Conway and start using alternative facts to describe things.

Have you read Orwell’s 20th century Classic? See any resemblance to what’s happening right now?

The #WomensMarch

An idea started by just a handful of women after the election of Donald Trump turned into something far greater than anyone could have imagined.

Citizens across the country marched yesterday in defiance of Donald Trump. It was an unprecedented moment in American history. One I’m glad I was here to see. There’s never been this level of opposition to an incoming President in history.

One of my favorite moments of the day came when Senator Kamala Harris made it very clear that women’s issues are the same issues we discuss and debate all the time. The most incredible thing I saw yesterday was in LA. Organizers there expected 80k people to take part in their march. 750k people showed up!

Some try to deligitimize the concerns of women, but yesterday showed me what can happen when people don’t just talk about coming together but actually do it. I’m immensely proud to be American, yesterday was no exception.

I chose not to pick and choose which images of marches around the world to show you because my guess is you’ve seen them. A simple search on Twitter or Google will show you all you need to see.

I’ll get back to talking about books tomorrow. I could not pass up the opportunity to discuss the events of yesterday.