When we all pay entirely for everyone else’s healthcare, everyone’s health becomes everyone’s business. This has real consequences for issues of lifestyle freedom, as choices that should only impact my health become issues others can object to.
[caption id="attachment_315995" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Picture by Gage Skidmore [/caption]
The uninitiated might be forgiven for thinking NRATV is the name of a soap opera or reality show. Like sand through the hourglass, the soap opera that the National Rifle Association has turned into lately continues to churn.
The N.R.A. on Tuesday also severed all business with its estranged advertising firm, Ackerman McQueen, which operates NRATV, the N.R.A.’s live broadcasting media arm, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The New York Times.
While NRATV may continue to air past content, its live broadcasting will end and its on-air personalities — Ackerman employees including Dana Loesch — will no longer be the public faces of the N.R.A. It remained unclear whether the N.R.A. might try to hire some of those employees, but there was no indication it was negotiating to do so.
The move comes amid a flurry of lawsuits between the N.R.A. and Ackerman, and increasing acrimony that surfaced after two prominent N.R.A. board members first criticized NRATV in an article in The Times in March. The separation had become inevitable: The two sides said last month that they were ending their three-decade-plus partnership.
“Many members expressed concern about the messaging on NRATV becoming too far removed from our core mission: defending the Second Amendment,” Wayne LaPierre, the N.R.A.’s longtime chief executive, wrote in a message to members that was expected to be sent out by Wednesday. “So, after careful consideration, I am announcing that starting today, we are undergoing a significant change in our communications strategy. We are no longer airing ‘live TV’ programming.”
By "members expressed" what he really meant was the NRA faithful isn't kicking up enough to fund the organizations eye-popping layouts for elections, ever-increasing office space and executive overhead, Wayne Lapierre's travel and wardrobe, and their new foray into opinion media. This was wholly predictable, since although they are the most prominent 2A advocacy organization, the NRA only represents a fraction of the country's gun owners. Not long ago, the NRA was still a bipartisan organization. No more, and their sallying forth as bannermen for all things President Trump has not helped expand the membership. The drip, drip, drip of financial and personal news leaking and being reported on from the NRA suggests this is going to get much worse for the organization before it gets better.
The House Judiciary and House Intelligence committees have subpoenaed former special counsel Robert Mueller for his testimony before Congress, according to a press release issued Tuesday evening.
"Pursuant to subpoenas issued by the House Judiciary and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence tonight, Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III has agreed to testify before both committees on July 17 in open session," according to the release.
Mueller is expected to sit before both committees in two separate open hearings on July 17, according to congressional aides, with the possibility that some testimony will occur in closed session.
Mueller broke a nearly two-year silence when he made a brief public statement at the Department of Justice in late May.
During his comments, Mueller said he had no further plans to speak publicly on mattersthat were addressed in his over 400-page report.
"The report is my testimony," Mueller said.
Expect that last bit to be on repeat for Mueller's two days on the hill. This will be splash headlines and much talking heads debate, but the idea that after 2+ years of iron fist discipline Robert Mueller is going to indulge the worst of congressional grandstanding and silliness by saying anything that isn't already in the report, if he ever says anything other than "that is covered in the report" befuddles the mind. But hope springs eternal, and so let the hype begin.
Just be prepared to be underwhelmed by the congressional hearings. Again.
They Won’t have Sarah Huckabee Sanders to Kick Around Anymore
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the longest-serving press secretary the Trump Administration has had, is leaving her post and the podium of the Brady Briefing Room.
Mr Trump tweeted that Mrs Sanders would be returning to her home of Arkansas after more than three years on the job.
"She is a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job," Mr Trump wrote.
She started out as deputy press secretary before replacing Sean Spicer in the top post in July 2017.
Mrs Sanders, 36, has been a fierce defender of the president, famously saying that God "wanted Donald Trump to become president".
At a White House event on Thursday, Mr Trump described Mrs Sanders as "a special person, a very very fine woman".
She said her time in the administration was "the honour of a lifetime".
"This is something I will treasure forever," she said. "I'm going to continue to be one of the most outspoken and loyal supporters of the president." The mother-of-three said she was looking forward to spending more time with her children as she transitioned into a new role outside the White House.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been a constant lightening rod in an administration that happily calls down the media thunder. She held fewer formal press briefings than her predecessors, and came under intense criticism at times for which side of the "it’s spin/it's a lie" line that all mouthpieces for the president have to straddle. Having Donald Trump to run interference for would likely be an impossible task for anyone. Regardless, what say you about the tenure of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, now that she has done her last gaggle?
Special counsel Robert Mueller said in a rare and remarkable public statement Wednesday that charging President Donald Trump was not an option his office could consider.
Mueller, speaking from the Justice Department, said he's closing the special counsel's office and returning to private life. This is his first public statement regarding the investigation.
"It's important the office's written work speaks for itself," Mueller said about his report, which was delivered in March to Attorney General William Barr.
The statement is being delivered amid political disputes about the findings of Mueller's investigation, particularly regarding whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice.
The White House got a heads up Tuesday night that Mueller would likely deliver a statement on Wednesday about the Mueller investigation, according to a senior administration official, who added that the White House is going to wait until after his remarks to comment.