In 60 Seconds, A ‘Daily Show’ Guest Brilliantly Exposed The Danger Of ‘Post-Truth’

Trevor Noah had historian Timothy Snyder on to ?The Daily Show? this week to discuss his book On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century.

Snyder is a Yale professor who specializes in Eastern Europe and the Holocaust. He has spent a lifetime trying to understand how fascism and authoritarianism transform from an idea into a reality. He has written book after book breaking down the patterns and signs to look for. 

So when Snyder had the stage on ?The Daily Show? this week, he capitalized on it by succinctly explaining to the public the steps through which authoritarianism, or fascism, or whatever you want to call it, can become a reality anywhere, even in the U.S.

In just 60 seconds, Snyder broke down the process by which authoritarian figures convince you to stop trusting your eyes and start trusting the myth. In today?s society, we often refer to this as a working within a ?post-truth.? It?s a new word for an old thing, something we often convince ourselves couldn?t happen here. Snyder argued that is not true. 

Here is his comment in its entirety: 

Fascism says nothing?s true. Your daily life is not important. The facts that you think you understand are not important. All that matters is the myth ? the myth of one nation as together the myth-ful connection with the leader.

When we think of ?Post-truth,? we think its something new. We think its something at campuses. We think its something irrelevant. Actually, what post-truth does is it paves the way for regime change. If we don?t have access to facts, we can?t trust each other. Without trust, there?s no law. Without law, there?s no democracy. 

So if you want to rip the heart out of democracy directly, if you want to go right at it and kill it, what you do is you go after facts. And that is what modern authoritarians do.

Step one: You lie to yourself, all the time. Step two: You say it?s your opponents and the journalists who lie. Step three: Everyone looks around and says, ?What is truth?? There is no truth.

And then, resistance is impossible, and the game is over. 

At the end, Noah could only say one word: ?Wow.?

You can watch the full episode below. 

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Trump Too Lazy And ‘Indifferent’ To Hurt Allies By Sharing Intel, White House Officials Tell NYT

WASHINGTON ? White House officials offered a candid and unflattering defense of their boss on Tuesday, telling The New York Times effectively that President Donald Trump is too inept to have hurt U.S. allies through his sharing of sensitive intelligence with Russian officials during a meeting last week.

Trump has come under heavy criticism in the wake of Monday?s Washington Post report  revealing that he ?went off script? and offered up ?highly classified information? to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the U.S. There?s general agreement that Trump didn?t break the law by doing this, but experts have raised concerns that the disclosure may have compromised the U.S. partner that gathered the intelligence ? Israel, according to reports Tuesday.

But Trump would only be capable of inflicting this sort of damage if he were aware of specific details regarding the sources and methods used to compile the intelligence, reportedly pertaining to a plot by the so-called Islamic State to detonate laptop bombs on commercial airliners. And unnamed White House sources told the Times that Trump didn?t know these finer points, because he?s too lazy to glean them from the ?great? intelligence reports he gets every day.

Here?s the relevant bit from the Times:

In private, three administration officials conceded that they could not publicly articulate their most compelling ? and honest ? defense of the president: that Mr. Trump, a hasty and indifferent reader of printed briefing materials, simply did not possess the interest or knowledge of the granular details of intelligence gathering to leak specific sources and methods of intelligence gathering that would do harm to United States allies.

That assessment doesn?t exactly inspire confidence in Trump, and it?s unclear if it?s even accurate. Indifferent or not, Trump may have disclosed the Iraqi city at the heart of the reported ISIS plot ? a carefully guarded detail that administration officials previously suggested could ?get people killed.?

The bluntness of the anonymous White House officials? defense of Trump is in line with reports portraying an administration on the brink of upheaval, with its near-constant state of crisis fueling intense bickering inside Trump?s inner circle.

Some officials now apparently view leaks to the press ? such as the one that led to Monday?s Post report ? as the best way to check Trump?s unconventional and often undisciplined style of leadership.

On Tuesday, conservative columnist Erick Erickson rose to the defense of one of the supposed leakers behind the Post story, arguing that sources are going to the media in hopes of producing an ?intense blowback? that will force Trump to recognize his errors.

?You can call these sources disloyal, traitors, or whatever you want,? wrote Erickson. ?But please ask yourself a question ? if the President, through inexperience and ignorance, is jeopardizing our national security and will not take advice or corrective action, what other means are available to get the President to listen and recognize the error of his ways??

Trump and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster have maintained that there was nothing inappropriate about the conversations with Russian officials. On Tuesday, McMaster said the president ?wasn?t even aware of where this information came from? and ?wasn?t briefed? on its source. Both Trump and McMaster have instead turned their focus on those responsible for the leaks, suggesting they pose a threat to national security.

But U.S. allies have already taken notice of Trump?s careless handling of intelligence, as well as the chaos it has produced. On Tuesday, a European official told The Associated Press that his country might halt intelligence-sharing efforts with the U.S. 

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You Can Now Watch Will Ferrell Make Fun Of Donald Trump As George W. Bush

You may have thought the only entertaining battle to follow between former President George W. Bush and current President Donald Trump would be who would have the lower approval ratings in future (God-willing) history books. (Trump?s current approval rating, according to Gallup, is 38 percent ? three points above his lowest score ? while Bush?s low-point was 25 percent. But Trump still has time. So, so, so much time.)

In any case, Will Ferrell recently reprised his satirical role as George W. Bush for the ?Not the White House Correspondents? Dinner? last month, giving the country an approximation of what a war of words between the two Republican presidents would look like.

Getty already published photos of Ferrell?s impersonation, and a few video segments have surfaced, but now the event organizer, ?Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,? has released the entire skit.

Watch the almost 12-minute video above to see Ferrell?s cigarette-smoking Bush, who utters lines like, ?History has proven to be kinder to me than many of you thought.?

I needed eight years, a catastrophic flood, a war built on a lie, an economic disaster — the new guy needed 100 days.
Will Ferrell as George W. Bush

Ferrell spends much of the speech going after Trump, at one point unveiling Bush?s latest portrait ? a two-toned Trump.

?As you can see,? said Ferrell as Bush, ?I?ve exhausted my palette of yellow and oranges.?

Luckily, for this Bush, he still has so much time to finish the portrait. (So, so, so, so, so, so much time.)

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‘The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants’ Ladies Reunited In New York And We Loved It

The gang?s all here! 

Blake Lively, America Ferrera, Amber Tamblyn and Alexis Bledel ? aka Bridget, Carmen, Tibby and Lena ? got together in New York City on Monday night, making our teenage selves giddy with excitement.

The ladies were out to support Tamblyn, who was premiering her directorial debut ?Paint It Black? at an event hosted by Svedka. Both Lively and Bledel walked the red carpet with Tamblyn, while Ferrera met up with them for the after-party, according to People. 

More than 10 years have passed since the first ?Sisterhood? film was released, but these ladies look like they could jump back into their roles as if nothing has changed. (They seriously haven?t aged.) 

So what about that reboot? Last year, Bledel confirmed that the cast was working on making it happen.

?We would all love to do it. I think it would be so much fun, and we talk about it,? the 35-year-old actress told Jimmy Fallon during an appearance on ?The Tonight Show.? 

She added, ?I think we should absolutely do it. We?re working on it, so we?ll see if it happens.?

Meanwhile, back in 2015, Ferrera told Meredith Vieira, ?There?s no green light, but it?s definitely in the works. There is a script being written. They?re my girls, three of my best friends to this day.?

We?re ready for it. 

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Harry Styles Opens Up About His Sexuality

Harry Styles has a new album out and along with it comes many, many interviews featuring many, many questions about his storied personal life.

While the former One Direction heartthrob, who just released his first solo album, the self-titled ?Harry Styles,? doesn?t appear to want to chat about his former girlfriends (including Taylor Swift), he did recently offer his thoughts about Miley Cyrus identifying as pansexual and his own sexuality.

In an interview with The Sun?s Dan Wootton, Styles celebrated Cyrus? openness about her sexuality.

?Being in a creative field, it?s important to be ­progressive,? he said. ?People doing stuff like that is great.?

He added: ?Everyone should just be who they want to be. It?s tough to justify somebody having to answer to someone else about stuff like that.?

As far as his own sexuality is concerned, Styles says he?s ?never felt the need? to use a label. 

?I don?t feel like it?s something I?ve ever felt like I have to explain about myself,? he told Wootton, before taking the stage in North London at his first-ever solo show.

This news probably won?t surprise diehard fans, some of whom believed he was in a secret relationship with band mate Louis Tomlinson and others who have been trying to pin down his exact sexuality for years. 

In 2013, the 23-year-old singer addressed rumors that he was dating TV and radio host Nick Grimshaw in an interview with British GQ.

When asked point-blank if he identified as bisexual, Styles told the magazine, ?Bisexual? Me? I don?t think so. I?m pretty sure I?m not.? 

A year later Styles faced more rumors after appearing on ?On Demand Entertainment? with band mate Liam Payne. When the pair was asked about their favorite traits in a woman, Payne responded, ?Female, that?s a good trait.? Styles shot back, ?Not that important? ? which, predictably, sent the internet into hysterics.

Regardless of how Styles does or doesn?t identify, his approach is as trendy as ever. A recent YouGov survey found 43 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 viewed themselves as something other than completely straight. What?s more, the poll found that ?people of all generations now accept the idea that sexual orientation exists along a continuum rather than a binary choice,? with 60 percent of heterosexuals and 73 percent of gay people supporting this idea.

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You Wouldn’t Believe How Hard It Is To Get Your Product Sold By Whole Foods

As consumers, we walk through the aisles of the grocery store trying to quickly grab what we need and get out. Sometimes we shop for bargains and sometimes we give pause to a new product on the shelf, but mostly we want to get our goods and be on our way. Hardly do we ever give any thought to what it took for that product to get on the shelf in the first place. We?re just going to tell you, it takes a lot

If you?re at a supermarket chain that carries the big brands, there?s not much to consider ? their spot has been pretty much guaranteed on the shelf through years of brand development, adequate advertising and substantial funding. But if you look at a different grocery model, one such as Whole Foods Market that seeks out new products, it looks very different.

It is extremely challenging for a product to stand out from the crowd to even become considered by Whole Foods. And once it gets there, it only gets more difficult. ?Getting on is the hard-easy part, staying on is the hard-hard part,? Lynda Berrios, owner of Little Spoon Consulting and previous WFM Local Forager for the Southwest Region, told HuffPost. 

But even the ?hard-easy? part doesn?t feel the slightest bit easy. George Milton of Yellowbird Sauce shared his story about getting into Whole Foods with HuffPost. Yellowbird Sauce, a different kind of hot sauce company, has been in Whole Foods for about three years now and is currently in 150 stores.

?First, you have to have a cool, trendy product,? Milton explains. ?Whole Foods does care about sustainable and organic, but they also care about selling stuff and making money. Therefore, the buyers will always be more interested in a product that identifies with a current trend,? Milton told HuffPost.  

Next, says Milton, you have to get it into their hands.

?This is tricky,? he admits, ?and it is on an annual category review schedule that is also constantly shifting. Hot sauce, for example, is only looked at once a year, from the middle of December to the middle of January so, even if you send product to the right person, you?ve got to get it in that time frame.? 

Once you get it to the right place at the right time, you have to stand out.

?This has a LOT to do with product branding. We were told in no uncertain terms that our branding was pretty much the key to Whole Foods taking a chance on our brand in the first place,? explained Milton.

Brian Rudolph from Banza, a chickpea pasta company, has another view of the process.

?The challenges of partnering with Whole Foods are also what make them so exciting to work with,? Rudolph explained to HuffPost. ?Before we launched our mac and cheese, I sent prototypes to our buyer in the Northeast ? he sent me a note with pages of feedback. Pages! Everything from recommendations on product to packaging. I don?t know many buyers that would take that kind of care and effort for a supplier, especially one as small as we were. It took a lot of work to address all of his concerns, but we did it, and our product and packaging are both better because of it. While it hasn?t always been easy, that?s the sign of a true partnership.? 

?I communicated back and forth with various buyers for about a year,? Rudolph continued, ?building relationships, sending samples, staying in touch. For our new product lines, it takes us anywhere from five to sixteen months depending on the time of year we reach out.?

Yep, more than a year of work just to get on the shelf.

Once you finally do get the green light to stock the shelves, as a small company you?re faced with the logistics of stocking, say, 40 stores ? and figuring out how to ramp up production to meet the need, which is exactly what happened to Yellowbird Sauce.

?We had to face the reality of supplying that many stores as a small, craft brand,? said Milton. ?We weren?t really ready for making that much sauce nor were we ready for the marketing time and money that goes into being successful in that many accounts.?

That?s not even the last challenge, because as Berrios said before, staying on is the ?hard-hard? part.

Rudolph agreed, saying, ?The highest hurdle for any new food company is awareness. Grocery stores are crowded with brands. Consumers have so many choices, so we need to position ourselves to stand out. After getting our product into Whole Foods, we looked at ways to connect with the customer: in-person demos, securing off-shelf displays, and partnering with their social media team. For us, it?s not just about getting boxes on shelf and hoping for the best; it?s about reaching people and changing the way they think about their favorite foods.?

But even then, you never know what might hit. Berrios says that even once a brand has ?made it? the success is never guaranteed to last. ?These brands get taken down in a heartbeat by a recall or they might use an ingredient that they source somewhere else and then that ingredient gets recalled and they then have to pull thousands of millions of dollars off the shelf. And maybe they have recall insurance, but maybe they don?t. Either way that?s a huge loss that can sink a business so quick.? She points out that in the grocery world, ?there?s ?making it? in moments. Maybe there?s a moment that you?ve made it, but around the corner there can be a pitfall, a recall, a PR issue or something.?

Kelly Stevens of Seven Creative, and also the former art director for the Southwest region of WFM, gives a perfect example.

?There?s a bunch of companies that started making kale chips and they seem to be doing pretty well, they seem to be anchors on the shelf and all of the sudden the big boys decide they can make them too ? faster, cheaper, quicker ? and all of the sudden they?ve wiped out a whole line and sort of consumed it,? Stevens told HuffPost. ?I don?t think Whole Foods is as guilty of this, they?ll try to keep a local brand, but when somebody is undercutting your price by three bucks a bag then your made it has just turned into a has been.?

And then there?s the consumer?s lack of brand loyalty. People are always looking to try something new, and that makes it hard for a brand to develop staying power. Milton says, ?There is a lot of brand turnover in the grocery world, especially in a store like Whole Foods that has, as part of their model, that they take chances on younger, hipper brands. There?s some stat about the percentage of food brands that are still on the shelves after a given time period. I think it?s something like 95 percent don?t make it through three years.? 

With all of these challenges, why does anyone even try to make it in grocery?

?Most of the time people are blissfully and wonderfully ignorant,? Berrios explains. ?They?re passionate about the product they?re making, and they?re smart enough and diligent enough to get it going. But the vast majority of food entrepreneurs don?t even know what it is that they?re walking into until they?re so far in it that the extraction process is even messier and more complicated than just figuring out how to move forward.?

Sounds bleak, but Stevens and Berrios assure it?s not as bad as it sounds.

?Most people are driven by a blind passion,? chimes in Stevens.

And passion is at the heart of many great brands. Remember that next time you spot a new brand of salsa on the shelf at Whole Foods. There?s a whole lot of work that gets packed into just one 16-ounce jar, far beyond the actual making of the product. 

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Laughing is good for health. I bet this will at least leave a smile on your face if you are grumpy as hell! You know what I am talking about, that’s right – Just for Laughs. Some pranks turn out to be serious in the end if it is not managed properly. But these guys It is always important to seek professional help in removing head lice. are professionals. Some of them are so famous that people instantly recognize who they are when they are on the streets.

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Chuck Schumer Says Next FBI Director Should ‘Not Be A Partisan Politician’

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday laid out his criteria for the nation?s next FBI director, after President Donald Trump fired James Comey this week.

?The nominee should be not a partisan politician, not part of either party,? Schumer said on CNN?s ?State of the Union.? ?This demands a serious, down-the-middle investigation. Second, it ought to be somebody who is experienced. You need a really good prosecutor here, somebody who knows how to do it. And third, it should be someone with courage. If there is interference or attempted interference to shut down the investigation, to misdirect it, you need somebody who is going to stand up.?

Trump dismissed Comey earlier this week amid the agency?s investigation into possible Russian collusion with the Trump campaign in the 2016 election. The president is said to be interviewing several candidates for the job, including Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Schumer?s colleague and Senate majority whip. 

In a separate appearance on NBC?s ?Meet the Press,? Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said the next FBI director ought to be someone ?outside the political lane.?

?Under normal circumstances, [Cornyn] would be a superb choice to be FBI director,? he said. ?But these are not normal circumstances.?

Graham, who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said last week he wants to explore whether Trump?s businesses have any ties to Russia. On Sunday, the senator again called on Trump to release his tax returns.

Trump is also reportedly considering tapping Judge Michael J. Garcia of the New York Court of Appeals, who previously served as assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York, and Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher, who used to work in the Justice Department?s Criminal Division.

Adam Goldman, a reporter for The New York Times, tweeted Sunday Garcia was seen favorably by some active FBI agents.

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Hope You Don’t Expect The Senate GOP To Be Transparent About Obamacare Repeal

Senate Republicans have spent the last 10 days or so promising not to tackle health care in the same hurried, irresponsible way that their House counterparts did. ?We are not under any deadlines,? Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said last week, ?so we are going to take our time.?

They have also suggested they have little interest in drafting something that looks like the American Health Care Act ? the wildly unpopular House bill that would roll back many of the Affordable Care Act?s most important insurance regulations and deprive something like 24 million people of coverage. ?We?re starting over from a clean sheet of paper here,? Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) promised.  

All of that is probably true ? and less meaningful than it sounds at first blush.

It?s possible to write a bill in a slower, more deliberative manner than the House did without allowing the kind lengthy, open public debate that legislation of such magnitude would seem to require. It?s also possible to pass less disruptive, less extreme legislation that would nevertheless take away insurance from many millions of people, causing widespread hardship.

In fact, from the looks of things, this is precisely what Senate Republican leaders are trying to do.

GOP leaders are trying to shield their legislation from scrutiny

The big boast Senate Republicans are making is that they won?t vote on legislation before the Congressional Budget Office has a chance to analyze it. That?s what House Republicans did when they voted on their bill last week, less than 24 hours after making amendments that had potential to affect insurance coverage and the federal budget in fairly significant ways.

?Y?all, I?m still waiting to see if it?s a boy or a girl,? Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) quipped afterward. ?Any bill that has been posted less than 24 hours, going to be debated three or four hours, not scored? Needs to be viewed with suspicion.?

But voting without a CBO score was merely one way in which the House rushed its debate.

House leaders wrote legislation privately and then pushed it through the two committees of jurisdiction with markup sessions that lasted just one day each. Leaders had to pull the bill from the House floor at the last minute, because it lacked enough support to pass, but their response was to return to private negotiations, hash out the additional amendments, and then proceed quickly with the final vote.

Even those House Republicans who had time to read and study the final language (many admitted they hadn?t) probably didn?t grasp its implications, because those implications were still becoming apparent in real time. Two days before the vote, for example, a Brookings Institution report showed how the bill could bring back annual and lifetime limits on benefits, even for employer policies.

You saw what the House Republicans did. When you don?t read it, you don?t know what the impact is.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)

Those limits, which the Affordable Care Act prohibits, would be a huge deal for that tiny portion of Americans dealing with the most severe medical problems ? think aggressive cancer that requires chemotherapy and surgery, or genetic disorders that require long stays in neonatal care. By the time a Wall Street Journal article on the subject brought the possibility to national attention, the vote was just hours away ? too late for new information to have an effect.

Of course that was precisely what House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and his allies were trying to accomplish ? to avoid public scrutiny, to get legislation through the House before either the media or the public could recognize and seize on its shortcomings. Now it looks like Senate Republicans are intent upon doing the same thing.

Back in March, the first time the House was set to vote on repeal, Senate leaders indicated that they intended to bypass the two committees that had jurisdiction. ?Probably straight to the floor,? Cornyn told CNN, when asked about the plan, ?Because there has already been a lot of consultations on a bicameral basis to get us here.?

Leadership hasn?t said much about his plans since that time, and the office of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declined to answer HuffPost?s inquiries about process and timetable. But on Wednesday, finance committee chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) told The Hill, ?I don?t think it?s going to go through the committees, at least from what I know about it.?

Democrats are furious, in part because most of them were around in 2009 and 2010 when they spent more than a year writing and debating what eventually became the Affordable Care Act. For all of the discussion that took place behind closed doors back then, quite a lot took place in public ? over the course of more than 130 hearings, spanning five committees, according to a Democratic tally that didn?t even include administration events like the daylong, bipartisan session at Blair House that President Barack Obama presided over personally.

?We had 45 bipartisan hearings and roundtables,? Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), ranking Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said in an interview. ?Every issue and aspect of this was discussed. People had a chance to really see the impact ? line by line, amendment by amendment ? and know what they were actually passing.?

?You saw what the House Republicans did,? Murray added. ?When you don?t read it, you don?t know what the impact is. And somebody who is being impacted doesn?t have a chance to say, ?Wait a minute, that doesn?t work for me.??

This isn?t just some partisan talking point. Norm Ornstein, a respected political scientist at the American Enterprise Institute, says, ?The push and pull, give and take of an open markup can make a bad bill, with stupid provisions, sloppy drafting, unintended consequences, repeated mistakes from past experience, a better one.? 

Earlier this week, Murray and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), ranking Democrat on the finance committee, sent their GOP counterparts a letter demanding hearings. They have not gotten a formal response, and neither did HuffPost inquiries to those offices, except for a statement from Hatch?s office that he ?appreciates Senate Democrats? renewed interest in improving the nation?s healthcare system and welcomes their input and ideas as we move through this debate.?

Most Republicans seem ready to accept some pretty big cuts 

One reason the House bill is so spectacularly unpopular is the likelihood that it will leave so many millions of Americans without health insurance. And from the very beginning of the debate, senators have been warning, publicly and privately, that they could not abide such dramatic losses of coverage.

Many of those warnings focused on the American Health Care Act?s proposed cuts to Medicaid. That includes phasing out the new funding available through Obamacare that the states have used to expand eligibility for the program ? effectively making it available to all people with incomes below or just above the poverty line. Among the 32 states that have accepted the money and expanded the program are more than a dozen with Republican senators.

One of them is Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who has reportedly taken the lead on figuring out how the Senate legislation will deal with Medicaid. Something like 700,000 of his constituents got insurance through the Medicaid expansion, and the program has become a critical source of financing for opioid treatment, as well as for community clinics that provide basic medical care to the poor. Ohio?s Medicaid expansion also has a vocal, influential champion in Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio), one of about a half-dozen Republican governors who have lobbied hard to keep the expansion in place.

But Portman told reporters on Wednesday that he was looking for a ?soft landing? on Medicaid and that he supported ending expansion funding eventually. A key letter on Medicaid he and three other Republican senators wrote during the early stages of House debate was careful to talk about ?stability for individuals currently enrolled in the program? ? which suggests they are open to a proposal that tapers off funding slowly, and lets people who qualify under the expansion hold onto Medicaid until their enrollment lapses.

That?s actually what the House bill already does. The Medicaid population would still drop sharply in the first three years, CBO predicts, because low-income people tend to have volatile incomes and lose eligibility quickly. Senate Republicans might have some other ideas for stretching out the transition ? they have said very little publicly ? but it appears to be a matter of when, not whether, the expansion population loses its coverage.

?Clearly the House has done some important work,? Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said this week. ?I think we?d like to take the Medicaid provision and engineer a softer landing and eventually get to the same place?

The House bill wouldn?t simply roll back the Medicaid expansion. It would also introduce a ?per capita cap? that would reduce the program?s funding over time. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), who joined the Portman letter and whose home state is particularly dependent on Medicaid, left a meeting two days ago saying that the Senate was open to per capita caps ? a tell-tale sign that the cap, or something like it, could end up in final legislation.

And then there are the implications that repeal could have for people purchasing coverage on their own, either directly from insurers or through healthcare.gov and state-run insurance exchanges. Senate Republicans have said the House bill would punish older consumers too much, by allowing insurers to charge near-retirement seniors up to five times what they charge younger consumers ? and, simultaneously, by rearranging the Affordable Care Act?s financial aid so that it doesn?t provide extra help to people with high insurance costs.

But they haven?t made the same fuss about the way the House bill also shifts assistance away from lower-income consumers, which is a big reason why so many people would lose coverage. And key members like Hatch seem committed both to cutting as much spending as possible ? and rescinding the Affordable Care Act?s taxes, including hefty levies on corporations and the wealthiest American households. The net result is likely to be large losses of insurance coverage, even if they are not as large as the losses in the House bill.

Senate politics are tricky enough that public pressure matters

GOP leaders face some big obstacles as they try to craft a bill that can pass, and most likely those obstacles are bigger than the ones that stood in the way of Ryan and his allies earlier this year.

In the Senate, Republicans need 50 votes to pass legislation, assuming Vice President Mike Pence would break a tie, and they have only 52 seats. Already two of their members, Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), have called explicitly to preserve or even expand the Affordable Care Act?s expansion of insurance coverage. Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), who is among those who have been most openly critical of the House bill, faces a difficult re-election fight in a Democratic state. 

Put those together with the likes of Capito, Portman and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and their strong feelings about protecting the Medicaid expansion population, and it?s easy to see how the Senate could end up with a bill that?s less extreme than the House version ? or maybe no bill at all.

But even Cassidy and Collins have left themselves wiggle room, which means they could end up supporting a bill in exchange for minor modifications, just as so-called moderates in the House did. And they will be fighting ultra-conservatives like Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), whose idea of ?compromise? is a bill that looks like the House bill or is maybe even more extreme.

The deciding factor could be public reaction, but the public can?t react to a bill unless it gets a good look at it. It appears Republican leaders are trying not to let that happen.

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Outspeak Wants Your Videos For Sexual Assault Awareness Month #SAAM

Despite the irony, Donald Trump has officially declared April to be Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The unfortunate reality is this month is needed because sexual violence and abuse still play a major role in societies across the globe, and we?re no strangers to it here in North America.

Sexual assault is a major public health, human rights and social justice issue that we cannot ignore, especially now that our President helps to perpetuate this type of behavior. The goal of the month is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities on how to prevent it. We need everyone?s help to end sexual violence and abuse.

This year SAAM?s official campaign is centered around ?Engaging New Voices?. The focus is on giving coaches, faith leaders, parents, and bystanders the knowledge and tools necessary to help prevent sexual assault. Many groups know about sexual assault and believe it is a problem, but they are not equipped to deal with the issues.

It?s up to all of us to educate each other and increase preventative measures within our communities. Because of that, Outspeak wants to encourage everyone to join the discussion, to reflect on the importance of sexual assault awareness, and to speak up about the way forward. Throughout the month we will be focusing on content related #SAAM, and we are seeking video and article submissions.

If you currently have a video, or are interested in creating one related to #SAAM, send it to us via Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #SAAM. Or email your submissions to social@outspeak.tv.

If you are looking for information yourself or want to know what resources are available to you, please visit the the SAAM website or NSVRC.org of to learn how you can get involved in preventing sexual violence.

Your video has the opportunity to be featured on Huffington Post?s massive social media pages, on Outspeak social media, and you have the chance to be featured in an article on HuffingtonPost.com. For an example of how these features look. Check out our recent #YourVoteYourVoice Election campaign.

Please keep the following in mind for your videos:

  • Make sure you?re shooting in a well-lit, non-distracted environment.
  • Keep the shots well-composed and in focus.
  • Keep the video short. 1-2 minutes preferred.
  • Keep the video focused on one theme. People will listen if you can speak focused and passionately.
  • Take a unique approach. How is this personal to you? Why is this issue in particular something you?re passionate about?
  • Do not use offensive or derogatory language. If used maliciously or recklessly, your video will not be considered for circulation.

If you have any questions, please contact us at social@outspeak.tv or give us a shout on Twitter.

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Nicole Kidman Just Can’t Stop Wearing Animal Dresses

Remember when Nicole Kidman showed up to the SAG Awards with parrots on her shoulders and we couldn?t stop chirping about her high-risk, higher-reward look?

Well, it appears the ?Big Little Lies? star may have heard our praise. Or she just really, really loves animals. Either way, she wore yet another creature-adorned gown to the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas Sunday night.

The intricately beaded Alexander McQueen dress is decorated with leaves, flowers and ? if you can spot them ? a whole bunch of animals. We spy an owl, a squirrel, deer and various other little creatures we?re still trying to identify.

It?s a Where?s Waldo of nature, if you will! 

Kidman paired the wild look with a pair of stunning emerald earrings, and left her hands free enough of jewelry to clap normally this time around. 

Weird clapping be damned, this gown gets a standing ovation from us. 

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Should we really stop eating meat? Many people have started becoming vegans. I for one cannot imagine life without eating meat. Vegetarian food is plain and tasteless. For those that love to compete, Louisville, KY, offers the action-packed Go Ape Treetop Forest course.Compete with your team members or friends in the different weird and fun courses in Louisville, KY I also work out a lot and lead an active lifestyle. I don?t believe that a vegetarian diet will be sufficient for me.

Here’s How Every Senate Democrat Plans To Vote On Neil Gorsuch

WASHINGTON ? When Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch gets his Senate confirmation vote this week, he?ll need eight Democrats to vote with Republicans in order to reach the 60 votes he needs to clear a filibuster.

It?s not looking great for him.

There are 52 Republicans and 48 Democrats (including the two independents who caucus with them). Democrats are, by and large, vowing to filibuster Gorsuch and demanding that President Donald Trump put forward a more mainstream pick. But Republicans are signaling that if they can?t get the 60 votes they need, they?ll retaliate by changing the rules so it only takes 51 votes to advance a Supreme Court nominee ? a prospect that?s bumming out senators in both parties who love their institution and its rules.

If Republicans get the 60 votes they need to clear the filibuster, it only takes 51 votes to confirm Gorsuch after that.

Here?s where every Democrat stands on joining the filibuster against Gorsuch. We?ll update the list as more Democrats announce how they?ll vote. It takes 41 Democrats to block Gorsuch.

JOINING FILIBUSTER (37)

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.)

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.)

Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.)

Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio)

Sen. Maria Cantwell (Wash.)

Sen. Tom Carper (Del.)

Sen. Bob Casey (Pa.)

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.)

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (Ill.)

Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.)

Sen. Al Franken (Minn.)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.)

Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.)

Sen. Maggie Hassan (N.H.)

Sen. Martin Heinrich (N.M.)

Sen. Mazie Hirono (Hawaii)

Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.)

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.)

Sen. Ed Markey (Mass.)

Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.)

Sen. Jeff Merkley (Ore.)

Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.)

Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.)

Sen. Bill Nelson (Fla.)

Sen. Gary Peters (Mich.)

Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

Sen. Brian Schatz (Hawaii)

Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.)

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.)

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (Mich.)

Sen. Jon Tester (Mont.)

Sen. Tom Udall (N.M.)

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (Md.)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.)

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.)

Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.)

VOTING WITH REPUBLICANS TO END FILIBUSTER (3)

Sen. Joe Donnelly (Ind.)

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.)

Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.)

HAVEN?T SAID (6)

Sen. Michael Bennet (Colo.)

Sen. Chris Coons (Del.)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.)

Sen. Angus King (I-Maine)

Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.)

Sen. Mark Warner (Va.)

SQUISHY (2)*

Sen. Ben Cardin (Md.)

Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.) 

*These senators have hinted that they?ll vote with Republicans to end the filibuster, but then vote against Gorsuch?s confirmation. But they?re still mostly ¯\_(?)_/¯.

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