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Obamacare Repeal Fails: Three GOP Senators Rebel in 49-51 Vote

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Senate Republicans failed to pass a scaled-down Obamacare repeal bill early Friday with a vote of 49-51.  The failed voted derailed the GOP’s seven-year campaign to dismantle the legacy of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act—dealing a major political setback for President Trump.

Three Republican senators — John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins—and all Democrats voted against the bill—culminating in a major defeat for Republicans and President Donald Trump who made the repeal of Obamacare a focal point of his campaign.

The late-night debate leading into the early hours of Friday morning put to rest the GOP’s relentless mission to fulfill a seven-year promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

After the vote was final, President Trump tweeted:

3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2017

The Senate attempted to pass multiple versions of repeal—repeal and replace a straight repeal and Friday’s slimmed-down  (skinny) repeal, but none garnered the support of 50 Republicans.

Joining two other Republicans, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Arizona Senator John McCain’s trip to Washington a week after receiving a diagnosis of brain cancer, cast the decisive vote to defeat the proposal.  It was his vote — the 50th — that allowed Republicans begin debating the measure.

McCain denounced the rise of partisanship upon his return to the Senate on Tuesday with a passionate speech.  It was McCain’s no vote that would sink the GOP’s “Skinny Repeal’ plan—putting an end to the partisan repeal effort.

Trump spoke to McCain on the phone Thursday night according to a White House spokesperson with direct knowledge of the call. The president urged McCain to vote to for the “skinny repeal” bill — assuring him it wouldn’t end up passing into law.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, (R-KY), said after the 1:40 a.m. vote—Republicans remained committed to repealing the Obama-era health law.

“We told our constituents we would vote that way and when the moment came, the moment came, most of us did,” he added.

“This is clearly a disappointment,” McConnell added. “It’s time to move on.”

Vice President Mike Pence, reportedly arrived in the chamber with the hopes of rescuing the bill by casting a deciding vote.

John McCain voted against the Health Care Freedom Act on Friday morning, handing Republicans a stinging defeat. (Gage Skidmore/CC BY-SA 2.0)

Several Republicans said they were unsure of how McCain would vote.  When McCain turned down his thumb to indicate his decision, audible gasps broke the silence in the chamber.

Senator McCain “The Renown Maverick,” had set into motion a vote that some would perceive as defying his party and the president—on the one issue that had been a thorn in the side of Republicans for seven years—to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Sending off a strong message of ‘bipartianship’ McCain walked off the Senate floor with few words, “I thought it was the right vote,” he said a short time later while getting into his car.

Senator McCain’s office put out a more detailed statement later:

“I’ve stated time and time again that one of the major failures of Obamacare was that it was rammed through Congress by Democrats on a strict-party line basis without a single Republican vote. We should not make the mistakes of the past that have led to Obamacare’s collapse, including in my home state of Arizona where premiums are skyrocketing, and health care providers are fleeing the marketplace.”

Senator Lisa Murkowski, (R-AL), stood against every version of the legislation despite the immense pressure coming from many within the GOP. The Trump administration threatened to withhold federal resources from Alaska because of Murkowski’s opposition, according to the Alaska Daily News.  Murkowski said that she would not characterize the White House response as a “threat.”

“I sat there with Senator McCain. I think both of us recognize that it’s very hard to disappoint your colleagues,” Murkowski told NBC News after the vote. “And I know that there is disappointment because it was the three votes that Senator McCain, Senator Collins, and I cast that did not allow this bill to move forward. And that is difficult.”

“But I believe each of us stood up for the reasons that we felt were right,” she added.

The failed vote occurred about three hours after the text of the latest version was released, and the slimmed-down version, designed specifically to get the 50 votes needed.  It wasn’t enough to garner the necessary support.

Democrats were consistent in sustaining pressure against Republicans by slowing down not only the health care debate on the floor but all Senate activity. Activists held daily protests on Capitol Hill—targeting certain senators’ offices. Those protests continued until the vote occurred Friday morning with health care activists gathered outside the Capitol.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), told reporters that he knew McCain was going to vote against his own party’s bill by around 10 p.m., three hours before the vote. He said he had talked to his colleague four or five times per day over the last three days.

“John McCain is a hero and has courage and does the right thing,” Schumer said.

Schumer would later tweet,

We are not celebrating; we are relieved–for the Americans who can now keep their #healthcare. We must work together to improve the law.

— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) July 28, 2017

The passage on the Health Care Freedom Act—the “skinny” repeal, was never certain. Even Republicans who voted for it disliked the bill.

“The skinny bill as policy is a disaster. The skinny bill as a replacement for Obamacare is a fraud. The skinny bill is a vehicle to getting conference to find a replacement,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R-SC), said at a Thursday evening news conference hours before the vote alongside fellow Republicans McCain, Ron Johnson and Bill Cassidy, before the details were released.

The “skinny” repeal was far from Republicans’ campaign promise of also rolling back Medicaid expansion, insurance subsidies, Obamacare taxes, and insurance regulations.

Many Republicans who did vote for it said they were holding their nose to vote for it just to advance the process into negotiations with the House of Representatives.

The legislation included a repeal of the individual mandate to purchase insurance, a repeal of the employer mandate to provide insurance, a one-year defunding of Planned Parenthood, a provision giving states more flexibility to opt out of insurance regulations, and a three-year repeal of the medical device tax. It also would have increased the amount that people can contribute to Health Savings Accounts.

In the hurried process of trying to come up with legislation, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office released an analysis late on Thursday night that found that 16 million people would lose their health insurance in 2018 under the latest plan. Premiums would have risen 20 percent each year over the next decade, the analysis found

By LeNora Millen         07-29-17

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Lifestyle

Maybelline New York Announced Josephine Skriver as Global Spokesmodel

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Josephine Skriver (PRNewsfoto/Maybelline New York)

Maybelline New York, the World’s leading cosmetic brand, announced recently with excitement, Josephine Skriver is the Global Spokesmodel for Maybelline.

Josephine has risen to the top of her industry, through years of dedication, hard work and hustle in the Big Apple and around the world. She is well-known International Model with a Loyal Fan base, recognized by her philanthropic work, down to earth personality and immense success in her modeling career.

“Being a part of the Maybelline New York family is a dream come true! I have been wearing Maybelline since I was a little girl,” said Josephine.

“We are beyond thrilled to have Josephine as part of our Maybelline family,” said Leonardo Chavez, Global Brand President, Maybelline New York. “A Partnership with Josephine was completely organic because she resonates with our global customer and is a dynamic and fresh addition to our roster of talent. She embodies determination, grit, energy and spirit, while having a true connection to New York and the dream of making it happen in this city.”

Josephine is excited to continue her work with Maybelline New York this Spring, appearing in her first campaign for the brand for the launch of Super Cushion 2-in-1 launching in May 2018.

For More Information visit www.maybelline.com

SOURCE Maybelline New York

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Lifestyle

Informer – This is a Mind Shift

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We have all had moments of defining ourselves by our stories.  For many of us, this is the only way we know how to explain who we are, through our stories.  We tell them repeatedly.  Churning them in our minds, over and over again.  Explaining them and valuating them to expound on why we do and think what we do.  Clarifying to others in order for them to see why our story is a commodity.  Stories that illuminate why we are strong, resilient, persistent, purposed, important and valued.  All these traits birthed and utilized to define who and what we are.  I am not saying we should not do these things.  We should take account.  Mostly for ourselves to help remind us that nothing has truly defined us, destroyed us or prevented us from self-actualizing. 

However, I find that too often, we become victims to the stories.  We self-define ourselves in line with our strengths, our culture, our ethnicity, our religion, our weaknesses and other traits the stories unveil.  I find that many of us never go beyond those defining moments and memories.  We hold on to them and stake them with flags of self-discovery.  Finding refuge, celebration, and relief of the claim, that today, I know who I am.  The flag stuck soundly in the story as if land conquered and made claim to.  From that moment on, we sit on the land I call moment and tell the story of how we got there, what happened there and why we are still there. We become synonymous with the story.  We see no separation between our existence and definable moments.

I question today why revelations are turned into definitions of self?  Are we really defined by the land of experience we lay claim to?  Are we defined by the revelation the stories reveal?  No, we are not defined by anything.  We are informed of all things.  I am no more defined by being a woman or being of African descent than I am the land my home resides upon, the car I drive, the losses I experience or the degrees that hang on my wall.  These things inform who I am and who I attempt to become.  They inform my walk, possible encounters, and impediments, uniqueness’s, gifts, talents, and influence.  None of it defines.  I am undefinable.  I am above definition.

We are beyond definition.  Every time we define ourselves, we limit who we are and our possibilities to become.  When we allow things to inform us of who we are and what we will do or encounter, it allows us a freedom to question and navigate around and through various life happenings. Why?  Because without definition, there is no tethering to any one moment.  Informing allows us to be made aware.  It directs and the breeze of empowerment from what we become aware of moves us further down the path of life.

To allow definition means to allow self to be stuck.  Stuck speaking and living through those defining moments, identities and ideologies of what was.  When defined by those things outside of us, we lose our power to be, to change, to awaken, to separate and recreate as the creator that we are. 

Today I inform you that you are beyond definition.  I ask you to destroy the dictionary life experiences and encounters have solidified in your hand that tether you to yesterday.  A land that has withered and deteriorated with time, no longer benefiting you.  Realize you are an encyclopedia, informed by each day, each year, each decade, and forever evolving.  Always becoming renewed and expanded upon.  The knowledge that comes from the informing permits you to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Authorizing you to make a more informed and better choice today and masterfully form tomorrow.  We are not defined by anything.  We are informed by everything. 

 

 

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Old School Dating VS. New School Dating

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Photo Credit: Jessica Stibbs from Nubian Message

Do you know the difference and are willing to make a change?

By Shanti Bloodworth

I remember when my grandfather use to tell me all the stories about how he had to work hard just to take my grandmother out on date. Back in the 1940’s they did not have cell phones that included FaceTime and texting. You literally had to meet the woman’s parents first just take to take her out for coffee. Now, men can meet a woman randomly and never have a full understanding where she came from. Who do we blame? Do we blame the media, technology, or ourselves?

I am going to blame all three aspects that has changed the way dating is taking place. Social media is the new dating app/meeting new people. Technology has us so lazy to the point we just talk on the phone with our partner more than having an in-person conversation. Lastly, we have to blame ourselves for the change of dating. We can still go back to the basics of dating with purpose. In today’s society, women are accepting being the Side Chick and men are accepting being treated like a sex toy. Below I have created a list of old school dating tactics that we should start back doing in 2018.

 

  1. Him walking to your home door to pick you up
  2. Bring a small gift such as flowers
  3. Dress to impress: Blazer with some nice slacks (men) & Knee length dress with 2 inch heels (women)
  4. Verbally ask them out on a date: Not Via Text, Facetime, Email, or Social Media
  5. Always open every door for her
  6. Your Dating Elevation Pitch: If you run into someone while out on a date, introduce your date to your friend.
  7. No Sex: Flirting is fun while on a date with each other but does not mean you have to hit the bed in the next two hours. Always respect each other!
  8. Cell Phones Off Limits: Put your cell phone away! No need to check your emails, text your friends, or scroll through your Instagram account. Enjoy that little time with each other.
  9. Homemade romantic gestures: My grandfather use to make my grandmother cute cards saying how much he misses her. The smallest thoughts would take you a long way guys.
  10. Having a Purpose: Make sure the both of you are on the same level with each other. After you spend so much time with each other, please do not be afraid to ask if you’re a couple.
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