U.S. President Donald Trump © Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
On the heels of celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day, also known as MLK Day, celebrated every third Monday in January to remember the birth and life of the famous civil rights leader, and on the anniversary of the 2010 Haiti earthquake—President Trump’s words incited many around the globe.
Though it was not shocking to those who have closely observed the president’s actions over the course of the years, and his words on the campaign trail, the fallout created a firestorm on social media with both supporters and detractors.
While a bipartisan Senate group had reportedly reached an “agreement in principle” on DACA, as well as packaging immigration reform to avoid a government shutdown next Friday, the meeting took a turn for the worse, when the Washington Post reported that Trump “grew frustrated with lawmakers Thursday in the Oval Office when they floated restoring protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries” as part of the proposed deal.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump reportedly said, referring to Africa and Haiti. Instead, he suggested that the United States should instead bring more people from countries like Norway.
According to sources at the meeting, Trump also asked, with “Why do we need more Haitians?” Take Them Out.”
Taking to Twitter on Friday morning, the president denied using the “s***hole” remark stating he only used strong language. He adamantly denied saying anything about Haiti, but was quick to point fingers, saying “it was a made up story by the Dems.” He wrote, “I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians.”
Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill), confirmed with CNN that Trump “made the “s***hole” remark.
In a flurry of tweets, he attacked the Democrats on the Daca deal accusing them of not having an interest in “life and safety” but instead have taken a step back.
Appearing to vent his frustrations about what he feels is best for the country, he tweeted about a merit-based system of immigration and wanting to “stop” the massive inflow of drugs.
Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Never said “take them out.” Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings – unfortunately, no trust!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made – a big setback for DACA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
….countries which are doing badly. I want a merit based system of immigration and people who will help take our country to the next level. I want safety and security for our people. I want to stop the massive inflow of drugs. I want to fund our military, not do a Dem defund….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
Sens. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) proposed cutting the visa lottery program by 50 percent and prioritizing countries already in the system, a White House official said.
As reported earlier this week, the administration announced that it was removing the protection for over 200,000 citizens from El Salvador; meanwhile, as part of a potential bipartisan deal, lawmakers discussed restoring protections for countries that have been removed from the temporary protected status program while adding $1.5 billion for a border wall and making changes to the visa lottery system.
From various media reports—lawmakers present were taken aback by the president’s remarks, and state that a tentative deal fell through by noon when Trump changed his mind:
Trump had seemed amenable to a deal earlier in the day during phone calls, aides said, but shifted his position in the meeting and did not seem interested. As a result, what was considered to be a done deal was no longer.
Graham and Durbin thought they would be meeting with Trump alone and were surprised to find immigration hard-liners such as Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) at the meeting. The meeting was impromptu and came after phone calls Thursday morning, Capitol Hill aides said.
After the meeting, Marc Short, Trump’s legislative aide, said the White House was nowhere near a bipartisan deal on immigration.
Trump reportedly became furious during a meeting at the White House Thursday when Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) proposed restoring protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and some African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal, according to the Washington Post.
The group of senators agreed to cut the visa lottery program by 50 percent and restore Temporary Protected Status to immigrants from countries facing natural disasters or civil strife.
As news hit the airwaves, social media erupted—users immediately condemned Trump’s comments as racist, including several Democratic lawmakers.
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) went on MSNBC to say Trump’s comments “smack of blatant racism – odious and insidious racism masquerading poorly as immigration policy.”
“He does not speak for me as an American,” Blumenthal added.
WATCH: @SenBlumenthal says Trump's 'shithole countries' remark smacks of "the most odious and insidious racism masquerading poorly as immigration policy."
"The President doesn't speak for me as an American." pic.twitter.com/uFQaohiNk4
— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) January 11, 2018
Rep. Mia Love (D-Utah), who was born to Haitian parents, said Trump’s comments were “unkind, divisive, elitist and fly in the face of our nation’s values.”
“My parents came from one of those countries, took an oath of allegiance to it, and took on the responsibilities of everything that being a citizen comes with,” Love said in a statement.
Here is my statement on the President’s comments today: pic.twitter.com/EdtsFjc2zL
— Rep. Mia Love (@RepMiaLove) January 11, 2018
The Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-Louisiana) said Trump’s comments were “further proof that his Make America Great Again agenda is really a Make America White Again agenda.”
— Black Caucus (@OfficialCBC) January 11, 2018
Immigrants from countries across the globe – including and especially those from Haiti and all parts of Africa – have helped build this country. They should be welcomed and celebrated, not demeaned and insulted.
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) January 11, 2018
I condemn this unforgivable statement and this demeaning of the office of the Presidency. I will always fight for the vulnerable among us and against bigotry in all its forms. https://t.co/uffsZkgnfy
— Elijah E. Cummings (@RepCummings) January 11, 2018
My parents came from one of those countries. https://t.co/tfRRghQflJ
— Tom Perez (@TomPerez) January 11, 2018
Author Philip Mudd, ex-deputy director of the CIA’s Counter-terrorist Center and the FBI’s National Security Branch, went on CNN Thursday to denounce Trump’s remarks as racist, calling himself a “proud s***holer.”
Journalist and author Dan Rather expressed a similar sentiment without resorting to foul language, calling Trump’s comments “disgraceful for him, the country, and every American.”
The latest outrage from President Trump disparaging immigrants from what he calls "shithole" countries is a new low. It's disgraceful for him, the country, and every American.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) January 11, 2018
However, many on the political right were not upset by Trump’s comments at all. In fact, many staffers at the White House reportedly celebrated on Thursday.
CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins said the White House is not worried about Trump’s comments, adding that some are “predicting it will actually resonate with his base, not alienate it, much like his attacks on NFL players who kneel during the national anthem did.”
Staffers inside the White House aren't that worried about Trump's "shithole" remark — with some predicting it will actually resonate with his base, not alienate it, much like his attacks on NFL players who kneel during the national anthem did.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) January 11, 2018
Right-wing activist Mike Cernovich responded to Collins’ tweet, simply saying “can confirm.”
Many on the right agreed the countries that Trump was talking about were in fact “s***holes.” Many of them also agree that Trump should limit the number of people that come to the US from these countries.
Option A: El Salvador isn't a "shithole," so they don't need 17 years of Temporary Protected Status, and migrants from there should be sent home immediately. Option B: El Salvador is, in fact, a "shithole." https://t.co/sea1sKoY8K
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) January 11, 2018
Okay, yes — Trump shouldn't call them "shithole countries." A little respect is in order. They are shithole nations.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 11, 2018
While many Republicans were celebrating Trump’s comments, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said he looks forward to receiving “a more detailed explanation regarding the President’s comments.”
HATCH: “I look forward to getting a more detailed explanation regarding the President’s comments. Part of what makes America so special is that we welcome the best and brightest in the world, regardless of their country of origin.” #utpol
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) January 11, 2018
Medicare Takes Aim at Medical Identity Theft: Protecting Seniors From Fraud
Criminals are increasingly targeting people age 65 or older for personal identity theft. In 2014 alone, there were 2.6 million such incidents among seniors, according to the Department of Justice.
A growing offshoot of identity theft is healthcare fraud, which can result when someone unlawfully uses another person’s Medicare number. Medical identity theft can lead to inaccuracies in medical records, which in turn can result in delayed care, denied services and costly false claims.
That’s why Medicare works with the Department of Justice, taking aim squarely at would-be thieves. In the largest law enforcement action against criminals fraudulently targeting the Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare programs, 412 people around the country, including 115 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, were charged in 2017 with bilking U.S. taxpayers out of $1.3 billion.
New Medicare Card for 2018. (Video Courtesy of YouTube)
The next big fraud-fighting push is well underway — and its focus is protecting the personal information of senior citizens by removing their Social Security numbers from Medicare cards.
People with Medicare don’t need to take any action to get a new Medicare card. Beginning in April 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will mail out newly designed Medicare cards to the 58 million Americans with Medicare. The cards will have a new number that will be unique for each card recipient. This will help protect personal identity and prevent fraud because identity thieves can’t bill Medicare without a valid Medicare number. To help with a seamless transition to the new cards, providers will be able to use secure lookup tools that will support quick access to the new card numbers when needed.
Healthcare fraud drives up costs for everyone, but healthcare consumers can be an effective first line of defense against fraud. Follow these tips to help protect yourself:
- Treat your Medicare number like a credit card.
- When the new card comes in the mail next year, destroy your old card and make sure you bring your new one to your doctors’ appointments.
- Be suspicious of anyone offering early bird discounts, limited time offers or encouraging you to act now for the best deal. That’s an indicator of potential fraud because Medicare plans are forbidden from offering incentives.
- Be skeptical of free gifts, free medical services, discount packages or any offer that sounds too good to be true.
- Only give your Medicare number to doctors, insurers acting on your behalf or trusted people in the community who work with Medicare, like your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).
- Report suspected instances of fraud.
- Check your Medicare statements to make sure the charges are accurate.
- Don’t share your Medicare number or other personal information with anyone who contacts you by telephone, email or approaches you in person, unless you’ve given them permission in advance. Medicare will never contact you uninvited and request your Medicare number or other personal information.
- Don’t let anyone borrow or pay to use your Medicare number.
- Don’t allow anyone, except your doctor or other Medicare providers, to review your medical records or recommend services.
- Don’t let anyone persuade you to see a doctor for care or services you don’t need.
- Don’t accept medical supplies from a door-to-door salesman.
Learn more about how you can fight Medicare fraud at Medicare.gov/fraud, or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). You can also visit a local SHIP counselor, who can provide free, one-on-one, non-biased Medicare assistance.
With a common sense approach to protecting health information, senior citizens can be effective partners in fighting Medicare fraud.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Trump Children’s Health Insurance Tweet Contradicts White House Administration
Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump contradicted his own administration on Thursday when he tweeted that funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) should not be included in a short-term plan to fund the government.
Trump’s tweet sent on Thursday morning, seemingly undercut the “Stopgap Spending Bill,” leaving many confused at what could be construed as an “Anti-Chip” tweet.
What If a Government Shutdown Occurs? Five Things to Know
The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base BARRIE BARBER/STAFF
The federal government faces a partial federal shutdown threat Friday without a $1.1 trillion appropriations spending budget or a temporary stopgap spending measure in place.
Here’s what could happen in the Miami Valley if a shutdown occurs:
FURLOUGHS: A Wright-Patterson Air Force Base spokesman said this week the base had not received guidance on what actions to take. But the last time a federal government shutdown occurred in 2013, thousands of Wright-Patterson civilian employees were furloughed temporarily. Among those exempted were police, fire, medical and airfield operations. Military service members remained on the job.
MUSEUM: The region’s biggest tourist attraction, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, would close until a funding deal is reached, according to a spokesman.
MAIL SERVICE: The U.S. Postal Service, which is considered self-funded, would continue operations, including home delivery and post offices, would stay open, a spokesman said.
DAYTON VA: The Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities would remain open. The VA operates on a two-year budget cycle, exempting the department from the latest funding skirmish in Washington.
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE: NPS sites in the Dayton region closed during the last shutdown in 2013. An NPS directive issued in September 2017, said parks would close if a lapse in federal government appropriations occurs.
Source: Dayton Daily News
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