NFL Knees Trump
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NFL Knees Trump

Sunday’s Football Games See a Wave of Protests; Most Owners Back the Players

The Raiders sit out the anthem before their game in Washington.

Kneeling. Football players across the country and abroad knelt and locked arms in protest of Trump’s remarks that football fans should boycott NFL games unless the league fires or suspends players who refuse to stand for the national anthem. Team owners backed their players. Jed York, the CEO of the San Francisco 49ers, said Trump’s “callous and offensive comments” are “contradictory to what this great country stands for.” Trump tweeted: “Great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country. Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings!” Singer Rico Lavelle knelt after singing the national anthem at the Detroit Lion’s game. Most of the Pittsburgh Steelers remained in the locker room as the anthem was played. The Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens took the protests overseas to their game at Wembley Stadium in London.

Affordable Care Act. It’s repeal by a thousand cuts. The Department of Health and Human Services plans to shut down the federal exchange for hours for maintenance during the next open enrollment period. The website will be down for 12 hours from midnight to noon almost every Sunday. Trump has already slashed the budget for advertising and outreach for the Affordable Care Act from $100 million last year to $10 million this year. Funding for people to help with enrollment has also been cut.

Trumpcare. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) plans to introduce a new version of the Graham-Cassidy bill Monday morning. The hospital industry, the insurance industry and major doctor groups said they “cannot support this proposal” and predicted it would “have real consequences on consumers and patients by further destabilizing the individual market, cutting Medicaid, [and] pulling back on protections for pre-existing conditions.”

Kushner. First Son-in-Law Jared Kushner has corresponded with other administration officials about White House matters with a private email account. Kushner has written former chief of staff Reince Priebus, former chief strategist Steve Bannon, National Economic Council director Gary Cohn and spokesman Josh Raffel on his private account. Trump routinely blasted Hillary Clinton for using personal email to handle government business when she was secretary of state. Trump frequently led “lock her up” chants about Clinton. Private email traffic among White House aides could skirt the requirements of the Presidential Records Act which requires documents related to the president’s personal and political activities to be archived.

Merkel. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has won a fourth term, but voters also are sending an extremist right-wing party to the German parliament for the first time since 1957. The nationalistic Alternative for Germany party (AfD) was in third place, according to preliminary results, with about 13% of the vote. Merkel and most other German politicians dismiss the party as anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic. Merkel will need to form a coalition to govern but has made it clear she will not partner with AfD. More than a million asylum seekers have come to Germany since 2015, and Germans are unhappy over her refugee policy.

New ban. Trump banned or restricted visas for travel to the United States from eight countries Sunday. Trump is keeping the restrictions on five of the six countries from his first Muslim ban, which expired Sunday and adding restrictions on visitors and immigrants from Chad, North Korea and Venezuela. The five countries remaining in the ban are Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Trump lifted the restrictions on Sudan. The U.S. Supreme Court allowed much of Trump’s Muslim ban to stand, pending arguments before the court on Oct. 10. The restrictions for Chad, North Korea and Venezuela go into effect Oct. 18.

Featured photo: Miami Dolphins players kneeling during the national anthem before their game with the New York Jets.  

September 25, 2017