What do you do when Donald Trump gives out your cellphone number in a televised campaign rally? South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Trump rival for the GOP presidential nomination, made the most of The Donald’s rude move by releasing a video in which he demolishes his phone (more than one, actually) by doing everything short of blowing it up.
The YouTube video, posted by IJ Review and titled “How to Destroy Your Phone With Sen. Lindsey Graham,” shows the senator smashing a Samsung flip phone in various ways — a golf club, a wooden sword, a cinder block — and also chopping it with a meat cleaver, putting it in a toaster oven with pizza bagels, dropping it in a blender with some Red Bull, lighting it on fire and dropping it from a rooftop.
“Or if all else fails, you can always give your number to The Donald,” Graham says toward the end of the 1:04 clip.
Graham isn’t exactly a technophile, so maybe he didn’t know he didn’t need to destroy his phone to get a new number (and there are much better ways to get rid of an old phone). More likely, though, the senator found a clever way to take advantage of the attention Trump provided for him and his campaign while also finally upgrading from his flip phone to a smartphone.
Probably getting a new phone. iPhone or Android?— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 21, 2015
Graham has struggled to make headway in a crowded Republican presidential field, drawing the support of less than 1 percent of registered GOP voters in recent polls. That would leave him off the stage in the Aug. 6 Fox News debate, which is limited to 10 of the 16 candidates. Trump, by the way, is almost assured of a spot. So the senator and his campaign need all the attention they can get — and the new video sure is getting attention. Since it was published to YouTube yesterday, it’s already been viewed more than 1 million times.
Although there may be plenty of things in the GOP tax bill to complain about, critics can’t say it didn’t work – at least as far as stock buybacks go. TrimTabs Investment Research said Monday that U.S. companies have now announced $1 trillion in share buybacks in 2018, surpassing the record of $781 billion set in 2015. "It's no coincidence," said TrimTabs' David Santschi. "A lot of the buybacks are because of the tax law. Companies have more cash to pump up the stock price."
Budget deficits normally rise during recessions and fall when the economy is growing, but that’s not the case today. Deficits are rising sharply despite robust economic growth, increasing from $666 billion in 2017 to an estimated $970 billion in 2019, with $1 trillion annual deficits expected for years after that.
As the deficit hawks at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget point out in a blog post Thursday, “the deficit has never been this high when the economy was this strong … And never in modern U.S. history have deficits been so high outside of a war or recession (or their aftermath).” The chart above shows just how unusual the current deficit path is when measured as a percentage of GDP.
About 4.2 million uninsured people could sign up for a bronze-level Obamacare health plan and pay nothing for it after tax credits are applied, the Kaiser Family Foundation said Tuesday. That means that 27 percent of the country’s 15.9 million uninsured people could get covered for free. The chart below breaks down the eligible population by state.
Vox’s Ezra Klein says that retiring House Speaker Paul Ryan’s legacy can be summed up in one number: $343 billion. “That’s the increase between the deficit for fiscal year 2015 and fiscal year 2018— that is, the difference between the fiscal year before Ryan became speaker of the House and the fiscal year in which he retired.”
Klein writes that Ryan’s choices while in office — especially the 2017 tax cuts and the $1.3 trillion spending bill he helped pass and the expansion of the earned income tax credit he talked up but never acted on — should be what define his legacy:
“[N]ow, as Ryan prepares to leave Congress, it is clear that his critics were correct and a credulous Washington press corps — including me — that took him at his word was wrong. In the trillions of long-term debt he racked up as speaker, in the anti-poverty proposals he promised but never passed, and in the many lies he told to sell unpopular policies, Ryan proved as much a practitioner of post-truth politics as Donald Trump. …
“Ultimately, Ryan put himself forward as a test of a simple, but important, proposition: Is fiscal responsibility something Republicans believe in or something they simply weaponize against Democrats to win back power so they can pass tax cuts and defense spending? Over the past three years, he provided a clear answer. That is his legacy, and it will haunt his successors.”