GOP senator tells high school students access to food, healthcare is a ‘privilege’


In schools across America, most children are taught that food, shelter, and clothing are basic needs. But one GOP senator considers these tools for survival a “privilege,” not a right.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) spoke to high school students in his home state on Friday, and one student in the audience asked, in the face of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, if Johnson believes healthcare is a “privilege or a right.” Johnson went on to claim it’s the former, not the latter.

“Do you consider food a right?” the senator asked the students, WISN 12 reports. “Do you consider clothing a right? Do you consider shelter a right? What we have as rights is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Past that point, we have the right to freedom. Past that point is a limited resource that we have to use our opportunities given to us to afford those things.”

Like many Republican senators, Johnson believes engaging with (and succeeding on) the free market is the key to healthcare. Instead of making it a universal right, Johnson criticized state-funded medical care, encouraging lawmakers to improve the economy so as many people as possible can afford healthcare.

“I think it’s obviously a privilege to have food and shelter,” he said. “What we need to do as public officials is try and have our economy healthy so that we have as much prosperity as possible so that we can actually increase the resources available for as high a quality and highly accessible health care as we possibly can.”

Johnson, of course, supports repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with a Republican-backed healthcare system, which could leave millions uninsured. So far, the GOP’s plans for healthcare haven’t passed the Senate, leaving the ACA in-tact for now.

H/T Splinter

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Utah cop who dragged nurse in viral video has been fired


University of Utah nurse Alex Wubbels was seen being forcibly handcuffed and dragged by Salt Lake City police Detective Jeff Payne in a video that went viral last month. It caused public outcry that ultimately led the Salt Lake City mayor and police chief to apologize. Now, more than a month later, the police department has fired Payne from the force.

In the filmed incident, which actually happened in July, Payne repeatedly requested permission to draw blood from a patient who suffered serious burns from a head-on collision. Without a search warrant or the patient’s permission, Payne had no right to draw blood, but he remained insistent with Wubbels. Eventually, after Wubbels phoned her supervisor on the matter, Payne pushed Wubbels outside the hospital and handcuffed her, dragging her to the side. She wasn’t charged, but in the video depicting her arrest, she appears visibly shaken, screaming for help.

During an internal investigation in September, the police department concluded that both Payne and his watch commander, Lt. James Tracey, disregarded the department’s arrest and officer conduct policies when Payne handcuffed Wubbels. In light of the investigation, the department decided to fire Payne, while his commander was demoted back to officer.

“The decision… is in keeping with the high level of accountability we owe the people of Salt Lake City,” Mayor Jackie Biskupski explained, according to CNN. “In making his decision, I am confident Chief Brown balanced the unique stresses each of our police officers deal with daily, and the responsibility they have as leaders in our community.”

H/T Associated Press

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus reveals she has breast cancer, calls for universal healthcare


Julia Louis-Dreyfus announced that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer in a tweet Thursday afternoon.

In a typed, signed note on personal stationary, the comedian wrote: “1 in 8 women get breast cancer. Today, I’m the one.”

She went on to thank her supportive family and friends, and express concern for the majority of American women who don’t share equal access to health insurance.

“The good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring family and friends, and fantastic insurance through my union. The bad news is that not all women are so lucky, so let’s fight all the cancers and make universal health care a reality,” the Veep and Seinfeld star wrote.

In a statement, HBO praised Dreyfus’ “tenacity” in the face of the disease.

“Our love and support go out to Julia and her family at this time,” the network said. “We have every confidence she will get through this with her usual tenacity and undaunted spirit, and look forward to her return to health and to HBO for the final season of Veep.”

Louis-Dreyfus won a record-breaking sixth Emmy for her role on Veep earlier this month. She has been married to husband Brad Hall for 20 years and they have two sons.

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Kid Rocks unfurls another political rant: ‘Why, these days, is everything so gay?’


As the National Action Network’s Detroit chapter protested outside, Kid Rock made another profanity-laden stump speech in Detroit at his concert Tuesday.

This time, the musician addressed gay rights and rehashing his views on racism and “deadbeat dads.”

“Why, these days, is everything so gay?” he asked the crowd midway through his speech (which sort of rhymed).

Immediately after voicing support for gay marriage (“I say let gay folks get married if they want to”), Kid Rock made clear that he does not support transgender rights.

“No you don’t get to choose because whatever you have between your legs should determine the bathroom that you use,” he said.

The musician, whose real name is Robert Ritchie, has not made an official announcement on whether he’s running for U.S. Senate, but he was welcomed to the stage as “the next senator of the great state of Michigan.”

He has been a loud supporter of President Donald Trump and launched a “Kid Rock for Senate” website earlier in the summer.

It’s also the second time in a week that Kid Rock has gone on a political rant in front of a crowd, even after a nonpartisan ethics organization filed a complaint against him for “failing to register his candidacy.”

Read the full text of the speech below, via Time.

“Well, well what a crowd. I said well, well what a crowd. What’s going on the in the world today? Seems the government wants to give everyone health insurance but wants us all to pay.

And to be very frank, I really don’t have a problem with that, since God has blessed me and made my pockets fat. But redistribution of wealth seems more like their plan. And I don’t believe you should save, sacrifice, do things by the book and then have to take care of some deadbeat, milking the system, lazy a– motherf—ing man.

Now, the issue of struggling single parents is an issue close to my heart. But read my lips: We should not reward those who can’t even take care of themselves but keep having kid after f—ing kid.

Of course, of course we should help them out. I don’t want to stand here and sound like a jerk. But let’s help ’em out with child care, job training and find them a f—ing place to work. And you deadbeat dads, who refuse to be a man, who refuse to be there for their sons and raise them up to be good men. You no good derelict sperm donors wannabes. I say lock all you a–holes up and throw away the f–king keys.

And if you wanna take a knee and sit there during our Star Spangled Banner, call me a racist because I’m not PC and think you have to remind me that black lives matter. Nazis. F–king bigots. And now again the KKK? I say f–k all you racists. Stay the hell away.

And why, these days, is everything so gay? Gay rights, transgender this and that. I say let gay folks get married if they want to and I’m not even close to a deathtrap. But things shouldn’t be this complicated, and no you don’t get to choose because whatever you have between your legs should determine the bathroom that you use.

It’s no secret we’re divided and we all should take some blame, and we all should be ashamed because we all seem scared to call him by his name . So please, almighty Jesus, if you’re looking down on us tonight, please guide us with your wisdom and give us strength to fight. To fight the tyrant evils that lurk here and abroad and remind us all we are just one nation under God.

And I do believe it to be self evident, that we’re all created equal. I said it once, I’ll scream it again: I love black people. And I love white people, too. But neither as much as I love red, white and blue.

And if Kid Rock said it, it’s got some folks in disarray, wait ’til you hear Kid Rock for the President of the USA. Cause wouldn’t it be a sight to see, President Kid Rock in Washington DC. Standing on the desk in the Oval Office like a G. Holding my d–k ready to address the whole country.

I’d look them straight in the eyes, the eyes of the nation live on TV, and I’d say to them, ‘You ever met a motherf—er quite like me?’”

H/T Entertainment Weekly

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Trump praises non-existent African country in speech to African leaders


Speaking before a group of African leaders at the United Nations on Wednesday, President Donald Trump cited the progress of Nambia’s health system. The problem is, Nambia does not exist.

“In Guinea and Nigeria, you fought a horrifying Ebola outbreak, Trump said. “Nambia’s health system is increasingly self-sufficient.”

Trump likely meant Namibia, which does exist. The president delivered his remarks during a lunch attended by leaders from Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Guinea, Senegal, Namibia, and Uganda.

Unlike several other countries in West Africa last year, Namibia was spared the deadly Ebola outbreak in 2016 that caused widespread panic, including in the United States. Given Ebola outbreaks in other African countries, Namibia boosted its health system to prepare for possible infections in the southwestern African nation.

Trump began his speech before the African leaders by touting the economic potential in African nations, saying that “so many” of his friends are “going to your countries trying to get rich.”

“Africa has tremendous business potential,” Trump said. “I have so many friends going to your countries trying to get rich, I congratulate you. They are spending a lot of money. But it does, it has tremendous business potential.”

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Pregnant woman denied service at steakhouse over crop top


A pregnant woman says she was kicked out of a Washington steakhouse chain this weekend because she was wearing a crop top.

Photo via Charisha Raylee Gobin/Little Things (Fair Use) Remix by Jason Reed

In a now-deleted Facebook post, Charisha Raylee Gobin wrote that she went to Buzz Inn in Marysville to have dinner with her mother and sister when a server approached her and said the restaurant had “no shoes, no shirt, no service” policy. Gobin was wearing shoes and a shirt. She is also seven-and-a-half months pregnant with twins, which was obvious due to the nature of her crop top that humorously read “weirdo.” The server also allegedly told Gobin that her outfit violated the restaurant’s “health code.”

Angry that she was possibly being shamed for being pregnant (or dressing “inappropriately” for a pregnant woman), Gobin took to Facebook to tell her story, which quickly went viral.

On Monday, Buzz Inn apologized for the “misunderstanding” and said that the server, who has been with the company for nearly 20 years, was just trying to “use her best judgement .”

We sincerely apologize for the misunderstanding and will cover with all staff as to how to not overly enforce a rule…

Posted by Buzz Inn Marysville on Monday, September 4, 2017

As compensation, may we suggest a lifetime supply of rib-eyes for Gobin to enjoy while wearing whatever the hell she chooses?

H/T Little Things

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Fiona Apple sends support to Sinead O’Connor: ‘You’re my hero’


Fiona Apple uploaded a heartfelt video message supporting Sinead OConnor to her YouTube channel Thursday.

Apple, 39, recorded the clip in response to a video OConnor posted on her Facebook last week. In the 12-minute video, OConnor, 50, tearfully explained she was living in a Travelodge motel in New Jersey. She spoke about her struggle with mental illness and thoughts of suicide.

My entire life is revolving around not dying, and thats not living, OConnor said.

The Irish singer-songwriter, who Rolling Stone reported was briefly “missing suicidal” in 2016, said her psychiatrist was the only thing keeping me alive.

I just saw the video of you, and I dont want you to feel like that, Apple said in her video response. Youve given so much, and I wish I could be there. I wish I could be of some use to you. Im your friend, thats all I want to say, and youre my hero.

See the full clip below.

Apple also posted to her channel a video of OConnors performance at the 1989 Grammy Awards.

A note posted to OConnors Facebook page four days later assured fans she is she is safe, and she is not suicidal.

On Thursday OConnor posted a detailed explanation of her improving condition. She then blasted her former manager, who she recently fired. OConnors new manager, Anna M. Sala, issued the following statement:

Sinead is a brave and courageous woman. She says her truth without fear or shame. And just as she fought against child abuse in the church, she will fight with the same strength against the stigma of mental illness, even while putting her own neck on the line.

She is like no one else. Her courage is endless. Despite her own heartbreak, she is always concerned about the suffering of others and how she can use her voice to help them.

She is receiving the best medical care. She is lovingly supported by a musician advocacy organization with a team of people who are working with her on the road to healing. She is improving day by day. Sinead herself said: “If not for Jazz Foundation I wouldn’t have made it. I would not be alive today if not for the unconditional love & kindness of these people.

We are asking people to send their prayers and loving support. At this time, we are all focused on her health and wellness. But without a doubt, her fighting spirit is intact.

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This dude vowed to dress like Sarah Palin if McCain voted no on healthcare billhere’s how he looked


With the Senate healthcarebill that would overturn Obamacare about to be voted upon, tensions ran high early Friday morning on Twitter about what Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) would ultimately decide. His no vote, along with nays offered by Alaskas Lisa Murkowski and Maines Susan Collins, eventually killed the bill, but for the screenwriter and producer whos best known for his work on Lost, that meant he would have to pay a heavy price.

This is what Jeffrey Lieber tweeted before McCains decision.

And after McCain gave his now famous thumbs-down on the bill, here was how Lieber responded.

Luckily, Lieber posted photos of his day at work on Friday, complete with his chic Sarah Palin look. Everybody seemed to love his outfit.

The day after his dress-up party, Lieber seemed to be feeling fine. Especially because, as he told the Daily Dot, he got to show off certain hirsute parts of his anatomy.

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Jessica Simpson owns Whole Foods with savage tweet after chicken/tuna mixup


Chicken salad that was sent to Whole Foods grocery store locations in three northeastern states had to be recalled earlier this month, because the packages actually contained tuna.

You know who heard about that and sent out a savage tweet in response? Jessica Simpson, of course.

Its a simple tweet, yet so very effectivea Twitter clapback thats been brewing since 2003 when this happened on her Newlyweds show with then-husband Nick Lachey.

Since her confusion 14 years ago, Simpson has maintained a sense of humor about one of her most embarrassing TV moments. And with this tweet, Simpson has reached the pinnacle of making chicken salad out of Chicken of the Sea.

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The coroners report investigating Carrie Fishers death has been released


When Carrie Fisher diedat the age of 60 last December, it was reported that she had suffered a massive cardiac arrest. Best known as playing Princess Leiain the Star Warsmovies, Fisher suffered a heart attack on a flight from London to New York and died a few days later.

On Friday night, the coroners report was released, and though it said the exact cause of her death was unknown, sleep apnea and a buildup of fatty tissue in her arteries played a significant role, according to the Associated Press. The coroners release also said there were signs of multiple drugs in her system, but it couldnt be determined whether they contributed to her death.

Her death certificate, released in January, said she had died from cardiac arrest.

Her brother, Todd Fisher, said the family hadnt wanted a coroners investigation, telling the AP, Were not enlightened. Theres nothing about this that is enlightening.

In a statement given to People, Fishers daughter, Billie Lourd, said, My mom battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life. She ultimately died of it. She was purposefully open in all of her work about the social stigmas surrounding these diseases.

She talked about the shame that torments people and their families confronted by these diseases. I know my Mom, shed want her death to encourage people to be open about their struggles. Seek help, fight for government funding for mental health programs. Shame and those social stigmas are the enemies of progress to solutions and ultimately a cure. Love you Momby.

Fisher will reprise her roleas Leia Organain the eighth episode of the Star Wars franchise.

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