Oppose Graham-Cassidy health bill
As someone living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, I’m writing to urge Sen. Susan Collins to oppose the Graham-Cassidy health care bill. I am very thankful for the senator’s votes earlier this summer to protect patients from previous efforts to rollback patient protections in the Affordable Care Act and believe her previous approach to seek bipartisan improvements through regular congressional process is the way to go.
The nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund estimates that 32 million Americans will lose their health insurance if the Graham-Cassidy bill becomes law. That will be devastating for people in Maine with lung diseases like asthma, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. If the bill were to become law, it also would change how Medicaid as we know it is funded, which is a vital safety net for Mainers like me, and Maine would lose close to a billion in federal Medicaid funding over the next decade.
That’s why it’s so important that Collins oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill and instead stand with Mainers who need quality and affordable health care.
NFL protests repugnant
The minute you put on a company uniform, be it McDonald’s, Marden’s, the U.S. Army or the New England Patriots, you are on the job and your actions reflect on your employer. There is no “free speech” at work. Failing to conform to the boss’s rules can, and should, get you fired.
Here is some advice for all NFL owners and, in particular, Patriots CEO Robert Kraft: Your employees can do what they want on their own time but once they put on the Patriots jersey, they should behave in a manner that reflects well on your company and honors our country. The protocol for the national anthem is to remove your hat, stand at attention and face the flag. To do otherwise is disrespectful and repugnant.
It is very strange and very sad that the national anthem, one thing that should bring us all together, is now divisive.
Gutting environmental protections hurts Maine
Allowing the Trump administration to cut Environmental Protection Agency funding and weaken environmental regulations would be horrible for all Americans, but it would be even more damning to a state like ours, where so much of life is built on our natural resources.
Eliminating the clean water rule would result in pollution to the lakes that draw millions of visitors to Maine every year — we cannot afford to risk the $9 billion tourism brings to our economy annually. It would also damage our $533 million lobster fishing industry. Without clean, safe water, Maine could risk losing its national claim to fame; we could find ourselves without eatable lobsters.
The Trump administration has even threatened to eliminate funding for the Maine Healthy Beach Program, which tells residents when swimming off Maine’s beaches might constitute a health risk. If visitors do not know whether they can safely swim in Maine, they will stop coming, and Maine business owners and workers will lose out.
Maine’s economy and Mainers’ daily lives are built on the bedrock of our environment. If the Trump administration scales back environmental protections, our state will be one of the first to feel the effects.
Here’s your nickname, Donald
We all know that President Donald Trump has a fondness for nicknames. Sen. Marco Rubio is “Little Marco” and Sen. Ted Cruz is “Lyin’ Ted.” He calls Secretary Hillary Clinton “Crooked Hillary,” and the leader of North Korea is now “Rocket Man.” Maybe it’s time to update The Donald’s. I think “Tweety Bird” sounds about right.