NPR and PBS NewsHour are out this morning with a Marist poll showing 17% approval of the Senate's healthcare plan, and 21% approval of the GOP's handling of health care.
That may partly reflect how the question was asked. But it's a disgrace when your party controls the whole federal apparatus. And it shows the foreboding feat Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell faces in trying to revive repeal-and-replace after his stunning gamble to punt the vote until after the July 4 break.
The announcement was followed by a swarm of defections — opposition was suddenly cost-free.
The lull gives more time for negotiation but, more likely, more time for opposition to metastasize and spook senators when they're home for the holiday.
Yes, as Republicans argue, senators will be spending time with conservative backers who'll remind them of their pledge. But it's also more time for the real-world effects to sink in, and for opposition to snowball as senators decide they can't stomach a career-defining vote that's freighted with so many unknowns.
As one person closely tracking the debate emailed: "It feels like McConnell is moving inevitably toward his own 'Obamacare is the law of the land' moment."
The state of play:
Be smart: President Trump has very limited leverage over Republican Senators, especially moderates. There's no threat he could make that would make some of them change their minds.McConnell has a slush fund of "room" in the deal to make individual deals with senators. But it would take a tectonic disruption to shake up this losing calculus.
David Ignatius column in WashPost, "The 'me' generation of world leaders ... What happens when the whole world becomes selfish":
"The politics of national self-interest is on steroids these days. For global leaders, it's the 'me' moment. The nearly universal slogan among countries that might once have acted with more restraint seems to be: "Go for it.' ...
"Nobody wants to seem like a chump in Trump world. When the leader of the global system proclaims that he won't be bound by foreign restraints, the spirit becomes infectious. Call the global zeitgeist what you will: The new realism. ... Middle East leaders have been notably more aggressive in asserting their own versions of national interest."
"A new cyberattack ... reached parts of Asia [today] after hitting businesses, port operators and government systems in Europe, U.S. and South America," Bloomberg reports. "U.K. media company WPP's website was knocked offline, and employees were told to turn off their computers and not use Wi-Fi."
CNN's retracted Russia story, which led to the resignation of three respected journalists, invited — and got — a full-on pile-on from the White House:
The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald points out CNN has not been alone: "What is most notable about these episodes is that they all go in the same direction: hyping and exaggerating the threat posed by the Kremlin. ... Stories that depict the Kremlin and Putin as ... grave menaces are the ones that go most viral."
Mark Zuckerberg announces: "[T]he Facebook community is now officially 2 billion people! We're making progress connecting the world, and now let's bring the world closer together."
"Cheapest Fuel Since 2005 Brings U.S. Drivers 'Christmas in July,'" by Bloomberg's Hailey Waller: "American drivers ... hit the road this Fourth of July as seasonal gas prices plunge to their lowest in 12 years. ... U.S. drivers will pay an average of $2.21 a gallon."
"Talking Trump and Tennis With Susan Rice," by Michael Tomasky in New York magazine: "Rice is sitting in her office on the American University campus ... about four and a half miles northwest of .. the White House — where, until five months ago, she worked as national-security adviser."
"Making Ivanka Trump shoes: Long hours, low pay," by AP's Erika Kinetz in Ganzhou, China:
"Fed's Yellen expects no new financial crisis in 'our lifetimes,'" by Reuters: "Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen [age 70] said ... she does not believe that there will be another financial crisis for at least as long as she lives, thanks largely to reforms of the banking system since the 2007-09 crash."
Chicago Cubs Manager Joe Maddon and some of his players will be at the White House today for a Roosevelt Room "meet and greet" that's on President Trump's public calendar as "Closed Press."
AP's Stephen Whyno quotes Maddon as saying he's going out of respect for the Ricketts family, which owns the Cubs and was one of the biggest financial backers of Trump's campaign: