Calling it a "horrible deal," Donald Trump spoke out against the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership during the Fox Business Republican debate, saying it would cause Americans to lose their jobs and was "designed for China to come in as they always do through the back door and totally take advantage of everyone." As soon as he was finished, Sen. Rand Paul made an important clarification: China is not part of the deal.
Twitter quickly applauded Paul for his interjection:
Give @RandPaul credit: he exposed the sad fact that TheDonald knows nothing about what the TPP (that he condemned) actually is.
— Michael Medved (@MedvedSHOW) November 11, 2015
Rand Paul: Knows who is in the TPP Knows who is flying over Syria. Sounds like a goddang smartypants if you ask me.
— Justin Ling (@Justin_Ling) November 11, 2015
#RandPaul spanked the Donald.... It's worth mentioning China isn't part of TPP
— Adonia Deakin (@nixfee) November 11, 2015
After clarifying China's non-existent role in the TPP, Paul added that China doesn't like the deal because the United States will be trading with their competitors. He said he does agree with Trump in that the U.S. should "negotiate from a position of strength, and we also should negotiate using the full force and the constitutional power given to us." It's a mistake, however, to give up "power to the presidency on these trade deals" and "the power to amend." Over the last century, he said, "so much power has gravitated to the executive branch. Congress is kind of a bystander; we don't write the rules, we don't make the laws, the executive branch does. So even in trade, and I am for trade, I think we should be careful about giving so much power to the presidency."
Earlier, Trump said he would rather make "individual deals with individual countries," and believes China is the "number one abuser of this country," taking advantage through "currency manipulation." "I love trade," he said. "I am a free trader 100 percent. But we need smart people making the deals and we don't have smart people making the deals." Catherine Garcia
Scientists have uncovered evidence that humans aren't the only species that can play musical instruments. After seven years of observing 18 male palm cockatoos in Australia's Cape York Peninsula, researchers realized that male cockatoos put on drumming performances to attract females.
The scientists found that the birds "produced regular, predictable rhythms, rather than random thumps," The New York Times reported. Different males had unique styles of drumming, with some tapping "more slowly on average and others more quickly," said lead author Robert Heinsohn. "Some would start with a faster flourish before settling into their steady rhythm," Heinsohn said.
So, how does a cockatoo drum? The New York Times painted a picture:
A palm cockatoo drumming performance starts with instrument fashioning — an opportunity to show off beak strength and cleverness (the birds are incredibly intelligent). Often, as a female is watching, a male will ostentatiously break a hefty stick off a tree and trim it to about the length of a pencil.
Holding the stick, or occasionally a hard seedpod, with his left foot (parrots are typically left-footed), the male taps a beat on his tree perch. Occasionally he mixes in a whistle or other sounds from an impressive repertoire of around 20 syllables. [The New York Times]
The drumming seems to be unique to palm cockatoos in Australia's Cape York Peninsula though, suggesting "the habit is cultural," the Times wrote. "Presumably some bright spark of a male stumbled across this behavior, females found it pleasing, and it took off in the population," Heinsohn said.
Catch a glimpse of a cockatoo drumming below. Becca Stanek
The next season of Comedy Central's Broad City doesn't come out until August, but in the meantime you can catch the show's star Abbi Jacobson hosting a new podcast, A Piece of Work. Jacobson is teaming up with WYNC Studios and the Museum of Modern Art for the podcast, which will be all about contemporary art.
Jacobson, a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art and the author of two coloring books and a book of illustrations, will interview artists, museum curators, and celebrities like Questlove and RuPaul on the show. Each episode will explore different works of art through themes like minimalism, pop art, performance, and abstraction.
The 10-episode podcast premieres July 10. It will air twice a week, on Mondays and Wednesdays. Becca Stanek
Republican Sen. Susan Collins says just 'tinkering' with the GOP health-care bill won't cut it for her
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is one of the moderate Republicans whose vote could make or break the Senate GOP's health-care bill. Judging by her comments Wednesday, though, she is still far, far away from becoming a "yes" vote.
"I have fundamental concerns with the bill and it would take a pretty major overhaul," Collins told reporters, adding that just "tinkering" with the current bill would not earn her approval. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his lieutenants are trying to find changes that will bring at least 50 of the 52 Senate Republicans in line, including channeling funds to Medicaid and opioid treatment to win over moderates on the fence like Collins or Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).
It took less than 24 hours for somebody to drive their car into a controversial Ten Commandments monument that had been installed Tuesday morning at the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock. "My boss called me and told me the Ten Commandments monument had been destroyed," Arkansas Secretary of State Chris Powell told NPR. "When I got here, it was rolled over on the sidewalk and broken into multiple pieces."
The suspect, one Michael T. Reed II, 32, allegedly drove his 2016 Dodge Dart into the slab around 4:47 a.m. CT on Wednesday morning, officials say. He apparently taped the incident from inside his car and posted the video to Facebook. "It shows what looks like the Arkansas State Capitol building," NPR writes. "A man's voice says: 'Oh my goodness. Freedom!' as the car careens into the monument."
The Ten Commandments monument was approved by the Arkansas Legislature in 2015 and opposed by groups such as the ACLU, which called it unconstitutional. It briefly stood 6 feet tall and weighed 6,000 pounds.
In 2014, an Arkansas man named Michael T. Reed drove his car into a similar Ten Commandments monument at the Oklahoma Capitol. That Reed told the Secret Service he had bipolar disorder and that Satan had instructed him to destroy the monument. The Associated Press said Wednesday it could not confirm if the two Michael T. Reeds are the same man, or if people named Michael T. Reed who hail from Arkansas just have a higher-than-normal aggression level toward Ten Commandments monuments.
The Reed who smashed the monument in Arkansas, at least, will face "preliminary charges of defacing an object of public respect, a Class C felony; criminal mischief in the first degree, a Class C felony; and trespassing on the state Capitol grounds, a misdemeanor," NPR writes. Jeva Lange
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's criticism of ObamaCare on Wednesday fell flat after it was held up against the facts. In a tweet, Spicer demanded "relief" for the 28.2 million Americans who are "still waiting under ObamaCare and remain uninsured":
— Sean Spicer (@PressSec) June 28, 2017
Twitter, being Twitter, was quick to point out that this was in fact a far better rate of uninsured Americans than if Republicans' health-care plan were to become law. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that an additional 22 million people would be uninsured by 2026 under Senate Republicans' proposed plan than if ObamaCare were to remain the law of the land.
Moreover, the statistic Spicer just blasted actually marks the lowest number ever of uninsured Americans, Washington University health economist Timothy McBride pointed out. Before ObamaCare, 50 million Americans were uninsured. Becca Stanek
Fox News has hired Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) as a contributor, with the soon-to-be former congressman to start at the network on July 1. "In this role, [Chaffetz] will offer political analysis across [Fox News] and Fox Business Network's daytime and primetime programming," Fox News said in a statement.
— Ben Pershing (@benpershing) June 28, 2017
Chaffetz, the former House Oversight Committee chairman, has made his eagerness to leave D.C. abundantly clear, with his plans to join Fox rumored since May. "Let's just say that when Jason told us he was headed to Fox, no one was surprised," one senior Republican aide told The Washingtonian last spring.
"He's probably one of the most media-capable members in the House," said another, "just based on total time spent on a television camera."
Chaffetz's last day in Congress is June 30. Jeva Lange
Only 12 percent of Americans support the Republican health-care proposal, a USA Today/Suffolk University poll has found. It is the second damning poll of the day for the GOP, with a separate NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll reaching a similar conclusion, that just 17 percent of Americans backed the ObamaCare replacement known as the "Better Care Reconciliation Act."
The USA Today/Suffolk University poll also found that the majority of Americans, 53 percent, think Congress should leave ObamaCare in place, or make less significant changes to it. While most Republicans do want a full repeal of ObamaCare, a third of conservative voters don't want just anything rushed into its place. Only 26 percent of Republicans support the Senate's proposed bill, and 17 percent oppose it. Most — 52 percent — said they need to know more about it.
Republicans have pushed off a vote on the bill until after the July 4th recess. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his lieutenants are trying to find changes that will bring at least 50 of the 52 Senate Republicans in line, and are considering channeling funds to health savings accounts to win over conservative holdouts, or to Medicaid and opioid treatment to win over more moderate Republicans.