A change of heart
April 1, 2020

President Trump reportedly disengaged from his plan to re-open the United States economy by April 12 in part because he was shaken by a personal connection to the novel COVID-19 coronavirus, Vanity Fair reports.

In March, Trump learned that his friend, 78-year-old real estate mogul Stan Chera, was in a coma at a New York hospital after falling ill with COVID-19. "Boy, did that hit home," prominent New York Trump donor Bill White told Vanity Fair. "Stan is like one of his best friends."

That wasn't the only reason for the change of heart, however. Trump's re-election campaign was also concerned by their polling numbers in red states, which reportedly "sucked." A former White House official said the campaign "panicked" after realizing they couldn't win states "getting blown to pieces" by the virus. The president himself reportedly said the campaign "doesn't matter anymore" because "what I do now will determine if I get re-elected." Read more at Vanity Fair. Tim O'Donnell

July 5, 2018

Only 287 of Argentina's 44 million people became organ donors this year. That is, until a bill well on its way to becoming a law makes every citizen a donor.

Argentina's lower house of Congress voted unanimously Wednesday to make everyone over 18 organ donors unless they opt out, Bloomberg reports. The bill had already passed the upper house unanimously and will now head to Argentina's president.

The presumed donor law is also known as the "Justina Law," named for a 12-year-old who died waiting for a heart transplant, per Argentina Reports. It's a lot like laws in France and the Netherlands that automatically place citizens on donor lists, but passed with a lot more support than the Dutch law.

Argentina currently has 7,727 citizens waiting for organ donations, Bloomberg says. The country previously tried to encourage donor registration and combat the shortage with this tear-jerking PSA about an old man and his dog.

Why that didn't motivate every Argentine to sign up immediately is a mystery. Kathryn Krawczyk

April 26, 2017

The House Freedom Caucus announced Wednesday that it is onboard with the latest version of the GOP's American Health Care Act. The convincing factor for the far-right Republican faction, which opposed President Trump's first pass at repealing and replacing ObamaCare, was a new amendment negotiated by centrist Tuesday Group co-chairman Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.).

The MacArthur Amendment enables states to waive the requirements to cover ObamaCare's essential health benefits and to not charge higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions. The amendment was intended as an olive branch of sorts to the Freedom Caucus, which was dissatisfied with what it saw as a moderate first stab at health-care reform.

Freedom Caucus members argued the first iteration of the bill, which they deemed "ObamaCare lite," didn't go far enough to undo former President Barack Obama's signature health-care bill. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) pulled the GOP's bill when it became clear it did not have enough Republican votes to pass. Becca Stanek

November 11, 2015

Donald Trump apparently got all of his Ben Carson digs out of his system before Tuesday night's Republican debate. While in the days leading up to the debate Trump slammed the retired neurosurgeon on everything from his tales about his violent past to his theory on pyramids actually being grain silos, the real estate mogul didn't have much bad to say about Carson during the event itself.

In fact, Trump went so easy on Carson that MSNBC's Morning Joe asked him why on Wednesday morning. Trump's explanation: "I don't want to be critical, I like him. Ben and I have gotten along well over the period of time. I've become friends with a lot of the people that are up there." And when host Joe Scarborough asked Trump whether he thought Carson was "qualified to be president," Trump's only comment was "that's not for me to say."

Just last week, Trump was firing off tweets like these about Carson:

Talk about a change of heart. Watch Trump's full comments on Carson below. Becca Stanek

August 24, 2015

After months of trying to get Donald Trump to tone down his fiery rhetoric and stop threatening a third-party run, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus seems to be changing his tune on the Republican Party's most outspoken 2016 candidate, BuzzFeed reports. In an interview this weekend with WISN's Upfront, Priebus said that Trump has certainly "tapped into" a certain voter group that is dissatisfied with Washington and that Trump has increased interest in the presidential primary.

"I think it is a positive for our party. When you have 30 million people watching, not to mention that fact that we have 16 other incredible candidates out there I think we are showing America that we are the young, diverse party, offering a whole slew of options for people and that's a good thing," he said. Asserting that likability is "the number one thing on the ballot in a presidential election," he said Trump's ability to channel "your own concerns and frustrations" will help the GOP in a big way.

"He's always been good to our party," Priebus said in another weekend interview on the radio show Cats Roundtable. "He's always been good to me personally and as chairman of the party he's been generous to us. He's a Republican running for president and we're built to support whoever the nominee should be." Becca Stanek

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