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Iowa’s Joni Ernst: Obamacare is bad because people should rely on churches for help

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An Iowa Republican candidate for U.S. Senate perhaps revealed more than she meant to about why conservatives are still so resistant to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), President Barack Obama’s health care initiative, also known as “Obamacare.”

In audio obtained by Iowa Public Radio, Senate hopeful Joni Ernst told a group of reporters that the reason Republicans oppose Obamacare is because the job of caring for the poor is simply not the purview of government. The poor, she said, should rely on churches and charitable organizations for help.

“We’re looking at Obamacare right now,” Ernst said. “Once we start with those benefits in January, how are we going to get people off of those? It’s exponentially harder to remove people once they’ve already been on those programs.”

“We have lost a reliance on not only our own families, but so much of what our churches and private organizations used to do,” she went on. “They used to have wonderful food pantries. They used to provide clothing for those that really needed it, but we have gotten away from that. Now we’re at a point where the government will just give away anything. We have to stop that.”

Jonathan Chait at New York magazine wrote, “That’s the fundamental belief that motivates most, if not all, the conservative opposition: Health care should be a privilege rather than a right. If you can’t afford health insurance on your own, that is not the government’s problem.”

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Ernst is running to fill the seat being vacated by outgoing Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, who announced earlier this year that he is not seeking re-election.


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BUSTED: CNN’s panel of women defending Trump’s racism were literally the ‘Trumpettes’

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CNN aired a panel that featured “Republican women” defending President Trump’s racist tweets, but failed to mention that they were actually part of a pro-Trump group whose members the network had interviewed in the past.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

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Ben Carson is Donald Trump’s faulty human shield against accusations of racism

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Ben Carson is back in the news — after another long absence — because Donald Trump has once again been accused of racism.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

The secretary of Housing and Urban Development is the only African-American member of the president’s Cabinet, and is often trotted out to clean up after Trump makes a mess too obviously problematic for the media to ignore. While Trump has tried to spin his recent racist attacks on four progressive freshman congresswomen as a strategic maneuver meant to manipulate Democratic infighting to his advantage, Carson's re-emergence from his stupor should be a clear indication that the president’s team recognizes the damage that can be caused by his unforced errors.

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An illegal trend could be emerging after Trump let Kellyanne Conway off the hook for breaking federal law

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Federal workplaces are supposed to be free of politics, but a Trump administration appointee used a government forum Wednesday to express support for the president’s reelection.

At a conference on religious freedom hosted by the State Department, an official told the crowd of several hundred people that “hopefully he will be reelected,” referring to President Donald Trump.

It’s illegal for federal employees to engage in political activities while they are on the job.

“It’s a violation of the Hatch Act for a federal official, to say in her official capacity, to hope that the president will be reelected,” said Kathleen Clark, an expert on legal ethics at the Washington University in St. Louis.

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