Trump vs. the NFL.
President Trump went to war this weekend, and it wasn’t with anyone you might expect. Trump went to war with the National Football League.
It all started on Friday at a rally in Alabama.
The very next day, Trump took to Twitter to explain:
If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL,or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
...our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU'RE FIRED. Find something else to do!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
To be fair, Trump is just saying what most of us have been thinking ever since this whole “take a knee” thing began. But with all due respect to the President, private citizens and companies can do whatever they want. We may not agree with it, but they do have that right.
This entire thing is just stupid. There’s no other way to describe it. The President telling a company and its employees what to do is stupid. NFL players disrespecting the flag and national anthem is stupid.
If the players actually wanted to help create change, why wouldn’t they use their fame and go to the local level? Engage local police departments and build relationships. That would actually do some good. But they’re not doing that. This whole thing is a sham. So why is the President of the United States getting caught up in it?
You really can’t blame the players here. They’re just operating under the rules they’ve been given, and no one’s told them not to. The NFL could stop this if they wanted, but they don’t.
The NFL has been jokingly called the No Fun League for a reason. If they want to stop behavior that they feel is unacceptable, like overzealous touchdown celebrations, they shut it down. They could easily stop political demonstrations during their games in the same way they clamp down on everything else.
The NFL is choosing to be political. Is there anywhere we can go anymore to get away from politics?
Now we have a choice. Do we keep watching?
The Tennessee shooter intended for a high body count.
Yesterday morning, a man shot and killed a woman at a church outside Nashville, Tennessee and shot six other people. Thankfully, they are alive.
The suspect is 25-year-old Emanuel Kidega Samson, an immigrant from Sudan who came to the U.S. in 1996. Police say he is a legal resident of the U.S.
Sunday morning, Samson drove into the parking lot of Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, left his car running and got out wearing a ski mask and armed with two handguns. He shot and killed 39-year-old Melanie Smith in the parking lot, then entered the church through a rear door.
Inside the church, Samson opened fire. He never said a word.
Robert Engle, an usher, tried to subdue Samson. Samson pistol-whipped Engle in the head, but in the struggle, Samson was apparently wounded by his own gunshot.
Engle’s father then guarded Samson while Engle ran to his car to get his own gun. Engle returned and trained his gun on Samson, keeping his foot on him until police arrived.
The six wounded churchgoers are hospitalized in stable condition. Engle is also in the hospital being treated for his head wound and a separated shoulder.
Samson was treated and released from the hospital and has been charged with murder, with additional charges to follow. Church members were surprised to learn of Samson’s identity because he attended the church several times a few years ago.
Police are investigating a motive, including whether race was a factor.
Without all the facts, people are already choosing sides:
"It’s definitely terrorism."
"It’s definitely racially motivated."
"Children of immigrants hate America."
We must resist jumping on the red meat bandwagon. Immigration, terrorism, racial hatred --- all those factors may be at play here, or maybe none of them. As is often the case, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. Humans are complicated and evil is real.
But bandwagons won’t solve our root problem of moral decay and they won’t serve this grieving church. Let’s choose love, service, compassion and prayer for our communities and nation today. They’re the only things that will save us from ourselves.
What is happening with healthcare?
Health insurance will become unaffordable for half the country next year. That’s what this ultimately boils down to.
The Senate has until the end of the week to stop this from happening, but the Graham-Cassidy Hail Mary already looks doomed to failure.
Let’s forget the political games for a second. If nothing gets done in the next five days, what happens?
Premiums have already soared over the past couple years, but by 2018 those rates are going even higher. If you live in California, Texas, Florida or Georgia you can expect to see a more than 50 percent increase in premiums this year.
Those in Wyoming have it even harder. Your premiums are going up over 80 percent. Your southern neighbors in Colorado have it even harder, with rates hitting near 200 percent higher than last year.
It’s the same all over the country. In Virginia, a 180 percent increase. In Indiana, 117 percent. New Mexico, 84 percent. And on and on and on.
The Affordable Care Act deems health insurance unaffordable if its cost exceeds 8 percent of your family's income. With these premium increases, over half the country will be forced to pay for something, by the government, that they can’t afford.
While the political theater and games play out in Washington D.C. this week, here is what’s actually at stake: Families are about to be pushed to the brink. How is your Senator voting?