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The Daily Countable: Healthcare Politics and... Football?

by Countable | 9.29.17

Good Monday morning, from all of Team Countable, and from me, Managing Editor Andrea Seabrook.

First things first: The House and Senate are back in session today, and you should know what they're doing! Check out our fabulous, weekly feature, This Week in Congress meticulously compiled by Countable's own Eric Revell. You can find today's schedule below, under the heading Your Gov, at a Glance.

Only in America

It is one of the things I love most about this crazy place we call home: we mix our cultures and our philosophies and our thoughts and our beliefs right in a big open pot full of politics. Don't forget what happened this past weekend: we'll be talking about it for decades to come.

A couple days ago, I would've sworn to you that I, Andrea Seabrook, would never, ever write about football. Like, ever. It's not that I don't like it, or have some grudge against the game. I just don't get it. My exposure to football generally consists of news stories about concussions, and Congressmen using metaphors like, "It's the 4th down and we've gotta carry the ball down the field." (As my 11-year-old daughter put it during carpool this morning, "we watch real games, not fake ones.") So it was pretty astonishing to find myself asking these three questions this weekend:

  1. 1. Will the President of the United States keep tweeting about this?
  2. Have I underestimated the depth of thought of football players and coaches?
  3. Is there really a player named "Snacks"?!

After watching, searching and talking about this all weekend, here are the answers I've come up with:

  1. Oh yes. Yes and more yes.
  2. Absolutely. Embarrassingly so.
  3. Yes! And get this: Snacks Harrison weighs close to 350 pounds!

As of this morning, President Trump has tweeted about the issue of sports and the national anthem 16 times. Here are the latest:

And yet, during Sunday football, more players than ever before performed some kind of demonstration during the national anthem. Even more notable, every single team that played yesterday — and that's most of the NFL — had players protesting, and many with broad shows of solidarity among teammates. Not everyone was on board, of course. For example, Alejandro Villanueva, an offensive tackle with the Pittsburgh Steelers and a former Army Ranger, stood just off the field with his hand over his heart, while the rest of his team stayed in the locker room. After the day's games, of course, many, many players had a lot to say.

Some top comments:

"Me and my teammates, we felt like President Trump's speech was an assault on our most cherished right — freedom of speech. So, collectively we felt like we had to do something before this game. ... I have a huge respect for the military and for the protective services... it wasn't any disrespect to them, it was for my brothers that have been attacked for things that they do during the game and I felt like I had to join them on this one." —Von Miller, Denver Broncos linebacker


"It's not about the flag. We want to be here. This is our country. We were born here. We were bred here. No one is spitting on the flag. We know you gave your life for it. Our gratitude to your service is deeply endeared...[But] when a president acts like that, that's not someone who stands for dignity, pride, respect, honor. Where's the honor. Where's the dignity in that? Words are powerful man. They can unite you or they can divide you. What he said united us." — Josh Norman, Washington Redskins cornerback


"Do I think that there's inequality in this country? Yes I do. Do I think that there's racism? Yes I do. I think that there's inequality for women... for people of color, for minorities, for immigrants. But as it pertains to the national anthem, I will always feel that if you are an American that the national anthem is the opportunity for us all to stand up together, to be unified and to show respect for our country." — Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints quarterback


"It just amazes me, with everything else that's going on in this world, especially involving the U.S. — that's what you're concerned about, my man? You're the leader of the free world — and this's what you're talking about?...So as a man, as a father, as an African-American man, as somebody in the NFL that's one of those sons-of-bitches — yeah, I take it personally. But...it's bigger than me. It's bigger than me. I gotta daughter and, she's gonna have to live in this world. And, uh [chokes up], I'm gonna do whatever I gotta do to make sure she can look at her dad and say, 'hey, you did something, you tried to make a change.'" —Michael Thomas, Miami Dolphins safety (watch video below)

In Non-Football News...

Healthcare

The Senate holds its one and only hearing today on the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill. Here's how to catch up with the debate:

New Travel Ban

  • Makes travel restrictions permanent (previous ban was for 90 days)
  • Adds North Korea, Chad and some Venezuelans to the list of restricted countries
  • Check out our summary on Countable

Your Gov at a Glance 👀

The White House: Trump in DC

  • Press Secretary Sarah Sanders gives on-camera press briefing at 2pm EDT
  • President Trump lunches with Vice President Pence
  • Makes announcement about the "Administration’s commitment to equipping the American workforce for jobs of the future."
  • Dines with grassroots leaders

The House of Representatives: IN SESSION

The Senate: IN SESSION

As I said earlier, Countable friends, put a pin in this moment in time. America's great debate is spreading way beyond the boundaries of politerati and junkies. Come tell us what you think! See you tomorrow.

— Andrea Seabrook, Managing Editor

P.S. I think I just made up the word 'politerati.'

Talk to Andrea directly on Twitter, @RadioBabe. Hit the Take Action button to tell your Reps what you think.

(Photo Credit: ABC News)

Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(144)
  • Kathleen
    09/25/2017
    ···

    I think the NFL did a great job of getting the point across to the president that no matter what you say and try to divide the country we will not be swayed. The only person that needs a change in attitude is him. So happy to see all the solidarity yesterday. Keep it up

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  • SaraMarie37
    09/25/2017
    ···

    from a vet "Veterans fought for the flag, the flag represents the country, the country is based on the constitution, the constitutional right to 1st amendment is being practiced, therefore all veterans are being honored whether you kneel or stand during the anthem. " Also congress and the President don't have a right to tell a private entity to fire anyone. It's called Wrongfully influencing a private entity's employment decisions by a member of congress or an officer or employee of legislative or executive branch.

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  • Ticktock
    09/25/2017
    ···

    The American Flag and the National Anthem are symbols that represent the summation of our Preamble, Constitution, Amendments and the regard for which we hold our people and country. Trump started his campaign by disparaging segments of our society, insulting our hero’s such as Senator McCain, our Gold Star families and showing blatant love for our nations enemy, Putin. Once elected President he has dismantled all of the institutions that protect our national heritage and people. He appointed people to his Cabinet that have as much in common with the average citizens as Russia’s Oligarchs have with the Russian citizens that they fleece. Trump wants to talk to only the zombies that idolize him not to those citizens who see the hypocrisy in his attempt at manipulating the public. Trump has no interest in serving this country just himself and what he is doing is just another diversion to keep people from seeing the real joker behind the mask. Go NFL.

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  • David
    09/25/2017
    ···

    When it comes entertainment, I choose with my time and money. I have zero interest in waisting my time and money watching privileged wealthy athletes (entertainers) whine and cry about me and the rest of my fellow Americans. With our time and money, we have built them into the privileged wealthy pop culture figures that they are. My time and money is going elsewhere, to more worthwhile and enjoyable pastimes.

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  • R
    09/25/2017
    ···

    So is the president going to call Jehovah's Witnesses sons of bitches too? They don't stand or say the pledge or anthem. It's now happened on multiple occasions that 45 has called for the firing of black people because they speak truth against his lies. Wake the fuck up America! Your president and his Republican supporters are racist, bigoted, ignorant elitists who think they are better than everyone because they have white skin. This is nothing new-same racist bullshit, different era. Also white people, we need to shut up and listen when the subject of race comes up. You can't say racism does not exist if your fellow Americans of color say it does-in what way does our white skin get us oppressed and attacked and killed? Shut up and listen for once, you'll actually learn something.

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  • Chris
    09/25/2017
    ···

    They are peacefully protesting against racial inequality. They knew they would get hate for it, and still did it. Also if people are mad about this, and not the over disrespect of the flag, You’re missing the point. The flag is used as underwear, to promote a sale and many other ways that isn’t very respect full. The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose, nor embroidered on cushions or handkerchiefs, printed on paper napkins or boxes, nor used as any portion of a costume. You can’t be picky about your outrage.

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  • Jj
    09/25/2017
    ···

    Dear Arizona representatives, it is time to seriously ask your selves if Donald Trump is presidential enough to be in the White House? What else are we waiting for, a war with nuclear weapons? I demand a recall of the election or impeachment proceedings Now!

    Like (34)
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  • Sherri
    09/25/2017
    ···

    Every single day Trump attacks the American people. Everything he does, everything he says, is aimed at dividing us. Putin put him in this position to destroy America, and he's doing a good job of it. Congress is doing nothing to stop him. The GOP is too obsessed with repealing Obamacare, and making our healthcare situation worse in the process, to realize that Trump is going to take down the entire country, and they'll be going down with the rest of us. CONGRESS, DO YOUR DAMN JOB!! IMPEACH THE MADMAN AT THE HELM. Oh, and, give us universal healthcare!!!

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  • Jesse
    09/25/2017
    ···

    take a stand against haters in america protect is a right thing to do i stand with all professional athletes who protect or keel the flag of the united states

    Like (22)
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  • Ryan
    09/25/2017
    ···

    Our President's comments regarding the protests by NFL players are inexcusable. He drapes himself in false patriotism and it's disgusting. Congress should vote to censure this POTUS over these and other comments he has made which disrespect minorities, women and immigrants.

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  • Colleen
    09/25/2017
    ···

    These athletes are not disrespecting our flag or or national anthem. While I would not choose to protest in this manner, I do defend their right to do so. They are trying to bring to light injustice, and now the idiocy of the liar in chief.

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  • Vanessa
    09/25/2017
    ···

    Living under this great flag gives us the right to speak our minds! No one should stop fighting against social injustice, (even if a reality star is desperate to divert the front page story from a Russian investigation ....)

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  • Gail
    09/25/2017
    ···

    Donald Trump has dragged our FLAG through the mud and stomped on it every single day since he took office by supporting White Nationalists, the KKK and Neo-Nazis!! He has tried to tear our Constitution to shreds by wanting to suppress free speech, voting rights and violating the emoluments clause. And again, he is trying to divide this country and the world with his foul tweets and gruesome campaign speeches! That seems to be the only thing his good at and he should be ashamed!!

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  • Lisa
    09/25/2017
    ···

    People talk about respecting the flag and the anthem. What about respecting your fellow man and not shoot them down unarmed in the street like a dog?

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  • Elizabeth
    09/25/2017
    ···

    I support the right of every citizen to chose not to stand for the National anthem. Please protect our first amendment rights!

    Like (14)
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  • Karen
    09/25/2017
    ···

    Stand firm against Graham Cassidy!

    Like (12)
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  • Abbe
    09/25/2017
    ···

    No no no to Graham Cassidy bill

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  • GatewayJohn
    09/25/2017
    ···

    Please consider. It would be disrespectful to sit and chat during the National Anthem. Kneeling (and even raising a fist) is a sign of dignified respect as well as disappointment in the way American ideals are being disgraced by the Trump Administration Fire the SOB!! Get him out of the White House!

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  • Connie
    09/25/2017
    ···

    The NFL vs Trump is such a diversion from what matters! Free speech is EVERYONE'S right. Besides, tell me if you think everyone stands and sings the anthem all the time? Or is it a good time to check your phone, go to the concession stands or the bathroom?

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  • Leslie
    09/25/2017
    ···

    All of the NFL teams protesting the awful words of our president pleased me to no end. He has NO RIGHT to tell people they are being disrespectful of our country, veterans or the flag. He has been the worst example of disrespect. HOW DARE HE!

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