Beyond the Bricks Week of 10/23
by Taylor Derrisaw | published Oct. 25th, 2017
Trump’s Mixed Signals Could End Bipartisan Healthcare Deal
Trump’s effort to replace Obamacare with a bipartisan deal appears to be shaky as his administration keeps sending mixed signals about his goals for the legislation. Trump originally asked Republican leaders to work with Democrats on the new legislation but has now backtracked and signaled his opposition.
On Oct. 18, Trump tweeted that he could “never support bailing out insurance co’s who have made a fortune with O’care.” At the time, it was unclear as to whether Trump supported reaching a bipartisan deal.
The current plan allows states to merge their individual markets together, which would allow consumers to purchase more affordable limited coverage plans. It would also facilitate subsidies to healthcare insurers which the Republican leadership hopes will lead to lower premiums in the next two years.
Trump uses Kelly’s Son’s Death as a Talking Point
After a 12-member U.S. Military patrol was ambushed in Niger, leaving four Americans dead, Trump defended his handling of the deaths by claiming that Obama never contacted the families of gold star families.
Gold star families are families that have lost a member in combat. Although it isn’t routine to call the families of service members who have been killed, Trump believes it's his policy to contact each gold star family when it’s appropriate.
To further illustrate his point, Trump claims that Obama never called Trump’s Chief of Staff, Former Marine Corps General John Kelly, when he lost his son in Afghanistan in 2010. Obama had, in fact, invited the Kellys to a breakfast in 2011 dedicated to gold star families.
Chief of Staff John Kelly rarely discusses the death of his son, but understands his duty to keep the nation safe and is well aware of the costs of doing so.
Many were quick to denounce Trump. Eric Holder in particular wrote on Twitter: “Stop the damn lying—you’re the president. I went to Dover [Air Force Base] with 44 and saw him comfort the families of both the military and DEA.”
The question of whether or not a president should call gold star families is debated heavily. Often times it's logistically impractical, especially with the heavy number of combat deaths in the early 2010s. It would also be difficult to distinguish why a certain family would receive a call and another would not.
Major Donald Holleder Remembered After 50 Years
Holleder is remembered for his willingness to serve and his desire to make a difference. He was an excellent player and was posthumously inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1985. Holleder Memorial stadium bore his name until its demolition in 1985.
As Major in the First Infantry Division, Holleder personally led a rescue mission during the Battle of Ong Thanh but was killed by sniper fire on Oct. 17, 1967. He is now buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Holleder Hall at the Aquinas Institute bares his name but also serves as a reminder to his service and the legacy he left behind. Holleder believed in serving others and here that message lives on.