Watch Lindsey Graham Destroy His Phone, Get a Bit of Revenge on Donald Trump

Watch Lindsey Graham Destroy His Phone, Get a Bit of Revenge on Donald Trump

REUTERS/Jason Reed
By Yuval Rosenberg

What do you do when Donald Trump gives out your cellphone number in a televised campaign rally? South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Trump rival for the GOP presidential nomination, made the most of The Donald’s rude move by releasing a video in which he demolishes his phone (more than one, actually) by doing everything short of blowing it up.

Related: 7 Revelations from Donald Trump’s Financial Disclosure​

The YouTube video, posted by IJ Review and titled “How to Destroy Your Phone With Sen. Lindsey Graham,” shows the senator smashing a Samsung flip phone in various ways — a golf club, a wooden sword, a cinder block — and also chopping it with a meat cleaver, putting it in a toaster oven with pizza bagels, dropping it in a blender with some Red Bull, lighting it on fire and dropping it from a rooftop.

“Or if all else fails, you can always give your number to The Donald,” Graham says toward the end of the 1:04 clip.

Related: The 2016 Presidential Election Is Already a Dumpster Fire​

Graham isn’t exactly a technophile, so maybe he didn’t know he didn’t need to destroy his phone to get a new number (and there are much better ways to get rid of an old phone). More likely, though, the senator found a clever way to take advantage of the attention Trump provided for him and his campaign while also finally upgrading from his flip phone to a smartphone.

Graham has struggled to make headway in a crowded Republican presidential field, drawing the support of less than 1 percent of registered GOP voters in recent polls. That would leave him off the stage in the Aug. 6 Fox News debate, which is limited to 10 of the 16 candidates. Trump, by the way, is almost assured of a spot. So the senator and his campaign need all the attention they can get — and the new video sure is getting attention. Since it was published to YouTube yesterday, it’s already been viewed more than 1 million times.

Clarifying the Drop in Obamacare Premiums

An insurance store advertises Obamacare in San Ysidro, California
© Mike Blake / Reuters
By The Fiscal Times Staff

We told you Thursday about the Trump administration’s announcement that average premiums for benchmark Obamacare plans will fall 1.5 percent next year, but analyst Charles Gaba says the story is a bit more complicated. According to Gaba’s calculations, average premiums for all individual health plans will rise next year by 3.1 percent.

The difference between the two figures is produced by two very different datasets. The Trump administration included only the second-lowest-cost Silver plans in 39 states in its analysis, while Gaba examined all individual plans sold in all 50 states.

Number of the Day: $132,900

istockphoto
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The cap on Social Security payroll taxes will rise to $132,900 next year, an increase of 3.5 percent. (Earnings up to that level are subject to the Social Security tax.) The increase will affect about 11.6 million workers, Politico reports. Beneficiaries are also getting a boost, with a 2.8 percent cost-of-living increase coming in 2019.

Photo of the Day: Kanye West at the White House

President Trump speaks during a meeting with rapper Kanye West in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington
KEVIN LAMARQUE/Reuters
By Yuval Rosenberg

This is 2018: Kanye West visited President Trump at the White House Thursday and made a rambling 10-minute statement that aired on TV news networks. West’s lunch with the president was supposed to focus on clemency, crime in his hometown of Chicago and economic investment in urban areas, but his Oval Office rant veered into the bizarre. And since this is the world we live in, we’ll also point out that West apparently became “the first person to ever publicly say 'mother-f***er' in the Oval Office.”

Trump called Kanye’s monologue “pretty impressive.”

“That was bonkers,” MSNBC’s Ali Velshi said afterward.

Again, this is 2018.

Chart of the Day: GDP Growth Before and After the Tax Bill

Paul Ryan with tax return postcard
By The Fiscal Times Staff

President Trump and the rest of the GOP are celebrating the recent burst in economic growth in the wake of the tax cuts, with the president claiming that it’s unprecedented and defies what the experts were predicting just a year ago. But Rex Nutting of MarketWatch points out that elevated growth rates over a few quarters have been seen plenty of times in recent years, and the extra growth generated by the Republican tax cuts was predicted by most economists, including those at the Congressional Budget Office, whose revised projections are shown below.