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.
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.
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.
Probably getting a new phone. iPhone or Android?— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 21, 2015
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.
The U.S. Treasury has approved the final group of opportunity zones, which offer tax incentives for investments made in low-income areas. The zones were created by the tax law signed in December.
Bill Lucia of Route Fifty has some details: “Treasury says that nearly 35 million people live in the designated zones and that census tracts in the zones have an average poverty rate of about 32 percent based on figures from 2011 to 2015, compared to a rate of 17 percent for the average U.S. census tract.”
Click here to explore the dynamic map of the zones on the U.S. Treasury website.
Axios breaks down how monthly premiums on benchmark Affordable Care Act policies have risen state by state since 2014. The average increase: $481.
A new analysis by the Urban Institute finds that if the Affordable Care Act were eliminated entirely, the number of uninsured would rise by 17.1 million — or 50 percent — in 2019. The study also found that federal spending would be reduced by almost $147 billion next year if the ACA were fully repealed.
Mick Mulvaney has been running the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau since last November, and by all accounts the South Carolina conservative is none too happy with the agency charged with protecting citizens from fraud in the financial industry. The Hill recently wrote up “five ways Mulvaney is cracking down on his own agency,” and they include dropping cases against payday lenders, dismissing three advisory boards and an effort to rebrand the operation as the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection — a move critics say is intended to deemphasize the consumer part of the agency’s mission.
Mulvaney recently scored a small victory on the last point, changing the sign in the agency’s building to the new initials. “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau does not exist,” Mulvaney told Congress in April, and now he’s proven the point, at least when it comes to the sign in his lobby (h/t to Vox and thanks to Alan Zibel of Public Citizen for the photo, via Twitter).