After seven years attempting to repeal it; after campaigning against it in four election cycles from 2010 to 2016; after the incumbent president promised repeatedly to replace it on “Day one” of his administration; and despite owning the presidency and majorities in the US House and Senate, Republicans failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act so aptly nicknamed ObamaCare. Obama-care remains the law of the land.It remains the law of the land because in the hasty attempt to repeal and replace this law signed by President Barack Obama in 2010, Republicans drafted a replacement bill that was blatantly cruel. It was a bill this newspaper predicted would fail because of its inhumane cruelty. It was a bill that increased the cost of insurance to seniors who need health insurance most. It would have removed insurance to millions of low-income Americans, who can hardly afford to feed their families much more healthcare. It would have removed access to healthcare for pregnant mothers, the mentally ill, among other benefits.The Republican bill was created in arrogance. It’s authors did so in relative secret, without the knowledge of some of their own members. The arrogance of Republican leaders convinced them the bill would be passed in the US House, without the support of Democrats just seventeen days after it was released, and subsequently by the Senate in another two weeks. This arrogance extended to the White House where President Trump who prides himself as the negotiator-in-chief, and master-deal-closer, was confident he could use his influence to get this bill approved in record time.The bill failed because Americans were not ready to have this bill pushed down their throat like bad medicine. Americans protested repealing and replacing Obama-care even before being aware of the Republican bill. Republicans and Democrats pressured their congressional representatives, and protested at rallies across the country not to take away something they never had prior to 2010 – affordable healthcare. It’s evident there are Republican congressional representatives who heeded these protests.Although the failed attempt to repeal and replace ObamaCare is a sweet victory for proponents of that law, the victory is far from complete. A battle has been won but the war still rages.Speaking from the White House moments after the Republican’s healthcare bill was pulled, Trump predicted “Obamacare will explode.” Americans must now remain vigilant to ensure clandestine moves are not taken to influence the “explosion” of Obamacare.Admittedly, there are aspects of Obamacare that needs improving. Most social programs take years to perfect as they adjust to changing characteristics of the society. The Social Security law continues to be tweaked some 82-years after it was signed. With Obamacare being the healthcare law of the land, like Social Security, there’s need to keep on fixing the flaws in the law.Despite the flaws in Obamacare, it does meet a national demand for affordable healthcare. It should be the responsibility of Republicans, instead of trying to repeal Obamacare, to work in a bi-partisan manner with Democrats to improve this law of the land.The Republican healthcare bill also failed because of the factions among Republicans. Since neither the Republican nor Democratic Parties are monolithic, it’s often difficult for the factions within the parties to reach consensus and pass critical legislation. However, it’s possible for a faction within one party with similarities to a faction within the other to reach agreement through skillful bi-partisan maneuvering. For example, moderate Republicans and moderate Democrats may be more likely to reach bi-partisan agreement, than different factions within each party.In order to fix the flaws in Obamacare and pass pending legislation like the federal budget and immigration reform, bi-partisan compromise will be needed. Failure to pass immigration reform under Obama, and replace Obama-care, proved it’s difficult to succeed without bi-partisan compromise. This should be an important lesson to Congressional leaders and President Trump.
The first set was over quickly as Hantuchova expertly attacked her opponent’s serve and did not give Errani any opportunity to play her game.Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia holds the trophy after winning her final match over Sara Errani of Italy in the PTT Pattaya Open tennis tournament in Pattaya, Sunday, Feb. 13. (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong)The Italian finally got on the scoreboard in the opening game of the 2nd set, however any hopes she had of a comeback were quickly snuffed out by Hantuchova, who held serve and then broke her opponent to take a 2–1 lead. Errani did win one more game to make it 5–2, but once again Hantuchova stepped up her game and served out to take the match and the Pattaya title on her first visit to the beachside venue.“It was a great match,” the 32nd-ranked Hantuchova said. “I didn’t lose a set five matches in a row which is good news. It shows that I’m really focused and physically and mentally strong in this kind of condition.“Today I knew it was going to be tough,” continued the new champion. “But I stayed focused and played point by point, not giving anything away, trying to get the job done. I was really hungry for another title.”Sara Errani returned to take part in the doubles final with her friend and compatriot Roberta Vinci, their opponents were Zheng Jie and Sun Shengnan from China. It was the Chinese pair who won the opening set of the match by 6–3. In the 2nd set the match went with serve until the eighth game when the Italian pair broke their opponents to lead 5–3 and duly served out the set. The super tie-break was won by Vinci and Errani 10–5 and was some consolation for the Italian’s loss in the singles final. (Source Pentangle Promotions)The doubles champions and runners-up pose with their trophies.Daniela Hantuchova, right, poses with Dusit Thani Pattaya General Manager Chatchawal Supachayanont following her straight sets win over Sara Errani of Italy.Hantuchova serves to Errani during the first set.Errani scrambles to chase down a cross court forehand from Hantuchova. Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia secured her first WTA title since 2007, cruising to a convincing 6–0, 6–2 victory over Sara Errani of Italy in just one hour and 16 minutes on Sunday afternoon at the Dusit Thani Pattaya. She did it on the back of a power game which had her opponent running from side to side of the court and despite some deft touches from Errani, she was unable to gain a foothold into the match.
TINY STEELER FANS–Newborns at Magee-Women’s Hospital of UPMC with their Steelers gear. (Photo by J.L. Martello)Magee-Women’s Hospital of UPMC is showing their Steeler pride during the playoffs by hosting a nursery pep rally featuring Pittsburgh’s newest members of Steeler Nation before every game. The newborns will be swaddled in Terrible Towels and sport hand-knitted black and gold caps made by Magee’s Volunteer Knitters. The first rally was held Jan. 8, the day before the Steelers won against the Bengals to go on and play against the Broncos.STEELER FAMILY–New mother Glennice Thomas holds her 2-day-old Steelers fan, Djibril Diallo, who is wrapped up in the terrible towel and rooting the team on in their playoff bid in the 2015-2016 season. She is supported by her sister, Mattie Thomas.(Photo by J.L. Martello)Pictured are participants of the first baby rally, Glennice Thomas and her son, Djibril Diallo, just two days after she gave birth.Glennice, who thought what the hospital is doing is really nice since all the babies were born in Pittsburgh, said it does not matter to her what Diallo does when he grows up as long as he is happy and he is good at whatever he does.Mattie Thomas, Glennice’s sister, a diehard devoted Steelers fan, said, “Djibril makes me believe even more that we are going to win.”BABY SUPPORT—Then two-day-old Djibril Diallo supporting the Steelers in their playoff run. (Photo by J.L. Martello)
They were dangerous on almost every shift. While Henrik was held pointless (for the fourth straight game), the line generated a ton of chances and when they play like this, it’s only a matter of time before the puck starts going in the net with more frequency.While it might appear the twins need some rest, they will unfortunately not get as much as the rest of the team as they are both headed to this weekend’s All-Star game in Ottawa. I won’t go into a big diatribe about the All-Star game, but as a Canuck fan, I’d much rather that the players weren’t obligated to attend this useless excuse for a hockey game. CANUCKS’ TOP DEFENSIVE PAIRING STELLARThere’s only one word to describe the play of the Canucks’ top defensive pair of Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Bieksa tonight – spectacular. While it wasn’t the flashiest game you’ll see NHL players put on the ice, these two were rock solid all night long, had great speed and quickness, and were a dominant force throughout the game. Both players wound up plus-2, and Hamhuis got a key assist on the game’s first goal. This is an important development for the Canucks, as the pair had been struggling somewhat in recent games.Every time it seemed like the talented young Oiler forwards were about to generate something, Hamhuis and Bieksa just seemed to make a good, smart play. Whether it was outracing their opponent to the puck, putting their stick in the right passing lane, or getting the right angle on the puck carrier coming over the blue line, it was just perfect. While the game didn’t feature much hitting, they played a good physical game in their own zone and were often had good body position on the Oilers. They also excelled at moving the puck tonight, clearing the zone with relative impunity and getting the forwards the puck, who were generally able to do something with it tonight (case in point was the Canucks’ second goal, the rush started on a stellar outlet pass from Hamhuis to Kesler).When these guys are on their game, the Canucks are difficult to beat. Hopefully we’ll see this kind of effort on more consistent basis moving forward. DAVID BOOTH CONTINUES TO IMPRESSTonight was Booth’s fourth game since returning from his knee injury, and he put another great effort on the ice. Since his return, the second line has been great, and again tonight they caused a lot of problems for the Oilers. His speed is very good and while he’s not an excessively physical player, his size matches up well with other players and he’s able to use his body position to shield the puck and get it to his linemates in the offensive zone.At first blush, his goal tonight was a dirty, goal-mouth scramble type of goal. However, I think it was much more than that – he was able to outmuscle Hall near the Oiler net (as he should be able to do), but he actually showed a lot of skill as he used his skate to touch the puck back to his stick before sweeping it in the net, all while being knocked to the ice by Hall. Make no mistake, this was a very skilled goal scored by a skilled player. Seeing him and Kesler forming this kind of chemistry in limited time makes me excited to see what they will be able to do with another 20 games together under their belts. PARTING SHOTSQuick Comments: This game’s scoreline was much closer than it should have been and was not indicative of the run of the play. The Canucks were the better team for most of the night, certain sections of the second period notwithstanding, and they generated far more quality scoring chances. The four goalposts helped Edmonton’s cause, but that said, hockey can just be like that. Next time, those pucks will hopefully go in. On the flip side, I have never seen Jordan Eberle this invisible in any game, ever. He was on a line with Sam Gagner (who was noticeable and played well, strangely enough). The Oilers’ line of Horcoff-Hall-Hemsky had a very good night. I haven’t seen Hemsky play this well in ages – he was back to his old self, it seemed, the puck glued to his stick and him able to make some slick passes. That said – Hall was by far Edmonton’s best player. All over the ice, fast, skilled, good size – he’s going to be a beast in the NHL for many years. While they didn’t appear on the scoresheet, the third line had a strong outing as well for Vancouver. Hodgson just seems to get better and better, and Hansen was responsible for one of the crossbars. Mason Raymond hasn’t scored much at all, lately, but was all over the ice tonight and as always played well defensively. Credit the Oilers for sticking with it – knowing the score was close, they never quit and were twice able to come back and tie the game. Luongo made a couple of very good saves in the shootout. He also made a great save in overtime on Gagner. He wasn’t called upon to make a ton of phenomenal saves tonight, but he played well at the end of the game. He could not be blamed for either Edmonton goal.Broadcast Observation of the Day: In general, I prefer the Sportsnet games to our other options. That said, I’m not the biggest fan of Shorthouse. Instead of calling the game, he often attempts to get Garrett involved in conversations about silly things like food, or jokingly makes fun of him and his NHL career. It’s all in good fun, but for the TV viewer, it’s not that funny nor interesting. I’d much rather have some proper analysis done of the game.Two nice touches tonight: in his first intermission interview, Hamhuis told the residents of Burns Lake that the team’s thoughts were with them as they deal with the devastating fire in that small community’s lifeblood, its sawmill. Hamhuis was raised in nearby Smithers. Also, GM Mike Gillis was with Dan Murphy in both intermissions, and the first segment was dedicated to the Canucks’ support of the re-launch of mental illness website, www.mindcheck.ca. The site is dedicated to awareness of mental health issues and is meant to provide resources for youth and young adults in need. The Canucks are behind this initiative primarily in memory of and tribute to Rick Rypien.Looking ahead: The Canucks will take six days off before returning next Tuesday night to play the Chicago Blackhawks. Stay tuned to www.fightingforstanley.ca for mid-season reviews of all the Canadian-based NHL teams over the All-Star break, including an analysis of the Canucks, their season to date, their prospects in the playoffs, and what their trade deadline needs, if any, are. Sami Salo returned to the lineup for the Canucks after missing the last seven game with a concussion. He wasn’t that noticeable, however, you did notice the lack of problems with the Canucks’ D as Ballard and Rome could play third-pairing minutes. The game was a no-hitter, it seemed like both teams wanted to get to the break without any physical confrontation. There were only three penalties called, all for hooking or interference. Leigh Ramsden lives in Vancouver and is an avid Canucks fan, having been a partial season ticket holder for over 10 years. He’s old enough to have witnessed all three Stanley Cup losses, as such, his prime goal is to remove those scars by seeing a Cup brought to Vancouver. Leigh is Fighting For Stanley’s (www.fightingforstanley.ca/vancouver) west coast correspondent, and will also blog after all Canuck games for The Nelson Daily.The Vancouver Canucks concluded their pre-All-Star break schedule on Tuesday night at Rogers Arena, defeating the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 by way of a shootout.The Canucks had a tremendous first period, as they came at the Oilers in waves and spent entire shifts possessing the puck in the Oilers’ zone. They were able to break through on a beautiful goal by Daniel Sedin, his line having cycled the puck in Edmonton’s goal for approximately 90 seconds. Inexplicably, the Oilers actually outshot the Canucks in the first period, but Vancouver had the lion’s share of the chances.This trend continued in the second period, but Edmonton played much better in what has been the Canucks’ worst period on a night to night basis. Shawn Horcoff scored on a tremendous feed from young Oiler Taylor Hall, after a defensive breakdown in the Canucks’ end while the bottom defensive pairing and the fourth line were on the ice. While Edmonton had a much better period, the Canucks hit a post late in the second (having hit one in the first as well) and this goal might have been the back breaker for the Oilers, who had played the previous night in Edmonton.The Canucks came out determined in the third to end the game favourably. Buoyed by strong play from the top two lines, the Canucks returning to their swashbuckling ways, trading chances with Edmonton and for the most part, getting the better of the play. The effort was rewarded on a goal by David Booth, the result of hard work in front of the net after a 3-on-2 where Oiler netminder Devan Dubnyk lost the puck to his side, next to the crease. The Canucks were unfortunate to hit the crossbar twice in the third period as well. The resilient Oilers tied the game up a second time after a Hall deflection on a late power play, sending the game into an extra session.Overtime featured end to end play, and a couple of good saves by each goaltender, but didn’t solve anything. Canuck rookie Cody Hodgson scored the winning goal in the fifth round of the shootout, to deliver the Canucks two points heading into the break.Vancouver is happy the break has now arrived. Their play in the last couple of weeks has been very up and down – they have played their best against the tougher teams (Boston, San Jose, L.A., St. Louis), but have struggled against their weaker opponents (Anaheim, Edmonton, Tampa Bay, Florida). There have been times recently that they just look tired, and the six-day break coming up for all but four of the players should be a good tonic for them both physically and mentally. Now that everyone is again healthy, the team needs to refocus and set their sights on the stretch drive into the playoffs. TWINS RETURN FROM MIA STATUSIn recent outings, the Sedins have not been their normal, dangerous selves, often relatively invisible. In addition, the Canuck power play has been struggling, due at least partially to the Sedins’ lack of production. Tonight, they appeared to be much more “Sedin-like” – they were toying with Edmonton on many shifts, including the one that resulted in the first Canuck goal.
Stunt performer Carl Fortin, with moves that defy gravity, is bringing his unique skill set of martial arts, parkour and acrobatics to Nelson on August 24 for workshops at Kootenay Martial Arts’ new studio.Fortin starred in one of the world’s first viral parkour videos and has appeared as a stunt performer in more than 30 films and television shows, including Deadpool 2, The Descendants 2, Once Upon a Time, Hannibal, Arrow and Resident Evil.“As well as doing a lot of stunt work in the movie industry, Carl and his wife Serenarun a martial arts school in Squamish with an emphasis on ninja-type training and extensive advanced gymnastics moves,” said Master Dean Siminoff, owner of Kootenay Martial Arts. “They will be instructing the workshops, and our black belts will be assisting them throughout the day as well as learning new methods for our own curriculum.” “We emphasize confidence, leadership skills and dedication through the discipline of taekwondo, no matter what age you are, and Carl is such a good role model for where this training can take you,” Siminoff added. “He started his martial arts training in taekwondo when he was five years old and has achieved so much since then.”The workshops will be a mix of martial arts stunts, creative movement with acrobatics, martial arts trick kicks, parkour and breakdancing in a safe and controlled environment.“We are hosting the event all day to enable parents to drop off their children for the entire work day. All are welcome from age six and up to teen and adults. Anyone who wants to learn safe and thrilling ninja-type moves is welcome to attend. Let your inner Ninja out,” Siminoff says.Watch Fortin’s demo video to get an idea of his amazing abilities. To register, contact firstname.lastname@example.orgKootenay Martial Arts (KMA) is the largest professional martial arts center in the Kootenays and now has a permanent home with one of the largest and best equipped facilities in BC. Owner Dean Siminoff is the only 6th Degree Black Belt in the Kootenays and one of only 144 in Canada. KMA is a member of the USCDKA and WTF and has more than 20 qualified instructors.
CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN kept Tottenham title hopes alive with a stoppage-time winner.The jubilation of the draw in Barcelona which sealed qualification for the last 16 of the Champions League was disappearing in a damp squib of a performance against dogged Burnley.6 Christian Eriksen scores the dramatic late winner for SpursCredit: Getty – Contributor6 Eriksen arrives to fire Spurs to victory and shatter BurnleyCredit: Reuters6 The midfielder is mobbed by Spurs team-mates after the dramatic late winnerCredit: ReutersErik Lamela, Son Heung-Min and Dele Alli had all missed late chances to snatch a winner.But second-half substitute Eriksen came up with the good again to keep Spurs on the tails of Liverpool and Manchester City.Until the late winner, the only plus point for the home team looked like being a decent first start in the senior team for Oliver Skipp, 18, who played in defensive midfield as Mauricio Pochettino shuffled his team to make up for FOUR centre backs being out with injury.Lucas Moura and Lamela failed to convert decent opportunities in the first half , the latter when Joe Hart made a good smothering save.6 Danny Rose bites the dust under a Phil Bardsley challenge in a gritty match at WembleyCredit: PA:Press AssociationMost read in footballBRO MESSAGEBobby Charlton’s touching tribute to Jack revealed as he misses funeral serviceFRESH OUTFITMicah Richards pokes fun at Roy Keane backstage at Sky Sports studiosFALL OF TROYDeeney calls Sky reporter ‘cheeky b******’ after he asks about retirementSHOTS FIREDDenis Irwin’s son trolls Liverpool fans with savage Steven Gerrard tweetPicturedC’MON THE LADSRamos’ becomes dad again as wife gives birth to FOURTH son Maximo AdrianoVideoROY MEANKeane says ‘that’s why they never win anything’ as Villa celebrate staying upHarry Kane had a good shout for a penalty turned down as Burnley frustrated the home team with their compact shape and commitment.Ashley Barnes thought he had given the visitors a shock lead just after the break, only for a combination of Toby Alderweireld and Kane to block his acrobatic effort.From then on, Spurs enjoyed most of the possession and territory yet found it hard to create clear-cut chances.Pochettino sent on Christian Eriksen with 25 minutes left but the chances were falling to others.Is this Danny Rose cross for Tottenham the worst of all time?6 Oliver Skipp made his full debut in the centre of the Tottenham midfieldCredit: AFP or licensors6 Robbie Brady attempts an overhead kick as Burnley searched for the breakthroughCredit: PA:Empics SportIn the 75th minute the ball came to Lamela just outside the six-yard box but Hart made a fine one-armed saved to keep out the low shot.Then Son dragged a shot wide from even close range with five minutes left.When Dele was unable to force in a Son cross at the far post, it seemed Burnley, who had Robbie Brady and Phil Bardsley booked for timewasting, would hold on for a point.But in the final minute, Dele and Kane combined to tee up Eriksen to complete a fine week for Tottenham.Watch all the Premier League action from Saturday 15th December