The Story Behind That Viral Photo Of A Girl Scout Staring Down A Far-Right Protester

“I believe that dialogue is, like other non-violent expression, the best way to combat evil.”

Girl Scouts are taught to be courageous, confident, and resourceful, even in the face of the fiercest of opponents.

The photo below, which has been liked more than 6,800 times and shared nearly 2,000 times on Facebook, depicts a Scout coming face-to-face with a far-right protester at a May Day protest in the city of Brno in the Czech Republic.

Girl Scout

According to BuzzFeed News, the poignant picture was taken by a photographer named Vladimír Čičmanec. The girl, who was later identified as 16-year-old Lucie “Lala” Myslíková, appears to be speaking calmly and rationally to a protester donning a Thor Steinar sweatshirt — a piece of apparel Buzzfeed News says is often worn by neo-Nazis in Europe.

Other attendees captured the unlikely duo’s interaction as well. In the brief clip below, the protester (who has not been identified) takes a step towards Myslíková and gets in her face, but she holds her sign and remains unfazed.

This interaction is almost identical to another face-off that took place in Birmingham, England last month. In that instance, when a member of a local alt-right group began attacking a Muslim counter-protester wearing a hijab, a woman named Saffiyah Khan literally stepped in between the two and calmly smiled in the protester’s face.

“Sometimes it’s more important to smile than to shout,” Khan said at the time.

Myslíková has a like-minded approach. After her photo began making the rounds on Facebook, the teenager commented on the original post and wrote, “Thank you all for your support! I believe that dialogue is, like other non-violent expression, the best way to combat evil.”

And it sounds like she was at least able to start a conversation. Myslíková later told Czech radio that she and the demonstrator discussed immigration, though we doubt any minds were changed.

Per the Czech news outlet Romea, the far-right demonstrators were vastly outnumbered by counter-protesters, whose apt slogan was: “You can’t salute the Nazis if you’re having a good time.” In that vein, the counter-protesters were encouraged to sing, dance, and play music in an effort to drown out the hate that was being spewed around them. Similar tactics were used in California last year when a Muslim crowd used song and dance to combat anti-Muslim protesters, and in 2015 when the Foo Fighters epically Rickrolled members of the Westboro Baptist Church.

As for why she took part in the counter-protest? Myslíková explained in her radio interview, “It makes sense. It makes sense to be seen and heard and stand up against what we do not like.”

Credit: Aplus.com

No more excuses: Jeremy Corbyn is to blame for this meltdown | Jonathan Freedland

Jeremy Corbyn

What more evidence do they need? What more proof do the Labour leadership and its supporters require? This was not an opinion poll. This was not a judgment delivered by the hated mainstream media. This was the verdict of the electorate, expressed through the ballot box, and it could scarcely have been clearer – or more damning.

Last night was a Tory landslide – 8 June could be even worse for Labour
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The headline figure is a projected national share of 27%, the worst recorded by an opposition since the BBC started making such calculations in 1981. The Tory lead of 11 percentage points is larger than the one Margaret Thatcher enjoyed as she headed into the elections of 1983 or 1987, when she won triple-figure landslides.

The one-time Labour citadels that fell are jaw-dropping. Labour lost control of Glasgow, which it had ruled for most of the past 70 years. It lost the new mayoralty of Tees Valley – which covers Darlington, Hartlepool, Stockton, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland – to the Conservatives. Just imagine those towns preferring the Tories over Labour: even two years ago the very idea would have been unthinkable. Labour lost in Merthyr, Derbyshire and the West Midlands – the last a region that in 2015 voted Labour over the Tories by 42% to 33%. Tories picked up seats in some of the most deprived parts of the country, including Shettleston in Glasgow and Ferguslie Park in Paisley.

Sure, Labour won mayoral races in Doncaster, North Tyneside, the Liverpool metro region and Greater Manchester. But those should be givens for a Labour opposition facing a Tory party seven years in office. This is when the party should be expanding, not clinging to its foundations. When the best that shadow chancellor John McDonnell can offer is that the party has not been completely wiped out, you glimpse the scale of the disaster.

Why has this happened? The big shift is the collapse of Ukip – its programme swallowed whole by the Conservatives, thereby rendering the party redundant. Ukip voters transferred en masse to the Tories, reassured that Theresa May will give them the hard Brexit they want. Some of those Ukippers had once been Labour voters, with Ukip serving as the gateway to Conservatism.

But that’s not the whole story. There are, to be sure, some long-term, structural factors at work. Social democratic parties are struggling across Europe and beyond; Brexit has upended everything, so that many working-class anti-EU voters feel better represented by May than by Labour. But there is also a simpler, more glaring factor that cannot be wished away.

Listen to how Dave Wilcox, the Derbyshire Labour group leader, explains the defeat he and his colleagues have just endured. He heard it again and again on the doorstep: “Genuine Labour supporters said we are not voting for you while you have Jeremy Corbyn as leader.”

He will be howled down, of course, by the online Corbynista army who will tell Wilcox that what he heard with his own ears never happened, that it’s an invention of the media, that it’s really the fault of the media and plotting Labour MPs. But, as it happens, I spent the night before the elections hearing exactly what Wilcox heard – albeit through a two-way mirror, as I watched two consecutive focus groups overwhelmingly made up of Labour voters, convened by the Edelman communications agency, meet in a conference room on the outskirts of Birmingham.

Mayoral and local elections 2017: live results tracker
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They wanted to vote Labour, they really did. It was how they had always voted. Two men felt they would be betraying their fathers by voting any other way. They weren’t overly impressed by May, though several volunteered that she seemed “strong” (even if all but two of them said they’d never heard the slogan “strong and stable leadership” – a phrase repeated ad nauseam by the Conservative campaign). But they just couldn’t bring themselves to vote Labour.

With no steer from the moderator, who remained studiedly neutral, they described Jeremy Corbyn as a “dope”, “living in the past”, “a joke”, as “looking as if he knows less about it than I do”. One woman admired Corbyn’s sincerity; one man thought his intentions were good. But she reckoned he lacked “the qualities to be our leader”; and he believed Corbyn was simply too “soft”.

Remember, these aren’t metropolitan pundits who the Corbynistas can slam as red Tories. These were hard-pressed Labour voters on middling to modest incomes, explaining why – with very heavy hearts – they were about to break the habit of a lifetime, even of many generations, and vote Conservative.

Corbyn’s defenders will blame the media, but what was striking about these groups was that few of the participants ever bought a paper and they seldom watched a TV bulletin. Corbynites may try to blame disloyal MPs, but, whatever its impact elsewhere, none of that Westminster stuff had impinged on either of these two groups, who couldn’t name a single politician besides May, Corbyn and Boris Johnson. They had formed their own, perhaps instinctive, view.

Blaming others won’t do. Instead, how refreshing it would be, just this once, if Corbyn and McDonnell put their hands up and took even a small measure of responsibility for this calamitous result. Instead of always playing the besieged victim, they could accept that, as Enoch Powell once observed, a politician complaining about the press is as absurd as a sailor complaining about the sea. Navigating a way through is simply what they have to do.

Why are Corbyn and McDonnell so stubborn? It can’t be a tenacious commitment to socialism
It would mean admitting that they have failed to deliver what they promised. They said they would win back Scotland, energise the Labour base, galvanise non-voters, lure back Ukip defectors and pull in Greens – and not one of those things has happened. Yet in the face of all this, they dig in and cling on, refusing to budge.

Why are they so stubborn? It can’t be a tenacious commitment to socialism. Corbyn and McDonnell’s programme includes nothing remotely as leftwing as, say, the £5bn windfall tax on the utilities promised, and implemented, 20 years ago by the supposed evil neoliberal Tony Blair.

Having finally won control of the Labour party after three decades of Stakhanovite effort, what radical programme have these great revolutionaries pledged to the nation? Four extra bank holidays.

The good news for Labour is that what I saw in the focus groups were people unimpressed by the Tories, desperate for an opposition and itching to vote Labour again if only Corbyn would get out of the way. It suggests a new leader could take the fight to Theresa May very rapidly. The bad news is that once people have broken a lifelong Labour habit – and shattered a taboo by voting Tory – they may never come back.

Since you’re here …
… we’ve got a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever, but far fewer are paying for it. Advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too.

If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure.

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Ronaldo’s lack of respect in Portugal baffles Euro 2016-winning coach Santos

cristiano-ronaldo

The Real Madrid forward has faced criticism throughout his glittering career for club and country despite being one of the finest players of all time

Euro 2016-winning coach Fernando Santos cannot understand why Cristiano Ronaldo is not universally loved in Portugal.

The Real Madrid superstar is widely regarded as one of the finest footballers of all time, having helped to take the art of goalscoring and trophy collecting to a new level alongside Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi.

He has, however, faced criticism throughout his career for club and country, with this season proving to be no different.

‘Ronaldo knows he splits opinion’

Santos, though, believes that the 32-year-old should he heralded as the superstar he undoubtedly is, particularly in his homeland.

“I don’t understand why some Portuguese people value Cristiano Ronaldo so little,” he told reporters.

“In the group stages [at Euro 2016] there were complaints he wasn’t scoring enough.

cristiano-ronaldo-real

“Then when he started scoring, they complained when he did so any other way.”

Santos has also sought to play down the focus placed on Ronaldo’s transformation from a goal-getting support forward to an out-and-out striker.

He says too much attention is given to the transformation he has made in his career, insisting the only man to have netted 100 times in the Champions League boasting the same qualities in his game that he has always had.

Ronaldo: I am from this planet!

“Cristiano Ronaldo has always scored goals,” added Santos.

“Ever since I’ve known him when he was 18 he’s been doing so.”

Ronaldo has found the target 35 times in 41 appearances for Madrid this season, with those efforts helping to keep Zinedine Zidane’s side on course for a Liga and Champions League double.

Credit: Goal.com

15+ Teens Who Wore Their Moms’ Vintage Prom Dresses And Absolutely Killed It

Choosing the perfect prom dress can be a stressful affair – unless, of course, your mom has a rocking one stashed away in her closet. More and more teens these days are donning their moms’ old frocks to the big night, and you know what? They look absolutely bomb.
We can’t even blame them for wanting to borrow. According to PromGirl, the leading online Prom dress retailer in the US, a prom night in 2017 can cost over $2000 in total! Mind you, this is only if you completely blow out on limo rentals, fancy dinner, and a professional photoshoot. But most prom tickets alone cost over $100, and a trendy dress can run up to 4 times as much. By reaching for your mom’s vintage vestments, you’re not only bringing chic retro styles back to life, but you’re saving yourself loads of money and hassle (and you just might overfill your mom’s heart with pride).
Most recently, a high school senior named Ally Johnson from Hilliard, Ohio, decided to sport her mom’s sumptuous gown from 1995 to her own prom. “People were shocked, they didn’t think that could have been my mom’s senior prom dress,” she told TODAY Style. “It’s a vintage, old Hollywood look.” Scroll down to see more beauties who looked picture perfect for prom in their moms’ old threads! (h/t)

#1 Tacky Prom Last Night

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#2 First Worn In 1962 – Last Worn In 2013. Mother, Two Daughters And One Grand Daughter

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#3 The Mom On The Left Says Her Daughter Was Left Disappointed By A Dress She Ordered Online, So She Raided Her Closet And Found This Saucy Purple Number Instead

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Credit: Boredpanda.com

Arsenal v Manchester United: ‘Specialist in failure’ – Why Wenger has never beaten Mourinho

‘Specialist in failure’

Goal talks to a sports psychology consultant about the ingredients which appear to give the Manchester United boss the edge over many of his rivals

Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho lock horns once again this Sunday as Arsenal face Manchester United in a crucial Premier League match at Emirates Stadium.

The two managers have had a tumultuous relationship over the years, with perhaps the most iconic display of how much they dislike each other seen at Stamford Bridge in 2014 when Wenger pushed Mourinho and squared up to the Portuguese after reacting angrily to a challenge from Gary Cahill on Alexis Sanchez.

‘Wenger’s future not a huge problem’

Wenger’s frustrations rarely boil over enough that he outwardly displays anger towards an opposition manager, but there have been a few cases over the years – Alan Pardew, Tony Pulis, Sam Allardyce and Kenny Dalgish are all examples of coaches who have rattled the Frenchman, who has no qualms in admitting that he is a “bad loser”.

When Arsenal face United on Sunday, an under-pressure Wenger faces a manager whom he has never beaten in the Premier League. His only previous win against Mourinho came in the 2015 Community Shield, with seven draws and five defeats making up an otherwise dismal domestic record.

arsene-wenger-jose

But why is Wenger unable to beat a Mourinho team in the league? The reverse fixture at Old Trafford earlier in the season was an example of what has been all too common over the years and would have been another defeat if it wasn’t for a last-minute Olivier Giroud header.

Goal spoke to Dr Andrew Evans, sports psychology consultant who is Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology at the University of Salford, Manchester, about the psychological ingredients which from the outside and appear to give Mourinho the edge over many rival managers, including Wenger.

Mourinho rules out Wenger ‘peace’

He said: “There are so many factors which determine winning or losing in football. There are coaching-related factors, physical, tactical, nutritional factors. Psychological factors are also part of the melting pot determining winning or losing in football.

“There’s no reason from a psychological point of view to suspect that Mourinho is an unlucky manager for Wenger. That kind of statement would suggest that Wenger would never gain success no matter what hand he had – tactics or style or play.

“But I think one explanation why Mourinho is successful in bigger games generally is that he appears to demonstrate an understanding of the strengths of the opposition and the strengths of his own team, using that information to determine his tactics, philosophies and psychological approach going into such big games.”

Criticisms previously levelled at Wenger by fans, ex-players and pundits include his failure to adapt tactically in the big games, although he surprised many with his decision to play three defenders over recent weeks.

The confidence among Arsenal players was, by all accounts, dented after February’s disastrous 5-1 Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich and Dr Evans explains how important it is for players to have clear, achievable goals set to give them the best opportunity of succeeding on the pitch.

He added: “Self-confidence is arguably the most strong and consistent predictor of success across all sports. It’s the most significant psychological factor which influences success. The interventions I use with athletes are frequently geared towards reminding them of best performances and getting them to replicate some of those things they did in previous successes again in future events.

“In sports psychology research, a strong predictor of success in team sports is when athletes have approach goals – where they go into games with a clear focus on what they need to do to perform well and what they need to do better than the opposition. In sport, one of the mistakes which managers and players can make is have the same recipe or same fixed methods and apply them in every single circumstance. That kind of recipe won’t always be effective in certain matches against certain teams.”

Wenger defends Ozil over style

‘Mind games’ are another particular set of skills which Mourinho excels at and is something he has used to his advantage throughout his career. However, according to Evans it is more Mourinho’s ability to adapt in different situations which have made him so successful throughout his career.

He said: “If you look at research on what managers say in team talks or pre-match press conferences there is evidence to suggest that the more reference you make to past performance and success the greater athlete’s confidence becomes. Past performance and success is the main source of confidence amongst athletes and coaches. So there would be a psychological benefit of reminding players that they’ve been in a particular situation before and succeeded. From a psychological point of view, a manager who vocalises such information to the media and his players increases their confidence which in turn maximises a team’s expectations and chance of success.

“Mourinho’s strength comes from his ability to adapt to his own team’s strengths and counteract the opposition strengths. An example is where he went to Anfield and ‘parked the bus’ while other examples show he deployed an attacking, aggressive style such as the reverse fixture at Old Trafford against Arsenal earlier in the season. Mourinho’s relatively good record against other managers is partly because he’s good at adapting from a psychological point of view.”

Credit: goal.com

Dave Chappelle joins Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper in ‘A Star is Born’

Dave Chappelle is joining Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in the ‘A Star Is Born’ remake, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

It’s official: Dave Chappelle is joining Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in A Star is Born.

The Hollywood Reporter was the first to report Chappelle’s casting on Friday. Warner Bros. rep Jack Horner confirmed the announcement with USA TODAY.

The remake, Cooper’s directorial debut, is currently in production, and recently shot scenes on location at Coachella, inviting fans to appear as extras.

This film is sacred Hollywood ground: Based on William Wellman’s 1937 movie, A Star is Born, the film was first remade in 1954 with Judy Garland and then in 1976 with Barbra Streisand. Its current incarnation tells the story of a country music star whose career is in decline (Cooper) before he strikes up a romance with an unknown singer (Gaga) whom he mentors to stardom.

According to THR, Chappelle will play a character named Noodles, who is Cooper’s oldest friend with whom he started out playing with in blues clubs.

The comedian has been on a roll. Last year Chappelle appeared in Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq, hosted Saturday Night Live after the election, and recently released two stand-up comedy specials on Netflix, his first in 12 years.

Credit: Usatoday.com

Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder announce they’re expecting a baby

‘Hi Little One’: Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder announce they’re expecting a baby… and post sweet Instagram message to unborn child

Twilight star Nikki Reed is expecting her first child with husband Ian Somerhalder.
The actress, 28, shared her exciting news with fans via social media on Thursday, posting a photo of Ian placing a tender kiss on her pregnant belly.
Nikki cradles her bump with both hands while her Vampire Diaries star husband kneels down with his left hand on her right hand.

Exciting_news_Twilight_star

Credit: Dailymail.co.uk

North Korea claims US ‘biochemical’ plot to kill Kim Jong Un

North Korea

Kim Jong Un arrives for a military parade in Pyongyang in April.
(CNN)North Korea has accused the US and South Korea of attempting to assassinate leader Kim Jong Un with a “bio-chemical substance.”

In an extraordinary 1,800-word report Friday, North Korean state news agency KCNA said a “hideous terrorist group” conspired with the CIA and South Korea’s Intelligence Service (IS) to “commit bomb terrorism targeting the supreme leadership” during major events including a recent military parade.
The report claimed a North Korean citizen was involved in the plot, using “biochemical substances including radioactive substance and nano poisonous substance” to target Kim.
IS did not respond to a request for comment.

CIA accused
The KCNA report claimed the plot was “recently uncovered and smashed,” and accused members of the CIA and IS of working with a North Korean citizen to provide money and weapons to carry out “state-sponsored terrorism.”
A similar charge was laid against Pyongyang by Seoul in February following the murder of Kim Jong Nam, allegedly at the hands of North Korean agents.
The half-brother of Kim Jong Un was poisoned with the VX nerve agent while in Kuala Lumpur airport and died en route to a hospital.
North Korea has repeatedly denied any involvement in Kim’s death.
History of unfounded claims
North Korea has a history of bombastic propaganda featuring unfounded claims.

Last month, the state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun claimed US-Australian military exercises in northern Australia were preparation for nuclear war against North Korea and threatened Darwin with a potential retaliatory strike.
For its part, South Korea has admitted to having plans in place to kill Kim.
Last year, lawmakers said Seoul “has a general idea and plan to use precision missile capabilities to target the enemy’s facilities in major areas as well as eliminating the enemy’s leadership.”
The country’s Joint Chiefs of Staff has prepared a system called the Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation (KMPR) that would involve surgical missile attacks, exclusive special warfare units and an ability to strike North Korea’s leadership if South Korea feels threatened by nuclear attack.

Credit: Cnn.com

Opinion | Every Republican who voted for this abomination must be held accountable

When the American Health Care Act passed the House of Representatives on May 4, Democrats waved and sang, “nah nah nah nah, hey hey hey, goodbye,” to their GOP colleagues. (U.S. House of Representatives)
Here at the Plum Line, we write a lot about the mechanics of politics — the processes of governing, the interplay of political forces, the back-and-forth between citizens and lawmakers, and so on. We do that because it’s interesting and because it winds up affecting all our lives. But there are moments when you have to set aside the mechanics and focus intently on the substance of what government does — or in this case, what government is trying to do.

I won’t mince words. The health-care bill that the House of Representatives passed this afternoon, in an incredibly narrow 217-to-213 vote, is not just wrong, or misguided, or problematic or foolish. It is an abomination. If there has been a piece of legislation in our lifetimes that boiled over with as much malice and indifference to human suffering, I can’t recall what it might have been. And every member of the House who voted for it must be held accountable.

[Betrayal, carelessness, hypocrisy: The GOP health-care bill has it all]

There’s certainly a process critique one can make about this bill. We might focus on the fact that Republicans are rushing to pass it without having held a single hearing on it, without a score from the Congressional Budget Office that would tell us exactly what the effects would be, and before nearly anyone has had a chance to even look at the bill’s actual text — all this despite the fact that they are remaking one-sixth of the American economy and affecting all of our lives (and despite their long and ridiculous claims that the Affordable Care Act was “rammed through” Congress, when in fact it was debated for an entire year and was the subject of dozens of hearings and endless public discussion). We might talk about how every major stakeholder group — the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, the AARP, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association, and on and on — all oppose the bill.

Here are three big ways the new Republican bill might change health care in the United States. (Daron Taylor/The Washington Post)
All that matters. But the real problem is what’s in the bill itself. Here are some of the things it does:

Takes health insurance away from at least 24 million Americans; that was the number the CBO estimated for a previous version of the bill, and the number for this one is probably higher.
Revokes the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid, which provided no-cost health coverage to millions of low-income Americans.
Turns Medicaid into a block grant, enabling states to kick otherwise-eligible people off their coverage and cut benefits if they so choose.
Slashes Medicaid overall by $880 billion over 10 years.
Removes the subsidies that the ACA provided to help middle-income people afford health insurance, replacing them with far more meager tax credits pegged not to people’s income but to their age. Poorer people would get less than they do now, while richer people would get more; even Bill Gates would get a tax credit.
Allows insurers to charge dramatically higher premiums to older patients.
Allows insurers to impose yearly and lifetime caps on coverage, which were outlawed by the ACA. This also, it was revealed today, may threaten the coverage of the majority of non-elderly Americans who get insurance through their employers.
Allows states to seek waivers from the ACA’s requirement that insurance plans include essential benefits for things such as emergency services, hospitalization, mental health care, preventive care, maternity care, and substance abuse treatment.
Provides hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts for families making over $250,000 a year.
Produces higher deductibles for patients.
Allows states to try to waive the ACA’s requirement that insurers must charge people the same rates regardless of their medical history. This effectively eviscerates the ban on denials for preexisting conditions, since insurers could charge you exorbitant premiums if you have a preexisting condition, effectively denying you coverage.
Shunts those with preexisting conditions into high-risk pools, which are absolutely the worst way to cover those patients; experience with them on the state level proves that they wind up underfunded, charge enormous premiums, provide inadequate benefits and can’t cover the population they’re meant for. Multiple analyses have shown that the money the bill provides for high-risk pools is laughably inadequate, which will inevitably leave huge numbers of the most vulnerable Americans without the ability to get insurance.
Brings back medical underwriting, meaning that just like in the bad old days, when you apply for insurance you’ll have to document every condition or ailment you’ve ever had.
It is no exaggeration to say that if it were to become law, this bill would kill significant numbers of Americans. People who lose their Medicaid, don’t go to the doctor, and wind up finding out too late that they’re sick. People whose serious conditions put them up against lifetime limits or render them unable to afford what’s on offer in the high-risk pools, and are suddenly unable to get treatment.

[Did Republicans just score a win on health care — or lose?]

Those deaths are not abstractions, and those who vote to bring them about must be held to account. This can and should be a career-defining vote for every member of the House. No one who votes for something this vicious should be allowed to forget it — ever. They should be challenged about it at every town hall meeting, at every campaign debate, in every election and every day as the letters and phone calls from angry and betrayed constituents make clear the intensity of their revulsion at what their representatives have done.

Perhaps this bill will never become law, and its harm may be averted. But that would not mitigate the moral responsibility of those who supported it. Members of Congress vote on a lot of inconsequential bills and bills that have a small impact on limited areas of American life. But this is one of the most critical moments in recent American political history. The Republican health-care bill is an act of monstrous cruelty. It should stain those who supported it to the end of their days.

Credit: washingtonpost.com