Notable & quotable: Oct. 17, 2017

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The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin points out that "Ohio Gov. John Kasich was one of the few Republicans to lambaste the president and Congress for using Americans as hostages in a political game. On 'Meet the Press,' Kasich let it rip:"

People are saying, "Oh, well these were some big bonus to insurance companies." No. These were payments to insurance companies to make sure that hardworking Americans, who don't make a lot of money, can have their co-payments taken care of.

It's a subsidy to do that. And what this, what this decision leading to are higher prices. Some people will not be able to afford health insurance. Or people will have to make very significant choices. And I'm talking about hardworking people, trying to work their way up and out of their situation. It's going to impose higher costs on their families.

Some people will not be able to afford it. But what I don't understand, Chuck [Todd], is what are they doing? Are they just passing these things and people are praising what the president did because of politics? I mean, do they understand the impact that this has on families, on people? Read the stories of what these people are saying.

They finally have health insurance, and then the next day they wake up, and now they're not so sure they can afford it, or whether they'll be able to have it. What is the purpose of this? I've got to say, Chuck, this whole issue is about people. It is not about politics, it is not about numbers. It's about people. And these congressmen, they're seemingly willing to do nothing.

This is a mantra about Obamacare. And it's, to me, it's fundamentally political. Because frankly, if you are to do these things, what is the result? What are you putting in place? What's going to happen to the people that get stuck with these higher costs or lose insurance all together? I just don't think there's any policy here.

In The New York Times, Maureen Dowd discusses, "Harvey Weinstein, Hollywood's Oldest Horror Story."

In her autobiography, "Child Star," Shirley Temple described going with her mother to see her new bosses at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer after leaving Fox.

"Not for nothing was the M.G.M. lot known as the 'factory,' a studio perfumed with sultry, busty creatures with long legs and tight haunches," Temple wrote, "and more than its quota of lecherous older men."

Nearly 80 years later, that aroma of perversion and maladroit du seigneur clings to Hollywood. Now we are inundated with grotesque tales of Harvey Weinstein pulling out his penis to show to appalled and frightened young women, enlisting the pimping help of agents and assistants to have actresses delivered to his hotel rooms, where he pestered the women to watch him shower or give him a massage or engage in intimate acts.

"The ill will towards him for getting away with it all for so long has unleashed something so primitive," a prominent male Hollywood producer told me. "If people could rip him apart, they would. Literally everyone in Hollywood is taking marshmallows to roast at his burning corpse."

Dana Calvo, the creator of "Good Girls Revolt," noted: "We have been saying, just get us in the room. But we meant the pitch room or the editing room or the boardroom. Not Harvey Weinstein's hotel room."

Once more we are in a searing national seminar on sexual misbehavior by men, just like the Hill-Thomas hearings, the Clinton impeachment hearings, the Bill Cosby trial, the downfalls of Roger Ailes, Bill O'Reilly and other harassing big shots at Fox News, and Donald Trump and the fallout from the "Access Hollywood" tape.

How many times do we have to go through this before things really change?

Hollywood is a culture that runs on fear. And it is not like other professions, one top entertainment executive said, because "no one comes with a resume. It's about what you look like and who sent you."

Robert Blecker in The Wall Street Journal writes, "What Football Needs Is Another Teddy Roosevelt: After 18 players died in 1905, TR pushed rule changes. What a contrast to Trump."

Lost amid the hubbub of President Trump's comments about professional football players kneeling during the national anthem is his more dangerous accusation that NFL officials are "ruining the game" by penalizing players who "hit too hard."

Once before, a Republican president involved himself in football's violence. On Oct. 9, 1905, Theodore Roosevelt summoned to the White House coaches and athletic advisers from Harvard, Yale and Princeton for an extended discussion. Football killed 18 young athletes that year - 11 of them in high school - and seriously injured dozens of others, including the president's son who played football at Harvard. So, at the height of his popularity and power, Teddy Roosevelt urged the leading football powers to introduce "radical innovations" and reduce the brutality of the sport they all loved.

The next month Columbia terminated its football program, while New York University and Stanford prepared to follow suit. Roosevelt strongly resisted this all-or-nothing approach, urging leading opponents of football to reform rather than abolish the sport. Facing an existential threat and a president with a well-known distaste for boasting and blustering, representatives from 62 colleges (there was no professional football league) modified the rules to diminish football's brutality and changed the sport forever.

Offensive players could no longer lock arms on the field or break open a hole for the runner by crushing a single helpless defensive player under a half ton of concentrated power; a neutral zone separated the offensive and defensive lines; the offense would have three downs to gain 10 yards instead of five - thus encouraging sweeping end runs rather than battering line play.

Most revolutionary, they legalized the forward pass. For the first few years, the league discouraged it by automatically turning over possession of the ball to the defense at the spot where an untouched incomplete pass hit the ground. But in 1906, fatalities dropped to 11, and injuries declined sharply.

A few years later, the fledgling organization that changed the game also changed its name to the National College Athletic Association.

Notable & Quotable is compiled by Graham Osteen. Contact him at graham@theitem.com.