THE WORLD JUST GOT SERIOUS

Can Trump Follow Suit?

There is a big distance between rhetoric and action, but in Trump World, our leader thinks that if he says it, it is so. Or even worse, he thinks that if he orders something, then it will automatically happen. This pompous, over-blown self-evaluation of his salesmanship prowess and imaginary ability to get things done is really embarrassing in the light of day.

He keeps telling us how much he has completed and all we see are carcasses of the people he has fired along the way. If these people weren’t good enough to go more than six months, then the guy who picked them clearly doesn’t know what he is doing. Trump creates these “Mission Accomplished” moments every day, which really makes them fade into the sea of bullshit on which he floats.

Congress may have boxed Trump in with the sanctions bill against Russia, but their actions were done for all to see. They are working on shoring up their reputations and getting re-elected. They don’t live in an electoral college world, they sink or swim according to a popular vote, therefore, they must be “popular” with as many constituents as possible.

Trump downplayed Russia’s evil agenda during the election for reasons we will hopefully understand better when all of the dust clears from the handful of investigations currently underway. Trump focused his discontentment on China with his campaign rhetoric. He never accused Russia of currency manipulation, unfair trade practices or unfair treatment of the American worker. He dumped all of that on China.

It was no surprise when our President tweeted away July 29, 2017: “I am very disappointed in China. Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!”

And while he thought he had this “great” relationship with China’s President Xi Jinping, Trump can’t be straight forward about Russia, who increased trade with North Korea by 40% since Trump took office. North Korea showed a 4% growth rate.  What?

Doesn’t the Donald know he is being played by this punk kid Kim Jong, the KGB spy Putin and all-powerful Xi Jinping? The fact is, Russia and China do NOT want to see a united Korean peninsula. They will both prop up North Korea and Kim Jong Un so that unification never happens. Why does the Donald think he can job-out the responsibility of reeling in Un?

Trump just went through an embarrassing week, vividly demonstrated by the vulgar language of his new buddy, “slick Anthony,” “the Mooch,” Scaramucci.  Little Tony, the “front stabber,” revealed the in-fighting and destructive forces in the vortex of Trump’s inner circle. I would even advance the notion here that Trump is being played by his son-in-law and daughter to get rid of all the people who they don’t agree with. Do they think they are “protecting” the President? Well, the apples don’t fall… you know the rest. To fix the general discontent and chaos in the White House, let’s bring in a general. General Mills? General Motors? No, no, a real General.

The final act of this passion play opens with Steve Bannon left dangerous dangling outside of the circle of trust. On the next episode of Reality President, we learn if Bannon will be sent on his merry way, or be given a seat at the grown-up’s table.

Now that John Kelly, the Bostonian former General, is in command of the staff, will he put up with the very thing he hated about Obama: an intellectual approach to solving problems. Generals don’t like thinkers, they get in the way of marching. It won’t take long for Kelly to lose patience with the lack of a chain of command. Those he can fire, he will. The kids, of course, are off limits. The very reason they should NOT be there.

North Korea has tested 14 missiles this year, that’s almost one for every person fired from the Trump administration or government. And as the President preaches about law and order to a group of police officers urging them to not be so nice to people they arrest, his little joke was not taken too well by police federations and departments across this land.

The idea of letting the cops be the prejudger of whether someone arrested should be treated harshly or not during arrest ought to make all Americans nervous. Stop joking around Mr. President. What you suggested is why young Muslim girls get slashed by white supremacists and African-American men get gunned down by over-zealous and nervous cops.

In retaliation for Congress passing a stiff sanctions bill against Russia for meddling in our election, Putin has decided to expel 755 diplomats and foreign service workers from Moscow. Amazingly, Trump says he will sign the bill, which would be a smart and serious move on his part. If he were to veto this bill, he would rip the scab off the wound known as the Russia Investigation. As the investigation takes a break from the front pages, Trump would be wise to press forward and get serious about his role in the world.

Maybe Anthony Scaramucci did something productive when he showed the petty, uncomfortable, back biting working environment that exists inside the White House. This is Trump’s fault. Even privately held corporations would come under scrutiny with this kind of harassment in the workplace.

I still hear Trump voters say how the great Orange one is running the government like a company. Unfortunately for America, he’s running the country like a Trump organization, and all of those loyal Trump voters have never had a chance to work where H1B visa holding, non-Americans get jobs before you do. Boy, what a great boss.

Donald Trump might think he’s doing a great job, but the healthcare fiasco is just one example of Trump failing the test and getting an F for his efforts. He brags about the stock market as if he invented it. The stock market was already on the upward swing before he was elected. The job market opened up in the Spring of 2015, but Trump was too busy bashing Mexicans back then.

One of the things I say to people is this. The stock market doesn’t need Donald Trump to be successful. It was there before he was he was born — the New York Stock Exchange opened in March of 1817 — and it will be there long after he is gone. Just as Obama couldn’t ever take full credit for the stock market, Donald Trump can’t own the bump and then blame any future decease on someone else. If you say you own it, you own it. If Donald Trump was to be impeached and Mike Pence took office, the stock market wouldn’t collapse. It might even go up further. The stock market loves certainty, not unpredictability.

There are many challenges, both domestically and globally, that Trump must confront and manage in a sober manner. Trump has already spent a lot of “serious leader currency” by saying stupid things about world events, organizations and treaties. And back at home, his hurtful attacks on his own people have made it appear to many that he prefers chaos over order. Conflict before country and family before law. This is not the person who will help America stay great.

 


MCCAIN’S REVENGE

Trump’s Unifying Bridge Burned

What makes people work together? You can talk about common goals, community or sense of family, but what gets things done on the world stage is empathy and truth.

When Donald J. Trump was sworn in as 45th President of the United States he had an opportunity, a chance to unite all Americans around a more moderate approach rather than the antics of the bombastic clown candidate we witnessed during the campaign. Some of the pundits and experts believed that there would be a substantial pivot to something that was more presidential. They were all wrong. What we saw, is what we got.

Even when veteran judges were asked to evaluate his “Travel Ban” they vocalized their desire to separate what candidate Trump said from what President Trump said and did. I’m not sure why the things Trump said during his presidential pitch would be disallowed in a court of law. When a seller of a product misrepresents what that product does in their marketing they can he held accountable. Why is pre-President Trump being forgotten?

Billionaire Mark Cuban was very direct in his “Shark Tank-like” evaluation of Trump. Mark said that Trump would not just leave the campaign behind. Cuban believed the Donald would double-down on some of the campaign’s aspects and even take them to more absurd levels. Mark was right.

Whatever someone says is important. Words matter. Listen carefully to what someone says and you can look right into their soul. People are not that perfect and they show you so much if you are open to the nuisances.

From the beginning of Donald Trump’s rise in the public atmosphere of New York, he was at best a playboy, at worst a misogynic woman hater. He flaunted it and loved the spotlight that was aimed at him and the beautiful women on his arm. He cheated on his wives and he bragged about conquests. The Access Hollywood tape and the women who came forward saying he actually did touch them inappropriately, might have been forgotten by red-blooded All-American rednecks, but American women know how that attitude feels. It’s learned from an early age.

When Trump was asked about John McCain during the campaign, he very cynically said that he didn’t think McCain was a war hero because he was captured. Then he blasted from every auditorium microphone his plan to make sure every veteran would be treated better by the V.A. Was that simply his deep-seated guilt for his comment, or his fear of being exposed by his obvious scheme to get out of military service himself? As someone who has a bone-spur, I can tell you with the right shoes you can do anything.

Trump thinks he can do everything better than Obama, who had very little interaction with members of the House and Senate. The great Orange Leader bombed with Congress because of too much contact. His little bribing and beating down free luncheons at the White House showed his lack of knowledge on the legislation that they were considering. Even one Republican commented, “He didn’t seem to understand what we were trying to do with the bill.”

His big party on the lawn of the White House with Representatives to celebrate one step in the process of repealing and replacing Obamacare was his “Mission Accomplished” moment. He truly believes you can throw a beer bash and everyone in D.C. gets in line. Oh, how foolish this naïve business person is.

In the middle of the night, or to be exact, the morning of July 28, 2017, with 49 voting in favor and 51 voting against what was known as the “Skinny Bill”, the Senate stopped repeal dead in its tracks. Three Republican senators, John McCain of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine voted no along with all 48 Democrats.

Why this should be very alarming to the administration comes in many different colored poison pills they are going to have to swallow. First, the obvious fact that Trump has no real sway with the Senate. He has pockets of deeply loyal fans in the House, but you cannot get America to do anything without the Senate, and they know it.

Trump can hurl his psychological vomiting toward the players via Twitter, but deep down inside he’s in a quandary about why this “extremely lovable playboy” cannot be taken seriously. One wouldn’t turn to Hugh Hefner for marriage advice, so why is America depending on a tax-evading, draft dodging, pussy grabbing man-child to run our country?

Let’s put it more simply for the people moving their lips while reading this. The people who voted against all these Trump pushed (but not read) bills is because of things he said in the past.

What do Murkowski and Collins have in common? They are both women. And they are more sensitive to women’s issues. Planned Parenthood has 56 independent local affiliates that operate more than 600 health centers throughout the United States, providing high-quality services to women, men, and teens. And this legislation would have, more, or less, closed those facilities.

The cookie Congress was throwing in for women’s health was money for community centers to do what? You cannot deal with female issues without dealing with reproduction and diseases that affect their body parts. And of course, the whole world wasn’t watching when 13 male Senators created this bill behind closed doors. No women allowed? And at the 11th hour, the administration threatened these women and see what it got them, a NO VOTE.

I am sure John McCain, who spent six-years as a prisoner of war in Viet Nam, has all the patience of a saint. He brushed aside Trump’s insult on the campaign trail and I am sure never expected an apology. But a prisoner of war learns a lesson that business cannot teach you: you must wait for the right moment.

When Trump asked McCain for his vote, he hailed him as a hero. But a funny thing happened on the way to the Senate. John McCain, recently diagnosed with brain cancer, got on a plane and with his first vote set in motion a series of stateman’s like things. First, he gave a speech about how Congress is getting nothing done and urged his fellow legislatures to get back to what is called “regular order.” He was simply asking them to do things right. As he was giving the speech, I found myself thinking, wow, he would have made a great President.

But what Trump and his band of not-so-merry-men in the West Wing found out is it takes two to tango and McCain was leading while the music played. From my perspective, he got his revenge for the mean and disruptive statements Trump has made. He waited his turn, played his card and voted “NO!”

John McCain already has a legacy much greater than most, but what he did in the dead of night was punch a little crack in the dam of ignorance that has been created by electing a demigod to the high office in the land. The pressure will build behind the Republican dam and others will take their turn at making that crack a little bigger.

When the gate is opened, water from Capitol Hill will be released and flow toward 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. By then, surely the current occupants will get out in time.


OBAMACARE vs. TRUMPCARE

Trump Alone Can Fix It, Except Healthcare

Well, here we are again. The Democrats gave the country the gift of healthcare and like an addict, we do not want the Republicans to take it away. After 7-years of complaining about Obamacare, the elephants in the room forgot to actually pen an alternative bill. No one was working on a rewrite of the plan?

But the blame this time sits in the lap of the 45th President of the United States. Donald Trump has brought nothing to the debate and his actions are embarrassingly superficial and valueless. His language about how the plan will be “beautiful” and “really great” are terms he could have used for one of his beauty pageant contestants. His lack of understanding of healthcare was exposed when he admitted that healthcare was “complicated.”

If all those great and “really smart” people that Trump brought into his cabinet and administration were really smart and great, they would have revised the 906-page Affordable Healthcare Act and made it a better law. But no, they were so busy signing executive orders they took their collective eyes off the ball.

As we watch this drama and dysfunctional relationship between Congress and the White House play out, we learn how little influence Donald Trump has on the process. The Congress must stand behind their work while getting an earful from their constituents when they hold town meetings. Some say that people are being bused in from out of their districts to do these protests, but we are talking about a national bill, right? Why would it matter where the people come from if they are against a healthcare act that will affect all Americans?

This whole episode has vividly exposed the great divide between Republicans. We hear little about those snarly Tea Party people, but they are still around and they are against anything the government might do that has any hint of helping people. We are also seeing the imaginary line between “normal” GOP members and the neo-conservatives. The reason I use the “neo” prefix is because they aren’t old line conservatives like Ronald Reagan, who never walked away from a tax increase that could fix a problem. These new conservatives, like Rand Paul, seem to have some deep-seated reason to not like a good idea. Might Rand Paul be a plant in the Senate for doctors?

Trump should be listening to the CBO scores because the organizations and lobbyists that are paid to protect groups like kids and retired people use the data to send emails to millions of people.

Scare headlines like: Pregnancy to cost 425% more under Donald Trump’s health plan compared to Obamacare, are being splashed on the front pages of newspapers all over the world. Why? Because most of those countries have a single-payer system and they find Trump’s battle with healthcare to be rather humorous. See, they have already solved that problem.

The Donald has once again showed his lack of understanding about how government works and how Congress moves like a turtle. If he was a bit wiser he would have gone right into rebuilding US infrastructure, moving forward with something that would have helped commerce in our country. Most products move on rail, road or runway and if they are in disrepair the economy suffers. Healthcare, in its present state, keeps people at work and that helps the country. Why kill it?

How can the President of the United States sit by and let this happen? It’s as if he is powerless and has no ability to fix what is there now. He really doesn’t care. Just listen to him: “Let Obamacare fail. It’ll be a lot easier, and I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll just let Obamacare fail. We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it.” Once again, it’s blame the other guy and let the people suffer. The atrophy of this “leader” is demoralizing.

This morning (7-18-17), USA Today ran a story asking the question, Will Trump exercise? “He’s 71, holds down an incredibly stressful job, and is overweight. He doesn’t exercise. His eating habits are less than ideal. And to top it off, he doesn’t get enough sleep.” The good news for Trump is that he doesn’t smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol. But after rolling back all the nutritional standards on school lunches, he’s guilty of being part of the problem on healthcare in more ways than one.

The anxiety and stress that Donald is feeling with his new job is the same as the stress he has created for undocumented people and those with pre-existing conditions. Clearly, Donald J. Trump is bad for the health of America. Wait until we discover more lead in the drinking water somewhere in America. In short, Trump hasn’t fixed healthcare for America, he’s made it worse.

 


AN OPEN LETTER TO THE BASE

Dear Donald Trump Fans

It is unlikely that you are reading this, but if you are, I just wanted to say a few things to you before you slap on the little red baseball cap or “Lock Her Up” T-shirt and jump in your car and drive to the next rally. I know that you are as American as I am and you really do want this country to be successful, but we have to talk. This isn’t funny anymore.

You probably haven’t gotten a raise in years. I get that, it’s horrible. In some cases, your raise was eaten up by the banking crisis that was created by greedy bankers with an immoral disregard for the common man and your mortgage. I get that, too. In other cases, your employer may have used the whole age of financial insecurity as a way to justify keeping the workers’ wages where they would produce profit for the owners, not your long-term benefits.

Donald Trump was hyper critical of Obama and Bush and government in general, maybe that is why you like him. His anti-government, anti-immigrant, anti-free trade, anti-anyone else, make him a leader who really respects the rule of law. As long as that law lines up with what he wants to do, he will apply it. When it doesn’t, he will attempt to break the law; it’s who he is.

He’s for state’s rights, until those state’s right interferes with his grand plan to remake America in his image. Go ahead, admit it, you are just as radical as those people who marched against the Viet Nam war, oh, you’re not, sure fooled me.

Trump say he is really going to change things, but do you really listen to what he says and then match that up with what he does. He kept saying that he was out for the blue-collar worker and he preaches he wants to bring back manufacturing to those places that once boomed with industry, BUT HE IS AGAINST INCREASING THE MINIMUM WAGE. Gee, why wouldn’t he fight for you on such a simple thing as a few more bucks an hour?

Donald Trump has yet to explain being nice to Russia is a good idea. He has yet to demonstrate that a country that doesn’t give a rat’s ass for the American worker, would be someone we have not be afraid of? Trump seems to be afraid of most things that are NOT AMERICAN, except PUTIN WHO IS NOT AMERICAN.

He has confused you with his mantra that he didn’t collude with Russia in the attempt to disrupt our election process? Trump did eventually admit that Russians did launch a cyber-attack against our beloved country. You did hear him say that, right? RUSSIA IS NOT OUR FRIEND AND YOU SHOULD BE ASKING TRUMP WHY HE HASN’T DECLARED CYBER WAR AGAINST THEM.  If Trump is so strong, why are Russia, Syria, Iran and North Korea not changing anything they are up to?

Many Trump supporters believe that Donald Trump is a great Commander-in-Chief, but when he launched 59 tomahawks into Syria for their use of chemical weapons, the airport was up and running a few days later. WHY DIDN’T WE TOTALLY DESTROY THE AIR BASE IN SYRIA? Some strike, huh?

Now I know, you think Congress is useless institution and if you believe your leader, the court system is just as rigged, but aside from God, who do you believe in? Now, I have been quite critical of your addiction to the cult-like Trump dogma, but I want to have a man to man with you, or, ah, man to woman with you.

I have always asked the question, why do rich white guys always think they can fix things? They think that because no one confronts them when they are wrong. Let’s zero-base this thing, Trump’s Base people. You claim the Donald is smart because he got rich being a great business person, right? You said he would make a good president because the country would benefit from a strong businessman running the country like a business. Well, okay, let’s work on that premise.

YOU DO REALIZE THAT DONALD TRUMP IS $315 MILLION IN DEBT, RIGHT? Why? If he so rich, why would be carry any debt? Now, let’s see how he stacks up with other great American born success stories. Donald Trump is worth $1.4 billion, while Warren Buffet, the head of Berkshire Hathaway is worth $76.1 billion. Mr. Buffet disagrees with Donald Trump on many issues. Last time I checked, Warren Buffet pays his taxes and carries no debt at all. So, why wouldn’t we be listening to Buffet before Trump. While we are on the subject of wealth equals smarts: Jeff Bezos is worth $84.3 billion, Bill Gates is worth $88.7 billion and Mark Zuckerberg comes in at $63 billion. You should be listening to them. Beating he IRS system is more important to the Donald than paying his taxes on time like you do.

Now, let’s address the big fat orange elephant in the room. When Donald Trump screamed it was okay to smack protestors at his rallies, you were on his side. Of course, when he said, “It’s time for us to take our country back!” you liked that message. You also are enabling him with his war against the press, but then, you don’t trust that much anymore. In Donald You Trust.

You like the idea of America First because you truly, deep-down inside believe that immigrants and African-Americans and gay couples and people with a liberal progressive agenda have taken advantage of you personally. In many cases, you have been enabled by your evangelical leaders. When did church folk decide that white Christians are more important than the poor? WWJD?

When you say you want to take your country back, you seem to be immune to the reality of history that North America. Our land was stolen from the native peoples by European colonists. The colonization of America was simply people with guns and horses taking land from people who didn’t have guns. Probably why you want to keep your hands on your guns and the 2nd Amendment. I get that, too.

What really made America great were waves of immigrants from all over the world who came here to have a better life. DONALD TRUMP’S GRANDFATHER CAME FROM GERMANY FOR A BETTER LIFE. The Donald is more immigrant that those who want to take their country back. His mother was not born in America, she was born in Scotland. That makes the Donald only second or third generation American, depending how you’d like to split hairs.

Now we come to the most important issue for the Trump loyalists. We must talk about what you really want. What is it that you really want? Are you just in this for “endless winning”? Or are you, like most Americans, interested in more jobs, better healthcare, a better, safer life and an opportunity for your kids to do better than you did? DOES THAT RING TRUE?

Donald Trump has spent most of his time with rich people and famous people and the urban elites. I am sure he paid for an abortion more than once in his life. His political and moral positions change when they get in the way of what he wants. We know that he gave money to the Washington elite, he admits it. Donald Trump will attempt to bounce between helping rich people and his kids first, then, if there is anything left over, maybe he’ll throw you a bone. You don’t have to believe me, you just have ask, IF TRUMP WAS SO GREAT, WHY ARE YOU STILL PAYING MORE FOR MEDICINES AND INSURANCE?

The debacle in Congress over the healthcare bill is just an example that we don’t send someone to drain the swamp, because in Washington, the swamp must be navigated by someone with a map. Our government was designed so that one person could never dominate it. WHAT DO YOU WANT, A RAISE AND LOWER TAXES? OR DO YOU WANT DONALD TRUMP TO SPEND ALL YOUR MONEY ON A WALL?

As strong as you think Trump is you must start to think and realize that he’s just a rich, silver-spoon-in-mouth golfer who fooled you once, twice and again and again. Just ask yourself, “Are things better?” And if they are not better now, when will they get better? You can say he’s not a miracle worker and “please give him a chance.” But remember, HE TOLD YOU HE WAS A MIRACLE WORKER.

 

 

 

 

 


THE GRAND CON

Trump’s Fake Promises

Imagine during a contract negotiation your boss promised you that he would never lower your wage. So, you accepted the new deal and at some point, he reduced your wage.  What would you think of your boss?

On the campaign trail Donald Trump was forceful with his promise that he would not lower Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. And with this grand con, many low income and older Americans connected to that promise. In many cases it may have determined votes in the election. But now the President is silent while the Republican Senate and House of Representatives create large cuts to those programs without his squeaky high voice saying, “No.” What kind of leader is he?

AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond said, “The Senate bill which imposes an “Age Tax” on older adults—increasing health insurance premiums and reducing tax credits, makes cuts to both Medicare and Medicaid funding, and yet gives billions of dollars in tax breaks to drug and insurance companies. AARP calls on every Senator to vote ‘NO’ on this harmful bill.”

It’s pretty obvious that Donald J. Trump is just another typical politician who promises things to get elected and then does what he wants, or what the party tells him to do. This spineless bundle of white fat with oversized neckties has little empathy with the poor, the middle-class or the millions of retired Americans who depend on these services and programs. He just wants to be loved by his slowly dissolving base and get reelected; cringe the thought.

The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship posted this on their Website today: “The Senate GOP recently released their version of the ACA repeal bill that they crafted in secret. Under this bill, millions of Americans, including cancer survivors, will lose health insurance. Cancer survivors are at risk of losing vital protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and premiums and out-of-pocket costs will increase for millions of Americans, especially older, sicker people.”

According to Gallup (here), Congress only has a 20% approval rating, while Donald Trump in the RealClearpolitics.com average gets around 40% approval with 54% disapproval of the job he is doing. Yes, he can blame Congress for the slash and burn healthcare bill passed, but remember that the President still has to sign it and if he signs it, he owns it. Recall when people talked about “Death Panels?” Well with Trumpcare we are actually going to get them.

There are many liars and lies in politics and the average Joe doesn’t have the wherewithal or time to discern the numbers, language and deceits from the truth. Free market healthcare, like trickle-down economics, is a diabolical myth perpetrated on the American public. Math doesn’t lie.  Rich people, the upper 1%, are getting richer while the middle class is getting poorer.

You might not want to trust someone like Donald Trump, or Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who on the side just made a boatload of money producing the Wonder Woman movie. They have no credibility when it comes to what they do with your money. Mnuchin, for example, just sold his interest in Dune Entertainment and then named his fiancée Louise Linton CEO to protect his wealth while he toils at his job in government. I assume Steve and Loise have a swell healthcare plan at Dune.

Can’t you see that this healthcare bill is the way they are going to give the upper 1% more money? Trump and his great disrupters are running a scam, a con, a scheme on the American public. In the next three years, they want to justify tax cuts for the rich by taking services away from the poor, the disenfranchised and the elderly. They aren’t good people and conservative Republicans truly believe that giving rich people more money will help them get elected. After all, rich people give money to super PACs and campaigns, the middle class will never finance their greed.

Trump has already gotten rid of the death tax with the stroke of his pen. His kids will greatly benefit by what he has already done. But we all have to realize how much a burden the rich people have to endure by moving their money around so the IRS doesn’t see where it actually is going. Trump is no better than the steel and train magnates of the late 1800s. Winning may be everything to the Donald, but the middle and lower classes of America will not tolerate much more of his poisonous political pain.

If you thought the voters were angry during the election, wait until they find out you screwed them with a horrendously false promise, Mr. Trump.

 

 

 


HEALTHCARE IS COMPLICATED

Trump Unqualified as Insurance Czar

The House of Representatives’ poorly written healthcare act is very much like a guy with a hangover eating a habanero pepper omelet the next day. Crap in, crap out.

They might claim that it’s the hair of the dog, but in reality, it was just what they shouldn’t have done. When the House narrowly passed the American Healthcare Act on May 4, 2017 (by only two votes), with 20 Republicans voting against the bill, the Donald played right into Democratic hands.

And here is why:

  1. The GOP accused Democrats of not reading the Obamacare act before they voted on it. Trump forced his party members to do the same thing and thus sabotaged those running in 2018. We must remember the 213 Representatives who voted NO on this one.
  2. The de facto party leader, Donald Trump, said that everyone would get coverage and that pre-existing conditions would be covered, while the same leader let the Freedom Caucus roll him and agree to the deal for a state opt-out for insurance companies.
  3. House members made it seem that they were either expecting their older “brother” the Senate to fix their work or, worse, they were just appeasing Trump and showing that they have more division within their party. I used the word “brother” on this one because the committee writing the Senate version of the bill consists of 13 men. Why?

We are hearing lots of talk about Healthcare and Insurance companies. The typical gripe on Obamacare is that there are so few insurance companies in certain states.

Why doesn’t anyone on TV talk about the efforts of state insurance commissioners? Some have blocked the expansion of companies into their States. For example, many people don’t know that it took GEICO many years to get into the Massachusetts market. WHY? Well, the large insurance companies based in Boston blocked any insurance companies that offered what was defined as “discounted” insurance. Boy, that is restrictive. That has since been resolved, but it begs a bigger question.

Why would the President keep rotating that hackneyed phrase that he believes in  states’ rights and wants to give the states more control over Health Insurance? Once you give the states MORE control over healthcare, why even have a national healthcare act? And when all the states raise taxes the President might think he won’t get blamed, but he should think again and stop listening to people like Steve Bannon.

Because of Obamacare, we are no longer debating that there should be a national healthcare plan.  We are now just debating what it should be and who should pay for it. But when the first person with a pre-existing condition dies, Donald Trump and the Republican party will have blood on their hands. That Republican lie about death panels will then be rolled out by the Democrats. Only this time people will believe it.

With all the companies Donald Trump ran in his past life, we are sure that he heard debates about healthcare for his employees. His involvement was probably tertiary with him; either telling someone to do business with someone’s company he liked, or just saying get the price down.

Now, we have Tom Price running around and saying repeatedly how great the plan is, while never addressing any questions. His presentation, like those of most Trump underlings, is just a mini campaign-like speech fraught with fact-free slogans and fallacies. Is it because he doesn’t know what he is talking about, or is it a case of specifics left out so no mistakes are made?

Anyone running a business would ask a few questions before voting on a plan. The first is how much will this cost? The second is what does it do for my workforce? I remember that middle-class rationality of how it would be great to have a “real” businessman run the government.  Well, where can we get one? Or, better yet, where can we get a real businesswoman?

Donald Trump has admitted that healthcare is complicated. Obama once opened an explanation with a remark on how complicated the subject was and Jon Stewart called him out. Stewart challenged Obama by forcefully explaining that it’s the President’s job to help us understand complicated matters.

Let’s face it, a simple man cannot grasp the complexities of things and then turn them into a well-thought-out plan. Trump does hate, sarcasm and bullying well, but on the mattes of state, he’s clumsy and foolish. Sad!


STATES’ RIGHTS VS. DONALD TRUMP

Power Delegated is Power Lost

Most administrations in this great land of the United States have juggled the temptation to take power away from the states with the more conservative viewpoint that states should decide what is right for their people. Attempting to keep both balls in the air has brought tons of law suits and taxed the Department of Justice with major decisions and minor peccadillos.

Donald Trump has fallen into the trap quite nicely. His red meat rhetoric that he throws to the hungry masses will actually reduce some of his ability to get things done. He obviously doesn’t understand that the enumerated powers of Congress listed in the Tenth Amendment are not his powers, they are Congressional muscle.

And if you actually read that amendment, you will see that it is very clear: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Focus on that last phrase, Powers that are reserved to the people. When Donald Trump wants to fix healthcare by giving the states more power to determine how it works and what can or cannot be done, he diminishes the power of the President and the federal programs he promised to improve to help people.

In the latest aberration of the Healthcare re-write, the compromisers have slipped a little stick of dynamite into the paragraphs. They are proposing to give a state the right to charge more for those who have pre-existing conditions. Wow, really? If a guy walks in with cancer, you can tax him just like a pharmaceutical company. Who the hell are these people?

With 4-20-2017 now just purple haze in the rearview mirror, we find another conflict looming on the horizon: the right of a state to regulate the growing and sales of marijuana. In Colorado, marijuana tax revenue hit $200 million and sales are set to pass $1 billion this year. What was once a judicial, social and medical over-reach has been turned into a windfall for the mountain state. Even college scholarship programs are being funded out of these taxes and revenues.

When our government was taken over by goodie-two-shoes in the 1920s, the religious right created a constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages that remained in place from 1920 to 1933. The ban didn’t stop people from making, buying or drinking alcohol.  It just made America a dull place for 13 years. Finally, FDR decided that people should have a legal way to let off some steam.

Now some out-of-touch people in power want to take federal legal action against those states that have taken medical and recreational marijuana reform to the bank. The new Attorney General knows best about what marijuana is because he most likely has never smoked marijuana. Donald Trump has said he has never smoked pot or cigarettes and of course, he would be best to judge what smoking cannabis does. Full on irony here, folks.

When you say you want to give more power to the states, but you are selective in how you apply that philosophy, you create confusion. Just like when you ignore scientists’ evaluations on climate change, you seem out of touch. When you disregard the medical evidence that marijuana can help people, you are like those people back 100 years ago who thought they could defeat alcoholism by controlling everyone. The myths created about marijuana are slowly going up in smoke.

Some polls put the support for national legalization at 61%. That is clearly more people than who voted for Trump. Even Canada has taken the move to legalize the herb. What are we waiting for?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on a radio interview, “I am really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power.”

Back at you Jeff, I really am amazed that a non-elected cabinet member from a state that doesn’t even have a lottery gets to decide how a state handles its medical and recreational use of certain natural plants.

What we really need is for all those who have a vote on marijuana at the federal level to fire up a doobie and relax. It’s not ‘oxy’ or heroin. Keep your eye on the important stuff.

 

 

 

 


BLINDED BY THE LIGHT

The Mandate Trump Never Saw Coming

By all accounts, Donald J. Trump doesn’t seem like a dim bulb, but the light of his own ego blinds him to the clever ideas he might have.

The debacle of March 24, 2017 may have been a little late for the Ides of March, but the fact that the Republican majority in the House couldn’t ramrod a Frankenstein healthcare bill, might demonstrate they are paying attention. Had they passed that bill, the ill effects would have determined the outcome of the 2018 elections.

Trump seems to be bumping into walls in the dead of night. Wearing his ill-fitting bathrobe, he cannot even comprehend, as he puts it, the strange procedures and rules of the House of Representatives. Did they not teach civics at the Wharton School of Business? Penn graduates are embarrassed everywhere.

And then, the leader of the free (but not free trade) world says this, “We had no Democrat support. They weren’t going to give us a single vote so it’s a very difficult thing to do,” He then added, “I’ve been saying for the last year and a half that the best thing we can do politically speaking is to let Obamacare explode.”

Let’s review for the folks at home. In the 115th Congress, the House has 237 Republicans and only 193 Democrats. Even with 5 vacancies currently, a fifth grader can see the Republicans have the majority. That is 44 more members and surely, they could get any bill passed in their chamber. Not so fast. The Republicans stand on states’ rights and anti-mandate is to their detriment.

Trump seems to think his role is to win, rather than lead. There is no responsible governance in what he says when he fails. He first looks to blame a someone or something rather than solve a problem. How did this man do well in business? Oh that’s right, he owned the business. There was no one there to dock his pay or fire him when he did poorly.

Any good business person knows you never kill a revenue source. Even if the product the people are buying is not the state of the art version, you want to keep them as customers until you can upsell them into the next version. This means that Trump, if we want to give him some credit, might be thinking that the revenue from the 20 million new insured Americans might be a good thing. Too much credit?

The one thing that Republicans wanted most to scratch in the Affordable Healthcare Act was the mandate. They associated the mandate with the big bad, evil government being involved in healthcare. Wait, that is simply a tax. If everyone signed up for healthcare and the system took on a more universal approach, there would be more revenue. If all the states would have all gotten on the bandwagon and promoted Obamacare, we would be better off now.  

When red states balked at the exchanges for ideological reasons, they were throwing money away. Let’s see, where is Bobby Jindal today? He left his state healthcare system in shambles coming in dead last in most categories except premature death where Louisiana was 47th out of 50 States.

The good idea that Trump kept telling us about at those big loud rallies was creating a marketplace of more competition in order to lower prices. Increasing costs is one of the debate points people raised saying Obamacare is bad. Trump knows better than anyone that a monopoly in a segment leads to higher prices. That’s why he wanted to get Native Americans out of the casino business.

With a little bit of smart legislation, Trump could cure what ails the AHA right now. All he would have to do is to convince Congress to pass a law saying that states do not control which insurance companies operate in their domains. In a sense, this would be no different than Congress giving Major League Baseball a mandate to operate across state lines without worry about the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887.

Why not write an exception for healthcare providers right now, so that some of the more aggressive players could come into states like Alabama where there is only one provider now? But that would mean Trump would have to convince Congress to pass something. I thought he was the deal maker? Turn out the lights Donald, the party is over.

It’s right there in front of Trump and he doesn’t see it. He wants to win and have everyone kiss is ass instead of coming up with solutions that would help Americans now. We have said it many times and will keep saying it, the President has the wrong people around him. Sad!

 


The Difference Between Business and Government

Trump’s Assumptions Are Wrong

During the Presidential campaign, we heard the mantra that massaged the maxim into the minds of the under-employed middle class saying what we needed was a great businessman to cure what ails America.

When the Trump loyal followers are questioned about why their man is right for our country, they will always talk about his business success. That was the same argument they made for Mitt Romney in 2012. And this opens the door for a mature discussion about the difference between the two.

First, let’s think about the gap between a privately-owned company and a publicly traded company. In a privately held company, the owner can do what they want. They can shout out orders and fire those who don’t get the job done. At the end of the year the only person they must face is themselves in the mirror. Did they make money or did they lose money?

In a publicly traded company, the top dog has to answer to investors and their board, or cabinet, as elected by those stockholders. The term fiduciary duty refers in general to the highest standard of care. A fiduciary owes his allegiance to the beneficiary of his or her endeavors. If an individual breaches the fiduciary duties, he or she would need to account for the ill-gotten profit or misdeeds in office.

In a sense, the President of the United States is the head of a large company, but that analogy only goes so far. The Congress is certainly who the president must deal with to get money to run the country. The President does not have the power to unilaterally decide what money goes where. The final budget must be approved by Congress. Since the Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act was in fact a tax on citizens, the changes that take place in that Act must be voted on by Congress.

What Trump and many of his voters don’t understand is that the he has more than just those who voted for him to take care of. All the citizens are stockholders of this country and his actions must consider the ramifications for all Americans, not just his screaming fans.

His assumption that he can just bully his way in and demand that Congress do what he says is wrong. There are factions of fractions and within Trump’s own party; splinter groups and lobby-controlled partisans who care only about THEIR money and THEIR re-election. Trump should think of his own hostile takeover of the Republican party and realize that at any time there will be powerful groups like the House Freedom Caucus that can stop anything in its tracks; including Mr. Know-It-All President.

Here they are: Mark Meadows of North Carolina, Chair, Justin Amash of Michigan, Brian Babin of Texas, Rod Blum of Iowa, Dave Brat of Virginia, Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Ken Buck of Colorado, Warren Davidson of Ohio, Ron DeSantis of Florida, Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee, Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, Trent Franks of Arizona, Tom Garrett Jr. of Virginia, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Morgan Griffith of Virginia, Andy Harris of Maryland, Jody Hice of Georgia, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Raúl Labrador of Idaho, Alex Mooney of West Virginia, Gary Palmer of Alabama, Steve Pearce of New Mexico, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Ted Poe of Texas, Bill Posey of Florida, Mark Sanford of South Carolina, David Schweikert of Arizona, Randy Weber of Texas, and Ted Yoho of Florida. These people are the real problem for President Trump because they gave him a standing ovation before the big meeting, then told him they wanted Obamacare gone, period. If you voted for them, how do you feel now?

In business, the nimble companies that get things done quickly, even with a few mistakes along the way, can own a market segment and dominate competition. With the US government, our competition seems to be gridlock, not party affiliation. Trump says vote now and if you say ‘NO’ he will just move on to something else. Boy, that sounds like avoidance not fight.

Why did he pick the hardest thing to do first? Why doesn’t he stop wasting time, energy and breath on tweets and start to figure out what he should keep his eye on is the bird feeder. The voters – stockholders – will want a return on their investment. So far, he’s still in hostile takeover mode. YOU OWN THE COMPANY, run it and stop with this “it’s all about me” syndrome. It’s not about you at all. Sad!

 

 


The Simple Truth About Donald Trump

Who gave him the keys to the car?

According to the NHTSA, the average percentage of DUI repeat offenders is 30%. There is someone killed every 52-minutes in America due to a vehicle accident where alcohol was involved. NBC’s Today provided this stat: The FBI says that every day almost 300,000 people drive drunk, yet only 4,000 are caught by police.

That means thousands of people are behind the wheel at any time who can put you and your loved ones in danger. We have someone at the wheel who is putting America in danger every day and someone must pull him over.

After the brief time Donald J. Trump has been in office, we have seen some rather bizarre actions, Orwellian use of language and the unfettered use of social media to embarrass himself and our great country.

As we have suggested on these pages before, someone should be controlling both the official POTUS tweeter feed and the personal @realDonaldTrump page. Once Trump became President, those sites became official government conduits for establishing administrative policy. Each tweet is a legal US document.

With every fabrication Mr. Know-it-all transmits to the world, the United States of America becomes a little smaller and petty in the eyes of the other world leaders. Mr. Trump, to be politically incorrect, the whole world is laughing at you (and not in a good way).

When both the head of the FBI and the head of the NSA both testify to Congress that there is no proof the Obama administration wire-tapped your phones, you couldn’t let it be, you had to tweet into the hearing more untruths.

Like the guy at the bar who has all the confidence in the world that he can drive home after countless doubles, no one on your team has the balls to take the keys away from you. Your power-hunger ego won’t really allow anyone in your inner circle to at least ask, Is this a good idea?

You’ve ended up in the ditch many nights Mr. President and maybe that is your lame justification for free-base tweeting at all hours of the night. Well, at least I didn’t kill anyone. And even when someone does get killed, you use your account to placate your own self-esteem rather than consider how your words can hurt.

Less than half of the American voters gave you the new car. They are still giving you permission to do things they don’t even know will hurt them dearly, soon. What happens when your blind sighted healthcare bill takes medical access away from all those coal miners in West Virginia? What will your “fans” think of you when those premiums and deductibles actually go up, not down as you have promised? And your claim that everyone will be covered is a bold faced lie that is worse than Obama’s pronouncement that you can keep your doctor.

Your press secretary is the punchline in a visual joke and no one sees Sean anymore; they see Melissa McCarthy’s rage and satire. The fact that you program him to say things like Mike Flynn was a volunteer in your campaign to lessen the guilt-by-association for his Russian engagement cover-up is all on your Mr. President. I even see SNL sketches in my mind rather than a real president. For such a “bad show” they have certainly repositioned you as the fool.

You have failed the Breathalyzer test so many times it’s not funny. You have also not been able to walk a straight-line with the American people. Why don’t you try to just tell the truth? Maybe Bernie Sanders is right. You just might be that pathological liar he described.

We would ask for the results of your blood test, but we would rather see your income tax returns for the last 4 years. Get off the road and get some help, Trump, before someone gets killed. Or you start that war you kept telling us Hillary would create. You are unfit to hold the office, Sir. Sad!