Archive for November, 2016


Older Americans didn’t always have Medicare or Social Security. Once upon a time we had Curb-Care. Put your sick and dying elders at the curb. Modern Republicans tell us American life without those government giveaways was ennobling for seniors – and cheaper.  Nor did we always have an upwardly mobile middle-class or universal education opportunities for our children. Modern Republicans call that period a time of tough love. Americans at one time were either poor and uneducated or wealthy and educated. Women didn’t always have equal rights with men or the vote; likewise for blacks and the poor. Like Muslims today, Jews, Irish, Italians, Poles and Papists weren’t always welcomed here. Labor unions and strikes were illegal criminal conspiracies until FDR and the 1940s. Strikers were murdered and jailed with impunity by union busters such as the Pinkertons. There was no such thing as a minimum wage for a worker or job safety. DDT until the 1960s and asbestos until the 1990s along with other profitable toxins were mass killers of millions upon millions of Americans whose deaths were simply regarded as a cost of doing business. Contaminated meat, poisonous foodstuff, polluted rivers and bays and automobiles that were Unsafe at Any Speed were the norm in a bygone age without government regulation.

Republicans are today’s party of nostalgia and Trump has empowered them to take us back in time. Are we nostalgic? Is that why we elected Trump? Do we yearn for the good old days when banksters and corporations were unfettered and unaccountable to notions of the public good, their employees and the law; to a time when working men and women were regarded as a commodity like an ear of corn?

Not really. Americans are not nostalgic for the glory days the Republican Party is now preparing for our middle-class. Trump’s unexpected election simply told the political class to “Pay attention to the middle-class – all of us as one.” Trump and Bernie heard that call. Hilary did not. Hilary sliced and diced the electorate and had winning politically correct messages for the tiny dices and slices of voter groups among us but not a coherent thought for the hurting, shrinking, angry and anxious middle-class. For the working-class as a whole Hilary chose timidity and feigned ignorance of the economic pain knowingly inflicted by business and government on American workers by her husband’s repeal of Glass Steagall and the NAFTA trade deal or the additional pain awaiting American workers with Obama’s TPP trade agreement. Bernie and Trump did not. Trump won.

In discussing Obamcare’s repeal, which will be the first step to Curb-Care for seniors, Mr. Trump said, “There will be a certain number of people who will be on the street dying, and as a Republican, I don’t want that to happen.” We shall soon see what Mr. Trump really wants, if he can part company with Republican orthodoxy.

The good old days the American people yearn for are FDR-like days when elected representatives worked like lobbyists on behalf of the American middle-class. To keep the past where it belongs the American people have to be watchful with Mr. Trump and his all Republican government.  We must stay the course.  There can be no going back to the good old days and Curb Care.


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President-elect Trump’s early Transition Team positioning doesn’t bode well for many of Trump’s older blue collar supporters.  What’s coming sounds a lot like a betrayal of biblical proportions on blue collar America.  That is unless Trump’s older blue collar supporters have suddenly come to disfavor Medicare as it is now constituted.  Retired Amercans may be surprised to learn that the Trump Transition Team is gearing up to reform Medicare, Republican style, using Congressman Paul Ryan’s model of privatizing government entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare. This despite the Trump election rhetoric that said he would not touch those programs.

The Trump “…transition website says the Trump administration will modernize Medicare “so that it will be ready for the challenges with the coming retirement of the Baby Boom generation — and beyond.”

By adding Medicare modernization to the list, Trump is now employing the vocabulary of Republicans, notably House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), said, Alan Wilensky, health care expert. Ryan has long advocated converting Medicare from an (government) entitlement program, as it was designed a half-century ago, and giving its beneficiaries a certain amount of money to help retirees buy private health plans” from private insurance companies – not Medicare.

I love it when Republicans MODERNIZE and REFORM programs for working people with one hand and hand out huge tax breaks for the elite with the other hand.  In other words blue collar reforms and savings will be subsidizing blue blood tax breaks.

Imagine trying to  buy health insurance from an American insurance company when you are 65-75 and 85 years old and in poor health?   Ahhh, you just have to love Republican REFORMS.

In 2000, Trump wrote a book called The America We Deserve, in which he praised universal healthcare systems:


“We must have universal healthcare…I’m a conservative on most issues but a liberal on this one. We should not hear so many stories of families ruined by healthcare expenses…

Doctors might be paid less than they are now, as is the case in Canada, but they would be able to treat more patients because of the reduction in their paperwork..

The Canadian plan also helps Canadians live longer and healthier than Americans. There are fewer medical lawsuits, less loss of labor to sickness, and lower costs to companies paying for the medical care of their employees. If the program were in place in Massachusetts in 1999 it would have reduced administrative costs by $2.5 million. We need, as a nation, to reexamine the single-payer plan, as many individual states are doing.”




It simple really, FBI Director Comey just genuflected before Jason Chaffetz. It may be true, up to a point, that Comey was thinking in terms of protecting the FBI’s reputation from undue criticism and that is why he bent the knee. It may be true, as well, that Comey felt professionally obligated to follow up on his previous conclusion that the sensationalized email fiasco issues did not constitute a crime.

But I have to agree with Professor Krugman that it is likely more true that Jason Chaffetz and his Republican colleagues in Congress have put the bull on Mr. Comey. That Mr Comey was terrified of what would happen to his persona if he had informed Congress after the election in compliance with the Hatch Act and sound institutional legal practice at Justice and the FBI.

Comey shrank like a violet in the heat when he considered what Chaffetz and Co. would do to his reputation. Comey would have been subjected to some of the vilest of right wing commentary (and investigations) if he had not dished this non-news to the Republicans in Congress before the election.  Comey folded like a cheap suit.

Comey the coward folded rather than face the scorn of the Republican right wing. Which is not a remarkable event in Washington, given all the really cheap suits running loose but it is remarkable in the sense that Hillary (5’5″) has been subjected to the same pressures from the right wing for the last thirty years and she is still standing. Comey (6’8″) caved on day one.

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