Puzzling Why the Boon That Medicare for All Would be For Business is Not Talked About More. By Anybody.

Fortune mag:  Sanders: Why Medicare for all is good for business.  Of course it is!  One of the greatest beneficiaries of ending the employer based healthcare model would be the money and manpower saved by businesses presently administrating healthcare policies for their employees.  Famously, American car manufacturers bake about $1500 of cost into every car they make with covering their workers’ healthcare.  A cost the Japanese, Korean and German car makers do not have to bare.  That’s the tip of the iceberg.

Also, too, as well, I find it dumbfounding how the debate over renewable energy does not often include the vast cost savings that solar, wind, hydro and geothermal reap after the initial equipment investment.  A barrel of oil still runs about $50 before refining.  A barrel of wind is $0, refined, unrefined or with sprinkles!

It’s a real debating error not to push these great general benefits of these ideas/technologies.  We’re great at selling the general ideas of “innovation”, technology and education.  So much so that they’ve become almost unquestioned plusses in our national dialogue even when they’re really quite debatable (a  lot of innovation actually costs jobs, lowers wages and is designed to be more efficient for management – so selling it as the future for workers is really wrongheaded).  We’re much less accomplished talking about the specifics, even when they are in our favor.

 

The Story is Still the Moral, Ethical, Intellectual Bankruptcy of the GOP

So Trump blathers about good people at a Klan rally and the story is that even Republicans denounce him.  But really how many did?  Really just a handful.

We reached about the 50th tipping point in the candidacy/presidency of the clown and still nothing really changes, because his party refuses to recognize their responsibility for governing the country.  There’s maybe more willingness to speak out, contradict him, whatever.  We’ll see if any of this makes them more willing to investigate or hold him accountable legally, so far no.

What’s most abnormal about all this abnormality is that the GOP shit the bed on vetting him and never letting him get the nomination.  And that’s because their toxic brew of conspiracy theory and anti-government sentiment set up their sheep-like followers for a perfect know-nothing candidate like Trump.  They created the establishment/media/science skeptical zeitgeist among their faithful over 35 years of bullshit, and here we are with a bullshit president.  Ta da!

It’s been a week since the last new low tipping point.  We’re almost ready for the next new low tipping point that doesn’t in any way tip.

 

 

We All Need Trump To GO! But Secret Service Most of All

If you need another hint that our current President and his crew are not normal, I mean besides all of the challenges to our democracy, eight months into his first year they’ve exhausted the Secret Service.

Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles, in an interview with USA TODAY, said more than 1,000 agents have already hit the federally mandated caps for salary and overtime allowances that were meant to last the entire year.

So many family members, so much travel, complete disregard for the Secret Service and the taxpayers that are footing the bills for all of this (despite Trump’s supposed billions in wealth).

Last month we learned that the Secret Service had to leave their offices in Trump Tower and took up using a trailer in the street because the rent Trump was changing them was too damn high.  Let’s repeat that, he’s charging them rent for protecting his family.

The Secret Services costs to rent golf carts at Trump’s golf properties so far is $60,000. At properties Trump owns, he’s charging them for carts to get around his property in the course of protecting him!

And despite it all, they’d probably still take a bullet for him.  And then he’d find a way to invoice the Secret Service for “blood clean up” or “emergency vehicle use”.

Worst part of it all for the agents is the knowledge that all of their work and sacrifice is actually counterproductive to the country’s interest.  If they let him catch the bullet we’d all be better off, President Pence notwithstanding.

If Roy Moore Wins Alabama Senate Primary the GOP Officially Hits Bottom

Roy Moore (no relation to Mary Tyler Moore) is the guy that is solely known as being the Alabama Supreme Court Judge that installed a granite statue engraved with the Ten Commandments outside the taxpayer funded state courthouse, fought orders to have it removed, and ultimately had himself removed from the court.

He’s ahead in polls against two other very awful, horrible, no good holy roller Alabama conservatives.  But he’s absolutely the worst in a competition in which nobody wins.

Maybe the only positive is that Trump endorsed one of the other losers.

Another positive is that we can all laugh at how low Alabama is in our national zoo of unreconstructed confederate stupid.  But it’s not really funny because they constitutionally provide two remarkably backwards senators to our national debate. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions was one of them, possibly to be supplanted by Roy Fucking Moore.

Another 100 years of progress and they may join the 20th century.

For the Record, I Love Kirsten Gillibrand

She held a town hall in Troy, NY yesterday.

Coverage from the Troy Record.  A great write up from Daily Kos.

She’s running for reelection in 2018.  After that we’ll see.

Yes, I also love Elizabeth Warren.  And too, also, as well, I have a crush on Cory Booker which was reignited when he changed his tone on Big Pharma.

I’d like to see more of Jason Kander too.

With politicians you don’t have to commit (at least not now), so its not cheating.

 

Democrats Have Embraced Complexity and Mystification – Which People HATE. Simplify, Dems, Simplify!

One of the things I’ve seen over 20 years working in corporate law has been the increasing complexity of transactions to the point that no one of the attorneys working on the deals even understands the entire deal.  Incredibly complex, baroque even corporate structures are created to take advantage of tax laws.  The CEOs are sold on the tax savings, but the legal fees for these deals are so astronomical that it’s hard to imagine they’re actually saving money.

The lawyers and the corporate executives get all chummy and clubby, after all many of them went to the same schools, live in the same neighborhoods, vacation in the same toney enclaves, send their kids to the same schools.  They trust each other’s expert advice. In such cases, nobody really gets hurt except maybe the stockholders.  But in government, that chumminess and trust between members of the same class can screw a lot of people.

One symptom of the takeover of the Democratic Party by the technocrats and professionals, like the executives and lawyers, is that there’s this trust in complexity that only the experts can fathom.  Dodd Frank and Obamacare are perfect examples. Simpler alternatives were rejected for pages and pages of intricacy and mechanisms that the politicians can’t even explain. They’re relying on the experts to even know what they’re voting on. Experts are fine. necessary.  But when you create legislation that chooses complexity over simplicity, do not be too surprised if the public bolts.  Besides giving your opposition the ammunition to destroy you (the bill is thousands of pages!!), even your allies have trouble defending it all.

Bringing back Glass-Steagall was simple – separate commercial banks from their investment brokerage components and make them compete with each other.  22,000 pages of regulations and loopholes not necessary.

Single-payer or a public option were simple – government becomes the insurance company like Medicare.  10,000 pages and Rube Goldberg mechanisms not necessary.

Point being that the simpler solutions may have actually addressed our problems better from a policy standpoint AND from a political standpoint.

The complexity and mystification, trusting the “experts” to figure out answers that we can’t understand no less explain to the public in a sentence is part of what’s killing the Democratic Party electorally with the working class.

I’ve said that we have to admit where Bill Clinton sold out a lot of the natural Democratic constituency and hurt us electorally.

We also have to be able to admit that Obama made some very bad decisions regarding financial regulation and healthcare that continued the Clinton direction of making us look like we’re in bed with Wall Street and healthcare insurers and not fighting for people.

P.S. It occurs to me after reading this Nation critique of a new book about Andrew Jackson that certain factions in the party Jackson helped to found have completely done a 180 on trusting the bankers and financiers that Jackson found so revolting and undemocratic.  Especially since 2008 it’s unwise to declare unconditional trust in the Wall Street moguls in public, and both Clintons and Obama talked a good game against them – but their actions, who they put in their cabinets, contradicted their words and evinced a dedication to those people that has not served us well. Trump, on the GOP side, has done the same exact thing. Dems are unequivocal in stating that Trump sold out his followers.  Honesty dictates we need to be as clear in our thinking about our own avatars.

Reasons the Infinity Why You Should Never Elect a Donald Trump to Public Service

Never forget, it’s public service.  Something Trump has never, ever, ever done.  Ever. That was reason 1.

Tuesday saw two more manifestations of why it was completely irresponsible to vote for the orange man.

  1. His response to crazy North Korean leader’s crazy was to match crazy for crazy instead of calm, cool, sane leadership.

President Trump’s threat to unleash “fire and fury” against North Korea sent a shudder through Asia on Wednesday, raising alarm among allies and adversaries and, to some observers, making the possibility of military conflict over the North’s nuclear program seem more real.

Trump has asked too many times why we haven’t used nuclear weapons, in public.

Now hopefully somebody explained Hiroshima and Nagasaki to him. We’ll know soon when he announces:

Turns out we did drop nuclear weapons before. Nobody knew.  Over Japan, a long time ago Harry Truman, a Democrat, dropped some bombs.  Some say good move, some say bad move.  Incredible power, total devastation. I mean nobody knew what these things would do and people are saying that it’s unthinkable to use them again. Did you know that?  Nobody knew.  Unthinkable is strong.  I mean I can think good.

2. Trump’s attention deficit disorder turns out is limited to anything he needs to know, like briefings on critical issues.  Those have to be limited to a half page, a page at most, with pictures and charts.  But he has limitless ability to absorb and limitless need to consume positive propaganda about himself.

Vice: Trump gets a folder full of positive news about himself twice a day.

Twice a day since the beginning of the Trump administration, a special folder is prepared for the president. The first document is prepared around 9:30 a.m. and the follow-up, around 4:30 p.m. Former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and former Press Secretary Sean Spicer both wanted the privilege of delivering the 20-to-25-page packet to President Trump personally, White House sources say.

He is literally the absolute last person to allow into the Oval Office, the worst possible personality make up for a president you can imagine.

But here we are.