If there is one thing Donald Trump knows how to do it is bankrupting a business. So even though the Republican controlled Congress has not been able to repeal Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act is still in jeopardy because the bankruptor-in-chief is committed to shutting it down without so much as a thought to the tens of millions whose lives would be placed in financial and physical jeopardy from illness that could lead to poverty and/or death.
The irony in all this is that a healthier America is better for business, which is what Trump claims to be all about.
For more irony, Trump is touting invigoration of the coal industry—a dying segment of the energy sector with dying companies that provide lethal work for coalminers—at a time when solar, wind and other alternative energy sources have far surpassed coal’s attractiveness as a resource and employment prospect, not to mention its environmental concerns. But then what do you expect from a businessman who could not turn a profit from gambling casinos?
Behaving like a spoiled child holding his breadth because his parents deny him an extra portion of dessert, a ticked off Trump has threatened to curtail subsidies that underpin many insurance providers. Without the subsidies insurers may abandon markets, leaving individuals without insurance options or with drastically higher premiums many couldn’t afford.
Trump is gambling his threat will force Republicans and Democrats to come back to Washington to vote to repeal and replace Obamacare. But keep in mind, four of Trump’s six bankruptcies came from his inability to run a successful gambling casino. Should anyone with such a sad, sorry record be playing with the health and safety of our citizens?
How Big a Gamble: To get his way Trump has shown a willingness to gamble with the health of millions. He now has an international dilemma with even more certain deaths if he places his money on black and the roulette ball lands on red.
What should he do with North Korea’s relentless march to nuclear warhead and ballistic missile capability? Does North Korea pose an existential threat to America or any of its allies? Should he order a pre-emptive strike on the missile staging area?
Even if we could knock out the missile development region, we probably could not prevent massive conventional retaliation on Seoul with massive loss of life and physical destruction of the South Korean capital. Are we willing to sacrifice the citizens and capital of our ally so easily?
I’m inclined to think we should not. Here’s an analysis from the Centre for Research on Globalization worth reading: https://shar.es/1TwcYz
Breaking the Silence: In the war on Islamic terrorism it is often asked, where are the moderate Muslim voices? Sadly, under threat of actual death, they remain all too silent.
But one can equally ask, where are the voices of reason within the Republican Party? How can they let this misfit of a president stand for the party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan?
To be fair, many conservatives have spoken out and written about their disdain for Trump and his co-opting of the Grand Old Party and conservative values. Even some religious leaders have expressed consternation that their brethren have forsaken Christian teachings by supporting Trump’s extreme positions, including his stances against Obamacare, immigrants, Mexicans, Muslims and voting rights.
Until recently, the real silence, however, has been heard in the halls of the Capitol. For eight years Republicans decried the power of the executive branch under President Obama. Now that a so-called Republican sits behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, watching their reaction and their determination to express congressional authority is a study of evolving expectations.
Now that he has removed Reince Priebus in favor of John F. Kelly as his chief of staff, commentators are saying Trump has severed his strongest ties to the Republican Party establishment. Will he try to push through an agenda without care or consideration for traditional GOP values, or will he try to work with an increasingly independent Republican controlled Congress?
Senators Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and John McCain showed profile-in-courage independence by voting down the last ditch GOP effort to repeal Obamacare. But others who privately did not like the “skinny repeal” bill voted for it anyway, a true example of profiles-in-cowardice.
Meanwhile, The House and Senate overwhelmingly voted for more sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea along with a proviso that Trump could not unilaterally lift sanctions on Russia. Trump has indicated he will sign the bill as he doesn’t want to risk the embarrassment of having a veto overturned.
Republican senators have also been out front warning Trump not to dump Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sen. Charles Grassley, chair of the Judiciary Committee, has threatened not to hold hearings on any replacement for Sessions nominated by Trump.
The end game for Trump is to get rid of Robert Mueller III as independent special counsel. Aside from the investigation into possible collusion with Russia during the election last year, Trump fears Mueller’s probe into his finances. Trump well knows that developers are ripe pickings for investigators looking for shady deals.
Trump might be looking alarmingly at Pakistan where the Supreme Court last week removed from office Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif because of alleged financial corruption.
On the other hand, he might be gazing longingly at Vladimir Putin’s strong armed rule in Russia where opponents are jailed (“Lock her up”) or mysteriously die, or to the Philippines where President Rodrigo Duterte conducts summary executions of alleged drug dealers and users (Trump last week suggested police treat suspects more roughly), or even to Venezuela where President Nicolas Maduro has rammed through the election of a constituent assembly that will rewrite the country’s constitution more to his liking (Trump wants the Senate to abandon filibuster rules that he views as constraining his legislative agenda).
He definitely won’t look for inspiration to Poland where President Andrzej Duda vetoed two proposed laws that would limit the independence of the judiciary.
This Isn’t Funny: OMG, how are we supposed to survive the Trump administration if our favorite foils keep getting whacked? First Sean Spicer resigns, no doubt moments before he would have been axed by his new boss, communications director Anthony Scaramucci. Then a short 11 days later Scaramucci is dumped by new chief of staff Kelly.
Spicer and Scaramucci were made-for-TV-satire-comedy. Melissa McCarthy made Spicer into an Emmy-nominated caricature. And it was impossible not to be amazed and amused by Stephen Colbert’s spot-on mimicry of Scaramucci.
It will be tough replacing these comic inspirations. Ex-Marine general Kelly just doesn’t have the same je-ne-sais-quoi. I guess we’ll just have to be content with Alec Baldwin’s Saturday Night Live send-up of Trump and Kate McKinnon’s portrayal of Kellyanne Conway.