Saving Speaker Ryan

The results were probably something President Trump wanted all along. He does strike me as a bit Machiavellian from time to time, after all.

As we now know, the healthcare proposals of the Trump administration couldn’t even get out of the House of Representatives on Friday. There wasn’t even a consensus amongst the Republicans to get the deal done, with moderates and far-right Republicans proving to be the obstacles.

Now the typical finger pointing and other such punditry has begun. Some are calling for House Speaker Paul Ryan to step down. The point does have logic to it, as he advocated the merits of the new system to staggering levels.

Some are blaming the Freedom Caucus, a group of constitutional Republicans, for holding out for a better deal. I can’t blame them, really. Most of us were doing likewise.

I’ve always believed that if you have to sell something that hard, its probably something you are better off not having. Now Obamacare likely implodes, and the Trump team will later be able to work off a clean slate as opposed to the frequently erased chalkboard they have now.

A better day and deal will come. I haven’t given up on Trump yet.

Terror On The Thames

Another alarming day for the free world.

There was another terror incident in Europe, this time in London, not too far from British parliament, then at the building itself. 

Details changed over the course of the day, and might still be sketchy as you see this today. The asailant was shot, eventually dying of his injuries, but not before he took the lives of a few others.

It is a chilling reminder for some that the threat of terrorism still, sadly, exists. But as they say over there, we shouldn’t be afraid of them.  At some point in the future, no matter how hard our governments try, we will again be reminded of it. 

Rachel And The Documents Of Doom

Some of you will be surprised to hear that I find Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show to be tolerable. That was, until she, like the other media outlets, got caught up with the hysteria surrounding Donald Trump’s presidency, and the partisanship it’s caused since. I think we, as Americans, can do better than this for our duly elected President under the current constitutional rules. I like hearing the opinions of both sides, because when you take being bellicose out of it, it’s how I learn what they’re saying.

Then came last week. Maddow’s Twitter feed bursted on Tuesday with news of a surprise revelation concerning a seemingly forgotten about topic: Donald Trump’s taxes, and his failure to release them to the public. Someone anonymously sent journalist David Cay Johnson the documentation for Trump’s 2005 taxes, who then released the findings to NBC and cable outlet MSNBC. The findings probably didn’t go the way Maddow or the network of Peacocks had hoped, despite making news on all the other televised outlets: Trump paid over 25 percent of his income in taxes this year, far more than other politicians paid recently, such as former President Obama or Democratic contender Bernie Sanders.

A brief rant here: the one thing that drives me crazy about TV news is that networks, cable news stations, and local TV stations frequently wave documentation around on camera, then tell you what’s in it. I would love to see the FCC pass a rule, for the sake of transparency, that if a station does that, they must put the same documents on a website or other such forum for public view. It isn’t something media does or doesn’t do all the time, but there should be a uniform rule so that informed people wanted to learn more, that ability is there for them.

As for Maddow, the big show on Tuesday night was a ratings hit, but it seemed to harm her reputation on both conservative and liberal sides. Geraldo Rivera’s career recovered from the “bomb” of a 1987 special promising to reveal the contents of Al Capone’s vault, but finding nothing of significance within. My gut tells me we’re not getting rid of Rachel so quickly, and I’m sure her bosses will remind her not to turn into such a caricature of herself.

Aircheck: WFLA-AM, 6/6/1991

I’ve had this in my collection for many years, and finally got around to converting it to an mp3 file back in 2013, then turning it into a YouTube video. (Only had the first hour of a three hour show, though. Sorry.)

Back then, WFLA was still locally driven, with talk show hosts on the political left and right. Now, the station is owned by Clear Channel, and syndicated conservative talk is the order of the day.

Personally, I thought this WFLA at its peak. All voices and opinions welcomed. A shame stations aren’t run this way today.

Healthcare Hysteria

The future of America’s health care system is constantly being debated these days. I just wonder why the hell our government ever got involved in this business.

Then, I wind up answering my own question. Because there’s money in it, dummy. Even though this looks like someone is replacing a 20 year old used car with a 15 year old used car.

I don’t see what is different about the GOP proposals in theory as opposed to what the Democrats had. The Dems had the mandate that requires health insurance under penalty of a fine. The GOP plan doesn’t have that, but if your insurance lapses, you have to pay 30 percent increase.

What difference does it make?  You take it in the shorts either way, and your hard-earned money becomes THEIRS. The only difference being your money goes to the insurance firms, and through taxes the government makes money in a kickback.

At this point, I think President Trump and Bernie Sanders should have some sort of healthcare summit. Otherwise, whoever become President after the Donald will just have to fix it again. Or, could it be that the Republican congress has a more sinister plan: to bust out the system as it stands now by pushing a replacement that’s unpassable, then push a better plan to make them look like saviors?  Risky.

Clash Of The Titans

The ongoing war of words between President Trump and former President Obama is wearing me out, though I have little doubt Trump may very well be correct that he was being surveilled, if not wiretapped.

(I wrote this a couple of days before the latest round of Wikileaks came out, the “Vault 7” dump that uncovered the CIA’s surveillance techniques. In short, the gist of it was that not only could the CIA surveil someone, they could make it look like somebody else did it, like the Russians for instance. Sound familiar?)

Will we ever get down to the bottom of it? That seems to be the one thing that never seems to happen these days. The more questions there seems to be, the less answers the American public seem to get.

If the allegations are true, what can be done (or should be done) to the former President? It seems doubtful to me (though I never practiced law) that Mr. Obama could be tried criminally.

This will likely drag on in the court of public opinion for a while, as the press loves this kind of never ending nonsense. It gets tiring to watch, so I try hard these days to avoid the hysteria of cable news, and the corporations who own them.