The adults in the Trump administration are morphing into enablers

When the Trump administration was being put together there were a whole lot of questions raised about the competency of certain nominees. In some cases there has already been evidence that those concerns were legitimate.

Take Dr. Ben Carson, for example. Dr. Carson is an eminent brain surgeon, but he was put in charge of Housing and Urban Development. Bad choice. Allowing Carson to pontificate about his philosophy of life – worse choice. Carson recently told the world that poverty is a “state of mind,” suggesting that poor people basically will themselves into being poor. There are some such people, much like there are some billionaires and multi-millionaires who inherited a ton of money but believe that they are self-made rich people. Education, housing, medical care, job opportunities – those are the drivers that affect someone’s ability to make a good life for themselves and their families. Continue reading

The politics of Trumpcare

When someone is having a really bad losing streak it can be very tempting to exaggerate any positive development, no matter how small. Thus it came to pass last week that House Republicans – at least 217 of them – and Donald Trump celebrated the approval of one of the most despicable pieces of legislation ever to see the light of day, the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Continue reading

The Trump effect in special elections

The Donald Trump administration has existed now for nearly 100 days – that arbitrary yet significant milestone attached to every new presidential administration. Beyond the Neil Gorsuch appointment to the Supreme Court, activities have been limited mostly to executive orders, many of them just proposing to study an issue. The only notable legislation that reached Trump’s desk and was signed was a bill that made it easier for people who are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance and are in need of assistance with performing their daily functions to purchase guns. That bill was signed in private. Continue reading

Is Collins recruiting Trumpcare supporters or just setting up a smokescreen?

Congressman Chris Collins seems to be in his glory these days. He occupies the safest Republican-majority House seat in New York State.  His pivot from establishment presidential candidate Jeb Bush to anti-establishment candidate Donald Trump worked perfectly.  As the first member of Congress to endorse Trump, Collins achieved some preeminence.  Appearing on countless national television interviews, Collins has become the cheerleader-in-chief. Continue reading

The financial connection between ECMC and Erie County government — Updated

The Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) has been around for a long time. It originally opened in 1905 as the Municipal Hospital, then was called Buffalo City Hospital and in 1939 the facility was re-named E.J. Meyer Memorial Hospital. Ownership was later transferred to Erie County government. Operated as a department of the county for many years, the institution in the 1980’s morphed into the Erie County Medical Center. In 2004 it received a degree of independence. Continue reading

Amending Obamacare; Jim Keane

Donald Trump likes to pick and choose which traditionally Republican policies he supports, particularly concerning social programs.  But he is all Republican concerning Obamacare, promising to repeal the Affordable Care Act despite the fact that abolishing its major provisions would hurt most those who most ardently supported Trump.  In doing so he has bought into a major dilemma that recent Republican partisanship-before-country policies have created. Continue reading