Health care in the age of Trump

Donald Trump is obsessed with obliterating the legacy of Barack Obama’s presidency in every manner possible. That includes the national health care program known as Obamacare. Much of the Obama-obsession seems personal, but the consequences of Trump’s efforts to eliminate or radically change Obamacare will have a far-reaching, long-term effect on the health and well-being of millions of Americans.

Some folks in this country seem to feel that everyone should be on their own as far acquiring health insurance is concerned. I’ve got mine, good luck getting yours. Continue reading

Trump’s alliance with Putin

Donald Trump’s recent European tour was undoubtedly a smashing success, at least for him and his loyal Trumpkins. “He’s opening up lines of communication.”

Well, here is a news flash: those lines have been open already, for many years, even well before he announced his candidacy for president in 2015. Eric and Donald Jr. spilled the beans about that long along. We are just waiting now for the documentation. Continue reading

Unions in 21st century politics

I began my active involvement in politics when I was in college in the late 1960’s. A lot has changed since then. Here are a few things that come to mind:

  • From what I hear from some party leaders, it is harder than it used to be to recruit members for their committees
  • In Buffalo and other places we paid attention to the local news cycle, which meant that in major campaigns in days gone by we had to have separate press releases each day for the News and the Courier
  • And last, but not least, we checked nearly everything that was going on for reaction or comment from leaders of organized labor

Things are different now. Continue reading

Oh Canada!

People living in Western New York have a very unique opportunity. Some of us can, from our offices, actually see a foreign country – like Sarah Palin, only for real. We can drive in to work in the morning, take a quick glance to our right, and see another nation.

Some of us live in that foreign country for the summer. Many more of us drive over for lunch or dinner. Trips to see the Blue Jays play in Toronto or a theatre production are just a couple hours’ drive away. Or maybe it’s a trip to see a play or to have dinner in a picturesque little town a short distance across a river from a fort that that once defended America. Continue reading

On dreamers and food stamps, congressional confusion and the rule-of-law

Paul Ryan must be anxious to get back to Janesville, Wisconsin and to join all those well-paying corporate boards that await most former speakers of the House of Representatives. The job he has now certainly isn’t any fun.

Ryan became speaker mainly because no other Republican House member wanted the job after they saw what happened to John Boehner. (Is former Speaker Denny Hastert out of jail yet?) Boehner’s grand finale was to put a deal together that settled some budget and debt problems for a couple years. The Hastert rule about requiring a majority of the majority to sign off on legislation more or less went out the window as Boehner worked his magic. Continue reading

Throwing people under the bus, in Washington and Albany; candidate transparency

In the political world we now live in there are certain personal characteristics that seem to have blossomed. Forgive me for using a pretty word for it, since the blossoming in this case is the type that leads to dandelions, crab grass and poison ivy.

Last Saturday’s performance by comedian Michelle Wolf at the White House Correspondents Dinner certainly hit a nerve with many people. Margaret Sullivan, former editor of the Buffalo News and currently the media columnist for the Washington Post, had an excellent article yesterday suggesting that for the sake of journalism the Correspondents Dinner should be discontinued. I am no fan of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, but the personal attacks on Sanders by Wolf were offensive. Continue reading