Category Archives: Politics

Fear and Loathing in American Politics: The Trump Phenomenon

No one — whether bipartisan or partisan — knows what Donald Trump will say today ortomorrow. Just last week it was the “Mexican judge” who deigned to rule against Trump’s interests. And “my African American.” This week he’ll say something equally as outrageous. Why? Because his popularity is based on celebrity, not substance…and he is a near – if not total – megalomaniac. To believe he has the interest of any person — the poor, the rich, the in-between — is to miss this. He is acting on behalf of Donald Trump and Donald Trump only. He believes only Donald Trump and Donald Trump only. He’ll follow only Donald Trump and Donald Trump only. (It’s against my disdain of the guy to use his name so much — he likes that people use his name.)

Trump throws rallies in metro areas where there is a large potential crowd. Better, he promises to skewer any number of discreet, insular minority groups. People listen and respond to someone like Donald Trump telling them to fear those folks different than them. That formula’s worked forever. Hitler had his Jews, gays, Gypsies, etc. Tailergunner Joe McCarthy and his ilk had his “pinkoes,” “commies” and “fellow travelers.” California and other entities had those of Japanese descent in 1941, before they had those good Americans uprooted and sent to camps in vacation spots like Utah.

When one takes a group and say it’s so filled with “rapists” or “jihadis” that we must act toward the whole group like the whole group is one person, then will act out. They will discriminate against the whole group of people. And when one does that long enough you will get violent, discriminatory acts. That’s what Trump in fact has caused — fights on the fringes of his rallies between his disciples and others who don’t agree with the idea that we can depict Mexicans (even if not documented) and Muslims (even if they believe the same faith as some crazy jihadis) and other minorities as less than deserving of rights.

Trump is attracting people by the same fear tactics used by Hitler, McCarthy and FDR (and his actions against American-Japanese). He can’t win because — thank God — we have a reasonably strong economy and some prosperity provided by Mr. President Barak Obama. Trump doesn’t have a completely destitute people (1930’s Germany), a people scared to its core by communism from a USSR who’d just taken over all eastern Europe and the new Red China; or a war frenzy. Trump will be gone in December 2016.

The Affordable Care Act, brought to you by ……… the Republicans!

Many might now welcome a Nixon ticket.

Today’s post comes from guest author Jay Causey, from Causey Law Firm.

     Looking for information in the media that is supportive of the nation’s transition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka “Obamacare?”  At the moment Republican and right wing noise is drowning out much of the lower–decibel cheerleading by the Administration on why this is a good thing.

In 1974, Pres. Richard Nixon proposed what is essentially the 2010 healthcare act – all but the smallest employers would provide medical insurance to their employees or pay a penalty, expansion of Medicaid would insure the poor, and subsidies would be provided to low–income citizens and small employers.

     In a recent op-ed piece, former Secretary of Labor under President Clinton and leading economic expert, now at the University of California, Berkeley, Robert Reich summed up the history of the origin of “Obamacare,” pointing out the irony of the right wing’s fuss over it.

     In 1974, Pres. Richard Nixon proposed what is essentially the 2010 healthcare act – all but the smallest employers would provide medical insurance to their employees or pay a penalty, expansion of Medicaid would insure the poor, and subsidies would be provided to low–income citizens and small employers. While private insurers liked this plan, Democrats favored a system more like Social Security and Medicare, so there was no consensus.

     Fast-forward to 1989, and the right–leaning Heritage Foundation proposed a plan that would mandate all households obtaining adequate insurance. This plan worked its way into several bills introduced by Republicans in 1993, supported by Senators Hatch (R–Utah) and Grassley (R–Iowa), along with subsequent Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, all now vocal opponents of the ACA.

     When in 2004 Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney made the original Nixon plan the law in his state, with the same mandate to buy private insurance, he said, “we got the idea of an individual mandate from Newt Gingrich, and he got it from the Heritage Foundation.”

     Health insurance companies, now retooling their policies around the individual mandate, are jubilant about the possibilities of long–term membership growth through the insurance exchanges. These giant corporations have traditionally supported conservative and Republican politics.

     So as Reich notes – – why are Republican spending so much energy trying to sabotage the ACA, and act they designed and about which a huge sector of their patrons are wildly enthusiastic? The answer: it is the singular achievement of the Obama Administration, the head of which is still considered by a large segment of the right to Illegitimately occupy the White House.

     Reich goes on to observe that had the Democrats prevailed on the idea of a system built on the Social Security and Medicare model – – cheaper, simpler, and more widely accepted by the citizenry – – Republicans would nevertheless be making the same noise.