Wednesday, January 18, 2017

T. Price is not Right

Rep. Tom Price is Trump's choice for Secretary of HHS.  Clearly if the price is right he will support legislation.  He has recently profited by buying stock shortly before voting for a bill specifically helping his new portfolio entrant.  Troubling, but if corruption was dis qualifying there would be no Trump presidency.

More pungent is his passion for contracting medical coverage.  His state of Georgia has among the highest rates of uninsured, and the worst healthcare outcomes for patients.  Tom wants to build on this success for the entire nation.  He has voted against any expansions coverage including the State Children's Healthcare Insurance Program that covered 6 million children.

We will pay a high price if this grim reaper controls the health and well being of all Americans.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

GOP Car Sellers

What would you do if a car salesman asked you to trade your car in, but would not show you the car you are buying?  Worse yet, he will not tell you the specifications, the cost or the delivery date.  Welcome to the GOP controlled government.

How can we evaluate the repeal of Obamacare without a peak at the replacement, if any.  Republicans have had 7 years to build the shiny new plan, but have failed.  Now they are rushing production with ill matched think tank spare parts.  Healthcare is a life or death decision.  Hardly something to be left in the grimy hands of partisan used car sellers.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

True or False

Trump has called the dossier alleging Russian ties, and blackmail potential, "false news."  False news, like Hillary's pizza parlor child prostitution ring, is without fact or substance.  The dossier is real. The source is a former British MI6 agent, who has provided solid intelligence in the past.  The allegations, may or may not prove correct, but the allegations are real news.

Oddly amidst allegations of financial improprieties, and using Russian supplied information to assist his campaign, his only specific defense is to the sexual allegation.  He parades his germ phobia, as proof that his glee for gold excludes golden showers.  Even this flows false, since he was alleged to be a spectator not a participant.

That we are even talking about such things, bodes ill for the next 4 years.

Profit Plan

As fond as the president elect is of walls, he cannot build a Chinese wall around his business.  He knows the assets and nature of the business.   Unless he lacks all business acumen, he will know what policies will help or hurt his business.

The solution is to donate to charity all profits directly or indirectly related to laws and policies during his term in office.  A bipartisan panel of economists would make the assessment.  Ironically, Trumps promises to charities would finally be fulfilled.

The second prong is to deleverage his business.  During the campaign, Trump made the patently false claim that his businesses  were not leveraged.  Make that the first campaign promise that he keeps.  Owing money, particularly to foreign interests, is unprecedented for a president.  A third party could be appointed to deleverage prudently, without damaging the business.

Americans deserve a president focused like a laser on their needs and interests.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

4 Americans in Cuba

My above titled book is now being converted for Amazon, iBook, and Google Play.  After reading the Forward, I hope you will look forward to its release in the 1st quarter of this year.

FORWARD

For Americans, Cuba has been the forbidden fruit—a skin of Detroit sheet metal covering a center of tasty rum, swirling cigar smoke and sandy beaches. 
Until January of 2016, when the people to people exception opened independent travel to Americans, there was no role for this guidebook.  Legal travel to Cuba was through planned tours ranging from 7 to 13 nights.  Those tours, at QE II stateroom prices, enveloped travelers in an all-inclusive bubble.    Backpackers defying the embargo, were travelers on a shoestring tightly holding Lonely Planet, while scrolling through backpacker social media. 
My intended reader is neither unwashed (great or otherwise) nor anointed.  Cost is an object, but so is comfort.  She recognizes the danger of a luxury cocoon as well as the tedium of a shared bathroom.
Money is only one resource to marshal.  Equally important are time and energy.   Although I welcome youthful backpackers, I don’t assume my readers have the boundless energy of the young.  I don’t.  Travel should be a stroll, not a marathon.   
Similarly, time should be savored, not wasted in endless lines, that can be part of life in Cuba.  I have a few tips that will save you hours.  I caught one error in Lonely Planet that may save you days.   
This book has nearly two hundred pictures.  Is a picture worth a thousand words?  I have seen horrible pictures that were worth only a few expletives.   But I’m advising you where to eat, sleep and sightsee.  Pictures provide you with a tool to make your own decisions, piercing the hyperbole of the intrepid travel writer.  I took most of the pictures.  Those taken by Jan Sanders will be followed by a “JS”, those by Jacqueline Heskett a ”JH”, and those by my wife an “RS”.
I do have the big picture.  Pictures are big.  A picture contains more data than a thousand words.  Be patient.  Downloading will take a little extra time.

To fully enjoy this book, please read it with a computer, tablet, or color e-reader.  Otherwise, the pictures will be in fifty shades of grey.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Cold Turkey

I am not referring to recently  defrosted leftovers.  This political junkie has turned off the TV, interred the internet, for fear of a soul deadening overdose of our strutting president elect.

Not even a long planned trip to China, inoculated me.  Our bull in the China shop called the president of Taiwan, whether out of ignorance, pursuit of business, or as a policy switch.
But the Temple of Heaven, and other sights to be covered in a future post, were a welcome distraction.

On another international note, my Cuba guidebook, 4 Americans in Cuba, is at ebookit for digital conversion and distribution.  Look for it in the 1st quarter of 2017 at an ebook retailer near you.

As we careen towards the holiday season, never has goodwill to all been more important.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Respect

The media and the political establishment have not taken Donald Trump seriously.  He is the president elect.  The condescension must stop.  He deserves to be held to the same high standard as other presidential candidates, let alone as the president elect.

Conflict of interest is a stunning example.  Under sustained pressure from left, right and mainstream media, as well as a broad spectrum of politicians, Hillary was forced to commit to divesting the family charitable foundation.  In the interim foreign and corporate contributions, were curtailed.  This is a foundation that has saved thousands of lives, and helped millions.  None of the Clintons received any compensation from the foundation.

Contrast this with the far flung Trump business empire.  Rather than building a wall along our southern border, he should build a Chinese wall between himself and the business.  Instead his laughable plan is to have his children run the business.  Going for an even bigger laugh, he has made his children special advisors to the president with top secret clearance.  They also serve on the transition team, staffing the new administration.

The potential for conflicts is legion.  Suppose they lack their father's golden touch.  In return for investment capital or a favorable loan from foreign player, they influence policy.  To gain access corporations need only agree to hold a major conference at a Trump property.

Good times are no shield.  The most insidious threat is trading state secrets for financial advantage.  Suppose they meet with Russian officials as representatives of our government.  At the same time they ask for favorable terms, on building a hotel in Moscow.

Holding President Trump to a high ethical standard is not an attack, but rather appropriate respect for the office of the presidency.