By James A. Kidney Texas hosted the first primary election of 2018 on March 6, kicking off the race for the entire House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate. The contested Senate seats are mostly owned now by Democrats in pink or red states. Another big state, Illinois, holds its primary March 20. There is some electoral relief until May 8, when four states, including barometer states North Carolina and Ohio, hold their primaries. Thirteen states hold primaries in May with 17 more in June. Hello, Bob Mueller? Most prognosticators of the Mueller investigation believe there is still a long way to go before final indictments and a confidential report to the acting attorney general complete the actions of the special counsel. The predictions are based on known grand jury subpoenas and named cooperating witnesses. The Mueller team itself seems pretty much inoculated against the D.C. disease known as … Read more of this post . . .
By James A. Kidney Most of the mainstream media identifies the Republican Party as one in distress, torn between the capital C Conservatives embodied by Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, and the radical flamethrowers encouraged by Steve Bannon and the actions, if not always words, of Donald Trump. But I wish I was a Republican. I wish I could be unabashedly in favor of the rich while proclaiming I am looking out for the little guy. I wish I could speak crassly of my fellow citizens on occasion and let inner prejudices out for a stroll. I wish I didn’t worry so much about those same citizens as their economic condition deteriorates or look with anger on the very wealthy for whom enough is never enough. I wish I could be blind to the damages inflicted on this great nation as a democracy is converted to a corporatocracy with the … Read more of this post . . .
By James A. Kidney I finally decided to buy a new car the other day. Wow, it is a cumbersome and annoying process. At the end, I was feeling helpless and victimized, and with no new car. Of course, as with everyone, I first went to the two dominant car dealerships — Regal and Demos. It was easy to get to them on Metro. They both have huge, bright dealerships on Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and the Capitol. The salesmen are very cheerful and upbeat, except if you walk out the door without buying a car. Then you get some flak. But the dealerships seem to promise all you would ever want in a car. That was the promise, but not the reality. At Regal, there were only two colors — white and green. The green was full of special features — satellite radio and tv, and … Read more of this post . . .
By James A. Kidney What if you needed a doctor and there was none? What if you suspected you had cancer, or suffered a stroke, or had a bad lingering cough, and your doctor could only see you in six or seven weeks? For many, whether you have a good insurance plan or no plan at all, this is the case now. A 2014 study reported the average wait time for an appointment with a family physician was 66 days in Boston, 23 in Seattle, 26 in New York and 19 in Houston. A combination of doctor shortage, overwork and low pay for Medicare and Medicaid patients is driving the growth of “concierge care” in which you pay an annual fee to guarantee you talk to a doctor when you need one. It is creating a multiple-tier system of care in which many physicians reject Medicare patients, or even all … Read more of this post . . .
By James A. Kidney “Govern” is a six letter word, but it is treated as a four letter word in Washington, D.C. A strong case can be made that there has been no governance on domestic issues since Newt Gingrich promoted the “contract with America” back in 1994, turning up the flames on political partisanship. It is certainly the case that neither party has done much to govern the nation domestically since Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial later in the ’90s. (Adding pharmaceutical benefits to Medicare and passing Obamacare, both of which had serious defects, are the two major exceptions.) Neither Democrats nor Republicans are interested in governing. Only in getting elected. Then the focus is on the next election. Republicans have proven this point for their party. They were in control of Congress beginning in January 2011. They criticized everything President Obama did or tried to do for six years, and … Read more of this post . . .
By James A. Kidney There is lots of fear, angst and anger about Trump in Congress, in the blogosphere, in op-eds and on “the street” among us little folk. But all of us could exercise a little intelligent strategizing on how to deal with the reality of President Trump in addition to protesting and complaining. Let’s use our economic power. Here is a look at an alternative way to deal with two Trump proposals, one announced and the other circulating in draft, if either becomes policy or law. On these, as well as other proposals, liberal wealth could be used to leverage the right wing agenda to reduce its influence and elevate better ideals of freedom and liberty. One of these proposals is the one Trump announced while pandering to the right wing “Christian” crowd at the annual White House prayer breakfast. Trump said he plans to “destroy” the 64-year-old … Read more of this post . . .