I recently became aware of an older couple who came face to face with a common and life-threatening medical condition. The details aren’t germane other than to say, the final costs will well exceed $115,000 and if left without insurance they would find themselves bankrupt.
Being bankrupted by America’s “poorest health care system in the developed world” system is nothing new, it happens countless times each day. Researchers recently learned that over 65% of all bankruptcies in America are tied to medical issues and that over 500,000 families file for medically-related bankruptcies every year.
Continue reading Is life without Medicare possible?
NEW TWEET RECORD: It was reported this morning that in the hours before the House voted on Articles of Impeachment Trump issued 123 tweets, setting a new personal record. Maybe this is what his core refers to when they say he gets so much accomplished.
It’s the season to be generous, but if you follow the news you are aware that Donald J. Trump just had to pay $2,000,000 to charities his charitable foundation had ripped off. Also, he had to admit his misdeeds in court and his foundation has had its doors slammed shut for the long term.
There’s nothing new about charities not being charitable. Years ago I stopped giving to the Red Cross after learning that a huge portion of its income went to pay for fundraising and administrative cost. There were some big paychecks being handed out at the top.
Continue reading Charities aren’t always charitable
Recently someone posted a YouTube video on Facebook of a 1909 Patterson automobile being taken for a test drive. The video was posted by the Saratoga (NY) Automobile Museum and many wondered if it was a long-sought survivor of the C.R. Patterson Company of Greenfield, OH.
C.R. Patterson was the first, and only, African American manufacturer of automobiles in America and there are no known survivors of their motorized vehicles. The Greenfield Historical Association does own a couple of examples of the horsedrawn wagons the company made before going into the automobile, and later bus, business.
Continue reading A surviving Patterson remains but a dream
I don’t always agree with Robert Reich but I do always enjoy listening to his points of view. Simply put, he makes me think and that’s what so many Americans need, to be forced to think.
While I don’t have a clue as to who I’ll vote for in Ohio’s Democratic Primary it does help to hear all the sides. Spending six-minutes listening to an informed and experienced voice like Riech’s will help me when decision time comes.
I taught American Government for a couple of decades and always believed in the basic principles of our Constitutional democracy. That the founders feared power and they believed too much power would result in corruption. This fear led them to create a system that divided power into three governmental branches and assigned certain powers to each. It was assumed that protecting what was their own would cause each branch to check the power of the others while protecting its own.
While this system of “checks and balances” has never worked perfectly it has, for almost two and a half centuries, kept us a democratic nation and prevented the rise of a tyrannical dictatorship. The maintenance of democracy in America has, however, been under attack since Donald Trump took occupancy of the White House. Trump has increasingly used every means at his disposal to weaken the competing two branches while strengthing the power of the executive to levels never before seen. The current attempt to impeach and remove Trump fro43%m power is motivated in great part, to an attempt to restore a balance between the three branches.
Continue reading America, our nation, may be doomed
IMPEACHMENT: The Los Angeles Times is America’s third-largest newspaper and it just dropped a bomb on Trump by endorsing his impeachment and removal from office. Kaboom Bone Spurs!
GOP HEROES: The LA Times is predicting that pro-impeachment Republican members of Congress will enter the history books as heroes.
As the old radio news reporter, Gabriel Heatter used to say, “There’s good news tonight.” Just as fast as things went bad for Lordstown, OH, things suddenly got brighter. General Motors has announced it is joining with the Sout Korean company LG to build a new lithium battery factory in Lordstown to pave the way for the companies near future plans for Electric Vehicles (EVs).
While it will take a while the joint effort plans to hire 1,100 new workers but GM refused to address whether any of these would be rehired from the 1,600 laid-off workers from the closure of their auto manufacturing plant in that city.
HEALTH CARE: The WAPO reports, “A new study from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found a small one percent decrease in American retail drug prices in 2018 — the first decline in more than 40 years — but a significant jump in the cost per person for private health insurance. The study, which was published in the journal Health Affairs, says that last year health care spending overall grew by 4.6 percent to a total of $3.6 trillion, or an average of $11,172 per person. If you felt like you were spending more on out-of-pocket fees such as insurance deductibles and co-payments in 2018 , those also increased last year by 2.8 percent.”
GOP RETIREMENTS: When things don’t look great for your political team, sometimes you decline to go another round. As of Thursday, 17 House Republicans have announced they are not seeking reelection in 2020. FiveThirtyEight’s Geoffrey Skelley pointed out many of these names have been members of the House for at least two decades, are from safely Republican districts and in their early-to-mid 60s, making them relatively young for retirement. Overall, it’s not a positive sign for the GOP
I think we can now confidently say that three American presidents have been impeached, Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton, and most certainly, Donald Trump. Richard Nixon would have been impeached and most likely removed from office had he not resigned his office before the House of Representatives took a vote.
But, what about other federal impeachments? The Constitution permits the impeachment of the President, Vice President, and all civil officers, including federal judges, of the United States.* So far, in our nation’s history, there have been nineteen impeachments, fifteen of which were judges and two were presidents. Trump is not included in the total, as of yet.
Most Americans know little to nothing about the non-presidential impeachments but a little investigation makes for interesting reading. A list if our impeachments, along with a brief story of each can be found by clicking HERE.
- Members of Congress are not considered civil officers and are not impeachable.
That wall the Mexicans were going to pay for hasn’t, except for but a few miles, been built yet. It was supposed to be failsafe or bulletproof but as this video shows, whatever wall man builds, other men can climb over.
If Trump were to get funding for his total wall, or Mexico finally saw things our way, it could cost $25 billion or more. I think this short video provides proof that we could find better things to spend that money on. How about feeding hungry kids or improving the health care system for people.
With everything that’s recently been said about impeachment, Gerald Ford was mentioned. Ford, a long-time member of the House of Representatives, was quoted as having said that high crimes and misdemeanors were whatever the House says they are.
That said, I got to thinking about Ford’s time in the White House and recalling a bit of historical trivia regarding both he and his vice president, Nelson Rockefeller.
While some of you old-timers may recall this, it may be new to the whipper-snappers out there. As a result of the 25th Amendment and the resignation of President Richard Nixon, Ford and Rockefeller made history.
Before the resignation of Nixon his Vice President, Spiro Agnew, had been forced to resign because of criminal problems back in his home state of Maryland. The 25th required that a replacement be appointed and that person was Gerald Ford. Thus, Ford became the first VP to have never been elected by the people or the Electoral College. Later, when Nixon resigned to avoid being removed through the impeachment process, Ford became the president, again without being elected.
That left the VP vacant and the 25th required that someone needed to be appointed to fill that vacancy. That somebody was the former governor of New York, Nelson Rockefeller.
So, for the first and only time in America’s history, both the presidency and the vice presidency were filled by people who had not been chosen by either popular vote or the majority of the Electoral College. And there children, is your historical trivia for the day.
Here’s just a part of the advantage a candidate has if they are a billionaire. According to the website, FiveThirtyEight
“Maybe you bought some cool electronics or a new kitchen appliance during all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales that helped set new records for e-commerce in the U.S. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg went on his own spending spree from Saturday, November 23 until Sunday, December 1, purchasing two television advertisements that aired 19,006 times. The estimated cost of all that screen time was $23.7 million, which is more than three times the amount spent by all the other Democratic presidential candidates’ ads during the same time period combined.“