Tag Archives: Donald J. Trump

CBO weighs in again: not good for ACA repeal

That doggone Congressional Budget Office has done it again.

It has released a report that suggests an attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act — even through a back-door process — is doomed to cost Americans more than many of them can afford.

The CBO reports that Donald Trump’s threat to repeal the “cost-sharing” payments to Americans seeking health insurance under the ACA is going to cause premiums to skyrocket. Such a repeal also would balloon the deficit by $194 billion over the next decade.

The president has made the threat as a way to get congressional Democrats to bargain with Republicans after the GOP repeal/replace effort failed in the U.S. Senate.

The payments provide Americans a way to afford health insurance. They subsidize insurance companies as well, giving them a chance to provide coverage to Americans who otherwise could not afford it.

As I’ve noted already, my wife and I have benefited directly from the payments provided under the ACA and I am appalled that the president would threaten to cut them off, to use them as a bargaining tool — or, if you’ll accept this description, as a political football.

I’m glad the CBO has lined up on the side of Americans — such as yours truly — who want the president and Congress to improve the ACA, not repeal it.

Trump gets ahead of himself over Clinton inquiry


Donald J. Trump perhaps thought he was being magnanimous in declaring he wouldn’t seek a special prosecutor to examine whether Hillary Rodham Clinton broke any laws while she served as secretary of state.

Except for one thing … or so I understand.

The president-elect has no actual authority to make such a ruling.

That process starts and stops with the Justice Department and the FBI. Moreover, I am pretty sure the feds have determined already that Clinton didn’t commit any crimes while she used a personal e-mail server.

The FBI actually has made that declaration twice.

FBI Director James Comey said in July that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring charges against Clinton. Eleven days before the election, Comey then said he was examining some newly discovered e-mails to see if they contained any new information. Nine days after that, Comey said his initial conclusion stood.

Of course, that didn’t stop the future president-elect from convicting Clinton of crimes she didn’t commit. He vowed to pick a special prosecutor.

Now he says he won’t.

That’s not his call to make.

Blog is taking wing … so to speak

Syrian internally displaced people walk in the Atme camp, along the Turkish border in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, on March 19, 2013. The conflict in Syria between rebel forces and pro-government troops has killed at least 70,000 people, and forced more than one million Syrians to seek refuge abroad. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC        (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)

I don’t consider full-time blogging to be actual work.

It’s more like therapy for me. It keeps me engaged to the best of my ability, which I suppose depends on whether you agree with the opinions expressed in this forum.

So, when I decide to take a vacation, I like taking High Plains Blogger with me. Where I go with my wife, the laptop comes along and the blog keeps spewing out musings on this and/or that.

OK. So, here we go.

My wife, myself and the blog are getting set to take wing.

We’re heading soon for Germany and The Netherlands. We have friends in Bavaria — the pretty region of Germany — and in The Netherlands we intend to see. I’m going to get caught up with these folks, one of whom I met on a journalist field trip to Taipei, Taiwan in 2010, the others I met while traveling through Israel on a month-long Rotary International Group Study Exchange trip in 2009.

I have a couple of burning questions I’m going to ask people I meet during our stay in Western Europe.

*I want to know about the Middle East refugee situation in both countries. We keep hearing on this side of The Pond about the “flood” of refugees fleeing the civil war in Syria. What has been the impact of their arrival? Is it the “crisis” that we’ve been told it is? And what is the state of the nationalist fervor that appears to be building, particularly in Germany?

*The second question is a bit more straightforward. What’s the feeling in Europe about the state of the U.S. presidential election that’s going to pick up a serious head of steam. Particularly, what do the Europeans think of Donald J. Trump’s nomination by the Republican Party to be its candidate for president of the United States? I will do my level best to set my own bias aside as I glean the views of our German and Dutch hosts. Rest assured: We’ll talk also about Hillary Rodham Clinton.

There is likely to be some more local color I’d like to provide as well.

Neither my wife and I have been to Germany or The Netherlands — although we did stop once in Frankfurt, Germany to change planes en route home from Athens in 2001. I don’t count airport stops, you know?

I am anxious to see my friends. I also am anxious to enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of cultures that are much older than ours.

What’s more, I am anxious to obtain — to the extent I am able — a broader world view of the chaos that’s about to unfold in my own country as we make up our minds on who’s going to become the next Leader of the Free World.

Come to think of it, I might even ask Europeans whether they hold the U.S. president in such high regard.