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On the lighter side of life... 

#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace

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Trump & The Mob

http-//www.politico.com#13C5A6C

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"Give me your tired, your poor

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore

Send these, the homeless, tempest-toss'd to me

I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door."

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Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax

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Half of the US Is Broke

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The myth of the Christian country

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“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

FDR, 2nd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1937

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A Just Peace

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SIP contract online

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Middle East friendship chart

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Corporations enriching shareholders

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- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry

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Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks

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"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

   Business in the USA is sitting on $2 trillion dollars refusing to invest their own funds in expanding and hiring workers.  

   When one adds to this the reserves that banks, equity firms and hedge funds have - the picture is clear - "capitalism in the USA is on strike." 

   The engine of our economy - the spirit of entrepreneurship is not in evidence today.  So much for business being dynamic and risk taking. 

   They hire K- Street lobbyists and their ilk at the state level because they are averse to risk taking - pleading for tax breaks, tax credits and endless loopholes. 

   The "business of business" in America today is not about job creation, it's about wealth hoarding and redistribution from the middle class to the top 1%. 

   So for those who claim government doesn't create jobs, my response is that business doesn't either until given "corporate welfare" by government.  The fact is that the private and public sector are highly integrated, something the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party types don't understand. 

   Job creation requires public/private partnerships but the benefits of such collaboration should go to the 99% not just the 1%.  

 

RAD'S

WEBSITE PICKS: 


 

  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:

Realclearpolitics

  • Jim Hightower:   

Jimhightower.com

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column

Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 


Hard Times in Oregon: 

Hardtimes

The Oregon story - the rich get richer, the poor and middle class lose ground.  Check this front page Oregonian article out. 

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


  

      Oregon's coming 34th out of 41 states in the Obama "Race to the Top" illustrates the failure of leadership from Governor Kitzhaber and his predecessors as they have built an educational bridge to nowhere called high stakes testing.

   Instead of being in a race to the top we seem to be dumpster diving to the bottom despite doing education reform since 1991.  Insanity is termed doing the same thing over and over again.  When can we put a fork in this stupidity? 

   To confuse matters more the Oregonian's editorial board has pontificated that this was a lost opportunity to get federal funding for innovation.  How firing principals and teachers equals innovation is a mystery to me.   

   The way to reform schools is to reduce class sizes, to encourage teacher collaboration and to support their continued education.  High stakes testing and performance based assessment of teachers are NOT the answer!    

   If you want students to succeed you first have to resolve the issues they confront before they come to school.  Children who face poverty, hunger, homelessness, health care issues and family instability require wrap around services for them and their families, 24/7.   

   Every child needs a safe home of their own and parents who know how to be good parents.   

There is only one way to address this impending crisis.  Schools must have a stable source of funding. Until that happens - we will limp from crisis to crisis.   

 

 

    

    Why does the richest nation in the world have the moral blight of homeless people?

Invisible People

http://www.npr.org


 Homelessness

    Connecting the dots between homelessness & hunger in Oregon and Washington County: 

Homelessness:  

•    The faces of the homeless are families with children, single men and women, vets, and many who are impaired. It is estimated that in Washington County up to 56% of homelessness occurs to families.

Hunger:

•    Hunger is highest among single mother households (10%) and poor families (15%) as well as renters, unemployed workers and minority households. 

     In Washington County, Oregon's "economic engine," the divide between the affluent and the working poor continues.  We have a 19,000 unit gap in affordable low income rental housing.  County political and business leaders are indifferent to this crisis...   


A RAD rhetorical question - Were Madison & Marx "Marxists"?  

 

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments."   

- James Madison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAD Lines

See my FACEBOOK @ Russ

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  • He lost by 2.9 million votes...

  • He's a con artist...

  • He's a pathological liar... 

  • He's a failed business man...

  • He's a fascist... 


Every Fascist Needs an Enabler. Donald Trump Will Have Mike Pence.


Trump's role models are Vladmir Putin and Benito Mussolini.  He has contempt for our checks and balances system.  He wants to "rule" not govern like a strong man, a despot.  He will shredd the Constitution anytime he feels the urge to do so and like all despots he only listens to his inner circle.  And he is paranoid and narcissistic. 

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SB 1533 passes!  

http://oregon.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=10863

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Housing Needs in Oregon 

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"There are men who believe that democracy... is limited or measured by a kind of mystical and artificial fate [and that] tyranny and slavery have become the surging wave of the future..." 

FDR, 3rd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1941

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Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel

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Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 

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Sign the petition ►

Walgreens - pay your fair share of taxes!


  • "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." - Mayer Amschel Rothschild


  • Miguel de Cervantes, from The Duke - "I accuse you of being an idealist, a bad poet and an honest man."  Cervantes' response - "Guilty as charged, I have never had the courage to believe in nothing."   from Man of La Mancha  


Intel failed to report fluoride emissions for almost 30 years   


Professor Kingfield, from the Paper Chase

   "I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you." 

- George Bernard Shaw

 

BLOGS:

From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

Democracy Now
democracynow.org

The Daily Kos

dailykos.com

Blue Oregon

blueoregon.com

 

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." 

- Emilie Buchwald 

 


    "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." 

- Justice John Paul Stevens, Bush v. Gore, 2001

    The state of our union - check out the map, it's a reality check for those who can't figure out why people are so ticked off... 

americanobserver

    Here's Garrison Keillor's rap on the rightwingnuts:   

GarrisonKeillor

 

     Garrison Keillor - "...The Founding Fathers intended the Senate to be a fount of wisdom... but when you consider...  moon-faced Mitch McConnell, your faith in democracy is challenged severely. Any legislative body in which 41 senators from rural states that together represent 10 percent of the population can filibuster you to death is going to be flat-footed, on the verge of paralysis, no matter what. Any time 10 percent of the people can stop 90 percent, it's like driving a bus with a brake pedal for each passenger. That's why Congress has a public approval rating of [11] percent...." 



"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war"

- John Adams

"Loyalty to country always.  Loyalty to government when it deserves it."  

- Mark Twain  

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  

- George Santayana 

"The love of one's country is a natural thing.  But why should love stop at the border?" 

- Pablo Casals

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." 

- William Butler Yeats  

 

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?' 

But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"  

- George Bernard Shaw, "Back to Methuselah" (1921) 

"...the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society...  The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government..."  

- James Madison, Federalist Papers #11 

"Why … should we have government? Why not each individual take to himself the whole fruit of his labor, without having any of it taxed away?”   

The legitimate object of government, is to do for the people whatever they need to have done, but which they can not do, at all, or can not do, so well, for themselves – in their separate and individual capacities … There are many such things … roads, bridges and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools … the criminal and civil [justice] departments."    

- Abraham Lincoln 

Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society  

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 

"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates, but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole..." 

- Edmund Burke  

“It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.  These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions.”  

- Jonathan Swift 

" Every satirist who drew breath has flung pots of ink at this parade of tooting lummoxes and here it is come round again, marching down Main Street, rallying to the cause of William McKinley, hail, hail, the gang’s all here, ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay."  

- Garrison Keillor 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

« IS THERE A PSYCHIATRIST IN THE OVAL OFFICE? . | Main | TRUMP'S RUINOUS NEGLECT »
Tuesday
Mar282017

THE "POLITICAL" DEAL TRUMP CAN'T REFUSE?  

There is something wrong with this picture - all white men discussing health care with the Veep.    

     EDITOR'S NOTE:  I've argued that one can't negotiate with a bully and a thug.  I used the example of FDR and Churchill negotiating with Stalin at Yalta.  Aside from his "love" for all things Russian - The Donald reminds one of a petty dictator. 

     So far he's been held back by the courts, the failure of Trumpcare 1.0 and now public opinion which is at an all time low for a new president - in the mid 30% range. 

     But the Ds can't sit idly by and just let health care implode.  Just today Trump hinted at another run - Trumpcare 2.0 - which will be worse than Trumpcare 1.0. 

     You can argue he's delusional, which he is and that he narcissistic, which he is and that's yes he's a bully, a liar, a thug, which he is and that he suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder and other mental health issues (which his constant tweeting illustrate). 

     But until he's impeached Trump is the "illegitimate POTUS" who occupies the Oval Office minus his spouse.  So the Ds need a plan. 

     I laid out some of my own ideas on my March 24th FB post last week - go to Russ to see it.  

     But here is an idea by a certifiable smart political operative who plied his trade in Pennslvania for over 20 years and has chops on how you make health care sausage.  Even Biil Clinton noted his work.  It's good reading. 

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The Art of the Deal for the Deal Dude-in-chief:  

By PA Slick:  

     Today, I saw both Sen. Schumer and Sen. Sanders suggest they were willing to talk and negotiate with POTUS over health care reform.  Despite the vehement objections that it will bring from the D left, I think Schumer should try.

     Why?

     First, it’s the right thing to do.  And 2nd, I still think the D’s can play a winning “divide and conquer” strategy. 

     POTUS promised lower drug prices—that’s a simple offer to make—let Medicare negotiate directly with the drug companies.  Sell it to him saying he can be seen again as a real “negotiator in chief”—the art of the deal.  It’s HIS team that will negotiate; sell it to him that way.  That’s “free market” competition at it’s finest.  And it is EXACTLY what the POTUS said he would do while on the campaign trail—many times!

     The drug companies will HATE it, but the vast majority of D’s will vote for it despite the pharmaceutical industry’s powerful opposition, and I think there are now enough “moderate” R’s (you only need 20-25 in the House; and 4-5 in the Senate) to give Trump a true “win” on one of his promises.

     Offer up “insurance competition across state lines (something both POTUS and virtually all R’s support, in exchange for them giving something on a public option.  The public option will bring more competition, especially to the geographic areas that are down to only 1 insurance company.  Trump has NEVER been against this on principle.  He said, more than once, that he was going to give EVERY American health care.

     You could throw in some form of a “high risk pool” (something Mitch really likes) and end up with a public option for anyone 50 or 55 and older; and the risk pool concept for those under that age.  R’s who have supported the risk pool concept quietly acknowledge that it only works if the government subsidizes it.  So you could even offer SOME form of reducing various of the Obamacare taxes in exchange.  One bite of the apple at a time!

     Why not just insist on Medicare for all??  Because there simply aren’t the votes in either the House or the Senate; notwithstanding Bernie and Liz and Al.  Schumer knows this.

     Work quietly with the Republican Governor’s who expanded Medicaid and who were vehemently against the Medicaid cost shift to the states in the Ryan bill.  The moderate R’s in both the House and Senate will support you on that.  Schumer could easily use one of the R House or Senate “moderates” as the go between.  I can name several who would take that opportunity. 

     And despite hard core conservative opposition; it’s one provision that you can factually demonstrate actually reduces health care costs; by providing low income American’s health care at the primary care level that significantly reduces the use of the emergency room as the PCP, and the hospitals will strongly support because it has reduced their uncompensated care debt, big-time!!!  That’s exactly what the R Governor’s were arguing.

     DON’T offer health care savings accounts up front.  In fact, your start point should be “the one thing we can’t sell in the D caucuses is health savings accounts.”  Make the R’s think that THIS is the make or break issue.  It will make them want it, even more!!

     I learned early in my political career to listen carefully to what the opposition REALLY needs; and then make thoughtful policy decisions about what principle it is that would truly prevent you from wanting to offer it up.  In virtually any political negotiation; each side needs SOMETHING that they are fighting FOR, simply because they think YOU are against it.

     Decades ago, I played a key part in creating a new, state, health care agency.  With all the truly difficult policy and political considerations; I knew EARLY that the one thing the major political opponents, the Chamber, the Insurance industry, and the Hospital Association were HUNG UP ON was the name of the organization.  They were vehemently against a “Commission”.  Because to them, it represented “government regulation” at the highest level.  In their minds, “commission” was interchangeable with “government regulation”.

Honestly, the game hasn't changed in 30 plus years.

     So, in each one of the first 6 drafts I produced for the Majority Leader, and for behind the scenes negotiations with both the House Republican staff and the interest groups; I titled the organization as a COMMISSION!!  In fact, in the last draft I had my executive secretary type up, I told her to type COMMISSION in cap letters!!  lol

     And for the 18 months it took to negotiate the bill; the opposition was convinced that my boss and I thought the word “Commission” was the one thing that we would die over.  And so did (with one truly brilliant exception) all the people who I was negotiating with.  They became obsessed on focusing on THAT.  Because, they became obsessed with defeating ME!!  EGO and personality counts in politics 101.  **winks**

     Meanwhile, all the truly important issues, the ones that truly made policy distinctions for us, I was winning concessions on.

     In those 18 months, the bill went through at least 50 drafts.  And in EACH of those drafts, the Agency remained a COMMISSION.

     At the final hours of the budget negotiations in 1986, I got a phone call directly from THE key leader of all the interest groups that were opposing the legislation;  and he requested that I come to his office for a ‘one on one’ meeting. 

     I’d been a staff member in the PA House for more than 12 years at that point; and the key staff member on 3 or 4 major pieces of major legislation that were critical politically to this political interest group.  I’d been involved in many small group meetings with him.   But this was the first time I’d ever been asked to a one on one meeting with him.  And, my title at the time was only “Acting Chief of Staff.”

     That was the meeting that turned my opinion of him from “political enemy” to “a true politician and gentleman”;  he treated me as if I WAS the Majority Leader—with total respect and honesty.  He was as straightforward and brutally honest as I’d ever heard ANYONE in that position of political leadership be.  He laid out, in clear, simple and honest terms what his POLITICAL problems were, and what he needed; and at the end of the meeting, he asked me to consider HIS needs, and let him know if I could do anything about them, to help him get his people from “no” to “yes”. 

     I told him I was more than willing to do that; and I asked him if he was willing to produce a list of “amendments” that he needed.  I truly believed, when I asked the question, that it would take him a couple days to work with his staff and produce the legislative language he needed.

     Without hesitation, he pulled a one page sheet of paper from his desk and said, “I took the liberty of already doing that”, and handed it to me.

     For a moment, I was taken aback; as I thought he was going to say—”Let’s negotiate these right now”, and he knew I wasn’t in a position to do that.  I thought I’d been out maneuvered, because he was about to place me in a position of it being ME (and by implication, my boss) that killed the legislation.

     But before I could even look at his language, he continued:  “I know you’ll need time to review these, and talk with your supporters and your boss, so please look at these in the context of what we’ve talked about today, and then give me a call and let me know ‘which, if any’ you could accept.”

     Political smarts!  Political class...equal to any I’d ever seen from the Majority Leader!!

     As I walked back to my office I read his proposals.  There were 23 specific “amendments” that he “needed”.  Virtually ALL of them fell into the legislative category of “technical”:  change “this” on p.3, line 32, to “that”.  Change “and” on page 5, line 14, to “and, or”...  And when I got to the last one, I broke out in laughter:  23--  Change “Commission” on page 1, line 4 (and in every other place it appears in the bill, to “Council”.

     And #23 was typed completely IN CAPITOL LETTERS!!

     As soon as I got into the office, I called the President of the AFL-CIO and told him—we’ve got a deal.

     If I recall correctly, we ended up being able to agree with 18 or 19 of the 23.  And, as I called him back the next morning, I kept his words “call and let me know ‘which, if any’ you could accept.”, in the forefront of my mind.  I already knew what that “flexibility” in his words meant!  I ended the conversation by saying:  “And, this one hurts bad, but I convinced the Majority Leader that we can call it a Council. 

     It was 10 years later, when this interest group leader was supporting me for Executive Director of the agency, that I learned he was pretty sure all along that commission/council was nothing more than a negotiating position with me; and that he’d actually waited until the end to talk to me because he was actually testing his 2nd in command to see if he would figure that out; and to see what kind of negotiating skills he really had.

     It was already known that he was very close to announcing his retirement, and it was his 2nd in command who was widely believed to be his replacement.  It was only then that he quietly told me that it was his #2’s inability to “get it”, that stopped him from “handing the crown” to him.  Instead, several months later, he anointed another to be his successor, and It devastated the #2.  The #2 left the organization several months later.

     Legislative Reference Bureau drafted the amendments; the following night a House/Senate conference committee meeting was called; and the amendments were adopted on a 5-1 vote.  The bill passed both House and Senate the following day—unanimously in the House, and on a 48-1 vote in the Senate.  (The one vote against is a political story, in and of itself!)

     Within an hour of passage, the interest group had it’s own press release on the front page of it’s weekly publication:  “We gain 19 critical changes in legislation; Bill passes.”  Others of the interest groups followed suite quickly.

     Can any of you guess which ONE, and only ONE, specific ‘critical change’ they specifically talked about??  **winks**

     To me, that’s the Art of the Political Deal!!

     If Schumer wants to substitute insurance across state lines in place of health savings accounts, no problem. 

The actual facts on the two issues are these:

     1.  For the millions of people who’s deductibles have gone through the roof, now averaging $5000, health savings accounts aren’t an option.  If you don’t have the ability to save $5000 a year to cover the deductible; you can’t save anything close to that in a H.S.A.  It might help a couple hundred millionaires save some money on premiums, but it won’t do anything for the millions who barely survive, paycheck to paycheck.  But, that’s EXACTLY the political point.  It’s an easy political give.  Because it doesn’t HURT any of them either.  And it’s a  “Big DEAL” to the R’s.

     2.  Competition across state lines is a “free market” myth for several reasons.  First, insurance is regulated by EACH of the 50 states.  And depending on which state the company is charted in, they would still have to offer products that meet the individual state minimum mandates and any rate pricing regulations the state has.  So what it will do in reality is start a “race to the bottom” by allowing companies to relocate, allowing them to look at the most profitable areas with the healthiest risk profiles, and the absolute LEAST state regulations. 

     Anyone remember all the big banks scrambling to relocate corporate headquarters to Delaware, and then South Dakota, when we “de-regulated” them???  Exactly what will happen with insurance companies.

     Second, insurance company profits/losses are significantly dependent on what payment  contracts  they can negotiate  between themselves and hospitals and doctors.  There are less than a handful of insurance companies who are large enough and with financial resources enough to even want to CONSIDER going outside of their current geographical area of operation; especially the Blue companies. 

     Third, in the long term, it will actually REDUCE insurance company competition and options, as it would allow the few largest insurers to price policies that can entice “healthy enrollees” OUT of the current/existing risk pools of the insurers, leaving those smaller insurers with consumers who are much sicker.  It will force more insurers to merge, or go out of business; without creating any truly NEW competition.

     So, trade that for some sort of public option...which moves us 1 step closer to a single payor system.

     Finally, if I were Schumer today, I’d go secretly and directly to Trump and try and convince him that infrastructure, and not tax reform, should be the next item on the agenda.  Why?

     Because infrastructure is far easier for the D’s to unite around than tax reform.  And here, I’m applying the #1 rule in politics:  “Everything is related to everything else.”, when it comes to negotiations. 

     There are so many things in an infrastructure bill that both the D’s, and Trump, could add or give up on.  By quietly offering the opportunity to Trump to bring in an infrastructure bill as part of the overall deal, POTUS becomes a hero.  I can’t think of a deal I was able to close in all my years that didn’t, in the end, include passing legislation (many times, a significant # of bills), absolutely “unrelated” to the theoretical policy issue in the forefront of the negotiation.  Not one. 

     That’s how one gains votes—give your members something they want/need, in THEIR district.  Not threating your members you’ll campaign against them in the next primary election.

     Tax reform has far, far, fewer options for Schumer and the D’s to trade on.

     One further point that I know.  It’s actually far EASIER to negotiate with a bully and a thug (and sometimes even a liar), than with political ideologues and demagogues.  If you understand the personal characteristics of the person (people) you’re negotiating with; you can use those very characteristics to your advantage!!  I’ve done it, many times!!

     POTUS could use this exact strategy as easily as Schumer.  Rather than letting Obamacare collapse on it’s own (which, in  2018 will be put on POTUS and the R’s); he could end up looking to his supporters like the most brilliant President we’ve ever had:  getting 2 BIG wins that he promised.  And putting him in a STRONG position to negotiate tax reform.

     Now, THAT, is the art of the deal!!  That won’t happen because neither Priebus nor Bannon have any “political sense”.

     I have no illusions this political strategy will be implemented by either leader.  Because if it actually occurred neither side would be confident that they would be the winners in 2018.  To enter into this type of “Faustian bargain” would be a big risk for BOTH sides,  And, politicians are seldom willing to take risks.

     But I do know who the true WINNERS would be. 

     The American people!!!  Yes, even the Trump supporters!! 

 

Reader Comments (3)

Isn't that Pence in the pic, not Trump?
March 30, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterWard N. Mowry
Yes... Trump was on the other side of the table... I think... the point of the picture is to illustrate it's an all male show....
April 2, 2017 | Registered CommenterR.A.D.
And all old white men, to boot!
April 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterWard N. Mowry

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