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#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace


Trump & The Mob



"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."


Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax


Half of the US Is Broke


The myth of the Christian country


“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


A Just Peace


SIP contract online


Middle East friendship chart


Corporations enriching shareholders


- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry


Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks



"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%.  





  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:


  • Jim Hightower:

  • 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: 


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


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


•    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 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


  • 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. 


SB 1533 passes!


Housing Needs in Oregon 




"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


Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel


Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 


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



From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

Democracy Now

The Daily Kos

Blue Oregon


"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... 


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



     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 

















































Hedrick Smith - What is Trump Hiding?  

March 19, 2017

In his short White House tenure, Donald J. Trump has set some kind of record for histrionic temper tantrums against the media — whether CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Times or, most recently, MSNBC for revealing his 2005 tax return. He’s actually pursuing a well-worn path of American presidents blaming the press for their problems.

Five decades of reporting have taught me that whenever a president starts screeching about the media, it’s a sure sign he’s in hot water and fearing revelations about some policy disaster, damaging mendacity or political villainy.

Even popular presidents with reputations for charming the press occasionally stoop to blaming the media for quagmires of their own making.

For example, John F. Kennedy

Kennedy Wants to Get Rid of Halberstam

In September 1963, with the Vietnam war escalating and the pro-American authoritarian regime of President Ngo Dinh Diem besieged by popular protests, President John F. Kennedy used a private meeting with the New York Times’ publisher, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, and James (Scotty) Reston, the Washington bureau chief, to charge that David Halberstam, the Times correspondent in Saigon, was undermining the American war effort and to pressure the publisher to pull Halberstam out of Vietnam.

President Kennedy was particularly angered by a stream of graphic front-page stories by Halberstam, describing battlefield defeats and the self-immolations of Buddhist monks.

What the president did not know was that The Times was already planning to replace Halberstam because the editors feared for Halberstam’s life. There was word in Saigon that the Vietnamese secret police run by Ngo Dinh Nhu, brother of the South Vietnamese president, had targeted Halberstam for assassination. Because I covered Vietnam policy in Washington, The Times’s editors had told me to get ready to go to Saigon to replace Halberstam.
PS:  Ironically JFK forgot his regret that he got the NYTimes to stop their story warning of the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion of Cube in 1961 - RAD

President Kennedy pressured the New York Times to withdraw David Halberstam

from Vietnam

But after the meeting, the publisher and Scotty Reston told me that my transfer to Saigon was postponed indefinitely. The Times, they said, could not afford to bow to pressure from the president to change our news coverage to suit his policy. Two months later, after the Diem regime had been overthrown, the Times decided to pull Halberstam out of South Vietnam and I was in Honolulu, winging my way to Saigon on the day that President Kennedy was shot in Dallas.

Johnson and Pentagon Blast Salisbury as a Dupe of Hanoi

President Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, intensified this adversarial strategy. He regularly railed against the press for what he and Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara condemned as our biased news coverage that challenged the administration’s line that we were winning the Vietnam War, which Mr. Johnson had expanded with air attacks on North Vietnam.

President Johnson clashed with the New York Times over coverage


by Harrison Salisbury from Hanoi.

When in December 1966 the Times correspondent Harrison Salisbury went to Hanoi and began filing dispatches about the civilian casualties and destruction caused by the American bombing, the administration all but accused alisbury of treason.There was talk of trying him for “aiding the enemy.”

The Pentagon insisted that American attacks were carried out with pin-point precision, civilian casualties were extremely rare, and Salisbury had become a tool of Hanoi’s propaganda effort. But within weeks, Deputy Secretary of State Nicholas Katzenbach admitted privately to several of us reporters in Washington that American air raids were in fact hitting civilian-populated areas of Hanoi, Haiphong and other cities.

Nixon Creates “Enemies List” Including Media

During the administration of the next president, Richard M. Nixon, charge and counter-charge against the media escalated still further. The Nixon White House even compiled a political “enemies list” including more than 50 “enemies” among the media. To combat inside leaks over war policy, the White House and F.B.I. Director J. Edgar Hoover ordered the wiretapping of four reporters, including me, and 14 high government officials.

In 1971, my colleague Neil Sheehan obtained Secretary McNamara’s secret Pentagon history of the war, documenting the chronic deception of the American people by a succession of Democratic and Republican administrations. When The Times pusblished our stories as “The Pentagon Papers,” the Nixon administration went to court to stop publication. The Times was temporarily blocked but other papers picked up the story.

Infuriated, President Nixon insisted that someone “has to go to jail” for the leak. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger charged that publication of the government’s own documented history of the Vietnam War was destroying ”the credibility” of the United States government.

Sounds familiar? - RAD

President Nixon ordered wiretaps of reporters like Hedrick Smith and

tried unsuccessfully to block The New York Times from publishing

stories about the Pentagon’s explosive secret history of the Vietnam War.

But very quickly, the Supreme Court ruled against government censorship of the media and in favor of the Times and we rolled out a book-length volume of stories and top secret government documents over the next 10 days that would forever alter and deepen our understanding of the Vietnam War.
Would Judge Gosech rule against Trump? - RAD

What’s Behind Trump’s Warm Embrace of Putin?

Today, the issues are different, of course — questions about President Trump’s peculiarly warm and unexplained embrace of Russian leader Vladimir V. Putin and about Russian intelligence agencies meddling in the 2016 presidential elections on Trump’s behalf. But the clash of powerful institutions is similar.

President Trump’s barrage against the media for publishing leaks from inside the F.B.I. and domestic intelligence agencies succeeded for a few days in diverting public attention away from his Russian connections. He and his White House Rasputin, Stephen K. Bannon, may also have reckoned that by savaging the press, they could intimidate Congress into softening its investigation into the Trump-Russia link.

But now the focus has swung back to the central question: What is President Trump hiding? If his campaign is innocent of illicit Russian connections, why not welcome the investigation and clear the air? If, as Trump said at his press conference last month, his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was simply “doing his job” in talking with the Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak about American sanctions against Moscow, why did General Flynn lie about it?

More broadly, why has President Trump side-stepped reporters’ questions about renewed fighting in the eastern Ukraine or the Russian deployment of a new missile in conflict with a 1987 arms agreement between President Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev? Why, after publication of his 2005 tax returns, does Trump still refuse to release his most recent returns? Will they reveal something that makes him beholden to President Putin and Moscow?

History teaches that no matter how much the president tries to demonize the press, these and other crucial questions will not go away because today’s journalists are just as committed as those of us who covered past presidents to pursue them until we get answers that make sense and reveal the truth.





What would Jesus tell House Speaker Paul Ryan about looking after the sick and the needy? Credit Mandel Ngan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images


Nichols Kristof, NYTimes

A woman who had been bleeding for 12 years came up behind Jesus and touched his clothes in hope of a cure. Jesus turned to her and said: “Fear not. Because of your faith, you are now healed.”

Then spoke Pious Paul of Ryan: “But teacher, is that wise? When you cure her, she learns dependency. Then the poor won’t take care of themselves, knowing that you’ll always bail them out! You must teach them personal responsibility!”

They were interrupted by 10 lepers who stood at a distance and shouted, “Jesus, have pity on us.”

“NO!” shouted Pious Paul. “Jesus! You don’t have time. We have a cocktail party fund-raiser in the temple. And don’t worry about them — they’ve already got health care access.”

Well, I say it's high time we made Jesus the official health care of Congress. That's right, let's insist that no member of Congress shall...

Jesus turned to Pious Paul, puzzled.

“Why, they can pray for a cure,” Pious Paul explained. “I call that universal health care access.”

Jesus turned to the 10 lepers. “Rise and go,” he told them. “Your faith has made you well.” Then he turned back to Pious Paul, saying, “Let me tell you the story of the good Samaritan.

A man was attacked by robbers who stripped him of clothes, beat him and left him half dead. A minister passed down this same road, and when he saw the injured man, he crossed to the other side and hurried on. So did a rich man who claimed to serve God. But then a despised Samaritan came by and took pity on the injured man. He bandaged his wounds and put the man on his own donkey and paid an innkeeper to nurse him to health. So which of these three should we follow?”

“Those who had mercy on him,” Pious Paul said promptly.

Jesus nodded. “So go ——”

“I mean the first two,” Pious Paul interjected. “For the Samaritan’s work is unsustainable and sends the wrong message. It teaches travelers to take dangerous roads, knowing that others will rescue them from self-destructive behaviors. This Samaritan also seems to think it right to redistribute money from those who are successful and give it to losers. That’s socialism! Meanwhile, if the rich man keeps his money, he can invest it and create jobs. So it’s an act of mercy for the rich man to hurry on and ignore the robbery victim.”

How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of Heaven,” Jesus mused to himself. “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter heaven.”

“Let me teach you about love, Jesus — tough love!” Pious Paul explained. “You need a sustainable pro-business model. And you need to give people freedom, Jesus, the freedom to suffer misery and poverty.”

“The Lord God has anointed me to bring good news to the poor,” Jesus replied, emphasizing the last two words. Then he turned to a paralyzed beggar at his feet. “Stand up!” Jesus told the man. “Pick up your mat and go home.” As the man danced about joyfully, Pious Paul rolled his eyes dismissively.

“Look, Jesus, you have rare talent, and it should be rewarded,” Pious Paul said. “I have a partner, The Donald, who would like to work with you: He’d set up a lovely hospital, and the rich would come and pay for you to heal them. You’d get a percentage, and it’d be a real money-spinner. Overhead would be minimal because every morning you could multiply some loaves and fishes. You could strike it rich!”

Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of God,” Jesus said. “But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received comfort.”

“Oh, come on, Jesus,” Pious Paul protested. “Don’t go socialist on me again. Please don’t encourage class warfare. The best way to help the needy is to give public money to the rich. That then inspires the poor to work harder, galvanizes the sick to become healthy, forces the lepers to solve their own problems rather than kick back and depend on others. That’s why any realistic health plan has to focus on providing less coverage for the poor, and big tax benefits for the rich. When millions of people lose health care, that’s when a country is great again!”

From everyone who has been given much,” Jesus told him, “much will be required.”

“Well, sure, this hospital would have a foundation to do some charity work. Maybe commissioning portraits of The Donald to hang in the entrance. But let’s drop this bleeding heart nonsense about health care as a human right, and see it as a financial opportunity to reward investors. In this partnership, 62 percent of the benefits would go to the top 0.6 percent — perfect for a health care plan.”

Jesus turned to Pious Paul on his left and said: “Be gone! For I was hungry and you gave me no food; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink; and I was sick, and you did not help me.”

“But, Lord,” protested Pious Paul of Ryan, “when did I see you hungry or thirsty or sick and refuse to help you? I drop your name everywhere. And I’m pro-life!”

Truly, I say to you,” Jesus responded, “as you did not help the homeless, the sick — as you did not help the least of these, you did not help me.





     Paul Krugman on Tuesday raged against the American Health Care Act, the GOP's proposed healthcare bill, arguing it would potentially be devastating for those who voted for President Donald Trump.

     The Nobel laureate and New York Times economics columnist said in a series of tweets that the AHCA, which has become alternatively known as Ryancare (for House Speaker Paul Ryan) or Trumpcare, would make healthcare in the individual marketplace more expensive for older Americans. Krugman argued it would amount to a betrayal of Trump's own voters.

"Can we talk about working-class Trump voters for a minute? Will they ever realize or admit how completely they were scammed?" Krugman wrote. "It's not just the fake populism, although that's a big deal. Older working-class voters would take an enormous hit under Trumpcare."

     Krugman cited the Congressional Budget Office's analysis, released Monday night, estimating that a 64-year-old making roughly $26,000 annually would see net premiums rise from $1,700 annually under the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare law better known as Obamacare, to $14,600 under the AHCA, which he said was an example of "promises broken."

     "But also bear in mind that Trump voters believed they were choosing someone effective, who knew how to get things done," Krugman said. "And here we are. The first and most important legislative initiative is stupid as well as cruel — complete incompetence in drafting and selling."

     Krugman concluded by saying the AHCA showed just how little Trump, who had no previous government experience before entering the Oval Office, knew about running the US.

     "So Trump voters thought they were getting a smart guy who'd fight for them; got a self-dealing blowhard with no idea how to govern," Krugman said. "And all of this should, of course, have been obvious all along."

     Krugman has been highly critical of Trump on Twitter since the election, calling into question his ties with Russia, Cabinet appointments, and early policy decisions.





     While Canadians have a right to be smug about their health care system vs. ours - the prediction that Obamacare is dead is very premature.  It looks like based on the coverage I've heard and read over the last month that the GOP House Plan managed by Oregon's own Greg Walden (R, Oregon) will likely be DOA when and "if" it gets to the Senate in its present form. 

     Now that the CBO analysis is done (which House leadership is going ahead without this normal budget analysis) the millions of Americans now carried by the ACA who will lose coverage - 24 million will be very angry.  Is this what they are hiding?  The normally conservative AMA is opposed to the House bill along with the American Hospital Association, AARP and many other health care groups.  

     In Walden's own district 30% of his constituents will lose coverage - how's that for taking care of your district Greg?  If the GOP plan fails - guess what - Obamacare will still be the law of the land!  As Slick Willie said in '98 about welfare reform "don't end but mend it."  Too bad he never kept his promise.  Cutting drug costs, capping insurance rates by cross-border competition and a public option are all good fixes!  

     That's health care reform one can believe in...  


Globe editorial: Killing Obamacare will make Canadians feel smug, again

     Ask any Canadian, and they’ll gladly enumerate all the ways in which our health-care system is not perfect. But compared with the United States, home of the developed world’s most expensive, least effective, bafflingly complex and unfair health-care setup, Canada might as well be heaven.

     And thanks to the election of President Donald Trump and Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, and their desire to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, America is about to fall even further behind.

     For Canadians, this should be more than just another opportunity for smugness. It’s also a chance to consider why the Canadian system is better than the U.S. model, and how, instead of resting on our laurels, Canadians can make it even better.

But first, a little gloating.

     Canadian care is less costly: In 2014, total Canadian spending on health care, by governments, businesses and individuals, was $5,543 per person. Americans spent nearly twice as much, or more than $11,000 per person.

     In fact, the U.S. system is so screwed up that, despite leaving insurance largely in the hands of the private sector, and despite leaving millions of Americans without insurance, American governments spend more taxpayer dollars for Swiss-cheese coverage than Canadian taxpayers spend to get universal coverage.

The American health-care system’s slogan might as well be: Delivering Less, Costing More.

     Every Canadian is insured: In Canada, if you’re breathing, you’re covered. In the U.S., health insurance is far from universal. When Obamacare was passed in 2010, nearly one in five non-elderly Americans were uninsured. Thanks to Obamacare, that figure has fallen to 10 per cent. But that still means that the number of Americans without health insurance is almost as large as the population of Canada.

     According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey, nearly half of Americans without health insurance say they can’t afford it. But the Republican bill to rewrite Obamacare, supported by President Trump, will likely raise costs while shrinking the safety net. It could cause six to 10 million Americans to lose coverage, according to ratings agency Standard and Poor’s.

     Canadians are healthier: According to the World Health Organization, the average Canadian can expect to live three years longer than the average American. A recent study in the medical journal The Lancet predicts that, in the decades to come, the gap will increase.

     For seven years, Republicans have been railing against Obamacare – America’s baby-step toward universal health care. During those seven years, Obamacare added 20 million Americans to the ranks of the insured. It encouraged the states to expand Medicaid, which covers low-income people. It subsidized individuals to get private insurance. So that insurers couldn’t cherry-pick healthy customers, it made it illegal to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions. And in an attempt to discourage the young and healthy from forgoing insurance until they got sick, it fined those who chose to remain uninsured.

     Obamacare’s public-private model, with enough complexity to befuddle even health-policy experts, to say nothing of Joe Sixpack, has generated its share of frustration and confusion. It was a politically expedient attempt to evolve America’s private-based health system, not completely revolutionize it. And it has made a flawed system less imperfect.

     But Obamacare, and its tinkering with the free market, drove Republican legislators crazy. They’ve consistently promised to kill it at the earliest opportunity. That opportunity would seem to be at hand.

     However, Mr. Trump and his fractious party are in a bind. They and their voters are of one mind on their hatred for the “Obama” in Obamacare. But when it comes to “care,” there’s disagreement. On the campaign trail, Mr. Trump instinctively understood that many of his voters want more economic security in their lives, not less. Unlike many conservatives, he did not promise to just put everything back into the hands of the market. He did not promise to take away people’s benefits. Instead, he hinted that he’d somehow ditch the “Obama” while keeping the “care.”

     The bill introduced this week in the House of Representatives does not do that. Critics on the right mocked it as “Obamacare 2.0” – the former president’s policy dressed up in new clothes. Critics on the left dismissed it as “Obamacare 0.5” – a health-care half-loaf. The latter are closer to the truth.

     The challenge for Republicans is that many of their voters tell pollsters they like their newly acquired health benefits. They’ll punish politicians who take them away. Last year, Mr. Trump got this. But this week at least, the loudest voices in the Republican Congress were coming from those who believe the Republican bill to gut Obamacare, rather than going too far, does not go far enough.

     As Americans get ready to fight it out over how to make their world-trailing health-care system slightly worse, Canadians should be thinking about how to make ours a bit better. It’s time to talk seriously about expanding – yes, expanding – medicare.

     All provinces offer universal coverage for hospital and physicians’ services. But what about universal drug coverage? When medicare was created in the late 1960s, a comprehensive pharmaceutical plan was supposed to have been the next step. Repeated studies have suggested it could improve health outcomes while lowering costs.

     As the Americans shift into reverse, Canada should be looking to move forward.