2017-07-14 / View From Here


Some thoughts on the political scene

After a very enjoyable vacation trip, I am back stateside. Since my last two columns have been about travel, I guess that it's time to make a few observations about the current political scene.

I will first note that even across the ocean, President Trump has a high profile, and there is much interest about what Americans think of him. While few Europeans are big fans of Mr. Trump, there seems to be as much curiosity as hostility about the new President.

Of course, a good amount of Mr. Trump's enhanced profile here or abroad is related to his penchant for controversial tweets. One significant tweet during my vacation related to Morning Joe co-host Mika Brezezinski, and another one was derived from a wrestling video in which Mr. Trump simulated beating up CNN. If anyone wants my opinion, the Mika Berzezinski tweet was pretty indefensible and ugly, while the CNN tweet was perhaps a little silly, but in no way justified the media overreaction. No serious person would regard this cartoonish tape as inciting violence.

The latest Trump flap involves a meeting in June 2016 between Donald Trump, Jr. and a Russian lawyer loosely connected to the Putin government. At this writing, the only details we have of the meeting come from the younger Mr. Trump, who states that the lawyer approached him claiming that she had evidence of improper behavior by Russians in supporting Hillary Clinton. There was an email that indicated that some of information to be provided was from the Russian government in support of Mr. Trump, Sr. The meeting itself was reportedly unproductive and it quickly became apparent that there was no real information to be provided and the attorney really wanted to talk about Russian sanctions and adoptions.

Obviously, the meeting could be just the tip of the iceberg and, after almost a yearlong search, some evidence of actual collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians will emerge. But these revelations are extremely thin gruel. Any senior campaign official would be interested in credible damaging information about an opponent and revelations about Russian contributions to the Hillary Clinton campaign, which would have been illegal, is just such information. There is no evidence of any agreement or encouragement between the Russians and the Trump campaign relating top wiretapping or spying.

My guess is that, in evaluating Mr. Trump, the public has already priced in his unorthodox tweets, his mercurial temperament, and the continuing Russian investigations, and is not likely to react much in either direction based on daily news reports. Mr. Trump’s approval ratings lately have been steady, if not stellar, with a little more than 40 percent of voters (a little lower in polls of all adults) saying they approve of Mr. Trump’s job performance and his disapproval rating in the low 50’s. There may be a significant number of right leaning voters who disapprove of Mr. Trump’s performance, but like his opponents even less. With one wild card in the mix, I’m thinking these numbers are not likely to move much.

The wild card is health care. Unlike taxes, which outside of payroll taxes, are not paid by around half of the people, healthcare affects just about everyone in a very personal way. As many of the Democratic House members defeated in 2010 can tell you, people vote on this issue. Right now, the current Obamacare healthcare regime, with its mandates and shrinking insurance carrier participation, is not particularly popular, but for many people it is the devil they know. Efforts by Mr. Trump and the GOP congress could backfire, and tank their popularity ratings, if they are perceived as denying coverage to many people or pricing them out of the market. This is an area where good communication and thinking through policy choices is crucial and, far more than the Russia investigations, could play a crucial area in the Administration’s ultimate success or failure.

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Please stop , the clintons

Please stop , the clintons are better !

Please, stay on vacation,

Please, stay on vacation, Cool-aide! I guess it will take Donny shooting someone on 5th ave to finally get the Un-Repubilans to see this person and all his family are an embarrassment to the country. But he is one of your political party. He is your reflection you see in the mirror gazing back you. If your rose colored glass are not on your face, let me tell what you are not seeing: 1. A misogynistic. How can any husband and father of daughters endorse his behavior toward women unless you agree with what you see. Access Hollywood video. Miss Housekeeping. Mika. 2. Cheats on his wives and has it spread across the news to feed is ego. Mr. Family Values. 3. A liar. I can see a four year old lying, they don't know any better because of the age and innocence. He is a grown man who stopped evolving at the age 13. 4. A bully. Just read his tweets. Very Presidential. 5. A crook. Does not pay his employees and contractors. Will not release his tax returns because the truth is in the details. Cool-aide, the President should reflect the best of our country regardless of political party. Everyone should be able to respect the person who is the President. We should be able to feel our President will do the right thing even when they are from the opposite political party. Sadly, the mirror is shattered.

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