The Trump Watch – mid-October (part 2 of 2)

(Part 1 of this installment of The Trump Watch appeared on Monday.  Find it here.)

The Ugly American

The well-known late 1950s novel The Ugly American – The Curmudgeon read it and wrote a book report about it in high school – depicts, as Wikipedia describes it, “…the failures of the U.S. diplomatic corps, whose insensitivity to local language, culture, customs and refusal to integrate was in marked contrast to the polished abilities of Eastern Bloc (primarily Soviet) diplomacy and led to Communist diplomatic success overseas.”

Watch Trump being an ugly American here by thinking it would be charming to attempt to say “Puerto Rico” with a Puerto Rican accent. It’s pathetic, demeaning, and degrading.

It’s…Trump!

Disrespecting Puerto Rico – and Puerto Ricans

When hurricanes Harvey and Irma struck parts of Texas and Florida, Agent Orange was clear about the degree to which he supported helping those devastated areas, tweeting that

Texas & Louisiana: We are w/you today, we are w/you tomorrow, and we will be w/you EVERY SINGLE DAY AFTER, to restore, recover, & REBUILD!

But when a similar storm struck Puerto Rico the president was tweeting a very different tune:

…We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!

So what’s the difference between Florida and Texas on one hand and Puerto Rico on the other?
Melanin.

Also worth noting is that when he was “helping” Florida and Texas he never talked about the cost of doing so but when he went to Puerto Rico he held a public meeting with local officials and told them that U.S. assistance had “…thrown our budget a little out of whack…”

Nice huh?

So Much for Trying to Solve a Problem

What to do about health care? That subject has been keeping a lot of people busy in Washington these days – and causing a lot of nightmares for people outside of Washington. If there’s one thing the public’s been consistent about it’s that it would like to see a bipartisan solution to the problem.

And the president keeps saying that he wants Democrats to get on board and is tired of them unanimously rejecting everything Republicans propose.

So what happens when the Republican chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions tries to work with the ranking Democrat on that committee to find a bipartisan way to stabilize the insurance market and fund continued federal assistance with health insurance premiums?

The president rejects their efforts, that’s what happens.

Before they even bring a specific proposal to him.

As reported by Politico,

President Donald Trump will oppose any congressional attempts to reinstate funding for Obamacare subsidies — unless he gets something in return, his budget director Mick Mulvaney said in an interview Friday morning.

In other words, his bluff got called and he demonstrated that he’s not really interested in solving the problem – not even a little. He wants it to be his way or the highway, without compromise.

Which is the same as what he’s been accusing Democrats of doing.

And what’s this nonsense about “getting something in return”? What about – the satisfaction of tackling a problem and successfully addressing it?

That’s apparently not enough for this president.

And that’s pathetic.

Refusing to Accept Responsibility

On the campaign trail Trump declared repealing Obamacare to be one of his top priorities – something he would begin pursuing on day one in office.

After he was elected he continued to say that replacing Obamacare was one of his top priorities.

After he took office he said that replacing Obamacare was one of his top priorities.

And he did make it his top priority – okay, his second priority, after keeping brown-skinned people out of the country.

And now that this effort has failed (at least for now)?

He blames Paul Ryan because Ryan told him it was something that could be done.

He accepts no personal responsibility at all for trying something and failing spectacularly.

His Idea of How to Address the Health Care Challenge

Instead of going for a bipartisan approach, or even a legislative approach, Trump did what he criticized President Obama for doing and simply issued an executive order changing some major aspects of Obamacare.

Changes, by the way, that the courts will surely overturn.

One of those changes will cut off the federal money spent to help subsidize the co-pays and deductibles of working-class Americans who can’t afford to pay for care without a little financial assistance. That was bad news for insurers who only agreed to issue policies for such individuals because the federal government promised to pay what the individuals couldn’t.

Promised by making it the law.

Naturally, with the immediate expectation of a loss of revenue, insurers’ stock took a hit last week and fell.

And the president practically danced a jig, tweeting that

Health Insurance stocks, which have gone through the roof during the ObamaCare years, plunged yesterday after I ended their Dems windfall!

And that, friends, is just messed up – a president publicly rooting against companies in his own country.  You also have to wonder:  how many people have retirement money invested in mutual funds – and in mutual fund index funds?  The Curmudgeon certainly does and he imagines that many of you do, too.  Your mutual fund took a hit from this.  How do you feel about our president working against your efforts to save for retirement?

His response, moreover, is also hypocritical, since he frequently points to the generally upward trend of the stock market as a sign that he is succeeding as president. (And never mind that one of the reasons stocks are up is that investors believe the federal government is going to stop enforcing many environmental and worker safety laws and regulations, enabling companies to produce their products more cheaply and the hell with any damage their corner-cutting causes to the environment or their workers).

There’s something seriously, seriously wrong with a president who roots against his country’s own businesses. Is that his idea of what it takes to “make America great again”?

Bailout?

In ending those subsidies, Agent Orange called them a “bailout” and said he wants to end the bailout of the insurance industry as part of his still only-exists-in-his-own-mind-and-that’s-a-dark-and-mostly-empty-place-these-days health care plan.

Bailout?

Bailout?

The money he’s talking about is helping people who otherwise couldn’t otherwise pay for their health care to pay for their health care.

Paying insurers for health care is no more a bailout than the government paying defense contractors for bombs and gun, paying federal workers for processing social security checks, and paying those soldiers Trump tries to hide behind at every available opportunity for the work they do on foreign soil.

Bailout? The guy is out of his mind.

 

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