We’re taking a chance today because if we don’t, and we’re right, we will regret not speaking up.

After a recent hospital stay, we received an email inviting us to join the hospital’s “Portal.”   From doctors’ offices earlier, we had received the same sort of communication.  Sign up and all your medical records will be kept in one place so that, in future, if you need care, other (new) doctors can see and understand what and why by simply going online and reading.

Our initial reaction was that we didn’t want “other” doctors to read all about us.  We didn’t imagine that bogus MDs would be interested and could figure out some way to profit from this information – apart from doing what was promised.   We just thought that enough was enough, the Internet was all well and good but it needed limits and standards of which there was not much evidence.

Reflecting, we realized we weren’t getting younger, and perhaps it would be wise to enroll in this program, for future problems.  So, reluctantly, we said,  “Yes, sign us up.”

To make this story proverbially shorter, after we conferred with the hospital staff who were running the Portal, we learned something key.

The hospital would have its portal.  So would my other doctors – have their own special portal – which would NOT be included in the hospital’s information.  Which is to say, each incorporated medical practice would have a medical portal separate from all others.  In an emergency, if someone actually needed to see the information within, they would have only a portion of it.   To get a compete medical portrait of our status, doctors’ staffs and doctors themselves would have to track down every portal in which we were enrolled, which would be impossible (unless they knew every doctor and/or procedure accomplished and visited in earlier years.)  When we asked why this was so complicated and incomplete, we were told it was because “Obamacare” set up the system.   This was part of Obamacare.

It was further explained to us how Obamacare worked and why it was not working, why it had become the political football it has.

This was the best, easiest to understand, and simplest explanation of Obamacare and its flaws we had ever heard.

Continue reading “MAYBE THIS IS WHY”


The third “presidential” debate is over, thank God, and where are we?

Basically we’re no closer to selecting an adult human being to be president of the United States than we have been for eighteen months.

Remarkably, we have learned one or two new things about Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump.

We’ve learned that six fifteen minute segments in which to discuss important issues is a perfect fit with Mr. Trump’s knowledge and abilities.   His depth and understanding of important issues the American people would like to hear more about lasts only fifteen minutes at best before he begins repeating what he’s already said.  In fact, there was little he did say Wednesday night that was new or revolutionary in any way.   One thing is clear: he offered no details for any of his campaign suggestions.  The phrases “It’ll be great,” or “Believe me,” or even “Trust me” were hardly in evidence.    As we listened and watched on CSPAN, and as Mr. Trump trod the by now familiar paths of denigration and denial, we found ourselves nodding contentedly as one by one now well-known and too-often-offered-without-evidence attacks followed each other in standard rotation.

Mrs. Clinton did the same thing.   Perhaps the most eagerly awaited part of her performance was when her career devoted to children and women and families would first be invoked, when being in the Situation Room before Bin Laden’s takedown would follow,  when Bernie Sanders’ name might be invoked as a magical (she hoped) talisman against Mr. Trump’s “Crooked Hillary,”  when we would hear for the first time (in at least a couple of days) that people on a no-fly list should not be able to purchase handguns.     She presented her all-time favorite lyrics in musical order:  the Donald’s “respect” for women, than whom no one has more; wanting to keep immigrant families together rather than separating illegally resident parents from their American-born children; her new found ardor against the Trans Pacific trade deal;  her newly highlighted vote for a “fence” along our southern borders, “Not a wall.”

Continue reading “AT LAST!”


There’s little need for any commentator to heap plaudits and bouquets at the feet of Michelle Obama.  Her cri de coeur in Manchester, New Hampshire, yesterday was so far above and beyond the level of electioneering we‘ve experienced since this miserable rat race began that only the most hateful hearts could not be moved.

Our single regret was that, at the conclusion of her remarks, she wasn’t able to raise a pitchfork into the air, leap from the podium, and lead her listeners directly onto a battlefield where, within half an hour’s hard work, the Breitbart bodies would have lain motionless, unable to rise again.

This scenario has almost nothing to do with Donald Trump.

What it does have to do with is the wrenching realization that women today are scarcely more highly  regarded than they were when the Republic was founded.

Now, we want sexual assaults in business, in the Armed Forces, on the streets at midnight reported, investigated, and tried in courts of law a.s.a.p.

Which is why, of course, we insist that victims of this kind of behavior prove to us again and again that what they’re alleging is really true.

Continue reading “PROVE IT”


Last night’s marathon was either the saving of Donald Trump or his suicide.  In any case, it wasn’t presidential, or pretty, or pertinent except in terms of character.

It was, nonetheless, Trump at his best.  Or worst, your choice.

Although we’ll know more in the coming days, on balance (and on C-SPAN) the night was his.

Hillary’s crew made a mistake.  Clearly they had decided to go “high” rather than “low” and to let the Donald implode however he chose.  Which he did, but not before once more demonstrating that there was nothing anyone could do to stop him, top him, or even slow him down.  Whenever a question was asked he chose to ignore, he did.  Rather than talk about Aleppo, he side-tracked to Mosul, and soon the evening (or a fraction of it) was about Iraq (and Hillary’s mistakes) rather than Syria (and Hillary’s mistakes).

One has to admire Trump’s strategy, held over from the very beginning.  He has not changed.  He is not going to change.  Why should he when he can do what he wants, say what he wants, virtually hijack any debate by simply leaping agilely from one topic to another, from one possible embarrassment to something that puts him in a golden light?

Martha Raddatz is a pro and she tried – God, how she tried – but Donald wouldn’t let her interrupt.  Once he began to speak, the confrontation was over.   He was armed completely.  Every aspect of Mrs. Clinton’s career was in play.

From Donald’s “surprise” news conference with his bevy of Bill Clinton beauties to stalking Hillary wherever she walked on stage, to threatening her with imprisonment, Trump was faster than a speeding bullet, leaping tall tales in single bounds.

Continue reading “BIRTH OR SUICIDE?”


There’s a gentleman out there who reads our posts on Facebook with some regularity.

When we write about improving gun controls and background checks, he’s goes ballistic.

When we wrote recently that Mike Pence seemed to have won the evening debate with Tim Kaine, he wasn’t happy, either.

We can’t believe these comments are posted merely to drive us crazy.  But they do, a little.

What does this gentleman want?   Suddenly, says he, we are unmasked, our political prejudices exposed.

While he is clearly a supporter of change, or of Mr. Trump, he has forgotten that we wrote – months ago – that Hillary wouldn’t run (we were wrong) and if she ran, she wouldn’t win (who knows?)

Now, it’s not as though we are trying to make this guy happy.  That doesn’t seem possible.  Apparently he believes we should promote the candidacy of the Donald.

But that IS impossible.   Not only according to our own lights, but in the collective opinion of millions of other voters, many of them far better informed than we are.

Continue reading “NEED VS WANT”


We may have been a little optimistic about last night’s set-to.  Our hope was civility, brain-power, clarity.

The night, although we hate to admit it, went to Mr. Pence.  Not because he was more articulate or insightful, but because he sat stolidly on his hands and denied everything.  He was calm (too calm), distant, and untruthful.  But his demeanor was solid and reasonable, for one who fibbed all the way through the ninety minutes.

Tim Kaine was so eager to get into a brou-ha-ha that he jumped the gun, interrupted, talked over and simultaneously throughout and covered whatever his messages were with speed, confusion, and – apart from a few seconds at the end of the debate – did nothing to derail Trump/Pence.

But he did have one fine moment when discussing a woman’s right to make health care decisions.  This was valuable to Mrs. Clinton, and hurtful to Mr. Trump.

What can one do when faced with an obdurate, face-making, eye-rolling stone wall?   Pence may have put himself on the map for 2020 (we certainly hope not) simply by appearing calm and adult, regardless of the content of his denials.

Both men were programmed and not only did it show, they each commented on the scripts they had been handed.

The difference between Trump and Pence was in delivery, not facts.   For worried Republicans, Mr. Pence was reassuring in a way Trump has never been, despite his fictions.   Trump’s base probably did not grow in numbers, although perhaps in confidence.  That is not a good thing.

In moments of thoughtfulness (too few), Mr. Kaine is worth listening to.

So where are we now?   Frankly, no place good.

True enough, as the days pass, Mr. Pence’s replies to Kaine’s questions will be played and replayed for all to see and understand how easily and how often he ducked the truth, how seldom he managed to break down the Clinton/Kaine structure.

And, providentially, Mr. Pence approached Mrs. Clinton’s solution for Syria.  That cannot have made Trump joyous.

Final tally?  It wasn’t even a draw.  It was theatre of the kind we’ve seen from Trump himself throughout the campaign.   Bogus, blustery, bigoted.

We’re not happy and we doubt Mrs. Clinton is.  (Putting aside for the nonce the damage done by her husband when discussing, off the cuff, the Affordable Care Act and its flaws.  This man needs rehabilitation.)

We can only hope that Mr. Trump, as he addresses the concerns of voters at the Town Hall scenario this coming Sunday, falls once more into his “Believe me” mode.


Here’s a simple approach to this evening’s vice-presidential debate.

Tim Kaine has only one job to do.   Introduce America to the Republican Party’s platform.

Platforms are generally ignored by the voting public, written only to unify the disparate factions of many different people and views.  Platforms are ordinarily compromises between the angry and the satisfied.

In 2016, the Republicans had to satisfy a man they never believed would be a standard bearer.  Worse, or better, they had to please members who never wanted to see the nation made “great again.”   Rich, yes.  Biased, yes.  Privileged, yes.  But also bitter, hungry, vengeful.   “Great again” actually meant “the same,” i.e., the party had learned it could say NO and that was as far as it wanted to go.  The government could be shut down and no office-holder would ever be penalized or criticized.   The platform committee was free from fault, just as Wells Fargo believed it was.   Voting under the aegis of the NRA was safe and comfortable and rewarding.

What Mr. Kaine can do this evening is hang the Republican platform around the neck of Mike Pence and thereby Mr. Trump and every other Republican, “Rino” or real.    Said Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, “This is a statement of not Donald Trump’s campaign, but of the Republican Party.”

Continue reading “THE WEAPON”