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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

We Hear From Jared

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 07/24/17 16:25

by Dave Mindeman

Jared Kushner finally spoke. He made a statement on the White House lawn but didn't take any questions. But there was one small part of that statement that seemed very curious....

I have not relied on Russian funds to finance my business activities in the private sector.

That sounded very much like the precise kind of language a lawyer would be consulted about.

The word "relied" stands out like a big red flag. It seems to allow for the idea that Kushner got Russian funding - but he seems to be arguing that it wasn't a basic block of his finances.

But it leaves this open for a lot of speculation. Kushner met with a Russian money launderer - that much we know. But how involved or not involved he was financially with them remains a mystery.

The questions surrounding Trump's and his family's finances are becoming a much bigger question - and the President is getting much more sensitive around talk of his tax returns.

The are becoming a key to the mystery of Russia and I can't imagine that Robert Muller is not already looking at all of it.

Kushner does not look or talk like the political power broker that Trump seems to think he is. I cannot even imagine him as some kind of negotiator between Abbas and Netanyahu - but he is deeply involved in this administration and its sordid affairs. And we can only hope that what has been buried will be brought out into the open.

Jared Kushner is more careful about what he says than his father-in-law (who isn't), but I would guess that Jared's lawyers are worried and his word parsing is intentional.
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America Got A "Bad" Deal In Electing Trump

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 07/20/17 10:54

by Dave Mindeman

There is something that Trump supporters should be begin to realize. Donald Trump is a business fraud.

The hyperbole was "I, alone can fix it."...or "I'm the best dealmaker"...or this or that treaty is the "worst deal ever made".

What is becoming pretty clear is that Donald J. Trump is no dealmaker, he is no brilliant businessman, he is the classic huckster.

His business acumen has really been on display for years. He has filed numerous bankruptcies, and has defaulted on so many US bank loans that no one would lend to him anymore.

Which led him into the shady part of the story. His only resource for funds for his grandiose business schemes became Deutsche Bank. And for as long as Trump has been associated with that bank, they have been flaunting international law on money laundering. There isn't any definitive proof that Trump is part of the money laundering conspiracy, but the pieces of the puzzle are not very encouraging in regards to innocence.

The corrupt Russian oligarch government has been funneling money our of Russia ever since Putin centralized his control. The main conduit has been Deutsche Bank. The German bank has already paid hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and are still being investigated - and we can only assume that Robert Muller is working on any connections this might have to the Russian meddling in the US election.

But let's get back to Trump's businesses. So there are multiple millions of dollars in loans that Trump has defaulted on. And he ends up getting money from a growing money laundering cartel - which automatically puts him in the middle of illegal activities. Since Russia is a major source of this money, it stands to reason that Russian connections would start appearing in the "Trump business model".

Odd real estate deals. Complicated transactions. Suspicious loan agreements. Connections to people who are targets of financial fraud investigations. It is all coming to a head.

Donald Trump is, in essence, a very, very bad negotiator. The leverage on these deals is always on the other side. Trump has isolated himself with terms that are shady at best - completely illegal at worst.

And, since the US electoral college gave Trump his chance to "prove" those hyperbolic business skills as a President, he has been failing in each and every area.

He has NOT hired the best people. He has NOT kept his campaign promises. He has NOT negotiated "deals" legislatively. He has NOT gotten Mexico to pay for a wall. He has NOT made better trade policy.

And that Iran nuclear treaty which he said was the "worst" in history? Well, it turns out US officials have confirmed that Iran is holding to their side of the treaty - and ironically, have complained that the US has not kept to the terms of their side.

Trump supporters, you got duped. And you know who is suffering the most damage from the Trump Presidency? The people who voted for him. The people who assumed he would bring back manufacturing jobs. The people who assumed that Trump would get us "the best health care". The people who were assured that the US standing in the world would be returned to "Make America Great Again".

It was all a bait and switch. A fraud. A snake oil sale. A Madison Avenue falsehood.

The question isn't whether Trump can make America great....the real question is "will America survive a Trump Presidency?"
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Junk Insurance

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 07/15/17 19:58

by Dave Mindeman

One positive thing that came from the ACA is that insurance policies were required to meet minimum standards. For all the talk about the so-called "catastrophic" plans being the answer to the individual market, they really did not cover much. They came very close to being "junk insurance".

And if the Senate passes the current bill, we will be headed back there once more.

The new version of the bill released on Thursday incorporates an idea from Senator Ted Cruz of Texas that would permit insurers to market all types of plans as long as they offer ones that comply with Affordable Care Act standards. The measure would also allow companies to take into account people's health status in determining whether to insure them and at what price.

State insurance regulators say the proposal harks back to the days when insurance companies, even household names like Aetna and Blue Cross, sold policies so skimpy they could hardly be called coverage at all. Derided as "junk insurance," the plans had very low premiums but often came with five-figure deductibles. Many failed to pay for medical care that is now deemed essential.

From my pharmacist days, I can recount many times when people would bring in their MCHA (Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association)card, which is where people with pre-existing conditions usually got dumped, and had to tell them that their prescriptions weren't covered and would only receive a small discount. These discounts are actually available to anybody through any nationally marketed RX discount card.

Most would walk away disappointed and with a much thinner wallet.

This Senate bill would open that up again - and although Minnesota Republicans will be happy with the talking point that these people "have insurance", they really don't have much of anything. We are back to talking coverage limits, coverage caps, pre-certifications, and no preventative care.

We have ignored these comprehensive benefits of Obamacare and yes, some of the premiums are higher because of this, but the better outcomes are what we are supposed to want to achieve, isn't it?

People who are sick or become sick, need to be protected from the high cost of care. In Minnesota that care is excellent, but the technology and expertise are not cheap. But worse than that would be to be told that none of these things are covered by your insurance - and that your odds of avoiding bankruptcy have just collapsed.

Practically speaking, we need to keep the ACA and fix the 3-5% of the market that needs fixing.

But this Senate bill is one big horror story.
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