Screen Shot 2019-11-11 at 12.07.58 PM

Adapted from John Hooker in response to Wendell Potter’s statement:

“There’s now a chorus of voices, led by Senators Sanders and Warren, that are saying, ‘enough’.  An entire generation has grown up hearing the stale health insurance industry talking points (that I helped craft decades ago). And they aren’t fooled!  Politicians who keep defending the insurance industry will go down with them when the health care system finally collapses.”

I will repeat myself until I’m unable to write any more. THIS IS NOT THE RIGHT STRATEGY FOR SUCCESS. Wendell Potter is right factually but is playing the role of an activist (and selling books).

If you want to change something, choose Medicare for all who want it (MFAWWI) – also known as the public option. This will do the work without being bombarded with slogans like “socialism” etc. Remember, not so long ago, even some Democrats did not support Obamacare in 2010. They were too afraid of the public reaction when Republicans began bombarding the country with their fraudulent slogans.
We have reached, a “McCarthyism” situation in this country where the number of people becoming irrational is increasing. This is very dangerous. If we do not reform, we will screw up this country for good.
Introducing the government option or MFAWWI will do the dirty work of putting the insurance companies gradually out of work. It will bring the price of pharmaceuticals down because the increasing size of MFAWWI will put pressure on pharmaceutical pricing. It will force re-structuring through market forces and do this at a more manageable pace for society so that it can adapt to this huge change.
There is too much now to disentangle in one fell swoop — particularly while half of the opposing stakeholders will be bombarding a well-meaning single-payer system.
Time to be realistic. The only way to get the whole country to move in a direction of this magnitude (re-structuring one-sixth of the economy) is to have a huge majority convinced that that is what we have to do — like a war effort!  We aren’t there yet.
Same for climate change!!  Which is even bigger an issue.
Posted in ACA, Health Care, medicare, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Trump thinks we are gullible!

Fined $2 million after admitting his foundation was his piggy bank, the president shows he always comes first.

Credit…Illustration by Nicholas Konrad; photograph by Doug Mills/The New York Times

On Monday, President Trump will kick off the 100th New York City Veterans Day Parade, at which he is likely to boast, as is his wont, of his devotion to the men and women who have served in the military.

But a legal settlement announced on Thursday reveals that for Donald Trump, personal interest outranks even the needs of veterans. Under the agreement, a New York judge ordered the president to pay $2 million in damages after Mr. Trump admitted that his now-defunct Donald J. Trump Foundation largely benefited Donald J. Trump….


More here:  Judge rules that Donald Trump must pay $2 million to charities.  Published Nov 8th by Michael Collins Dennis Wagner Kevin McCoy in USA TODAY

The lawsuit, filed last year by then-New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, outlined a wide array of mismanagement by Trump and his three eldest children.

Chief among them: allowing Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign to orchestrate a televised fundraiser in Des Moines, Iowa, for the foundation, which then distributed $2.8 million to veterans’ charities that were also chosen by the campaign.

Charities are prohibited by New York law from supporting political candidates or campaigns.

Trump staged the fundraiser on Jan. 28, 2016, days before the Iowa caucuses, rather than participate in a Republican presidential debate.

According to the lawsuit, Trump’s campaign staff, not the foundation, chose the veterans’ groups that would get the money. That violated New York’s charity laws.

The Attorney General’s Office and the Trump Foundation reached an agreement last year to dissolve the foundation and distribute its remaining $1.8 million in assets to a variety of charities, including the Army Relief Fund and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

And this:

The New York State attorney general’s case against the Trump Foundation — Donald Trump’s nonprofit that a court shut down earlier this year — has concluded. The Trumps have agreed to pay a $2 million fine, the attorney general’s office said in a press release on Thursday.

The deal follows years of incredible, careful reporting by a number of reporters but most of all the Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold. As Fahrenthold discovered, the Trump Foundation often operated as a slush fund for the Trump family and Trump’s businesses. It bought Trump an autographed Tim Tebow helmet, a portrait of himself, and money for various lawsuit settlements. Less entertainingly but perhaps more importantly, he also used a foundation fundraiser, which was nationally televised a few days before the Iowa caucuses, to promote his presidential bid in 2016.


I would be mad as hell as a veteran…

See more here:

Inside Trump’s VA – Investigating Trump’s Promises to America’s Veterans

Posted in 2020 elections, Ethics, swamp, Trump, Uncategorized, veterans, Zeldin | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

A Lesson from Kentucky

Screen Shot 2019-11-06 at 7.14.05 PM.png

Francesca Rheannon <> writes:

Declaring #kygov election over with a 5,000-plus margin, Gov.-elect Andy Beshear appoints transition team chair and looks forward, as Bevin questions results.

Kentucky Democrats did not win the Governors race by launching esoteric attacks on Bevin about the norms and guardrails of Democracy or lofty ideals like freedom of the press even though Bevin is probably even more hostile to the press than Trump. They did it by staying lightning focused on the way that Bevin had hurt working class families.

Being back in the state was a big reminder for me about how non DC/NYC elites talk about politics. Just listen in this piece to how Teamsters Local 783 President John Stovall describes Trump. It’s way more effective than the Ukraine/Russia/norms and guardrails handwringing that you are hit over the head with here.

Stovall says that: His members who supported Trump are “starting to see that (the rhetoric) is not true. What he’s done is he’s hurt the middle class and lower income and his tax credits and all that have benefited the rich.” Simple. Straightforward. Connected to people’s lives. Not contempt-filled, judgey or condescending.

New polls this week of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan have shown that Trump is in position to win the Electoral College again. Dems shouldn’t use this Kentucky victory as an excuse to feel like everything is going fine with their impeachment strategy and national messaging, instead they should use it as an opportunity to learn from this “red state” that unexpectedly turned blue on the back of a working class populist backlash.

Posted in 2020 elections, Canvassing, democrats, Education, GOP, Health Care, Trump, Uncategorized, Zeldin | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Trump: no more federal aid to California as fires continue to burn!

Screen Shot 2019-11-03 at 2.10.11 PM

What’s next for us?  No more aid in case of a hurricane? (At least as long as NY state votes democratic.)



Posted in Environment, Trump, Trump atrocities, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

Swastika in the Springs


Springs, East Hampton

A friend of mine found a swastika painted on a rock in her driveway in The Springs. Detectives were called and they took the incident very seriously. An investigation has begun. My friend notified the East Hampton Synagogue and they will notify their congregation. There is some other writing on the rock but do not jump to any conclusions. The detectives sent some folks over to remove the swastika. This is the first swastika incident that I am aware of in the Hamptons. This is all the information that I know of at present.
Rena Rosenfeld



Posted in anti-semitism, Religion & tolerance, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Home Sales Plunge as a Result of Capping SALT

From the East Hampton Star comes a short notice burried on page B9: “Home Sales Have Plunged”.

East End home sales in the third quarter were at an eight-year low, and the inventory of houses on the market has reached a 13-year high, according to a report from the Douglas Elliman Agency.

Sales over all have declined for the seventh quarter in a row, the agency reported. Sales of houses priced at or above $5 million were at their lowest level since 2013.

The slowdown in the real estate market continues to have an adverse impact on the Peconic Bay Region Community Preservation Fund. Revenues so far this year total $58.2 million, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. announced on Friday, compared to nearly $73 million in 2018 — a decline of over 20 percent.

The preservation fund, which provides money for land preservation and water quality improvement, receives the proceeds of a 2-percent real estate transfer tax in the five East End towns: East Hampton, Southampton, Shelter Island, Southold, and Riverhead. Over the first nine months of the year, C.P.F. revenues from home sales fell 27.8 percent in East Hampton, 19.2 percent in Southampton, and 31.4 percent in Riverhead. Shelter Island’s were up 27.3 percent, and Southold’s increased by 6 percent.

Looking for a silver lining, Mr. Thiele said the 20-percent decline in overall revenue was an improvement from earlier this year. In May, C.P.F. intake was down 27.4 percent. Still, September’s intake, $5.38 million, was the lowest since March, when $4.56 million was collected.

The Douglas Elliman report attributed the slowdown in the real estate market to the 2017 tax reform law, which placed a $10,000 cap on the amount of state and local taxes — including property taxes — that can be deducted on federal returns. That cap, the report said, has made houses on the East End even less affordable.

Remember the Trump Tax law in Nov. 2017?  Apart from a tax give away to the richest and to corporations, there was a mean spirited effort to punish coastal (democratic) states like California and New York, where real estate prices and taxes are high and state taxes too.  We used to be able to deduct State And Local Taxes (SALT) from our federal tax income.  But the Republicans drafted a bill that omitted these SALT deductions.  Then it was amended and the SALT deductions were capped at $10,000.  But voters did not like it!  And Long Islanders, in particular, did not like it.  Average real estate taxes are very high here.

Lee Zeldin had originally voted for Trump’s tax bill, but then the bill came back from the Senate (and a joint conference). Lee caught on that it was unpopular in his district.  So he and a number of Rep. colleagues voted against the bill in the end (knowing that it would pass anyway).

At the time there were several blog posts on this tax bill on this site:

This last link (dated Nov. 10, 2017) states

… the value of your home could decrease!   Thanks Mr. Trump & Mr. Zeldin!

Clearly, one of the concerns was that the capped SALT deductions might hurt housing prices.  Now, just 2 years later, it is catching up with us and we are starting to see a major real estate slump.

Screen Shot 2019-11-01 at 9.52.04 PM


Posted in 2020 elections, Real Estate, Tax Reform, Trump, Uncategorized, Zeldin | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Missing Democracy

Found on a mural on the High Line (Chelsea, New York City)


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment