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abuse of power America politics voting

Voter Fraud

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In 2016 Donald Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million votes. In 2020 he lost again, this time by 5 million. The first time he was so incredulous at having lost, so disturbed by evidence of his own unpopularity, that he formed a commission in 2017 to uncover the massive fraud that he claimed must have taken place. That commission came up with nothing. This time Trump lost not only the popular vote but the election, yet his go-to response is the same: there must have been massive voter fraud. Trump cannot conceive that a sizable majority of Americans have rejected him as President. Starting from the premise of his own popularity, he can only conclude that the same unspecified, shadowy forces that have undermined his presidency at every step have now succeeded in undermining his re-election. There must be voter fraud because everybody loves him.

The only thing missing is evidence.

In fact, the Trump administration’s own Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has issued a report stating that the 2020 election was the most secure ever. It’s claims are backed by Secretaries of State from all 50 states. While there are instances of errors and mishandling and even the occasional attempts at fraud, there is nothing of a scale to actually influence the outcome of the Presidential election. In 2017 Trump claimed that millions of votes were fraudulent, for he lost the popular vote by millions. Having lost again, he is making the same unsupported claims, but this time around election officials across the country have taken extraordinary measures to safeguard the election. It is simply not possible for voter fraud to exist on a scale consistent with a Trump win in 2020. He needs to acknowledge his loss and transfer the reigns of power peaceably and with whatever integrity he can muster.

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America business economics health care

Why Health Care is Complicated

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I’m turning 65 this year, so I’ve been receiving reams of unsolicited information about Medicare. As I’ve reviewed it, one thing has become very clear. The intricacies and Byzantine complexities of Medicare (and also of employment-based health care in general) are not to help consumers manage their health care expenses. They are to limit costs—and thus improve profitability—for health insurers and providers. One huge advantage to a single-payer federally funded health care system would be an exponential reduction in complexity and the costs associated with maintaining a bureaucracy to navigate those complexities. Those costs are already borne by consumers because they are passed on to them by insurers and providers in the form of higher premiums and some of the most expensive health care services in the world.

Conservatives drown out every good argument for radical change in our health care system with shouts of “Socialism!” but the truth is that most developed countries in the West have had tax-funded health care for their entire populations for decades without descending into chaos like Venezuela. Even in the United States we have decades of experience covering nearly everyone over 65 without all the catastrophes conservatives keep predicting for socialized medicine. It’s time to cut out the complications of our health care system and create a system designed with the best interests of health care consumers in mind.

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abuse of power America current events politics quick thoughts

Thoughts on The Mueller Report

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I’ve been reading The Mueller Report about the investigation into matters related to Russian interference in the 2016 election. There are two volumes. Volume 1 deals with crimes related to Russian interference in our elections. It details incidents and evidence that supports charges against various individuals and entities for tampering with our elections. None of those charged are Americans or members of President Trump’s campaign or administration. It also deals with incidents and evidence of crimes discovered in the course of the investigation, in particular lying to Congress and lying to the FBI concerning an ongoing investigation. Several members of Trump’s campaign and administration were charged. Nevertheless, the investigation did not find evidence of collaboration between the Trump campaign and Russian-backed organizations or individuals who interfered in our elections. There were a couple of questionable incidents, but it was not clear that any laws were violated.

Volume 2, which I have not yet finished, deals with the President’s efforts to end the investigation. I will need more time to discuss it, so I will only say now that it does not exonerate the President. Far from it.

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