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Leadership Skills? What Leadership Skills?


      Leadership skills? What leadership skills? A brilliant essay by "Marietta Daily Journal" blogger (and my friend) Oliver Halle (This is "The Agitator #240")--

      One of the reasons that Donald Trump was elected included his promise of bringing a different style of leadership to the White House. Trump bragged about his negotiating abilities, about being able to sit down with almost anyone or any group and working out an agreement. It all sounded good, but if you have lived a long life you would know that it was all empty talk.

      Leadership skills don’t come in one size. There are a lot of components depending on the situation. Those who served in the military know that an officer only has to give an order for it to be instantly obeyed without further discussion. In the business world a CEO has to sell his vision to a board of directors, but the board is limited in number, and for the most part it is comprised of participants carefully chosen. Political leadership is very different.

      What Trump didn’t consider in making all his promises is that not one single member of the House or Senate answers to him. All answer to their own constituency who elect them. Only in a limited sense does each House and Senate member answer to their party’s leadership. You can be sure that not a single elected representative cares more about pleasing the president or the House Speaker/Senate Majority Leader than they do about the voters who can throw them out of office.

      In the first 100 days of his presidency Trump still seeks his first legislative accomplishment. His attempt at passing healthcare reform failed miserably. He immediately moved on to revising the tax code, but even that is questionable. Since Trump promised to eliminate the national debt in eight years and submit balanced budgets, there is a lot of controversy on both sides of the aisle concerning whether Trump’s tax plan would add substantially to the deficits and national debt.

      The latest news is that the White House and House Freedom Caucus are working on a revised healthcare plan to be voted on in a very short period of time. What is ironic is that the Freedom Caucus plan, while reducing benefits all the way around, would preserve their own health insurance, to include no premium hike for preexisting conditions, and for the government to continue to subsidize their coverage. The outcry on this alone should cause these representatives to be tossed in 2018, but my guess is that somehow they will make a silk purse from this pig’s ear.

      A Republican that I know recently told me that the Democrats were much better at achieving party loyalty when it came to passing legislation. There is a partial but significant explanation for this. Good leadership tries to get buy-in from as many people as possible. The best military leaders much prefer to have willing followers, and much of their success is the result of keeping everyone informed down to the lowest ranks. The best officers understand and live by some basic principles such as never going to sleep until the last enlisted man has a place to bed down, and never eating until the last enlisted man has been provided for.

      If you look at why Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan failed to get a healthcare bill passed it is obvious. A handful of party favorites and insiders crafted the bill. Most Republicans were not asked for their in-put, and certainly no Democrats were invited to the table. Only after the draft was complete were the rest of the Republican House members told to vote on it. Any suggestions for changes, modifications, or provisions to accommodate a representative’s district were rejected without discussion.

      We can expect more of the same from Republicans unless they figure out that they have to compromise, a dirty word that Rush Limbaugh has ingrained in them going back to the Clinton White House days. Paul Ryan has yet to figure out how to get the Freedom Caucus to sit down with the Tuesday Group, a large faction of Republican moderates. Despite being told for the past eight years that when the day came that Republicans had both the White House and both houses of congress big changes would occur, it’s not likely going to happen.

      One also has to ask why the voters would reelect a president who now asks the American taxpayer to put a down payment on the wall with Mexico in which we were guaranteed the Mexicans would pay for, whose healthcare plan will hurt millions despite the promise that it would be better than Obamacare, and whose tax plan will likely add substantially to the deficits and national debt. And I haven’t even gone into Trump’s promise to rid the world of ISIS based on his own statement that he is smarter than his generals, his promise to bring back the fossil fuel industry, etc. Good luck, Mr. President, and even better luck to the American people.

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      O'Reilly's Pay-Off Mere Pocket Change Compared To What Murdoch Faces Now


          So Bill O'Reilly was a nuisance that had to be silenced through a few judiciously placed dollars numbering in the millions. Ailes, too. And there are others, but the real threat is 100 times greater to the suddenly suffering Murdoch corporate purse.

          The blowback in the States is just a bit of scandal in the grand scheme of things, and a constant state of existence for FOX News. It turns out to be a bit more than that though, for now the band of Murdoch and the Sex Predators are taking the center ring in England.

          You see there is this little matter of a 14.6 Billion dollar deal that Uncle Rupert wants to close, and Sky is the limit. At this point in time, Murdoch holds 36% of Sky, but the government is not too keen on how he has been conducting business in the good old U S of A. It is not just that FOX had become a haven for sexual predators, as delightfully salacious as that is. No, it is the fact that News America Marketing has been utilizing predatory business practuces as a primary strategy in such an open manner that the Murdochs have had to shell out somewhere around a billion bucks in settlements the last couple of years.

          The past twelve years has witnessed over 900 million in checks written to various competitors - certainly out of the goodness of Rupert's heart, for there has always been the Trump-like no admission of guilt, of course. 500 million for a major competitor called Valassis; an additional $125 million for Insignia, based in Minnesota, a paltry 29.6 million to Floorgraphics who stuck all those little ads on some of your favorite grocery store floors. The latest, $280 million, was incurred just a year ago to cut short a class-action lawsuit filed by News America's own clients, one of which is the soap manufacturer Dial and the ketchup giant H.J. Heinz.

          Sorry, no, that man's fingers are just too big to be you-know-who under the case - maybe next time...

          The English regulators reviewing the media giant Murdoch's efforts to acquire SKY have slammed him down before - remember the criminal investigation into corporate sponsored wire-tapping back in the early 2010s? No, not Hewlett-Packard...guess again...

          So six years ago the Murdochs lost their first chance to acquire SKY, the largest media company in Europe because of a little scandal. As part of its role, Ofcom must ensure that holders of broadcast licences are 'fit and proper' - and some politicians and campaigners have questioned whether Murdoch and his family fit the bill since the phone-hacking scandal exploded in 2011.

          Murdoch has held a unique position in Britain in years gone by, with former prime ministers such as Tony Blair and David Cameron lining up to secure the blessing of the media mogul and the backing of his newspapers. Critics say this has given him too much say over public and political life in Britain.

          The phone-hacking scandal prompted Ofcom to investigate whether Sky was still a fit and proper broadcast licensee due to its links to James and Rupert Murdoch. James Murdoch was at the time a former CEO and chairman of Sky while Rupert Murdoch was linked due to his role at biggest shareholder News Corp. - The Daily Mail 25 APR 2017

          And just a few days ago NPR reported yet another lawsuit filed against Murdoch's showpiece that is fighting to lose the Internet moniker "Faux News" it garnered over the last few years (Tucker Carlson, really?).

          According to NPR’s David Folkenflik, Andrea Tantaros, former Fox News host and plaintiff in a sexual harassment lawsuit against the network and its former CEO Roger Ailes, has presented a new lawsuit against the network. The new lawsuit, according to Folkenflik, says the network arranged “to have her private communications spied on as part of a campaign of intimidation” that involved Twitter “sock puppet” accounts tweeting the contents of her private conversations after she reported sexual harassment incidents at Fox News

          So here Murdoch stews a bit more as the regulators have decided to include in their investigations News America Advertising's highly suspect business actions, with the possible consequences of that research resulting in the decision that the Murdochs are not socially fit to own SKY, potentially forcing Rupert and the boys to divest the significant interest they already hold.

          It has a poor week for Fox owner Murdoch, and there are damn few signs of it getting better anytime soon.

          Geoffrey S Jade Barrett, Chairman, SANE60



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          Pundit Post

          Trump Links Trade To National Security


              Trump Links Trade To National Security

              Once again, Fails To Do Homework

              Lumber and Dairy weren't enough? Trump Goes After Canada On Aluminium

              By Ray Cunneff

              April 27, 2017

              On the same day that President Donald Trump reversed himself on his oft-repeated campaign pledge to scrap the 23 year-old NAFTA trade treaty with Mexico and Canada, the administration has invoked the "nuclear option" on trade by linking it to national security. And after threatening protectionist tariffs against Canada over hardwood and dairy imports, the administration is now going after Canada over aluminium.

              In 2016, the U.S. imported more than 6.5 million metric tons of aluminum for use in the auto industry, construction and a variety of other sectors. Canada was by far the biggest foreign supplier, with shipments totaling more than 3 million tons. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has said “Imports have been flooding into the aluminum industry” and that import restrictions may be needed for the U.S. to continue producing enough "high purity" aluminium for use in military aircraft, armored vehicles, combat vessels and missiles.

              But typically, the administration has acted reflexively without thinking the matter through. It turns out that there is only one U.S. smelter that produces high-purity aluminium and they are having financial difficulty. Furthermore, more than 161,000 American workers' jobs depend upon imported aluminium. And free trade advocates criticized the actions, arguing that they could encourage other countries to begin blocking U.S. exports on national security grounds.

              The Trump administration's trade protectionism has caused Canada to aggressively seek new markets for its products. And just like the aftermath of Trump having scrapped the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership (TPP), the remaining eleven nations that formed the partnership have begun negotiations for a new Pacific trade pact - minus the U.S.

              And according to a report from the Bloomberg Business Service titled "America's $1.2 Billion Mexico Milk Trade Is Now at Risk," the world's biggest buyer of U.S. milk is looking for new sources, working on a deal with giant milk producer New Zealand and increasing imports from Europe.

              Canadian international trade analyst Patrick Leblond says ill-conceived, reactionary comments by Trump have an effect, not just on government negotiators but consumers. "It puts a damper on how people see the U.S. and how they see U.S. products."

              As Trump talks about "America First," consumers might be increasingly tempted to pursue a strategy of "America Last."


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              Pundit Post

              Report - Ivanka Trump Clothing Made By Workers Paid $1.00 An Hour.


                  Report: Company behind Ivanka Trump's clothing brand pays workers about $1 per hour

                  Apr 26th 2017 3:05PM

                  G-III Apparel Group, the company that makes clothing for the Ivanka Trump brand, has violated several standard labor practices, according to a report by the Fair Labor Association.

                  The group, which based its conclusions on a two-day assessment of a factory in China, found that in 2016 workers were being paid about a dollar an hour, with almost 60 hours of work resulting in about $62 of pay a week, reports the Washington Post.

                  Overtime was also an issue, with employees putting in 40 standard hours plus an additional 42 to 82 hours of work per month; the law allows for 36 hours of overtime a month. In fact, the production target for the factory requires workers put in a 57-hour workweek.

                  As a result, the industry monitoring group has recommended that G-III cap overtime hours to fall within the acceptable range and that the company hire more staff to alleviate the workload.

                  Despite the violations, the Washington Post points out that "the report did not give the factory's name or location, or say whether it was working on Ivanka-brand products at the time of the inspection.

                  Read more at: https://www.aol.com/article/finance/2017/04/26/rep...

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                  Dems Threatened Shutdown Over Health Care Vote


                      This funding bill the GOP has made such a big deal about is set to keep the government funded for ONE WEEK.

                      Even when it's over, for the GOP (and all of us affected by a GOP policy) it ain't over.

                      The Republicans b1tched for years that Democrats didn't pass full spending bills, and now, they're governing by temporary "rough drafts", and claiming they're effectively governing. Really?

                      Republicans, your base is calling. They want your campaign signs removed from their yards.

                      While Republicans would love to hang the shutdown on Democrats, the fact is, Republicans loaded the spending bill with poison pills that would hurt millions of Americans.

                      "If Republicans announce their intention to bring their harmful TrumpCare bill to the House Floor tomorrow or Saturday, I will oppose a one-week Continuing Resolution and will advise House Democrats to oppose it as well," the No. 2 Democratic leader in the House, Steny Hoyer, said in a statement.

                      As for Ryan's tepid claim, trying to lay blame on Democrats if they held up the spending bill, that they were "dragging their feet" I see it another way.

                      The Democrats are standing firm to protect the interests of millions of low-income Americans whose health care access (including even going to a doctor) is threatened by the Republican health (I don't) care bill in which CSRs would be eliminated.

                      If CSRs are eliminated, insurance coverage crashes in this country. So the Democrats are fighting to PROTECT health care coverage for every American who currently has it.

                      In the same article, we see this:

                      Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke Tuesday with White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, telling him that the payments must be included in the spending bill, according to a senior Democratic aide familiar with the conversation. Mulvaney had indicated that, while the Trump administration had continued the CSR payments, they had not yet decided whether they would make the May payment, according to a source.

                      And then, we read this:

                      Mulvaney told CNN's Jake Tapper on Tuesday that Democrats had made their request on Obamacare subsidies too late in the negotiating process.
                      "They dropped this Obamacare bailout, these insurance company payments, about two weeks ago," Mulvaney said. "These are things they've brought to the table very late."
                      Insurers are desperate to get some clarity on the issue and make sure the administration continues making the payments.
                      But, Republicans argued that the payments are part of mandatory spending and therefore shouldn't be part of the negotiations.

                      First, at what point in a "negotiation" is a request "too late", Mr. Mulvaney?

                      Second, if CSRs are part of "mandatory spending", how is it your boss is able to threaten stopping those payments at all, and why haven't you taken him to task on that instead of trying to lay the problem at Democrats' feet? Even worse, why are Republicans trying to use mandatory spending on CSRs to scare the American People and use it as a bargaining tool in the first place?

                      Third, what is the definition of "mandatory spending", and how is it the Republicans have been trying to thwart payments at all?

                      Quit trying to game the American People, Republicans. We see you. We know you do not have OUR better interests in mind. If you did, this must-pass spending bill wouldn't cover just the next week. If you approached negotiations honestly, if you did have our better interests in mind, you would have been working to see to it that ALL stakeholders were properly treated in this spending bill, not just your special interests.

                      This means we'll be revisiting another spending bill next week. It means House Democrats will have to fight the health care battle all over again.

                      But the good news is, the military, those on Social Security and disability, and 10s of thousands of federal employees will still get their pay and benefit checks on time. Millions of Americans will still be able to make the rent in May.

                      Like I said, Republicans, we see you. You're playing games with our LIVES, right down to the timing of the fights.

                      Once again, it's Republicans who are taking the country hostage using funding bills to do it.

                      We've seen this movie.

                      It stunk the first five times you showed it to us in 2011.

                      Get a grip. Get your acts together. Do something that shows us and the world that you have a clue as to how to govern effectively and FAIRLY.

                      Browbeating, bullying, bait and switch, and blaming are not democratic governing techniques.

                      They are the techniques of tyrants.


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                          I thought this was satire and did some checking. It appears that that megalomaniac really believes he can do that,


                          BY JOHN BOWDEN -

                          President Trump is considering breaking up the 9th Circuit Court after a federal district court judge in its jurisdiction blocked his order to withhold funding from "sanctuary cities."

                          In a Wednesday interview with the Washington Examiner, Trump said "there are many people who want to break up the 9th Circuit. It's outrageous."

                          In the interview, Trump accused liberals of "judge-shopping" for a court that would strike down his executive order.

                          "I mean, the language on the ban, it reads so easy that a reasonably good student in the first grade will fully understand it. And they don't even mention the words in their rejection on the ban," Trump said.

                          Trump claimed the court oversteps its authority and that his opponents "immediately run" to the court for "semi-automatic" rulings.

                          The 9th Circuit earlier this year blocked Trump's executive order that barred immigration from certain Muslim-majority countries and banned all Syrian refugees from the U.S. for a period of time.

                          Earlier Wednesday, Trump railed against the 9th Circuit over a judge blocking his order withholding funds from sanctuary cities.

                          If Trump decides to move forward with plans to break up the court, he'll have Republican support. Earlier this year, Sen Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) voiced support for breaking up the court, which is seen as one of the most liberal in the country.

                          On Tuesday, a federal judge rejected Trump's order to defund sanctuary cities, arguing that the White House had overreached with requirements not related to law enforcement.

                          The 9th Circuit Court covers Arizona, California, Alaska, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington and Hawaii, as well as Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.
                          Eighteen of the court's 25 judges were appointed by Democratic presidents.

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                          Trump's Lies To And Betrayals Of His "Base."


                              During the 2016 campaign Donald Trump made many promises, which he repeated over and over to tumultuous crowds of his supporters, about what he would do as president to make their lives better, by "making America great again!"

                              After his first 100 days, we now know, as any sane or sober adult would have suspected before the election, that Trump's pronouncements were all lies, and that he would betray his supporters, and do the exact opposite of what he had promised.

                              Aside from his inane and unconstitutional attempt to ban Muslims from entering the USA, the biggest about face from what he said is and was the GOP healthcare bill.

                              As pointed out on the website Vox, "Trump ran and won promising to cover everyone, avoid Medicaid cuts, and boost funding for opioid abuse treatment. He is now lobbying Congress to pass a bill that does none of those things. Instead, millions will lose insurance and Medicaid spending will be sacrificed on the altar of tax cuts for the rich."

                              Trump also promised to "drain the swamp," which figuratively meant rejecting all those lobbyists and special interests, who routinely feed off the Washington, DC, political establishment to gain advantages and/or taxpayer funding for their dubious if not detrimental causes.

                              So what did Trump do? He appoints the Koch brothers hand picked man to run the EPA. The only qualification for the job that Scot Pruitt seems to have had was that he was a vigorous denier of science and Climate Change.

                              And now we have the Trump tax cut proposal, which benefits the rich, and not the down-trodden Trump supporters, who actually believed the Orange Charlatan.

                              Trump's tax proposal enriches the rich, including himself and his family, as it eliminates the Alternative Minimum Tax, which cost Trump $31 million on his 2005 tax return (as shown by Rachel Maddow on her MSNBC show), and it eliminates the Estate Tax, which Trump's children, and the children of the rich everwhere in America will appreciate, because it allows untaxed assets to pass through to them without having to pay any taxes at all!

                              According to financial scoring agencies, Trump's tax proposal will cause $6 trillion in deficits over the next ten years. Now deficits used to be prohibited by the GOP, when Obama was president, but now that they control the WH, deficits don't seem to be a concern, and the GOP is trotting out their usual lies and fairy tales about how the "tax cuts will pay for themselves!"

                              They didn't during the Reagan, Pappy Bush or George W. Bush administrations! In fact, they ran up record deficits in each of them with the deficits getting bigger and bigger, until they surpassed $1 trillion/year in the final years of the Bush Jr. administration!

                              So now we know why Trump ran for president. It's because it's making him richer than ever, thanks to the GOP ignoring his business "conflicts of interest," and he is eliminating most of the taxes he had to pay by his corporations or on his personal tax return (which he still refuses to disclose)!

                              And as for his supporters? By the time they realize that Trump has conned them, he'll be out of the WH with his ill-gotten gains, and be receiving a healthy pension and Secret Service protection for life - all at the expense of the fleeced American taxpayers.

                              But at least his supporters will have that "Wall!"


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                              Luxury Planes, Concrete Pillows And A Bed Of Stone.


                                  Ah, just had to share this little morsel of American Jesus madness and a lesson in just how nasty some of these TV Predato......Preachers are. More importantly it once again shows that where there is faith there is fertile ground for flat out financial abuse of the old and infirm.....those who believe they need help from an almighty.

                                  An Almighty only accessible with donations made to painted old men who have very few of their original features intact as years of wealth and profit from the misery of others has allowed them to fall afoul of their own vanity and allow themselves indulgences in new teeth, new faces and a line in hip clothing.....it's almost as if they aren't happy with the bodies their God apparently gave them that they want to harken to their younger days.....I wonder, when these preacher types die and let's just say for arguments sake that heaven exists (It doesn't in my view).

                                  When these old guys with facelifts, false white teeth and a healthy head of hair despite their advanced years show up at those pearly gates.......surely they should be asked

                                  ''Were you not happy with the body and face and teeth that God gave you??''

                                  With the trapdoor to hell instantaneously opening below their Botox riven asses plunging into hell...(Like heaven, hell also does not exist....in my view).

                                  Imagine if you will a conversation between two such creatures who pray and prey on the most vulnerable. Let's just say that the conversation comes around to the purchase of a private plane......because of God....to preach all over. It isn't the first time that we in the world have witnessed the con of a congregation by its 'Pastor', we all know about Creflo Dollar and his multi million dollar private jet....because Jesus.

                                  It appears these dirty scummy scam merchants, who lie and who profit from the weakest in society and openly flaunt that with purchasing god damned f***ing jets to jet around the US to preach more lies, profit off more vulnerable people to get back on their private jet.....because....Jesus and God to another location. In nature it is the locust's domain and in society it is the domain of the parasitical pastors.

                                  Like the political word contortionism of the english language and the justification for such purchases of Jets For Jesus these two epic scumbags of the worst kind sit and do just that.

                                  Buckle Up!!!!

                                  Are these two old crinkly old conmen serious?

                                  First of all, if you get up in the middle of a flight and start talking to God you should get tazed regardless of chosen imaginary friend. To say that a plane is full of demons in a f***ing tube is another reason as to why you can't fly with the great unforgiven?

                                  No, it is a poor excuse for those who have truly taken the most vulnerable in society and squeezed every last dime up until their dying day in the faint hope of buying salvation with tithes, encouraged that these Diva Disciples are the middlemen between the believer and that which they have belief in....

                                  To these parasites I say go F*** yourself. The other conman in the piece claims that his schedule required him to purchase a private jet worth millions....Here's an idea....get someone who can work a f***ing diary and plan your trips a little better then you won't have to buy a plane....If God or Jesus had wanted these con men to fly to all these places......don't you think giving these greedy old snake oil salesmen the miracle of wings would not only have helped with that busy schedule but you could fly for free....

                                  The true face of evil in the US is the one that can show rampant greed, decadence and riches all wrapped up in small but many donations that are ill gotten from those who are victims of charlatans and liars. The God they espouse and sell is a god that is past giving a flying f*** about the needs of the many instead making sure that his dirty disciples don't need to fly coach as Jesus wouldn't be seen dead in coach or come back from the dead in coach.

                                  Or to put it another way......two men of a God justify their spending and their greed..........

                                  But this is absolutely fine.

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                                  Pundit Post



                                      With all the talk of the new Tax Plan....the Obamacare Repeal and Replace is sneaking down the back corridors of power again. And new it has a much better chance of being passed.

                                      With the addition of the "MacArthur Amendment" the GOP leadership now has most of the Freedom (Tea Party) Caucus willing to vote for the Repeal/Replace Bill....

                                      What's in the Amendment:

                                      Good News: The amendment keeps many of the regulations such as the list of Essential Health Benefits in the Affordable Care Act. It also requires that Health Care Providers be rated for effectiveness using the Community Rating System. And it says that those with pre-existing conditions cannot be excluded from access to insurance.

                                      Bad News: States can apply to the Federal government to waive a number of Health Care Regulations such as the list of Essential Health Benefits or the Requirement that they hold Medical Service Providers to the Community Rating System. AND those with Pre-Existing Conditions can now be charged much higher rates.


                                      FOR EXAMPLE-

                                      List of Ten Essential Health Benefits

                                      No plan can be qualified as acceptable without all 10:

                                      1. Ambulatory patient services (Outpatient care). Care you receive without being admitted to a hospital, such as at a doctor’s office, clinic or same-day (“outpatient”) surgery center. Also included in this category are home health services and hospice care (note: some plans may limit coverage to no more than 45 days).
                                      2. Emergency Services (Trips to the emergency room). Care you receive for conditions that could lead to serious disability or death if not immediately treated, such as accidents or sudden illness. Typically, this is a trip to the emergency room and includes transport by ambulance. You cannot be penalized for going out-of-network or for not having prior authorization.
                                      3. Hospitalization (Treatment in the hospital for inpatient care). Care you receive as a hospital patient, including care from doctors, nurses and other hospital staff, laboratory and other tests, medications you receive during your hospital stay, and room and board. Hospitalization coverage also includes surgeries, transplants and care received in a skilled nursing facility, such as a nursing home that specializes in the care of the elderly (note: some plans may limit skilled nursing facility coverage to no more than 45 days).
                                      4. Maternity and newborn care. Care that women receive during pregnancy (prenatal care), throughout labor, delivery, and post-delivery, and care for newborn babies.
                                      5. Mental health services and addiction treatment. Inpatient and outpatient care provided to evaluate, diagnose and treat a mental health condition or substance abuse disorder. This includes behavioral health treatment, counseling, and psychotherapy. (note: some plans may limit coverage to 20 days each year. Limits must comply with state or federal parity laws. Read this document for more information on mental health benefits and the Affordable Care Act).
                                      6. Prescription drugs. Medications that are prescribed by a doctor to treat an illness or condition. Examples include prescription antibiotics to treat an infection or medication used to treat an ongoing condition, such as high cholesterol. At least one prescription drug must be covered for each category and classification of federally approved drugs; however, limitations do apply. Some prescription drugs can be excluded. “Over the counter” drugs are usually not covered even if a doctor writes you a prescription for them. Insurers may limit drugs they will cover, covering only generic versions of drugs where generics are available. Some medicines are excluded where a cheaper equally effective medicine is available, or the insurer may impose “Step” requirements (expensive drugs can only be prescribed if a doctor has tried a cheaper alternative and found that it was not effective). Some expensive drugs will need special approval.
                                      7. Rehabilitative services and devices – Rehabilitative services (help recovering skills, like speech therapy after a stroke) and habilitative services (help developing skills, like speech therapy for children) and devices to help you gain or recover mental and physical skills lost to injury, disability or a chronic condition (this also includes devices needed for “habilitative reasons”). Plans have to provide 30 visits each year for either physical or occupational therapy, or visits to the chiropractor. Plans must also cover 30 visits for speech therapy as well as 30 visits for cardiac or pulmonary rehab.
                                      8. Laboratory services. Testing provided to help a doctor diagnose an injury, illness or condition, or to monitor the effectiveness of a particular treatment. Some preventive screenings, such as breast cancer screenings and prostrate exams, are provided free of charge.
                                      9. Preventive services, wellness services, and chronic disease treatment. This includes counseling, preventive care, such as physicals, immunizations, and screenings, like cancer screenings, designed to prevent or detect certain medical conditions. Also, care for chronic conditions, such as asthma and diabetes. Note: please see our full list of Preventive services for details on which services are covered.
                                      10. Pediatric services. Care provided to infants and children, including well-child visits and recommended vaccines and immunizations. Dental and vision care must be offered to children younger than 19. This includes two routine dental exams, an eye exam and corrective lenses each year.




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                                      Pundit Post

                                      Welcome To Fantasy Island - The Tax Plan's Bottom Line


                                          Yup, WE THE PEOPLE are soooooooo

                                          MUMBO JUMBO "BIG WORDS" ANALYSIS:

                                          FROM WASHINGTON (with added snarks) — President Trump on Wednesday proposed sharp reductions in both individual and corporate income tax rates, reducing the number of individual income tax brackets to three — 10 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent — and easing the tax burden on most Americans, including the rich.

                                          The Trump administration would double the standard deduction, essentially eliminating taxes on the first $24,000 of a couple’s earnings. It also called for the elimination of most itemized tax deductions, but would leave in place the popular deductions for mortgage interest and charitable contributions. The estate tax and the alternative minimum tax, which Trumpler has been against for years, would be repealed under his plan.

                                          As expected, the White House did not include in its plan the border adjustment tax on imports that was prized by House Republicans. However, it did express broad support for switching to a so-called territorial tax system that would exempt company earnings abroad from taxation but would encourage companies to maintain their headquarters in the United States. BIG DEAL !!!!

                                          If this is passed, the tax plan will be a huge tax increase to people that deduct state, local, sales tax, and medical expenses. It's basically a huge tax cut for Trump himself (who hasn't paid taxes since who knows when anyhow) and the 1%. They get the gold mine - WE GET THE SHAFT !

                                          BOTTOM LINE:

                                          This is clearly a tax cut for the wealthy on the backs of the middle class, particularly the middle class in places like New York and California, who itemize. They're going to be screwed, BIGLY !!

                                          The Federal income tax has 7 brackets: 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35%, and 39.6%. The amount of tax you owe depends on your income level and filing status.

                                          For those in a 25% bracket in 2017, if this nut job plan goes through and if you're in a 28% bracket, you JUMP to a 35% bracket in 2017. Meanwhile, Trump and all his corporate billionaire buddies top bracket get a 5% tax CUT.

                                          Shocked - shocked, I tell you ! This is basically a flat tax which will NEVER help the lower and middle class who bust their as#es all year just to make ends meet.

                                          #viva la resistance

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