ZipDialog Roundup for Saturday, September 30

Articles chosen with care. Your comments welcomed.
Linked articles in bold purple

◆ Why Trump fired Tom Price and what it means, going forward

Comment: He was only appointed because he was the most knowledgeable Republican Congressman on healthcare.

So, he was a good choice as point man to repeal and replace Obamacare with a new bill. When that didn’t succeed, he was expendable.

We’ll never know if he would have survived another year or two if he had simply behaved himself. But he didn’t.

Flying private jets on the public dime is justifiable if and only if the trips are vital to the senior official’s time and the private plane saves a lot of otherwise wasted time.

Flying them in other cases and asking the public to pay is simply an unjustified perk and a perfect example of the Washington Swamp. Trump was right to fire Price for that reason alone. 

Comment #2: Trump’s cabinet is not the first to misuse these privileges. I’m impressed that Chief of Staff John Kelly learned from this mess and immediately set up new procedures, requiring Cabinet officials to go through his office whenever they want to fly private jets at government expense.

Mike Pence protégé, Seema Verma, seen as frontrunner to replace Price: She has deep experience running government health care programs (New York Post)

Verma currently heads the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which administers the Affordable Care Act.

Verma led Indiana’s expansion of Medicaid when Pence was governor.

Comment: Experience is essential. HHS has 80,000 employees and a $1 trillion budget.

Indiana has been one of the three or four best-run state governments for two decades or more. Running programs there is high praise. Running them in Illinois normally leads to indictment.

Victor Davis Hanson on “A Lying Quartet”: The Obama Officials who Surveilled their Political Opponents (American Greatness)

The names are familiar:

Susan Rice
James Clapper
John Brennan
James Comey

With a lot of details about their publicly-stated falsehoods, plus plenty on Samantha Power, Ben Rhodes, and others.

Rarely has an intelligence apparatus engaged in systematic lying—and chronic deceit about its lying—both during and even after its tenure. Yet the Obama Administration’s four top security and intelligence officials time and again engaged in untruth, as if peddling lies was part of their job descriptions.

So far none have been held accountable. –Victor Davis Hanson

Colin Kaepernick: Imperfect Messenger. Donated $25,000 to group named after convicted cop killer who broke out of jail and fled to Cuba (Daily Mail)

Comment: Kaepernick started something big politically when he knelt. That brings scrutiny–and he has not fared well under that microscope.

Comment #2Cuba really needed American recognition when Obama handed it to them. As usual, he got nothing in return, not even the return of convicted US criminals who were given asylum by Castro’s government.


Hat Tip to

◆ Tom Elia for the Kaepernick story 

◆ Clarice Feldman for the Victor Davis Hanson op-ed

1 Comment
  • Dave Schuler
    September 30, 2017

    Yes, HHS has a large budget but it’s overwhelmingly to pay what I’d consider transfer programs. 88% of its budget are Medicare and Medicaid. Add TANF and a couple of other programs and you’ve got it. The question is why it takes 80,000 people to do what should be doable with a couple of good web sites and computer programs.

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