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Trump’s Impromptu, Uninhibited Interview With the ‘NY Times’: What Did You Expect?

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President Donald Trump welcomes Gene Gibson and other members of the Coast Guard to his Trump International Golf Club. (Photo Credit: AAP)

The New York Times published a stunning interview with Donald Trump that has since come under intense criticism for the way in which it was conducted. One observation from reading the impromptu interview is that the reporter Michael S. Schmidt failed to challenge President Trump’s false assertions on several accounts.  More significant to the flow of the interview—an important context to Trump’s responses were not fully addressed, which is startling based upon the many assertions made by the president.

In the unplanned interview on Thursday at his Palm Beach golf club, characterized by Donald Trump’s all too familiar hyperbole and bluster, the president spoke to the New York Times about the Department of Justice, Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation, North Korea, and the media.

Much of the interview reiterated perhaps what most Americans already know about Donald Trump: that he is quick to embellishment and falsehoods, he is egotistical, and he entertains conspiracy theories.  Consistent in his denial of collusion, Trump maintained his innocence concerning the Mueller investigation.  No surprises here, specifically when the president downplayed his relationship with Paul Manafort—insisting to Schmidt—there was “no collusion” between himself and Russia. “It makes the country look very bad, and it puts the country in a very bad position,” Trump said about the ongoing investigation. “So, the sooner it’s worked out, the better it is for the country.”

From Russia, Trump discussed the Department of Justice, painting a picture of an autocrat while verbalizing the dictatorial streak that encapsulates both his personality and presidency. “I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department,” Trump told the newspaper before patting himself on the back for his restrained behavior during and about Mueller’s probe.

Based on the tone and direction of the interview, one could have pictured the president lying upon the sofa in a psychiatrist office in a moment of unleashing his frustrations.  Trump’s frustration centered on China, but he shifted his focus tainted with conspiratorial undertones about former Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama’s relationship; he vented about intractable Democrats; and offered up an explanation about Roy Moore.

Speaking boldly about his accomplishments while stroking his ego, the inevitable bombastic self-compliment—the kind regularly doled out by Trump to bolster his sense of self, sounded similar to dialogue invented by children for imaginary games. “I know the details of taxes better than anybody. Better than the greatest C.P.A. I know the details of health care better than most, better than most,” he said. He later boasted about his knowledge of “big bills.”

Just when the interview could not get any more bizarre—there was more. Once again, his ego was at play, without him if the news is not about him, it’s not worth talking about.  Without him, the media would be obsolete and only rises to the level of news because it came from his mouth. Whether or not the Times’s interview contributed to any new knowledge of the President, reading through the news feed in my social media was at times humorous.  Many appeared shocked by Trump’s responses, but why?

This is the same president who has made unsubstantiated conspiracy claims before his presidency for years and while he was on the campaign trail.  In the case of the interview, one could conclude that it was merely another example of the Times giving Trump an unchallenged forum that created a major scoop for the paper.

Revisiting the context of the interview, Trump discussed the media. He alluded to the press covering him “more favorably” since his presidency is a surefire moneymaker for the media, and re-election will surely mean continued profits.  Appearing to immerse himself into a “Media Messiah” He boldly stated— “Another reason that I’m going to win another four years is because newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I’m not there, because without me, their ratings are going down the tubes.”

He wasn’t finished with his take on the media, he added, in his familiar rhetoric— “Without me, The New York Times will indeed be not the failing New York Times, but the failed New York Times.” And the New York Times published it.

Read excerpts from the New York Times Interview

Included with this report, which I have summarized from reading the New York Times report is a video courtesy of MSNBC:

 

#LeNoraMillen        12-29-17

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Health Care

Medicare Takes Aim at Medical Identity Theft: Protecting Seniors From Fraud

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Criminals are increasingly targeting people age 65 or older for personal identity theft. In 2014 alone, there were 2.6 million such incidents among seniors, according to the Department of Justice.

A growing offshoot of identity theft is healthcare fraud, which can result when someone unlawfully uses another person’s Medicare number. Medical identity theft can lead to inaccuracies in medical records, which in turn can result in delayed care, denied services and costly false claims.

That’s why Medicare works with the Department of Justice, taking aim squarely at would-be thieves. In the largest law enforcement action against criminals fraudulently targeting the Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare programs, 412 people around the country, including 115 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, were charged in 2017 with bilking U.S. taxpayers out of $1.3 billion.

New Medicare Card for 2018. (Video Courtesy of YouTube)

The next big fraud-fighting push is well underway — and its focus is protecting the personal information of senior citizens by removing their Social Security numbers from Medicare cards.

People with Medicare don’t need to take any action to get a new Medicare card. Beginning in April 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will mail out newly designed Medicare cards to the 58 million Americans with Medicare. The cards will have a new number that will be unique for each card recipient. This will help protect personal identity and prevent fraud because identity thieves can’t bill Medicare without a valid Medicare number. To help with a seamless transition to the new cards, providers will be able to use secure lookup tools that will support quick access to the new card numbers when needed.

Healthcare fraud drives up costs for everyone, but healthcare consumers can be an effective first line of defense against fraud. Follow these tips to help protect yourself:

Do

  • Treat your Medicare number like a credit card.
  • When the new card comes in the mail next year, destroy your old card and make sure you bring your new one to your doctors’ appointments.
  • Be suspicious of anyone offering early bird discounts, limited time offers or encouraging you to act now for the best deal. That’s an indicator of potential fraud because Medicare plans are forbidden from offering incentives.
  • Be skeptical of free gifts, free medical services, discount packages or any offer that sounds too good to be true.
  • Only give your Medicare number to doctors, insurers acting on your behalf or trusted people in the community who work with Medicare, like your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).
  • Report suspected instances of fraud.
  • Check your Medicare statements to make sure the charges are accurate.

Don’t

  • Don’t share your Medicare number or other personal information with anyone who contacts you by telephone, email or approaches you in person, unless you’ve given them permission in advance. Medicare will never contact you uninvited and request your Medicare number or other personal information.
  • Don’t let anyone borrow or pay to use your Medicare number.
  • Don’t allow anyone, except your doctor or other Medicare providers, to review your medical records or recommend services.
  • Don’t let anyone persuade you to see a doctor for care or services you don’t need.
  • Don’t accept medical supplies from a door-to-door salesman.

Learn more about how you can fight Medicare fraud at Medicare.gov/fraud, or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). You can also visit a local SHIP counselor, who can provide free, one-on-one, non-biased Medicare assistance.

With a common sense approach to protecting health information, senior citizens can be effective partners in fighting Medicare fraud.

 

Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

@LeNoraMillen       01-19-18

 

 

 

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Politics

Trump Children’s Health Insurance Tweet Contradicts White House Administration

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Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump contradicted his own administration on Thursday when he tweeted that funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program  (CHIP) should not be included in a short-term plan to fund the government.

Trump’s tweet sent on Thursday morning, seemingly undercut the “Stopgap Spending Bill,” leaving many confused at what could be construed as an “Anti-Chip” tweet.

Read more here

@LeNoraMillen     01-18-18

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Politics

What If a Government Shutdown Occurs? Five Things to Know

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The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base BARRIE BARBER/STAFF

The federal government faces a partial federal shutdown threat Friday without a $1.1 trillion appropriations spending budget or a temporary stopgap spending measure in place.

Here’s what could happen in the Miami Valley if a shutdown occurs:

FURLOUGHS: A Wright-Patterson Air Force Base spokesman said this week the base had not received guidance on what actions to take. But the last time a federal government shutdown occurred in 2013, thousands of Wright-Patterson civilian employees were furloughed temporarily. Among those exempted were police, fire, medical and airfield operations. Military service members remained on the job.

MUSEUM: The region’s biggest tourist attraction, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, would close until a funding deal is reached, according to a spokesman.

MAIL SERVICE: The U.S. Postal Service, which is considered self-funded, would continue operations, including home delivery and post offices, would stay open, a spokesman said.

DAYTON VA: The Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities would remain open. The VA operates on a two-year budget cycle, exempting the department from the latest funding skirmish in Washington.

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE: NPS sites in the Dayton region closed during the last shutdown in 2013. An NPS directive issued in September 2017, said parks would close if a lapse in federal government appropriations occurs.

Source: Dayton Daily News

@LeNoraMillen    01-18-18

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