Trump aligned gubernatorial candidates in Georgia, Minnesota, and Kansas upended more conventional Republican candidates. It’s unclear that these candidates will win in November, but it is clear that Trump is enormously popular among Republican voters, and if you’re an elected or campaigning Republican candidate, you cross him at your peril.

Today’s (8/13/18) New York Times has an excellent piece on the impacts to date of the Trump corporate tax cuts: share buy backs leading to higher stock prices for investors, no increases in spending on plant and equipment, no increase in worker’s real wages and a very large increase in the national debt.

California has reduced its uninsured rates from 17% to about 6.8% due to the Affordable Care Act. About 40% of the remaining uninsured are eligible for Covered California or Medi-Cal, so we need to improve enrollment in both programs, this paper looks at Covered California. Less than half (400,000) of those eligible for Covered California are eligible for premium assistance and more than half (550,000) are not.

Covered California released its preliminary premiums for 2019. All existing plans have stayed in the market. Overall, their premiums will increase by 8.7%. Without the changes promoted by the Trump Administration to eliminate the “individual responsibility” (individual mandate) requirement, their premiums would have increased by roughly 5%.

It’s hard to believe that in a few days President Trump and Chairman Kim will sit down to start talks on ending the Korean War – a war that ended 65 years ago. How time flies!

Fifty years ago I was in law school preparing for and taking first year exams. I was walking to breakfast in an underground tunnel when a young guy from maintenance approached to tell me Bobby Kennedy had been shot and killed during the night.

I found an antidote to all the hate emanating from and around and about our President in the “Book of Joy”. These are interviews with the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

One step forward and two giant steps back. President Trump has made a huge mistake in withdrawing from the multi-party nuclear agreement with Iran. His motivation apparently is to please the Israeli and Saudi governments of President Netanyahu and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and possibly salve his own wounded and over-sized ego. There is no Plan B.

So far, President Trump has not yet met an agreement that he does not dislike: NATO, NAFTA, the UN, TPP, Climate Change, Iran and Cuba. He now has trusted enablers around him: Bolton, Pompeo, and Pruitt to execute his desires, and he has exorcised those such as Tillerson, McMaster (and probably soon Kelly) whom he perceives have stood in his way. Let’s see what he can do.

Sunday, I attended a fundraiser for Marshall Tuck who is running for State Superintendent of Schools. I was impressed both by his grasp of the magnitude of the challenges facing California’s education system and his clear-eyed view of what needs to change. We are now the 5th largest economy in the world, yet our state ranks in the bottom 10 on public education. It did not used to be that way. In the 70’s we were in the top ten in performance and funding.

There is not a lot of doubt that President Trump has a lot of trouble telling the truth and that he does it consistently and persistently in all aspects of his life from the highly personal to the professional. The consequences are as yet unknown. I’m most disturbed about its impact on the nation’s youth.