There is continuous disagreement between the R’s and the D’s over taxes and expenditures and the next fight looming in Congress looks like it will be over revamping the tax code. The R’s want to reduce income, or at minimum not increase revenue per the amount received from the top 1% of taxpayers. At the same time a large percentage of the Federal budget is spent on Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security for baby boomers like me.                                                                                                          Because of the continuous disagreement over tax and budget issues, departments within the Federal government including over 50 Federal Law Enforcement agencies have a difficult time determining their own budgets and therefore what services they can provide to meet constituent needs.

The other evening the President outlined a change in strategy for Afghanistan. Although certainly no fan of Donald Trump, I would say that in large part his general strategy makes sense. This new approach is far different then his campaign rhetoric and was, in large part, developed by his military advisors. In my view that is generally a good thing.

Basically, there are three basic fundamental changes that will occur.

Personally I am fairly certain he will not and here are a few reasons why. They are not in any order of certainty as each is a possibility.

1) Russian Investigation

Lead by the very well respected former head of the FBI, Robert Mueller, this investigation has the possibility of bringing down the Trump administration. Personally, from what I have read, there is a possibility of matters related to Trump’s business empire and its’ ties to Russian Oligarchs and possibly Russian Mafia. Those may be more problematic then possible links relating to our election, but who is to know at this point? I do believe that Mueller and team will ferret out all the issues, but it will take time.

I am now into my 4th month of living with a Stage One Alzheimer’s diagnosis. I am maybe 5 years into my diagnosis of Vascular Dementia and 25 years from when I first had an inkling of a memory problem. So how am I faring? The answer is, it depends upon the day and sometimes the moment.

I am always better in the morning and many times better all day if I get to the gym and pound away on the treadmill. It does not necessarily require a fast rate of speed but I do push the incline sometimes up to as high as 15 and I feel that makes a difference. Occasionally I go biking with my wife Kerry, but for some reason, even during nice days I prefer the gym. The single piece of advice for others with the same issue is to exercise, exercise; you will not regret it. It can’t cure the disease, however I do believe it may put it off.

 

A few weeks ago the Register ran an editorial by me entitled “My Life With Alzheimer’s.” I am a mid 70’s year old retired business owner that got the diagnosis a month ago from Mayo Clinic. In my research about my disease I found most writings about Alzheimer’s are from medical professionals.

I felt it might be useful to hear from someone on what I call “the other side of the veil”.

     

Every time I turn on the news, pundits are giving their view of the proposed changes in Obama Care currently before the Congress. Depending upon which side they are on each has a different take on the issue and each looks at what happening through different lenses.

In my view this fight is just a continuation of a long disagreement between various factions on what the basic role of government is in terms of providing services to it’s citizenry.

                             

The first inkling I had was in the late 80s.I was in a hotel room in Washington DC starting to leave and go down to a reception. I stopped at the door and thought I needed to check if I had all my stuff i.e. wallet, hotel key, name badge and a piece of paper in my breast pocket in case I needed to take a note or two. The experience seemed a bit weird but I quickly put it out of my mind and headed to the elevator. That was the beginning of a lengthily road which has recently put me in the same category as one in ten Americans over 65 who have Alzheimer’s.

A number of years after my event in the DC hotel room I became enough concerned to go to a psychologist in Des Moines to be tested for brain function. At that time I registered a small change in memory but thought little of it.

As I think back over the 50 plus years I have been a voting adult, I have seen tremendous change in positions by both parties.

I have watched the Democrat party move toward more liberal/progressive positions and their strength in the Northeast has grown while their strength in the South has waned. The reverse is true of the Republicans. The days of the “Rockefeller” Republicans are gone and the Northeast is pretty much controlled by the Ds. The days of Senator Goldwater, the Republican stalwart conservative saying “a woman’s right to choose is none of the governments business” is no longer Republican philosophy.

In addition both parties have seen shifts in foreign policy positions depending upon changing world events.

For some time, both across the nation and recently in Iowa, the issue of raising the minimum wage has been hotly debated. Although the Iowa General Assembly has failed to act, it looks like Polk County may eventually raise it.

Traditionally the debate has pitted the political left, in favor vs. the political right, opposed. That is actually a misnomer and in fact both groups have adherents in favor of raising it, just for different reasons.

The Liberals (or progressives as some like to be called) see it as fairness, not keeping up with inflation, the government needs to set standards, it helps poor people come out of poverty, business should get with it because it’s the right thing to do, etc.

Over the past 10 yrs. or so the Des Moines area have been listed in every “great place to live and work” survey that has been done in the country.

I thought it might be useful to drill down and really look at reasons why this is true. Here are my 5 reasons in no particular order.