The old saying “when the cat’s away the mice will act like rats,” may be playing out in Washington. Trump is having a “workcation” in New Jersey for two weeks, and Vice-President Mike Pence is cozying up to the Republicans who don’t want to play nice with President Trump, according to an article in the Sunday New York Times. Pence is building a fundraising committee, and he is doing other things that indicate a run for the top position in 2020. Plus, other people say, Pence is lying low while the Mueller investigation gets off the ground just in case Trump falls from political grace and Mike has to take over. Pence denies he is doing any of those things, but the New York Times is standing firm. The paper says their information is credible.
While Pence is protecting Mike Pence, the new Chief of Staff, John Kelly, is protecting Trump from himself and others. Kelly is making progress by setting boundaries in the West Wing. Those boundaries will make the White House less chaotic, according to sources in the White House. One of the new rules is, no one gets an audience with the president unless they go through him. Trump has a habit of letting people come into the oval office unannounced, and Kelly is putting an end to that. Kelly is also working on the president’s tweet habit. Kelly wants to tone-down or eliminate the tweets that have an impact on Americans and the world. And Kelly expects everyone in the White House to put their country first, the president second, and themselves third. That credo echoes the Marine in him. Kelly is all about a strong work ethic and keeping classified information where it belongs.
Kelly is off to a good start in his new position. Pence is prancing around like a loyal Trumpian and shouting his opinions about a new health care bill and other things on Trump’s promise list. And while he does, the health insurance companies are enjoying a 30 percent increase in profits. The nation’s top six health insurance companies put a whopping $6 billion on their combined bottom lines in the second quarter of 2017. That’s a 29 percent increase over the second quarter of 2016. Most of those companies cut their exposure to public health exchanges. They concentrate on medium and large size companies as well as Medicare and Medicaid. The increase in profits shows one serious flaw in the health care insurance system. The Republicans don’t want to correct the flaws for obvious health care stock reasons, according to some Democrats.