Monday, October 23, 2017

Repbulicans to severely limit 401(K)s!

The Republicans are about to severely limit 401(K) contributions.  This is another attack on the Middle Class by the Republicans.  401(K)s are how the working classes save for retirement. 

What is the noble reason the Reps are giving for this assault?  To make way for their treasured tax cuts that they keep promising.  One thing we can be assured of – the tax cuts will go almost all to the very wealthy, for example, elimination of estate taxes for the upper 1% - to be offset by increased taxes on the Middle Class.  Their justifying mantras about helping the middle class and creating jobs is just nonsense.  It’s about paying off the Plutocracy, who control the Republican Party.  Gullible voters believe them, unfortunately.


So a double assault on the Middle Class – limit 401(K) savings and increase taxes. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

I'm from the government and I'm here to help....

“I’m from the government, and I’m here to help”.  This is a line that Ronald Reagan used to say to conservative audiences that always got a predictable laugh.  It seems to be a matter of conservative dogma that the government is bloated, incompetent, and mediocre at best. 

What nonsense!!!!

I live in Sonoma, California.  We are living through the worst fire storm in state history, perhaps the greatest disaster in California history.  An astonishing and mind numbing catastrophe.

And the government?  Spectacular!! Every branch of government responding to this chaos is performing way beyond my ability to express my gratitude, wonder, and awe.  Fire fighters, law enforcement, city managers and their staffs, council members and their staffs, OES, FEMA...  To a man and to a woman they are working 12 – 20 hours a day.  They know what they are doing.  They are doing it with great care and excellence.

I cannot express how overwhelmed I am by the courage and caring of these public servants.

So, where does that put our glorious president and his Republican enablers?  They are carrying out decades long desires to destroy the government.  The Republican President, the Republican Congress, and the Cabinet are destroying the EPA, HHS, the State Department, DEA, just about every government agency that they can.  This means they are – Stupid? Evil? Clueless?  No, just locked into a dogma that they can’t see beyond.

Dogma make you stupid.  I know.  I have been dogmatically liberal and dogmatically conservative, and I have been able to articualately argue the dogmas on both sides all my life.  And each dogma is both right and wrong.  The only way out is to pay attention and reevaluate as often as possible.

Government is NOT the problem.  Government IS very helpful.  Thank God.

“I am from the government, and I am here to help you”  - YES YOU ARE ---- THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Las Vegas Massacre

B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R guns don’t kill!! B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R - 50 down -  B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R -  100 down -  B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R  - people kill, not guns!! - B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R – people will kill with knives!! - B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R – 200 down - B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R – people will kill with trucks!! B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R – 300 down - B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R – it’s not the guns!  B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R – 400 down - B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R – it’s it’s its… PEOPLE WHO KILL!!! - B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R – 500 down – 600 down – 59 dead – but we are always supposed to remember that guns don’t kill, people do, and you know – knives, trucks, rocks, but NOT GUNS, NO SIR, GUNS DO NOT KILLLLLLLLLLL  - B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R B-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R

Once this country accepted the slaughter of children at Sandy Hook, the argument was over.  Gun fanatics will never, never, never, never, never, never let there be any, any, any sensible gun control.  This unimaginable slaughter MAY delay the Republicans removing restrictions on silencers (hurts the ears, don't ya know?) And our wonderful, manly man president removed the checks for the mentally ill to get guns (it was just the manly thing to do, I guess?)

Nothing will change.  The gun fanatics will continue to advance the sales of the gun manufacturers and think they are being good Americans - you know, Real Americans, Manly Men, bang bang....

I wish I could recommend a solution, but I don't see one.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Another profitable day for the gun industry

An old white man with automatic weapons sprayed a crowd of about 22,000 people at a country western concert last night with deadly fire, killing over 50 and injuring about 200.  

What a nice night it was for the gun industry last night!  Sales will dramatically increase, profits will soar, business is very good for the gun industry!!!

Will there ever be a tipping point on gun control?  Of course not.  

Every horrible incident of slaughter brings those of us who want gun control to call for gun control.  Calls for gun control cause gun people to buy more guns.  The gun industry and their gun industry lobby, the National Rifle Association, must be very happy this morning - another victory in the selling of guns.  What lovely people they are.

Endless spirals into more and more gun violence and slaughter. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Trump - Making Russia Great Again

The con - a White President will Make America Great Again - for white men. Just like it used to be, or at least the way it's s'posed to be. 

The real - an incompetent president dances as Putin's and Russia's puppet (seems to be incapable of criticizing Putin, giving him status and cover that he needs).

The result - Putin succeeds beyond his wildest dreams in delegitmizing democracies around the world by putting a buffoon in the American presidency. Putin can't Become Great Again by becoming a better country, so he pulls as many other countries down as possible. America, of course is the big fish in the pond, and America has become a sad, but dangerous joke.

The prediction - Evidence will become overwhelming that the Trump campaign conspired with Russian Intelligence and active measures to elect Trump.  Some will go to jail. 

The fear - the world's two stupidest men - Trump and Kim Jong Un - will do the word's single stupidest thing - nuclear war. 

The question - Will the Republican Congress finally decide that either their own jobs are in jeopardy, or that this nitwit is too dangerous to stay in power, and thus remove him from office?  The Democrats can't do it, only the Reps can. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Cruelty Party strikes again

The Republican Party of Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump stand up for a couple of their core principles, once again - cruelty and racism.  They are apparently striking down the DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which will eventually send Dreamers from their American homes to a foreign country that their parents came from.  

 Trump, of course, won the election with his promise to crack down on brown people coming into the country, and Sessions has been an avid proponent of stopping not only illegal immigration but also of reducing legal immigration as well.  

So, who all is going to be doing the construction cleanup of hurricane Harvey, and maybe hurricane Irma too?  Aren't there a lot of brown people included in who does that work?  

Trump, the Tea Party, the "Freedom Caucus", and so much of the Republican Party are doing a splendid job of revealing their natures, and it is not pretty.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Ego in Chief goes to Texas

My heart goes out to my friends in Houston and Louisiana.  They need all the help they can get.  I send my prayers for their safety.  And I expect that our government as well as private organizations and individuals will act in the spirit of America to help our brethren.

Our president went to Texas yesterday.  To offer empathy? Caring about the dead and displaced? Are you kidding? 

"After the briefing, Trump spoke to a crowd of a hundred or so people waiting to see him. It is unclear if the audience of supporters showed up spontaneously, or if they had been organized prior to Trump's speech.

"What a crowd, what a turnout!" Trump said.

He failed to mention or acknowledge the 15 casualties, tens of thousands of displaced people, or irreversible damage as a result of the hurricane."

He talked about what an epic storm it was, how it was getting great TV ratings.  Fortunately, he did talk about what a great response his administration was going to make.  

So, in case you were wondering, hurricane Harvey turns out to be all about ... Trump.  

There is an ego where his heart used to be.  What a sad little person.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The stupidity of the antifa

There was a right wing demonstration in Berkeley this weekend that had about 7000 who showed up to peacefully protest against them.  Unfortunately, about 100 "antifa" - anti fascists - showed up as well in order to attack the right wingers, and calling them fascists.  So, the anti-fascists become fascist terrorists in the name of anti-fascism.  

This is wrong.

And this is stupid on two levels at least.

First, violence doesn't stop violence, it inflames it.  

Second, it allows real fascists to claim there is violence on both sides.  It allows real fascists to say they are only defending themselves.  It allows white supremacist Nazis and KKK to justify their fascist violence.

The proof of the pudding is the statements from the person who is unfortunately the president of the United States who claims that in Charlottesville there was violence "on both sides".  To claim that even though there was violence from the alt-right there was also violence from the "alt-left" - a new term to try to claim moral equivalence between Nazis and KKK on the one side and antifa on the other.

Just to be clear, antifa is stupid, violent, and powerless.

The white supremacists of neo-Nazis, the KKK, and other hate groups are  stupid, violent, and in the White House and the Congress.  They are not powerless.  

When will my conservative friends turn on Trump and impeach him?  What will it take to realize that when they make a deal with the devil to get their tax cuts, or environmental deregulation, or their financial deregulation, or their fundamentalist court judges, they don't really get the deal, but they do get the devil.

By the way, Hitler used the Reichstag fire to blame dangerous communist violence as an excuse to firmly establish his fascist dictatorship.  It would be easy enough for our current demagogue to use antifa violence to try to become the brutal dictator that he so wishes he could be. 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

When the world is in chaos...confederate statues?

When the world is in chaos many people respond with virulent and violent appeals to racial purity. After World War I Germany joined movements exalting the purity of the Aryan race, parts of the United States exalted white supremacy by building Confederate statues, and Japan moved into the militant exaltation of their race and their perceived world destiny.  We ended up with over 50 million dead in World War II.

During the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam war of the '60s and '70s more Confederate statues were erected in America - a defiant statement of white supremacy.

Today in response to radical Muslim terrorism Europe and the United States are reviving old, pathetic, failed white supremacist nonsense. 

I see two possible solutions to the Confederate statues issue. The first is take them down - they are proclaiming white supremacy, not honoring the confederate war. They were raised in response to the Civil Rights movement, not to honor the dead.

My second solution is to suggest leaving them up, and placing next to them in equal prominence statues of slavery – slaves being whipped while tied to a post by their cruel white supremacist masters, or slaves on the auction block while separated family members weep in despair.

The Confederate statues are not honoring the history of the south, they are white-washing the history of the south – or perhaps white-supremacy-washing the history of the south. When they stand alone without an equal reminder of what those Confederates were actually fighting for they are transparent propaganda, not history.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The disgusting false parallels of Donald Trump

The president of the United States just passionately equated “both sides” as being responsible for  the Charlottesville violence and murder over the weekend.  He actually sees Nazis and anti-Nazis as morally equivalent.  He astonishingly sees white supremacists and anti-white supremacists as morally equivalent.  Mr. Trump clearly came out in defense of his white supremacist base. 

I find this disgusting.

I am sure some of my conservative friends might feel obligated to agree with the president.  And I also condemn left wing violence as well as right wing.  But Charlottesville is not ambiguous.  This is not a confusing moment.  One side was very, very wrong.  One side is responsible for the violence.

Some headlines:

·         USA Today: “Former KKK leader David Duke praises Trump for his 'courage.'”

·         Los Angeles Times: “Trump provokes new furor by giving foes of white supremacists equal blame.”

·         Wall Street Journal: “With New Remarks on Charlottesville, Trump Leaves Himself Isolated.”

Here are some pertinent tweets:

A congressman from Michigan: "Very fine people" do not participate in rallies with groups chanting racist and anti-Semitic slogans and displaying vile symbols of hate.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) August 15, 2017

Arizona's senior senator, battling brain cancer: There's no moral equivalency between racists & Americans standing up to defy hate& bigotry. The President of the United States should say so
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) August 16, 2017

A Northern Virginia congresswoman facing a tough reelection fight next year: Mr. President, there were not "very fine people" on the NeoNazi, white supremacist side; only haters. Grateful DOJ understands this.
— Barbara Comstock (@BarbaraComstock) August 15, 2017

The GOP nominee for governor of Virginia and a former RNC chair:The white supremacists and neoNazis who invaded cville espouse reprehensible views that have no redeeming value whatsoever. Simple as that.
— Ed Gillespie (@EdWGillespie) August 15, 2017

From the commandant of the Marine Corps: No place for racial hatred or extremism in @USMC. Our core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment frame the way Marines live and act. 
— Robert B. Neller (@GenRobertNeller) August 15, 2017

The former spokesman for the Obama Justice Department: Quite possibly the worst thing he has ever said. The white supremacists who were there heard him loud and clear. And so did the rest of us.

— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) August 15, 2017

A senior adviser to Obama: Republican Party: This is on you, you did this, and only you can do something about this
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) August 15, 2017

Some Democrats: 

.@realDonaldTrump, you are embarrassing our country and the millions of Americans who fought and died to defeat Nazism.

— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) August 15, 2017

Mr. President - Heather Heyer was not murdered by "both sides."
— Sen. Patrick Leahy (@SenatorLeahy) August 15, 2017

If @realDonaldTrump wants to fight white supremacy, he should do three simple things:
1) #FireBannon
2) #FireGorka
3) #FireMiller
— David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) August 15, 2017

.@realDonaldTrump: "Both sides" did not wield torches, swastikas, and drive a car into a crowd, killing a woman.

— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) August 15, 2017

Dear @realDonaldTrump: Yes there were both sides in #Charlottesville. The Nazi side & the side opposing the Nazis. You're on the wrong side.

— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) August 15, 2017

From a Brookings fellow:
When determining whether or not the president is a racist, I'll defer to the professional racists, who very much seem to think he is.
— Jamie Kirchick 🌹 (@jkirchick) August 15, 2017

From the editor of Wired Magazine:
The weird thing about "both sides" isn't just that one side is Nazis---but also that they killed someone.
— Nicholas Thompson (@nxthompson) August 15, 2017

Hollywood celebrities piled on:
Trump just said there were "very fine people on both sides" in #Charlottesville. I don't know any "very fine" white supremacists, sir. None.

— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) August 15, 2017

I fought Nazis in World War II. They aren’t “very fine people,” @realDonaldTrump#Charlottesville

— Norman Lear (@TheNormanLear) August 15, 2017

Only the Republicans can get rid of this disgrace of a president.  The Democrats don’t have the votes to impeach him.  When do the Republicans flip the switch?  He can be impeached on a number of grounds, starting with his violation of the emoluments clause in the constitution, plus the bribery clause.  Plus, eventually I expect we will see evidence of conspiracy with a hostile foreign power to influence the election in his favor.  Plus, of course, his blatant obstruction of justice in firing the head of the FBI who had been in charge of investigating Russian election interference.

Do the Republicans wait until they see their own careers jeopardized?  Or can they react out of their own sense of honor and dignity to turn on this most dishonorable and undignified person?

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Trump's two failures

Last week was a bad week for us all.  The question has always been how will this unstable and childish president react to actual difficult world events?  How will this person who has major emotional public meltdowns when he is criticized publicly stand up to an actual crisis?

He failed - twice in one week.

First, he responded to Kim Jong Un's test firing of ICBMs by doing pretty much the stupidest thing you can do when dealing with a paranoid tyrant - he threatened nuclear war.  I know this excited his brutish base.  But, speaking of his base...

White supremacists violently rallied in Charlottesville - confederate flags, Nazi flags, assault rifles, batons, shields, torches at night - and created violent confrontations with counter protesters.  Three people died. Two police died in a helicopter crash, and one was killed by an appalling full throttle acceleration of his car into a crowd of counter protesters.  Many others were injured.  

So, our president's response?  To blame both sides.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides."

And then he went on to talk about how wonderful the economy is under his stellar leadership...

It is certainly appropriate to ask for calm, on both sides. But only after strongly condemning the instigators of the violence - the armed white supremacists who came to create violence.  But, of course, Trump didn't do that.  Indeed he can't do that - the heart of his base is the white supremacist community, who have been given permission by this white supremacist president to come out of the dark hiding places they have been lurking in for decades and strut proudly in the limelight - and do so with violence.  

Trump's favorite poll is the Rasmussen Poll which consistently skews conservative.  His approval there is 45%, compared to about 37% average of all the other polls.  But inside the Rasmussen Poll is 27% who Strongly Favor Trump.  It is not hard to conclude that the white supremacist agitators in Charlottesville are amongst the Strongly Favor group.

Friday, August 11, 2017

It's the Republicans too

It’s not just Trump that is a problem in today’s politics.  Those Republicans caught in the various bubbles of conservative dogma are the ones doing great damage to the country and the world.  Trump is the peacock - the Republicans are the wolves.

For example – health care.  The “Freedom Caucus” in the House of Representatives and their dogmatic compatriots in the Senate are promoting the repeal of Obamacare, but the impact of that obsession is to make it impossible for about 20 million people or more to be able to afford health insurance.  This is not something that provides freedom for people.  It is something that enslaves them to untreated health problems, robs them of the freedom of a healthy body that access to medical care gives them.  The “Freedom Caucus” might best be renamed the “Trap the Citizens in a Spiral of Poverty Caucus”.

For example – the environment.  The Republicans have been so blinded by the dogma of Reaganomics (in this case the deregulation part of Reaganomics) that they are stripping the country of the protections put in place to fight against the corporate polluters.  Those captured by this piece of dogma think they taking the restraints off of business and creating jobs, but what is really happening is that they are going back to the “good old days” of filthy air and water.  I find this disgusting.

For example – tax breaks for the wealthy.  Here is the second part of the obsolete and damaging dogma of Reaganomics – tax cuts for the wealthy.  I understand the idea that reducing taxes on the "job creators" is supposed to stimulate the economy.  I thought that myself up until the financial crash of 2008.  But I now understand that it doesn’t work.  What stimulates the economy is to empower the middle class, not to give more money to the wealthy.  As I have written often, Reagan lowered taxes and the economy grew, Clinton raised taxes and the economy grew more, Bush lowered taxes and the economy stagnated.  Tax rates for the wealthy do not have much of any effect on the growth of the economy.  Yet, this is a dogmatic belief of the Republican Party.

For example – restrict immigration and kick out immigrants.  This is especially dumb, it seems to me.  Less educated immigrants have always been a spur to the American economy.   Plus, highly educated immigrants are key to the tech industry.  This is little more than bigotry.

For example – talking tough.  Good grief!  We now have a president that thinks the way to deal with the paranoid man-child running North Korea is to threaten him with nuclear holocaust.  And there is a portion of the Republicans who are glad that we finally have a president with Balls.  Idiotic.  What you do is de-escalate, not escalate the rhetoric.  Trump is very “brave” – putting the lives of South Koreans, Japanese, Guamanians, and Chinese at risk in order to strut his childish bravado. 

I’m not sure when the Republican Party lost its ability to think, probably about the time talk radio and Fox News became vehicles for the Oligarchy propaganda machine. 

I realize that there is much to criticize about those lost in left wing dogmatic bubbles as well – the ridiculous extremities of identity politics, the unaffordable notion of Medicare for everybody, the dumbing down of a college education if college becomes a free entitlement, etc.  But the left wing is in the margins and the right wing is running the country off the cliff.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Children with nukes...

Kim Jong Un tests ICBMs - the U.N. unanimously imposes tough sanctions - Kim threatens nuclear strike against U.S. - Trump threatens nuclear strike against North Korea ....  WHAT?  ... Kim threatens nuclear strike against U.S. Territory, Guam ...

Children with nukes. Not good.

Apparently, the ridiculously ignorant, unstable, childish man that the Republican Party elected to be our president thinks that if Kim Jong Un threatens to use nukes against the U.S. that Kim is insulting his personal manhood.

I believe that Kim Jong Un knows that the only way he doesn't become Qaddafi or Saddam Hussein is to be a nuclear power, and to be threatening.  So, don't escalate! Stay calm and carry on.  He will only become a real threat if we have another child looking back at him from the U.S. thinking that it's all about his pathetically insecure manhood.  Kim's only point is that he can launch if he is invaded. The U.S is under no threat of invasion by North Korea. 

The big question has always been how will this disturbingly childish president react to a real crisis?  This guy has melt downs if he sees someone on the news criticize him, so what does he do if a real crisis leaps up in his face? Hurricane? Environmental catastrophe?  Financial meltdown? Foreign policy threats and aggressions?

Children can get into a schoolyard fight, but the ones who die are us....

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Republican compulsion to cut taxes

What's the most important thing to Republicans? Cutting taxes on the wealthy.  The wealthy are the ones who want it, and the wealthy have managed to convince the middle class Republican voter that cutting taxes on the wealthy will create jobs for them - all nonsense of course, but political beliefs are hard to change, and decades of propaganda by the Oligarchy have had their effect.  The failed attempt by the Republicans to kill Obamacare was really not much more than a tax cut for the wealthy, camouflaged with distracting rhetoric. 

It's an ideology called Reaganomics - cut taxes to spur the economy.  But it doesn't work.  Reagan cut taxes and the economy grew (after he raised taxes again a few times).  Clinton raised taxes and the economy grew even more.  W cut taxes and the economy flat-lined.  Reaganomics is just a dogmatic belief that doesn't work, but the duped by the Oligarchy Republican common voter hasn't figured that out yet.

Dogma, dogma, dogma - the killer of democracy.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Profiles in Compassion

Republican senators Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, and John McCain defied their President and their Republican Senate leadership and voted against the last ditch attempt by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  

Thank goodness.

I give a special salute to John McCain who postponed his treatment for brain cancer to come back to the Senate.  He voted Yes to allow debate and amendments to the Republican plans - a dignified approval of the democratic process.  And he voted No to the Republican efforts to overthrow Obamacare - a compassionate caring for the people of America.  His biggest message to Congress is to stop the blind dogmatic opposition to the Other Party, reach across the isle and fix and improve the current health care system.  Of course, that is the obvious solution. 

Obvious facts - repealing Obamacare will put somewhere between 15 and 30 million people without health care.  The conservative dismissal of that idea is that many of those people would be young and healthy people who don't want health care. 

But the liberal rejoinder is that without the healthy in the insurance pools the cost for the sick, the infants, and the elderly would be prohibitive and they would not be able to afford health care.  The result would be all of these people would not have regular check ups and would not have preventative health care, and they would end up in emergency rooms with advanced stages of illness and injury that would further drive up insurance costs, driving more people out of insurance, creating more unhealthy going to emergency rooms, etc. etc. etc.  

I side with the liberal argument because I believe it makes the most sense, and it is the most compassionate.

Unfortunately, the Heartless-In-Chief immediately declared he would "let" Obamacare fail - that is to say, he will continue his cruel sabotage of Obamacare.  States that worked constructively with Obamacare have had good health care, and states that sabotaged Obamacare have had bad health care for their people.  Those that will continue to sabotage the existing law will make life much more miserable and dangerous for their people.

But, today, I salute and honor these three Republicans with a heart.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

419 - 3 and 98 - 2 against Trump' appeasement of Russia

There may be hope for America after all. The House and the Senate voted 419 - 3 and 98 - 2 to sanction Russia for interfering with our elections AND gives Congress veto power over the president if he tries to relax the sanctions. Plus, some of the penalties have been converted to law, making it even harder for Trump to statisfy his Russian puppet masters. 

Also sanctioned are North Korea and Iran. 

Trump doesn't get to be king. He is getting away with a lot, but I am happy to see both sides of the isle putting him in his place regarding Russian sanctions. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Is Trump just dumb?

It is already obvious that our president is emotionally unstable, impulsive, willfully ignorant, and childish.  But, is he also just dumb?  How about some evidence?

The first thing he did was attack the media.  But, the media’s entire job is to find things out.  And Trump has things to hide.

The next thing he did is attack his own intelligence services.  But, the intelligence services entire job is to find things out.  And Trump has things to hide.

The next thing he did was attack the judicial system when he fired James Comey who was heading up the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the election and possible conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign.  But that just caused the Attorney General’s office to appoint Robert Mueller as a special investigator into this very issue.  And it is these people’s entire job to find things out.

Then, he just recently implied that if Mueller investigates his finances rather than just his ties to Russia he might fire him.  Isn’t this just telling Mueller what he needs to investigate?  Isn’t he just pointing him to what he is trying to hide?  As one tweeter pointed out, this is like an officer pulling a car over and the driver says he's done nothing wrong and there is absolutely nothing in the trunk of his car even though you might see blood on the back bumper.

I think that Trump may just be good old fashioned dumb.

But, but, but you say, he is a billionaire.  Don’t you have to be smart to be rich?  Apparently not.  Apparently all you have to do is stiff your investors, stiff your vendors, screw your customers, borrow money from the Russian mafia and use your hotels and golf courses to launder dirty Russian money and you too can become a billionaire.  And have a fake reality TV show that pretends you are a smart businessman.

Next time my conservative  friends nominate someone for president I hope they find someone with more character, dignity, knowledge, and  - oh yes – brains.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

150,000 attempts to hack South Carolina voting system on election day

By the way, just in case some of my friends want to think that evidence of Russian interference just isn't there, on election day in South Carolina there were about 150,000 attempts to hack the voting system on election day.  Apparently not successful, but we have been warned.  Too bad we have a president who is thankful for Russian interference on his behalf rather than a president who sees the danger to American democracy and to America itself.

Disgusting man.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Trump Jr, aka "Fredo", spills the beans

Apparently Donald Trump Jr. has the nickname of "Fredo" amongst Trump campaign staff, referring to the incompetent son of mob boss, Vito Corleone, in the movie “The Godfather”.  Even amongst the low standards of ethics and wisdom of the Trump world Trump Jr. seems to set a low bar.  Recent revelations show that he took a meeting with a Russian operative on the promise that he would receive damaging opposition research from the Russians.  Remember that Russia is a hostile foreign power whose boss, Putin, is dedicated to weakening America any way that he can.

This is direct evidence that:
·         Russia was interfering in our American elections
·         Russia was interfering so as to defeat Clinton and elect Trump
·         the Trump campaign was willing to work with the hostile foreign power, Russia, to defeat Clinton.  

Smoking gun.  Conspiracy.  Perhaps treason.  

"The June 3, 2016, email sent to Donald Trump Jr. could hardly have been more explicit: One of his father’s former Russian business partners had been contacted by a senior Russian government official and was offering to provide the Trump campaign with opposition research on Hillary Clinton.
The documents “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father,” read the email, written by a trusted intermediary, who added, “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
If the future president’s elder son was surprised or disturbed by the provenance of the promised material — or the notion that it was part of a continuing effort by the Russian government to aid his father’s campaign — he gave no indication.
He replied within minutes: “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
Donald Trump Jr. agreed, adding that he would most likely bring along “Paul Manafort (campaign boss)” and “my brother-in-law,” Jared Kushner, now one of the president’s closest White House advisers.
On June 9, the Russian lawyer was sitting in the younger Mr. Trump’s office on the 25th floor of Trump Tower, just one level below the office of the future president."
So, what should Jr, and (Manafort and Kushner) have done? Inform the FBI! This is a serious crime against our very democracy itself.
"When Gore campaign was sent Bush debate brief book, they called FBI. If foreign interests offer you info on former SOS, you call the FBI.
— stuart stevens (@stuartpstevens) July 10, 2017"

It has never been much of a mystery why Trump has been trying to stop the investigation into conspiracy between the Trump campaign and hostile foreign power of Russia.  Just win baby?  Even if it takes an act of treason to do so?  Well, let’s hope that these remarkably corrupt people do not get away with it.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Donald "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" Trump

Donald Trump thinks he is more powerful than the Congress of the United States because he is president.  I believe he will be president only as long as the Republicans in Congress allow him to be president.  They can impeach him at any time because there are grounds for impeachment any time they decide to exercise them.  And he keeps pressing his luck.  Will he eventually become so disgusting that Republicans will decide the only way to protect themselves is to get rid of him?

His most recent offense is a personal, disgusting attack on the co-host of the Morning Joe TV show.  What an embarrassment this “man” is.

Speaker Paul Ryan criticized President Donald Trump on Thursday for a crude attack on MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski’s physical appearance.
“I don’t see that as an appropriate comment,” Ryan said at a press conference, less than three hours after Trump ridiculed “low I.Q. Crazy Mika” for “bleeding badly from a face-lift.”
The point is that Trump presents many targets for impeachment.  He has been in violation of the Emoluments Clause ever since he refused to divest himself on his businesses and put them into a blind trust – his properties and brands are ways that he gets money from countries who curry this president’s  favors.  This might even be considered a violation of the Bribery Clause which is a black letter impeachment offense.  Indeed, Trump got a deal with China for using his trademark in China prior to his negotiating U.S. trade business with China as President.  Isn’t this bribery?  Here is the quote from the Constitution:

"The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

Obstruction of justice was the first article of impeachment against both Nixon and Clinton.  His firing of the FBI director, James Comey, because Comey was investigating the Trump campaign, and possibly Trump himself, for collusion with a hostile foreign power, Russia, to get Trump elected is certainly obstruction of justice.

Any time the Republicans finally decide that this dangerous and embarrassing buffoon is endangering their jobs he is toast, it seems to me.  And if they see the House falling to the Dems in 2018, that could be the final straw.

I think some of my conservative friends think the push to impeach Trump is just politics as usual, liberals trying to stop conservatism.  But, that is not how it is to me.  Trump is the walking definition of an unqualified person to be entrusted with the powers of the presidency.  If he is thrown out his successor is the right wing fundamentalist true believer Mike Pence, who is worse for liberals ideologically than Trump.  My desire is to stop a deeply corrupt and unstable person with strong authoritarian urges. 

Impeaching Trump is not about stopping conservatism; it may be what is needed to preserve our precious democracy.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Senate Republicans' health care bill cuts 22 million from health care

Imagine if some kind of economic catastrophe in the United States caused 22 million people to lose their health care.  Imagine the headlines, the photographs, the videos, the stories of untreated illnesses, of the diminished lives, of the diseases and deaths of of millions upon millions of people.

What kind of economic catastrophe could do that?  Stock market crash? Massive unemployment? Depression, deflation, hyper-inflation? Russian cyber-war that destroys the banking system? 

How about a man made catastrophe of the most avoidable kind - ideologically caused economic catastrophe.

That is what the Republican Party is rushing to do to America today.  This isn't Trump's doing.  Trump just barely has an opinion about health care in America.  Trump never thought for more than a few moments about health care in his life, other than to find the hot button phrases that could excite the conservative base into voting for him.

No, this is ideology - a blind ideology that has been entrenched ever since Obamacare was debated and put into law. This is the ideology of the Republican Party, and it is a disastrous lurch into economic calamity.  This is a rush to pass a law without debate, without inputs from the various medical players, without testimony from expert witnesses - oh, I forgot, conservatives don't like experts, they hate experts I guess because experts say different things than talk radio and Fox News folks say, so you can't trust experts because experts don't say simple things that can be put on bumper stickers or baseball caps.

The CBO projection is that 22 million people will lose their health care if the Senate Republican plan becomes law.  The CBO projected that 24 million people would lose their health care if the House of Representative plan would become law. Is this supposed to progress?

My conservative friends justify this stunning cruelty by telling themselves that Obamacare is collapsing of its own fatal flaws.  But it seems to me that those states that cooperated with Obamacare are having a pretty good experience, and those states that refused and obstructed Obamacare are having bad experiences.  It seems pretty clear to me that many Republicans, unfortunately including the president, are doing all they can to sabotage Obamacare, as if Obamacare were just some kind of idea that they didn't like rather than being the thing keeping people in their states alive and healthy.

I don't think the Republicans will overturn Obamacare because they won't be able to get the votes of both the "moderates" (i.e. those who don't want to watch folks die for lack of Medicaid funding in their states) and the "conservatives" (those who think the only thing that counts is cutting spending and shrinking or better yet eliminating the federal government which they see as some kind of evil restraint on freedom).

If a bill gets out of the Senate and goes to committee, it is hard for me to believe that a bill will then be be approved by both the House and the Senate and become law.  The "freedom caucus" (who I think are really pretty much blinded by their own dogmas and fanatical obsessions) will never go along with anything that smacks of compassion for the poor in favor of their most sacred of all desires - tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum.

All I can say is that if a terrible health care law gets passed by both houses and is signed by Trump, people will be much better off if they live in California than if they live in Kansas.  I fully expect that those states that have encouraged people to enroll in Obamacare, and who have cooperated with the Federal Government's efforts to make it work will treat their people much better than those states that have done everything they could to sabotage it.   

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Warren Sapp to donate his brain to research when he dies

Multiple Pro Bowl football player Warren Sapp is donating his brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation for research upon his death.  He is 44 years old and is losing cognitive function due to the violence to his brain during his football years.  It doesn't matter how strong one's body is, or how much pain one is willing to take, there is no way to toughen up the brain to withstand blows to the head. 

"We're playing in a macho league and we're talking about Hall of Famers now who are immortalized forever, made busts and everything. Legends of the game," he said. "There's no way any of us wanna really admit that we can't remember how to get home or a grocery list that the wife has given us or how to go pick up our kids to the school, or whatever it may be.

"You try to [say], 'All right, I'm gonna get a little more sleep -- maybe it's something I did last night, maybe something I drank,' or whatever it is. You try to find a reason that it's not that it's my brain, that I'm not deteriorating right before my own eyes.
"It's the most frightening feeling, but it's also a very weakening feeling because you feel like a child. I need help. I need somebody to help me find something that I could've found with my eyes closed, in the dead of night, half asleep.""

He hopes the research can make the game safer, but as far as I can tell there is no way to make the game of football safe from brain trauma and damage.

I expect parents to stop letting their children play football. I expect the game to fade away.  All I see when I watch football is blocks, tackles, and brain damage.  

Monday, June 12, 2017

Trump's inability to understand the Russian threat

Trump's hyper-fragile grandiose ego has changed the Russia probe from what it really is - an investigation into Russian interference into the American election - into Trump's egocentric view of it - an investigation to discredit Trump's "fabulous" victory in November. 

This is about Russia's war on the U.S. and all of the West.  Russia tried to elect a Fascist in France, but the French were on to the ruse and defeated Russia's candidate.  Russia had and continues to havre massive control over Ukraine.  Russia continues to interfere in American politics.  It must be uncovered and countered.  They have fractured America's political system and damaged America's relations with our allies.  Russia is winning this war, which our president doesn't even recognize.  Amazing.

Russia has found new weapons in today's electronic world - hacking.  They are being quite successful, unfortunately.  And our current president is missing the entire point.  Not a big surprise, of course. 

It's not about Trump - it's the Russians, stupid...

Of course, if he actually did/does collude with the Russians, it becomes about him too...Could be a motive for him to try to stop the investigation, of course.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Why I think Putin is controlling Trump

I think Russia's Vladimir Putin is controlling America's president, Donald Trump.  Here's why:

  • The Russians hacked into the Hillary campaign and dumped emails into the media to damage her candidacy, while they did nothing of the sort to Trump
  • Trump cared about only one thing at the Republican Convention during the forming of the platform, and that was to delete any mention of condemnation of Russia's take-over of Crimea and Ukaraine
  • After the election and before the inauguration the CIA, FBI, and NSA all concluded that Russia interfered in the election with the goal of electing Trump
  • President Trump pressured FBI director Comey, Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, and Mike Rogers, Director of the National Security Agency to call off investigations into Russian collusion with the Trump campaign
  • Top Trump campaign people are known to have Russian connections - from Michael Flynn and Jeff Sessions to Ashton Carter, Roger Stone, and now Jared Kushner
So, what is the entire point of Putin putting Trump into office?  What does Putin want from Trump?  I think he just got it.  Trump refused to affirm America's support of Article 5 of NATO which says an attack on any member of NATO is an attack on all of us.  Germany has said that it is becoming clear that Europe was going to have to stop relying on America.

Perhaps Putin's prime goal is to keep NATO from opposing Putin's takeover of the Baltic states.  Looks like Mr Trump is in agreement with Mr Putin.

And then, of course, there is just the general Putin strategy around the world to discredit and weaken all democracies as his way of lifting Russia back into international power status.  How could he have done that more effectively than by putting an ignorant child into the White House.

Why is Trump letting Putin tell him what to do? Possible reasons - Trump owes Putin and his oligarchs billions of dollars - Putin has humiliating and/or incriminating evidence he can release against Trump - or Trump is just Putin's chump.

Not good for America or the world.  I believe.