Thursday, March 30, 2017

Pence and the Republicans decide to increase the number of abortions in America

Republicans finally got to take a step to defund Planned Parenthood.  VP Mike Pence cast the tie breaker. 

"Republican legislation letting states deny federal family planning money to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers squeezed narrowly through the Senate Thursday..."

"The federal family planning program was created 1970 and in 2015 served 4 million clients at nearly 4,000 clinics. Most of the money is for providing services like contraceptives, family planning counseling, breast and cervical cancer screening and sexually transmitted disease prevention. It has a $286 million federal budget this year.
Most recipients are women, and two-thirds have incomes at or below the federal poverty level, around $12,000 for an individual. Six in 10 say the program's services are their only or most frequent source of health care."
I imagine that Pence and the Reps are proud of themselves for reducing abortions, but of course, exactly the opposite will happen - abortions will rise, as will disease and health issues amongst the women depending on family planning and health services.  

Without family planning and contraceptive care and assistance there will be more pregnancies and thus more abortions of unwanted pregnancies.

Ideology is a strange thing, blocking out any information that contradicts the dogma. The Reps hurt poor women today. Not happy.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A blow against internet privacy

It's hard for me to keep up with all the things Trump and the Republicans are doing which harm us.  But, I just wanted to point out one that just happened.  They are removing internet privacy laws, allowing companies to sell information on us including:

"...browsing habits, app usage history, location data and Social Security numbers..."

This does not make me happy.  They are making us unsafe.  

Friday, March 24, 2017

Don't provoke the "nuclear option" over Gorsuch

I think I have been too didactic, polemic, and left wing since the advent of Trump and Trumpism.  I want to feel more balanced as I think about America and the world.  To that end, I am thinking liberals are sometimes moving unwisely out of their disgust of Trump.

I think liberals make a mistake by going all out to block Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.  I understand that the left think that the Republicans stole the vacated Scalia seat from them by refusing to hold hearings on Obama’s moderate left nominee – Merrick Garland.  And I think it was appalling that they did that.  But, in truth, what chance would he have had to be confirmed by a Republican controlled Senate?  I disagreed with the tactic, but I don’t think Obama would have gotten a nominee confirmed.

And now the Republicans control the White House and the Senate.  They will decide who becomes the next Supreme Court judge.  If the Democrats exact revenge for Garland, don’t they use up all of their weapons on this confirmation – i.e. the filibuster?  Gorsuch will replace Scalia, and the court balance becomes what it had been before Scalia’s passing.  I didn’t like many of the decisions of that court, but it’s not really a change. 

If the Dems block Gorsuch, isn’t there another Gorsuch in the wings for the job?  If they  tempt the Republicans to use the “nuclear option” of bypassing the filibuster and needing only a majority to confirm, they would be much wiser, it seems to me, to wait until, or if, it is time to replace a liberal Justice, not a conservative one.

I think liberals are laboring under a fantasy that hearings into Russian - Trump campaign improprieties will nullify the election.  But isn't that about the same fantasy that conservatives harbored for a long time that it would be proved that Obama was really born in Kenya, and his election would be nullified?  

The Reps were in the cold for eight years, they are in power now, and will be for at least two more years, and maybe up to eight.  Liberals need to do something other than copy the extremism of the Reps during the Obama years.  

I have hope that new leadership can emerge from the Left out of the ashes of the 2016 election to shine a new light.  And, as a matter of fact, as Trump and the Reps continue to destroy themselves now that they are stuck with power and responsibility, I have hope that new leadership can arise from their ashes as well into an inspiring vision of the Right - which is not Libertarian, or Tea Party, or Corporate Plutocracy...

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Targeted cruelty

The Trump budget emphasizes the military and cuts the safety net for America and the world.  This is no surprise, and there is much that is distressing about the Trump budget, but I just wanted to point out one characteristic that pretty well summarizes today’s Republican Party, to me.


Apparently, Trump and the Reps want to cut funding for Health and Human Services Community Development Block Grants by 16% which includes the Administration for Community Living which funds “Meals on Wheels” that feeds impoverished elderly.  I wonder how many of my conservative friends thought they voted for cutting funds to feeding the elderly?

And this thing about “America First”?  20,000,000 people are facing famine in four countries: Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia, and Nigeria – the largest humanitariancrisis in the history of the United Nations.

“We are facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the United Nations,” warned Stephen O’Brien, the U.N.’s humanitarian chief. “Without collective and coordinated global efforts, people will simply starve to death.”

 So, the Trump administration has decided that this is the time to cut humanitarian aid overseas.  “Humanitarian” - “Trump”?  Those two words don’t go together.  Used to be that the United States was the major force of benevolence and hope for a despairing world.  Now, it’s just “America First” – or, tough luck people, you’re on your own – or, America is no better than any other country, we’re only interested in ourselves.

It seems to me that this cutting of humanitarian support in the world is not only contrary to American principles and ideals, but against our interests as well, because America is safer and more prosperous in a stable world rather than one ravaged by poverty and famine. So it seems to me that the whole concept of “American First” is short sighted and harmful to America’s role in the world and to America’s future. But, budget cutters don’t seem to notice, let alone care.

Not to forget, by the way, that the Trumpcare replacement for Obamacare will remove 24 million people from healthcare insurance.  So they can just get sick and, you know … die. But, hey, their poor so who cares?

But, oh yes, they do want to build a completely useless wall between the U.S. and Mexico.  Must have billions for that…don’t want to make the Trumpsters angry…

I remain disgusted by this administration, and it’s not just Trump.  The Republican Freedom Caucus in the House of Representatives has their fingerprints all over this budget. 

It is discouraging to watch the goodness of America be abandoned and replaced by cruelty.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Do Republicans really want to start killing people?

The Congressional Budget Office (CB0) has come out with its report on the Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  No surprise – 24,000,000 people will lose health care.  

24,000,000 - people – humans - men and women and children. 

I know Republicans are accused of not caring much about people, but do they really want to start killing them? I guess it reduces taxes on the wealthy?  So that makes it OK?

I sincerely doubt that the Republican House will vote for this bill, and if it does I think it has almost no chance to pass the Senate.  But, still, is this what my conservative friends voted for when they voted for a Republican President, Republican Senate, and Republican House?

This administration is such a mess.   

Friday, March 3, 2017

Trump eliminates gun background checks on the mentally ill

Trump signed has decided that background checks on those deemed to be mentally disabled needs to be stopped.  I don't find this comforting, and I don't think this has anything to do with personal freedom.  I think it has to do with the gun lobby wanting to sell guns, and controlling the Republican Party.

"While the press corps was distracted and the cable channels aired footage of Trump surrounded by a bipartisan group of smiling women, behind closed doors and with no fanfare the president quietly signed a measure that killed a regulation enacted by the Obama administration to tighten gun background checks.

The rule required the Social Security Administration to send over the names of people who receive government checks for being mentally disabled and others who have been deemed unable to handle their own financial affairs to the FBI office that runs the national background check database. This is a universe of about 75,000 people."

I'm with Wyatt Earp - no guns in Dodge ... or at least there should be a background check.