Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Day 134. 

The great deal maker failed.  The leader of the Republican controlled House of Representatives failed.  For trump, this is his second strike.  The first was the Muslim Ban that was stopped by the courts.  Yes, there is Muslim Ban 2.0 that is still being held up in the courts with the case to move forward, but the first one made him back down and try again.

Today was strike two since they had to pull the Americans Without Health Care Act.  They had to pull the bill because the “great dealmaker” couldn’t make a deal.  The bill was so bad, conservatives and moderates were both against it.  Conservatives were against it because it wasn’t cruel enough.  Moderates were against it because it was too cruel.

In typical trumpism he went on to blame the Democrats.  You know, the party that was never asked for their input.  The party that was completely locked out of the process.  The party that doesn’t want to see millions of Americans lose their insurance.  The Republicans claimed they would “repeal and replace” the ACA despite the Democrats because they didn’t need them.

So, naturally, it is all their fault trump couldn’t make his great deal and fulfill his promise that “the first thing we are going to do is repeal and replace the terrible Obamacare”.  Republicans thought this would be a slam dunk.  Only it wasn’t.

But, don’t start celebrating just yet.  Don’t even think that trump is telling the truth when he say he is going to now move on to tax reform and “let Obamacare fail”.  The other day I wrote about how Rubio and the Republicans stopped paying back losses to insurance companies as the law said it would do for ten years, and that caused them to pull out of the exchanges.

That is just the beginning.  Remember, Tom Price is still the Secretary of HHS.  That is the department that runs the ACA.  If you think that Price will not do everything he can to undo as much of the ACA as he can you are kidding yourself.  Price is the number one enemy of the ACA.  He hates the ACA more than the thought of dying and going to hell.

He will issue administrative orders wherever he can to undo the ACA.  He will probably start with the mandates and regulations.  He will probably move on to the taxes that actually pay for the ACA so it will be starved of the cash it needs to work.

He will ensure that more companies pull out of the exchanges by promising something stupid in the future that will help them make more money.  And, don’t forget those same for profit insurance companies will be hammering away at him to do everything I just mentioned and probably even more.  The trump administration will do everything they can to make sure the ACA fails.  And, he will get Ryan to help out by repealing the taxes in the bill so it will be starved if Price can’t do it administratively.

You must keep in mind that trump is a very vindictive son of a bitch.  Every time he loses on something, he goes after someone he believes stopped him from getting what he wants.  In this case, he will figure out that he couldn’t get enough votes because House Members were scared to death of losing their seats if they voted for it.  In other words, the real villains in trump’s world right now is the American People and he will go after them with a vengeance.

If that vengeance means that you lose all of your health care, so be it.  If it means that you suffer bankruptcy over health care costs, so be it.  If it means you die because you can’t get coverage after his revenge mission, so be it.  All trump cares about is trump, and you stopped him from looking good to himself, and you must pay the price for that slight.

The ACA can work with some tweaks to the bill.  But, I still say the real answer is a universal health care law like Medicare for all.  The time to end the stupidity of “free market insurance” has come.  This is when the resistance movement that has taken room must demand universal health care, now.

It is the time when the resistance demand from their representatives to put together a bill making universal health care the law.  It is time to only support candidates, from both parties, that will support and make universal health care a reality.

This cannot wait until next year either.  It must begin today.  Letters, email, tweets, and phone calls must be made to demand universal health care.  It is the only way that we will really reduce the cost of health care and make sure that everyone in the country really has health care coverage.

Of the 11 most developed nations in the world, we rank 11th in health care costs.  We rank 11th in life expectancy.  Of fifteen different categories of health care, we rank no higher than 5th in any category.  We rank at the bottom in 10 of those categories.

What is the difference?  The other 10 most developed nations all have universal health care and pay about one half of the costs per person for health care as we do.  If you want to see health care costs go down, if you want to see Medicaid and Medicare not needed as separate costs to the country, then you must demand universal health care.

If you are a conservative, think about it.  With universal health care we don’t need a separate thing called Medicaid.  We don’t need a separate thing called Medicare.  Look at the saving in just those two programs.

If you are a progressive and believe health care is a right and not a privilege, then you must demand universal health care.  And, if you are a progressive and you help get a bipartisan universal health care law to the floor of both Houses, you will help kill the so-called Freedom Caucus.  They only have power because Republicans don’t want to work with Democrats.  If they did, the Freedom Caucus would become the lonely fringe group they should be now.

Yes, trump just got strike two against him.  But, the fight isn’t over, and it won’t ever be over until we get what most Americans want.  Affordable Health Care for all.  Only universal health care coverage is the answer.

Don’t fall asleep.  Keep resisting.  Keep calling your Reps.  Keep writing them.  Keep showing up at town halls and demand universal health care.  Make them toe the line.  If they won’t find a candidate who will and then and vote the bums out!

Now is the time for the people to get what they have been demanding.  Now is the time to rise up and make the politicians do what the American People want.  Right now, Republicans still don’t get that.  All day you kept hearing them say they will vote yes because that is what the American People want.  But, only 17 percent of the people were in favor of the Americans Without Health Care Act.  So, what people were they listening to?  Not the vast majority.

Every now and again, the people get a chance to make their voices heard and make their demands become reality.  Even trump supporters hated this abusive law.  They finally realized that they were the people who would lose their health care coverage.  Don’t leave them on the sidelines in the fight.  Bring them along with us so we have real power that even Republicans won’t dare to fight against.  The Americans Without Care Act has shown everyone that health care includes everyone.

Everyone needs health care coverage.  Democrats, Independents, AND Republicans need to join this fight.  So, with the wackos on the right holding up their own party and the incompetent trump sitting in the White House, now is one of those special times.  Don’t let it go by without acting.

It is the best chance we have to keep the shirts from marching along.

Read Full Post »

Day 134. 

As you know, one of the main plans in the trump administration and the Republican Party is to pass laws that go uncovered because of all of the distractions going on at the same time.  This week is no different.  While you were all watching the Americans Without Health Care Act fight, and Nunes showing just what a trump shill he is, the Senate was busy passing something that will affect you personally, and you probably didn’t notice.

Naturally, it was an appeal of another of Obama’s rules that were made in order to protect the general population from exploitation.  If this bill gets to trump’s desk, there are a lot of companies who will be able to make money off of you and there will be nothing you will be able to do about it.

There rule involves the internet, something we all use.  The rule, which hasn’t even taken effect yet said that internet providers could not sell your personal information without your permission.  This included things like using precise geolocation, financial information, health information, children’s information and web browsing history for advertising and internal marketing.

In the usual Republican lying mantra, McConnell said that the repeal of this rule was necessary because the rule “makes the internet an uneven playing field, increases complexity, discourages competition, innovation, and infrastructure investment.”  What he really means is that if you use the internet, you are supposed to be a cash cow for internet providers whether or not you want to be.  And, they don’t have to give you anything in return.  Hell, they don’t even have to let you know they are selling your information.

The Internet and Television Association, a trade group, in a statement praised the vote as a “critical step towards re-establishing a balanced framework that is grounded in the long-standing and successful FTC privacy framework that applies equally to all parties operating online.”

There is a law called HIPPA, which makes your health information confidential.  Yet this repeal allows a third-party to sell your health information to anyone they wish in order to make more money.  Isn’t that a violation of HIPPA?  Apparently, McConnell and the Republicans don’t care.  According to them, your health information is open for sale without your permission.

I also find it amazing that this rule change is being made right at the same time that Congress is trying to remove 24 million people from their health care coverage.  More people will be using the internet to find insurance they can afford.  With this rule change, you are going to be bombarded with advertisements because your private information isn’t private anymore.

Part of dismantling democracy is to remove privacy for the citizens.  More than that, it is making each and every citizen a cash cow for people you don’t know, who is selling your personal information to anyone and everyone.

This rule would not have hampered the playing field, complexity, competition, innovation, or infrastructure investment as McConnell said.  It would simply make it possible for you, as a consumer, to tell Internet Providers they could not sell your personal information.

Republicans have actually made it easier for Russia and terrorists and criminals to get your personal information without having to bother to hack into your computer.  They just have to set up a shill company and buy everything they want from Internet Providers.  And, they say they want to keep us safe from these criminals.

All during the Obama Presidency the right-wing was complaining about “losing their rights”.  When asked which rights they lost, they couldn’t name a single one, because they never lost a right.  So, what is one of the first things they do?  They pass a law that takes away your privacy when it comes to your financial and health information.  This is the second right lost under the trump administration and we are only in month three.  The first was your right to clean air and drinking water with his rollback of EPA rules that protected those rights. How many more are on the horizon?

This presidency is all about rights for corporations and screw the “little people”.  The proposed budget, if passed, will screw the “little people” even more.  And, I can’t wait for the so-called tax reform on the horizon that will really screw the “little people”.

Our right to privacy is one of our most fundamental and important rights we have in our government system.  Republicans just told you that your rights are not as important as corporation’s money.

I consider health insurance not only a right, but a necessity.  Republicans have told us we don’t need clean water to drink or clean to breath.  They have now told us we don’t have a right to privacy.  And, if the Americans Without Health Care Act passes we won’t have a right to health insurance.

Yes conservatives, our rights are being stripped away.  Only it wasn’t President Obama that stripped them, it is trump and his Republican gang of thieves that are stripping them away.  Hope you are happy.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

Read Full Post »

Day 130. 

Today should be a day when the real fights begin.  The hearings to fill the supreme court opening begins, and the House Intelligence Committee holds its first hearing about the Russian hacking of our elections.  There is also some haggling going on over the Americans Without Health Insurance Act.  Conservatives want more cuts, and moderates want better protection for older people.

You would think these three things would consume our president.  He did show some interest in the House Committee by tweeting that the Russian Hacking hearing was “fake news”.  Even before it starts.  Maybe that is because he wants to deflect away from his own bogus claim about his “wires being taped”.

But, to show just how stupid our current president is and to make us really wonder what the hell is going on, he went full trump on Germany.  And, as usual, he showed he doesn’t know what he is talking about.

The day after he met with Angela Merkel, he tweeted this nonsense:

Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Nevertheless, Germany owes vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!

Well, despite his usual bad spelling and poor grammar, he is also wrong in is biggest complaint.  Germany does not owe vast sums of money to NATO and the United States.  NATO does not have any “accounts” that each member of the alliance pays into.

There are two major parts to the NATO agreement.  The first is that “an armed attack against one or more of them… shall be considered an attack against them all” and that following such an attack, each member would take “such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force.”

The second is that each country agreed to spend at least 2 percent of its GDP on their own defense spending.  Let me spell that out again, each country agreed to spend at least 2 percent of its GDP on their own defense spending.

That spending includes a whole lot of things.  Like maintaining their own defense and military.  Assistance in NATO peace keeping operations.  And any assistance they give in fighting ISIS.

After the 9/11 attack in 2001 NATO enacted the clause that they considered the terrorist attack that day as an attack against all of NATO.  That was the first and only time that article was enacted.  And, it was to support the U.S. not the other way around.

It is true that some NATO countries, including Germany, have spent less than 2 percent of their GDP on defense, but that does not mean they owe the U.S. “vast sums of money” as our stupid leader claims.

If trump would stop treating the NATO alliance like some kind of “protection racket” and start treating it like the most vital alliance we have, maybe he might actually learn something.  Maybe that learned knowledge might go beyond just the defense alliance and he will start treating our allies like allies and not like the enemy.

He needs to understand that NATO is not a protection racket.  The U.S. is not in the alliance to “make money” protecting other nations.  The other NATO countries have agreed to increase defense spending over the next few years.  They actually see Russia as a real and growing threat unlike our beloved leader who seems to think Russia is the perfect model of how to run a country.

In just sixty days, our beloved leader has pissed off Australia, and that really takes some effort, Germany, France, all of the Baltic States, and even England.  Europe is sitting across the pond wondering if our leader is really that stupid or if he can be trusted in protecting them if Russia should attack one of them.

The NATO alliance is not just for the protection of Europe.  It is for our protection as well.  This administration seems to want to build a wall around our country and withdraw from the world scene.  That may sound like it will save money, but it will also destroy our alliances and make us less safe and more open to attack.

NATO has helped keep the peace in the western world since 1949 when it was first established.  Our leader now seems to think we don’t need it, when in fact we need it more than ever.  Russia is trying to flex its muscle and retake most of if not all of Eastern Europe into a new Russia Empire.  China is flexing its muscle and spending more on their own military.  North Korea is probably our biggest threat to breaking the peace.

Add to that the fight against international terrorism, and you can see that we need friends.  NATO is our best friend.  They should be embraced and not pushed away in some financial ploy.  They don’t owe us “vast sums of money”.  They were there when we needed them after 9/11.  The question is will we be there for them if needed?

This is just another example of the total ignorance our beloved leader has in international matters.  One of his campaign promises was that he would surround himself with very qualified and “great people” to help run the country.  To show he meant it, he picked an oil executive to run the State Department and then decided to cut its budget by 30 percent.  Right when we need a stable State Department to help keep our alliances together.

So, today the House Intelligence Committee will hold open hearings on the Russia hacking of our election, and trump is calling it “fake news” before it even begins.  The Senate Judicial Committee will begin hearings on Neil Gorsuch to become our next Justice on the Supreme Court.

The Republican Party and trump are planning to cut 24 million people off of their health insurance.  The administration’s proposed budget will basically leave our country sick, stupid, and starving.

Yet, trump thinks he can show how good he is by tweeting something that only proves just how stupid he really is.  But there is good news for trump in his tiny isolated world.  He holds the record.

Over the weekend, a new poll showed that only 37 percent of the American People approve of his job so far.   A record!  No other president even came close to those numbers in their first 60 days.  So, trump definitely is number 1!  Only it isn’t a record any normal person would be proud to hold.  But this is trump.  So, if his lackies just tell him he holds the record on job approval without telling him it is on the wrong side, we will probably see a tweet bragging about holding the record.

Wouldn’t it be nice to return to the days when our president actually knew what he was talking about?  I don’t believe trump’s “wires were tapped”.  But he is showing that his “wires have been crossed for years”.

And, the shirts keep marching along!

 

Read Full Post »

Day 128. 

Republicans claim they want “school choice” which is really a way for the government to subsidize private schools of their choice.  However, there is a case before the Supreme Court that shows just how limited they really want “school choice” to be in the case of disabled children.  And, believe it or not, Gorsuch is at the heart of that case.

The case is Endrew F v. Douglas County School District.  This case will determine the standards under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA).  According to what took place during the hearing, Gorsuch’s potential colleagues are mystified about a term that was used in a lower court ruling against the plaintiff.  That term is “minimally more than de minimis”.

Judge Ruth Ginsberg asked “who invented it”?  Well the answer is Neil Gorsuch.  Here s a little breakdown of the case.

The family of an autistic child (Luke) sued the school district about 10 years ago.  The case came about because the school district refused to reimburse the family due to their having to send their child to a specialized residential school for autistic children.  Such private school placements, paid for by the public school district, are allowable under the IDEA in limited circumstances.

It’s not that the school district wasn’t doing what it could to meet Luke’s educational needs. As Gorsuch put it, his “life away from school during the same time paints a much different picture.” Berthoud Elementary, where Luke attended second grade, didn’t seem equipped to prepare him for home life.

“Luke was unevenly tempered, often displaying inappropriate and sometimes violent behavior at home and in public places such as grocery stores and restaurants,” Gorsuch wrote. “He developed various sleep problems ― going to bed at odd hours, waking up frequently at night, and refusing to sleep in a bed. Luke also developed a habit of intentionally spreading his nighttime bowel movements around his bedroom. In addition, although Luke became toilet trained at school by the time he was in first grade, he was not able to transfer this skill to the home and other settings away from school.”

Based on this record, a hearing officer, an administrative judge and a federal district judge agreed in three separate decisions that the school district needed to reimburse Luke’s parents for a private school placement ― which the family’s lawyer Robinson and the family Perkins both said made a world of difference for Luke.

This is all in line with IDEA so disabled children get the specialized education they need.  In most cases, the school district just pays the fees.  But in this case, the school district in Colorado decided it needn’t pay the parents for their expenses.

The case wound up with a three judge panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and Gorsuch was one of those judges.  Despite the rulings of the three different hearings that said the a school district must pay the parents, Gorsuch didn’t see it that way.

The fact is that in a very short period of time, this specialized residential school made a world of difference to Luke and his life.  Despite this, Gorsuch led the court in overturning the three previous decisions by claiming that the IDEA benefits available to children like Luke were “limited in scope.”

“We sympathize with Luke’s family and do not question the enormous burdens they face,” he wrote in the decision, which effectively forced the Perkins family to pay for their son’s education out-of-pocket. “Our job, however, is to apply the law as Congress has written it and the Supreme Court has interpreted it.”

Gorsuch added that the statute only requires schools to create an individual educational plan that allows a student to achieve “some progress” toward the goals identified in that plan. Or in the judge’s more telling phrase, “merely more than de minimis” progress.

This is an example of just how Gorsuch looks at people with disabilities.  How could any law passed by Congress would have such a trivial standard?  That is the question that faces the Supreme Court.  The case from 1982 Board of Education v. Rowley, there is no mention of the term “merely more than de minimis”.  The word “merely” was pulled out of thin air by Gorsuch in his ruling in this case.

As a matter of fact, it was the same court that embraced the term “more than de minimis in a case in 1996.  It was Gorsuch that added the word “merely” in 2008.

This case goes way beyond just this one case.  We have a Secretary of Education that has no idea what the IDEA law entails.  Now, we have a nominee to the Supreme Court that doesn’t think the school district should help disabled children beyond “merely more than de minimis”.

You can also see that all of the fight over “school choice” does not include children with disabilities.  It only covers those who want to destroy public schools and have the government pay for their tuition at private schools.

Luke is now doing very well.  He is currently 22 and had aged out of the IDEA program.  He still lives in Massachusetts. He participates in a work program, goes shopping, eats at restaurants and engages in other activities that likely wouldn’t have been possible without the special school.  Basically, he has a good life that would not have been available without proper education.

What would have happened to him if his parents did not have the means to send him to this specialized school?  What if he had been born to poor people?  He would not have gotten this education and would not have developed.  Gorsuch thinks that the dollars are more important than this education and wants to deny people like Luke a chance.

Before I say this, I must confess that I am a grandfather of an autistic grandson.  However, this goes beyond just that.  So, to me, it is a great example of why Neil Gorsuch is not qualified to sit on the Supreme Court.  I have very easy standard for the Supreme Court.  The Constitution is designed to protect people.  So, any Judge who puts dollars ahead of people does not deserve to be on the court.  Gorsuch’s ruling in this case clearly puts dollars ahead of this person.

Read Full Post »

Day 127. 

All I can say is this has been one week from hell.  First we have the Americans Without Health Insurance Act, then we have the budget for the rich, and then we have trump still claiming “my wires were tapped” by the former President even though everyone including the heads of two congressional committees have said there is no evidence that it happened.  But, don’t worry, the reason is because Obama apparently had the British tap his wires so there won’t be any evidence.  Something the British claim is patently false.

One of the beneficiaries of the massive cuts to federal agencies, Rex Tillerson from the State Department, said that the cuts were okay with him because “we won’t be in as many shooting wars” anymore.  What?  The very next day he told North Korea that “we aren’t taking any options off the table, including military options, if they don’t comply” and denuclearize.

Does this clown have ant idea what his job is supposed to be?  It is the job of the Secretary of State to help keep us out of shooting wars, not get us into them.  He is supposed get our allies to support us and to even get our adversaries to help stop North Korea.  In other words, he should be talking to China to help us get rid of the nuclear weapons in North Korea rather than threatening war that China will not look favorably on since they border North Korea.

China is the only real ally North Korea has.  If we can get them to do something, then we won’t have to go to war.  But, trump administration is more interested in flexing muscle than in keeping the peace.  Remember Seoul, the capital of South Korea is only 30 miles from the border.  And, North Korea has it lined up in their sights of artillery.  There are only 20 million people living in Seoul, but what the hell, they are just “foreigners” and not white ones either.

Then we have trump’s budget director Mick Mulveney trying to justify all of the budget cuts with absolute stupidity.  For instance he claims cutting off all funds to Meals on Wheels is justified because, “it hasn’t shown it has worked”.  In other words, “do those old farts really need to eat?”

He also claimed that the wipe-out of the Public Broadcasting Corporation is “good for the single mom who has two kids.  She shouldn’t pay for that program anymore”.  Only, that is the best place for her children to get educational television that is also entertaining.

On the other hand, it is perfectly fine for that single mom who has two kids to lose her health insurance so Mulveney and his kind can get a huge tax cut.  It is perfectly fine for her to pay more in taxes so the rich get even deeper cuts.

You can see where this is taking us.  The rich matter.  Everyone else does not.  It is okay to take people off their health care if the rich get the benefit.  It is wrong to pay for good educational television since the rich needs to kick in also.  Just so long as you claim that you are being “nice to that single mom”.

There is not a singe item in the budget cuts proposed that will have a negative affect on the rich.  But, every proposed cut will have a negative affect on everyone else.

That single mom must pay for the Berlin Wall on the southern border that won’t do anything to secure our borders.  But she is being saved from paying for something that she actually uses and probably needs.  See how wonderful and nice this administration is to this poor lady?

As far as Meals on Wheels go, it is reported that the programs helps keep people out of nursing homes.  What is the benefit of that?  Only about one-third of the Medicaid budget for each state.  But, we apparently don’t have to worry about that either.  With the proposed Medicaid cuts, there won’t be any money to put these old people into nursing homes either.

This is what the administration wants to do.  Health Care, cut it.  Workplace Safety, cut it.  Diplomacy, cut it.  Meals on Wheels, eliminate it.  Public educational television, eliminate it.  Environmental Protection, cut it.  Climate change research, eliminate it.  Health Science research, cut it.  Weather forecasting, cut it.

You can see the pattern.  When trump said he wanted to “drain the swamp” what he really meant was that he would bring in a bunch of billionaires to pass budgets and laws that make life better for themselves.  Screw the rest of us.  What he has done so far proves that he is keeping his campaign promise.  He is screwing us really good.  Hope you like it.

Maybe he is beginning a new phase of eugenics.  Maybe he is making a mockery of the old adage of “only the strong survive” and making it “only the rich survive”.  Maybe he is just trying to cull the surplus population.

I am sorry, but our beloved leader is on a definite mission.  That mission has nothing with America being exceptional or even normal.  That mission is to make sure the rich get richer, non-whites are kept out, and the rest of us struggle to survive.

Today our beloved leader will meet with the Leader of the Free World, Angela Merkel.  Doesn’t is sound weird that we will meet with the leader of the free world instead of the way it used to be?  But, that is what trump has given us.

But don’t worry.  Things will definitely get better.  Congress just passed a law that will allow veterans who suffer mental health problems to buy guns easier.  Since only 20 vets commit suicide per day, so let’s give people who should not have guns because they are a danger to themselves to add to the numbers.  How’s that for culling the surplus population and helping our vets with their health problems?

And, the shirts keep marching along!

 

Read Full Post »

Day 126. 

As a nation we need to ask one question.  What type of country are we willing to become?  Ever since trump won the election, that question has been at the top of everything he has proposed.  And, in my opinion, he is looking for something that has not been America.

He has pitted race against race, religion against religion, and rich against poor.  We have always had problems in these areas, but he has ramped them up to a point where your race, your religion, and your wealth is the determining factor of whether you are a winner or a loser in his America.

He has tried to place a limited Muslim Ban on travel to the U.S. twice now, and he was rejected by the courts twice.  He claims that is all in the name of “keeping Americans safe” but he always runs his mouth and shows that it is really based on religion, which is unconstitutional.  His administration doesn’t help either with their rants about how Muslims are the root of all of our problems.

Then we have the so-called “Obamacare Repeal and Replace” legislation trying to get out of the house.  The CBO scored it and there are some good things and some bad thing for both sides.  The good for Republicans is it says that it will reduce the budget by $337 billion over ten years.  The bad for everybody is that 24 million people will lose their health care over the same 10 years.  The White House memo says that 26 million people will lose their health care over that 10 year period.

It is also becoming apparent even to Paul Ryan that the bill as written cannot get out of the House.  His problem is that in order to get out of the house he needs to take it even further right.  But, in order to get it through the Senate it needs to go further left.  It would seem that he has painted himself into a corner, and trump seems willing to let him blow in the wind over it as well.

Now we are seeing trump’s first budget.  This budget shows us just what kind of country trump wants us to have.  A country with no culture, no heritage, no sympathy, no decency, just more military and more bullets.

Naturally, there is the huge increase in defense spending and a huge increase in DHS budget for mass deportations and his Berlin Wall.  But there are still huge cuts for the Coast Guard, the TSA, and FEMA.

The Coast Guard is really our front line defense for our borders in terms of drug trafficking and people trafficking, as well as our port security.  The TSA is supposed to make us safe while flying  FEMA is the agency that responds to natural disasters, and in case you didn’t know, they are responsible to coordinate relief work in case of a wide-scale terrorist attack.  Who needs these agencies?  Apparently not trump.

But it gets even worse.  HUD will lose $3 Billion in its budget.  Number one on the hit parade from HUD will be a small program called “Meals on Wheels”.  All funding will go away to help old and disabled people get food delivered to them.  There will also be the elimination of the heating help funding for poor and older Americans.

The State Department will lose 28 percent of its budget.  The EPA will be hit hardest with a 31.4 percent cut to its budget.  What will be taken away is 3200 jobs and eliminate a new plan for tighter regulations on power plants, and “zero out” programs to clean up the Great Lakes and the Chesapeake Bay.

Health and Human Services is facing a 16.2 percent cut.  These include cuts of $5.8 billion from the nearly $32 billion National Institutes of Health, the nation’s premier medical research agency.  The NIH’s budget has not kept up with inflation as it is, and now trump wants to cut it even more.  This is the agency the does research on diseases to help us defeat things like cancer or stop pandemics before they get going too bad.  But then, since fewer people will have health insurance, who needs research?

The Department of Labor is facing a 20 percent cut.  These cuts include eliminating a federal program designed to help people 55 and older get new jobs.  The Labor Department is also supposed to protect your safety at work.  OSHA will see a huge cut in its budge meaning fewer inspections of workplace safety.

The Commerce Department is facing a 12 percent cut.  One of the biggest will be at NOAA.  These cuts would eliminate more than $250 million in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grants, including a program that helps coastal communities adapt to climate change, deal with invasive species and maintain healthy water and fisheries. Also on the chopping block: the Economic Development Administration, which provides federal dollars to foster job creation and attract private investment; and the Minority Business Development Agency, which is dedicated to helping minority-owned business get off the ground and grow.

Other independent agencies will be cut off completely and be forced to shut down.  These include the Public Broadcasting Corporation, the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Chemical Safety Board, the United States Institute of Peace, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for National Community Service and the African Development Foundation. That foundation was established by Congress and provides seed money and other support to enterprises in some 20 countries on that continent.

I guess Big Bird is on the chopping block, again.  We really need to do away with things like education for young children and eliminating the arts for everyone else.  What kind of country needs those things?  And, chemical safety is definitely not needed since we can trust the Koch Brothers to protect us from harmful chemicals.

These are just some of the cuts that trump wants to make to the budget.  Of course, Republicans will tell you how much this budget will save money, but they will leave out their upcoming massive cut taxes, especially on the rich.  That means, even with these cuts, the deficit will grow even more than it is.

However, this also brings us back to the question I asked at the beginning.  What type of country are we willing to become?  All of these cuts affect the average person.  All of these cuts will have a negative impact on just about every American who is not in the top 2 percent of income brackets.

The Department of Education is also facing cuts and the biggest target is support for before and after school programs.  How is that helping the middle-class and the working poor?  It doesn’t and it will affect you directly.

There has always been a kind of pride in Americans and their willingness to help those in need.  Are we going to let that one trait of ours go away?  Are we going to stand by and let the unfortunate become poorer while the rich get richer?

Just how are the poor, the working poor, and the middle-class going to get ahead if they need to spend more income on things like expensive child care that will only keep them back?  As silly as some of you think, the Public Broadcasting Corporation helps educate children before they start school.  Are we going to handicap poor people’s children just to save a few dollars?

Before and after school programs allow parents to keep working to support their families and help keep kids off of the streets thus getting into trouble.  Should we really eliminate that funding as well?

The same people who want these cuts to take effect are the same people who claim that America was founded on “Christian Principles”.  Really?  These cuts to the social fabric of our nation are examples of “Christian Principles”?  If it is I am glad I am not Christian.

The health insurance argument really sums it up best.  The real question isn’t about liberalism v. conservatism.  It isn’t about right v. left.  It is about one simple question.  Is health care a right or a privilege?  If you believe it is a right that everyone deserves health care, then you must support universal health care because that is the only way people will actually have affordable health care coverage.

If you believe that it is a privilege then you fully support the Republican plan.  You are saying openly and defiantly that health care only belongs to those who can pay for it out-of-pocket.  If you cannot afford it out-of-pocket, you don’t deserve it.

If you believe that health care is a privilege, then you are surely in favor of all of these social cuts to the budget as well.  If health care is a privilege then so is clean air and water.  So is workplace safety.  So is being warned about weather events that may hurt or kill us.  So is medical research.

Those are some areas where these cuts are most felt.  The disadvantaged are being targeted so trump can have a massive military buildup.  They are being targeted so the rich can get more massive tax cuts.  Trump is telling his supporters who will be hardest hit, “screw you, I won”.

Of course it still needs to get through Congress.  We know that Democrats will be against most of these cuts, if not all of them.  We can only hope they are able to kill this budget before it kills too many of us.

If you believe that the disadvantaged should be abandoned and left to die, then trump is your president and the Republicans are your party.  But, I would suggest you stop your “Christian Principles” argument because you are not only lying to us, you are lying to yourself.  “What you do unto the least of you, you also do unto me”.

So far, I believe that this administration and Republican Controlled Congress want to abandon the disadvantaged.  They are only interested in the wealthy.  To me, that lacks all decency.  This budget is a snap shot of that lack of decency and moral fiber.  It is a perfect example of greed and a “me first” attitude.

So much for Christian Principles.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

Read Full Post »

Day 119. 

With all of the hoopla going on about the Russian connections between trump’s administration a Russian officials, the Republicans in Congress have fired off several rounds in their war on the people of this country.  And, it is going to get much worse before it gets better.

There has been one battle cry from Republicans since the income tax was first introduced.  They say this is what has been going on.  Rich people are being “unfairly” taxed and the money is given to the rest of the lazy worthless people who live in the country for free.

You really have to understand where Republican priorities are.  According to their mantra, if you are rich, you are blessed and worked hard to get your money.  If you are not rich, you should be “thankful” that some rich guy has been nice enough to let you work at the factories that make him rich.  Even if the wages he pays you don’t let you support your family.

You are looking at everything the wrong way.  These rich people are our saviors.  If not for them, we would all be even poorer than we are.  They have all the power.  They have all the money,.  They have all the land.  We should be thankful that we are fortunate enough to live among such great people.

The way things are supposed to work in our country is that the rich, who are marvelous caring people, should pay little or no taxes.  Instead the rest of us should pay all of the taxes the country needs and just shut up.

The rest of us do not deserve the things that we already have.  We don’t deserve a secure retirement through Social Security even though we have paid taxes all of our lives to get it.  We don’t deserve health care when we are old through Medicare even though we paid taxes all through our lives to get it.  We don’t deserve health care at all.  If we can’t afford to pay ridiculous premiums so Insurance Company CEOs can get a bigger tax break, that is our problem.

We don’t deserve proper housing.  We don’t deserve food that has been inspected to make sure it isn’t bad and make us sick.  We don’t deserve clean water to drink or clean air to breathe.  We don’t deserve to have our children receive a good public education.  No, we don’t deserve any of that because we are just slime that is allowed to labor for the rich to get richer.

According to the Republican worldview, there are two kinds of people. The marvelous, wonderful rich people and everyone else.  Everyone else must be fully dependent on the rich letting us work for low wages and we should be very thankful for their generosity.

When it comes to the nation we live in, our rights are all dependent upon their view as well.  They say the government cannot get between a doctor and his patient, but it is okay for the government to get between the doctor and patient if that patient is a woman.  See, women are stupid ignorant forms of life that need a man to tell her what is right and wrong.  She needs that man to tell her how to live.  And she needs that man to tell her how to behave.

I know you think I am being facetious.  I am not, this is exactly the current Republican view of the world.  What Congress has been doing behind the curtain is very showing of this view they have.

Let’s examine what they have been up to.  The very first thing that they got their brainless hand to sign hurts first time home buyers.  Under President Obama, the rates for the Mortgage Insurance that is usually required for first time home buyers was to be reduced.  NO shouted Republicans.  They killed that decrease and instead raised it so people buying their first home will have to pay $500 more per year in home mortgage insurance costs.  Even if that is the drinking water for their workers.

The second thing they did was kill a clean water provision.  Mines have for hundreds of years polluted the water around the mines.  There was a rule that said that mines could no longer dump their byproducts into streams and rivers thus polluting the water.  The Republicans again shouted NO, and passed a law killing that rule.  So, now mine owners can pollute the water anytime they desire just to save a few bucks.

Then there was the rule that made it so brokers handling your retirement plan had to serve you and not his commissions.  They were required to let you know the disadvantages of buying a new stock, and get your permission.  Again a loud NO came screeching from the right.  So, now they passed another law that allows these brokers to simply change your portfolio without your consent even if that change will increase their commissions and hurts you.

Then we come to the proposed budget from the trump administration.  You can see there what the Republicans worldview really is.  This budget targets the vulnerable people in our country, as well as the middle-class with massive cuts while giving our best equipped, strongest, and best military in the world a $54 billion increase in their budget.  Plus, they need another $21 billion to build the Berlin Wall on the southern border.

How are these massive unnecessary increases gong to be paid for?  Well, you guessed it.  Out of your pocket.

The administration has decided that we don’t need a State Department anymore, or at least not one that works.  They are planning to slash at least 30 percent from the State Department’s budget including from USAID.  These programs that are being targeted are the very ones that help us maintain our leadership throughout the world, but since trump appears to be wanting to partner with Putin, we don’t need to hold on to that leadership role anymore.

The budget also calls for a 35 percent cut in the budget for the EPA.  Who the hell needs a department called the Environmental Protection Agency if you don’t care if the people get clear air and drinking water?  That is obviously an unnecessary agency.

We will also see a $6 billion cut to HUD.  These cuts will be made to cut back on major repairs to buildings.  Why should we fix buildings that people live in?  They are just poor schmucks and should be happy they have a roof over their heads.  Quality of life means nothing to them.  Hell, this works nicely for the wealthy.  Our own president made millions doing just this type of ignoring properties in private business.  The biggest cuts will hit the community planning and development grants, which have been used to clean up struggling neighborhoods.  That area will see a $4 billion cut.  Who needs to clean up struggling neighborhoods.  Rich people don’t go there.

Other cuts will include direct rental assistance payments — including Section 8 Housing and housing vouchers for homeless veterans — would be cut by at least $300 million, to $19.3 billion. Additionally, housing for the elderly — known as the Section 202 program — would be cut by $42 million, nearly 10 percent. Section 811 housing for people with disabilities would be cut by $29 million, nearly 20 percent. Money available for Native American housing block grants would fall by $150 million, more than 20 percent.

But, what is the problem here?  These are worthless people who don’t really contribute to the rich people’s pockets.  They merely take up space and breathe some of that clear air we won’t have very much longer anyway.

In addition, we are looking at deep cuts to the Coast Guard and TSA.  Two vital organizations that are part of our vital national security to keep us safe.  We are going to se massive cuts to FEMA.  We only need FEMA if there is a natural disaster or some major large-scale terrorist attack relief responses.  But, since there is no climate change, natural disasters won’t happen.  And, since the military will get a massive increase in their budget and we will have our marvelous Berlin Wall on the southern border, there won’t be any terrorist attacks either.

We are going to see huge cuts to the Department of Education, Health and Human services and much more.  The only things that won’t be cut are defense and ICE.  They will increase “hugely”.

Finally we have the Americans Without Health Care Act that is currently being rammed through Congress.  Under this plan, the likelihood of you losing your health care coverage is better than 50/50.  If you are one of those “takers” who get subsidies so you can afford to get health insurance, you will lose those subsides.  Instead you will get a smaller amount in “tax credits””, which you won’t be able to use either.

If you are someone who got coverage under expanded Medicaid, you can forget about having any coverage after 2020.  If you have pre-existing conditions, you can look forward to higher premiums and higher deductibles in those nice fancy “high risk pools” they want to set up.

If you are someone who is between age 55 and 65, you can expect a doubling of your premiums since the company will be able to charge you five times more than a younger person for the same coverage.  Plus, if you are making less than $75,000 per year your subsidies will decrease up to about $10,000 per year to purchase your health coverage.

If you live in a rural community and have less access to health insurance on the open market, you will get even fewer choices and the chances are your hospital will close down due to lack of funds.  With fewer people with health insurance, hospitals will have to go back to giving out free treatment thus losing money forcing them to shut the door for good, just like before the ACA was enacted and saved many of these hospitals.

And, if you are wondering, everyone loves this new plan.  Well except the American Medical Association, The American Hospital Association, and AARP.  But, so what, the Republicans didn’t ask their opinion to begin with so who cares what they think.  They are just the professionals and who knows more rich tax cut friendly Republicans or health care professionals?

Besides, what is most important in this bill is that the CEOs of the companies about to be allowed to rip you off will get a tax cut.  And, those nasty taxes that made the ACA possible without hurting the deficit will all go away too.  Meaning those who make over $250,000 will also get a tax cut.

We all know that tax cuts for those people are far more important than the average American scumbags having health care coverage.  How dare anyone think that their health is more important than the rich’s tax cuts?  You must be on some illegal drug to think that.

Paul Ryan said two things yesterday about the Americans Without Health Care Act.  First he said this was “sound, good conservative plan”.  Then he said “this plan is an act of mercy”.

And, according to the Republican worldview, he is absolutely correct.  This plan is a “good conservative” plan because it throws overboard everyone who isn’t rich.  And, it is “an act of mercy” because it ensures that more rich people get more tax cuts.  That is exactly what Republicans think their job is.

As you can see, you have been looking at the real world upside down.  The only people who matter are the rich.  You and me and the rest of America who slave away trying to make ends meet are just in the way of the rich.

We are all just supposed to fall in line and do what we are told by the rich.  If we dare to ask questions, or we dare to expect fair wages for our labor, or if we dare to consider ourselves equal to them, we need to be put back in our place.

So far, everything that the Republicans in Congress and what has been done by our beloved leader are intended to put us back in our place.  If you are willing to go along with this, I feel sorry for you.  If you are willing to allow this dehumanizing of our people to continue, then you need help.

All of this is just the tip if the iceberg that is heading towards our Titanic.  Soon you will hear about how Medicare should be voucherized and how Social Security should be prioritized.  The vouchers for Medicare won’t be nearly enough to purchase proper insurance for seniors, and the privatization of Social Security will only be set up to allow bigger commissions to crooked brokers.

Remember, these cuts are not just aimed at the poor. They are aimed at everyone who is not rich.  The massive tax cuts on the horizon are not intended to help your, they are aimed at the rich and corporations.

In the current Republican worldview, there are two classes of people.  The rich and everyone else.  Everyone else are on their own.  If they can’t make ends meet, it is their fault.  If they can’t get a good education it is their fault.  If they can’t afford health care coverage for themselves and their families, it is their fault.

We are all supposed to bow down to the oligarchs and thank their golden idol for their existence and great generosity for allowing us to work for slave wages.  That is what the Republican Party is giving us.  That is the world they want for themselves and us.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »