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Archive for the ‘Gender Issues’ Category

Day 163. 

We are quickly approaching the 100 day mark in beloved leader’s presidency.  All through the campaign and at the very beginning of his presidency, he has said over and over that he will accomplish so much in the first 100 days.  He even had something called his contract with America on what will be accomplished during his first 100 days.  I believe there were something like 10 legislative bills he said would be passed.

Well, so far, nothing has been passed.  He made a very feeble attempt at passing a replacement for the ACA, and it crashed and burned even before it could get to the floor of the House and have a vote.  He hasn’t released any information on his tax reforms which he claimed would be passed by now.

He ordered a 90 day review on cybersecurity and promised we would all be very pleased with the results.  No results have come forward, and no one seems to know who is even supposed to conduct this review.  So, one hasn’t even started yet.

Beloved leader claims to have “done more in my first 100 days than anyone in history”.  Which is a blatant lie.  Now he claims that the “first 100 days” thing is a bunch of bullshit.  Maybe because he hasn’t done anything yet.

About the only thing he has accomplished so far is to destroy the EPA and our environmental protections.  He has made it much easier for coal companies to pollute rivers and streams but not at producing more coal.  He has tried to implement his Muslim Ban but has failed at that as well since it was blocked in the courts more than once.

Yes, he did get his terrible nomination to the Supreme Court.  But, as usual, the Republicans had to change and break the rules to get it done.  They proved once again that “they don’t need no stinking rules”.  Something trump loves to hear.

Oh, he launched some missiles at Syria after saying that the dictator could stay as far as trump was concerned.  The damage was so minimal that the Syrian Air Force was carrying out air strikes against the rebels the very next day from that airfield.  Maybe that is because he warned the Russians and therefore the Syrians we were coming.

And, of course, we cannot forget that his administration is under FBI investigation for possibly colluding with the Russians hacking during our elections last year.  I guess that is something he is real proud of as well.

So, as we approach his first 100 day mark, we need to ask what will be his first major “victory” of his administration.  Here are my choices.

First, will he start a war with North Korea?  All of the signs are leaning in that direction.  Only, he doesn’t seem to understand that a war with North Korea would probably include nuclear weapons.  That could cause a global catastrophe.  I really doubt if he fully understands that threat.  I am more inclined to believe that he thinks that would be okay since the nuclear weapons would only be used on Asians anyway.

Second, will he manage to start a war with Iran.  Republicans and trump have been itching for a war with Iran for a very long time.  He want’s to “review” the nuclear deal with Iran even though his own State Department put in writing that Iran is complying with the accord.  Since when does this country pull out of an agreement that is being followed?  Does our word mean nothing anymore?

He claims that Iran isn’t complying with the “spirit” of the accord.  What he really means is they aren’t complying with his “spirit” of the accord.  So, he can just pull out and let Iran get the nuclear weapons this accord has prevented them from getting.  Does that mean that if we pull out of the accord, are we then going to invade Iran on the premise of them wanting nuclear weapons and we are just trying to stop them?  Doesn’t that sound a lot like the second Iraq War that W. got us into and trump blasted during the campaign?

Third, will he finally manage to toss 24 million people from their health care coverage.  He and Republicans are going to try again to pass the Americans Without Health Care Act.  Only this time, because the have allowed the so-called Freedom Caucus to name the conditions, more than 24 million people will lose their coverage.

The Freedom Caucus wants a provision that allows states to opt out of the coverage part for people with pre-existing conditions.  The provision says they must have a “High-Risk Pool” for these people.  But, it doesn’t say how it is to be funded.  Meaning, when a state opts out, insurance companies will have license to price pre-existing conditions out of the market.  So instead of just 24 million people losing their coverage, the number will most likely double.

But don’t worry, trump calls this a “wonderful bill” that will make coverage cheaper for everyone.  People with pre-existing conditions, and those who will lose Medicaid coverage are not considered as part of the “everyone” trump keeps talking about.  Or he believes that having no insurance is “cheaper” since you don’t have to pay premiums.  So what if you get sick.

Fourth, will the administration allow those retired miners to lose their coverage and pensions as we talked about the other day?  Is he going to step up to the plate and ensure they keep their retirement benefits or just throw them to the side of the road like everyone else who isn’t rich?  Can we consider that a “major victory” for trump because it will save a whopping 200 million dollars per year?

Fifth, will he cause a government shutdown at the end of next week.  As of midnight next Friday night, the government money will run out.  If there isn’t a continuing resolution, the government will shutdown again.  And, if it does shutdown it will be trump and the Republicans fault full stop.

The only thing that needs to be done is a continuing resolution that funds the government through the end of the fiscal year.  That is all.  But, Republicans and now trump love to throw in “poison pills” that hurt people just to say they are “standing on principle”.  They simply cannot allow a continuing resolution to pass cleanly and try to get their pet projects through normal channels.

This time, trump seems to be the trigger.  He wants his money to build his damn Berlin Wall.  He is even threatening to stop paying the subsidies in the ACA if he doesn’t get the money.  That would mean that millions of poor people, working poor people, and middle-class people would immediately lose their health care coverage because they wouldn’t be able to afford their premiums.

I mean really?  Beloved leader hates Latinos so much that he is willing to let you lose your health care coverage?  There are ways to fund projects, but holding hostage half of America is not the way it is supposed to be done.  You simply put together a plan and a bill, take it down to Congress, and fight like hell to get what you want.

The problem with this simple legislative way the government is supposed to work is that Republicans abandoned that principle 40 years ago.  Now, they simply want to hold America hostage and hold their breath until they get what they want.  They think it is much easier that way.  And, the only people who will be hurt by their tactics are the “little people”, not themselves.

Those are my five favorites of what would be trump’s “major victory” during his first 100 days in office.  He hasn’t proposed any meaningful legislation.  He hasn’t issued any Executive Orders that does anything except help pollute the planet and make the rich richer.

He has made sure that the “swamp” he promised to drain is overflowing its banks right now.  Corruption and unethical behavior are running rampant in his administration.  So, maybe he is right when he says that he has done more than anyone else in history.  I haven’t seen so much corruption and unethical behavior surface so fast in an administration in my lifetime.

I have said before that the first 100 days thing doesn’t mean much to me.  I am more interested in being shown that the person in the White House has some kind of plan and is ready with some real legislation to push the plan forward.  Beloved leader doesn’t seem to have a plan, and he has no legislation to put forward.

His backers say he is “learning on the job”.  I say it shows his incompetence.  He has shown me only that he is interested in making the rich, like himself, richer.  He is interested in destroying our planet by tearing down environmental protections that have taken decades to implement.  He is interested in allowing a foreign oil company take land away from private farmers in America to build a pipeline that will produce not one drop of gasoline for our country.  It is all going to be exported.

He has shown disdain for the Average American by trying to take away their Health Care Coverage and polluting their drinking water and poison the air they breath all in the name of profits for the insurance companies and the polluters.

I seriously doubt that trump will manage to accomplish even one of these five options.  He doesn’t have the competence to accomplish anything and he is proving that day-by-day.  Which could be a good thing for us.  Because any one of the five options above would be disastrous for the American People.  Especially to most of the very people who voted for him.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

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Day 161. 

Before I get started on this article, I need to be totally honest to my audience.  I absolutely hate Bill O’Reilly and I am glad he finally got what he deserved.  But, I did not hate O’Reilly because he called himself a conservative.  I hated him because quite frankly in my opinion he is a lying, obnoxious pig!

When Roger Ailes started Fox News, one of the first people he hired was Bill O’Reilly.  Yes, he was the number one cable news personality, but it was not because he was good.  It was because he was full of hate towards anyone not named Bill O’Reilly and his audience loved that about him.

Not once during his tenure at Fox did O’Reilly conduct an “interview” with anyone.  He set them up to be attacked, shouted at, and called names on air.  That is what his audience loved about him.  His open meanness.

When his “guest” was capable to fight back and was very willing to fight back, O’Reilly would end the interview and threaten the guest with security if they didn’t leave “my set”.  He would continuously lie to his audience, and when he was caught in his lie he basically said “so what”.

His “talking points” segment was designed to spew hate out on the airways.  He never had a kind word for minorities, women, gays, or anyone not named Bill O’Reilly.  There was only one point of view in his warped mind, and that was his point of view.

Unfortunately, his behavior did not end on air.  He took his misogynist views behind the cameras.  He has been accused at least seven times of sexual harassment.  He settled at least five times for a total of $13 million.  And, still he claims that all of the accusations were unfounded.

Bill O’Reilly is the perfect example of how “power corrupts absolutely”.  He really believes that he is bigger than life and that nothing he does is wrong.  If Bill O’Reilly says his behavior is proper, then we are all to believe that it is proper, even when we know it is not proper.

When Brian Williams got in trouble at NBC for telling lies about being under attack in Iraq, O’Reilly was the first to call for his ouster.  Yet, O’Reilly has a history of lying while reporting.  For example, he claimed to have covered the Falklands War but never left Buenos Aires.  He never left Buenos Aires because the Argentines would not allow any reporters near the war zone.

Yet there he was night after night explaining the battles he never witnessed like he was there actually witnessing them.  Then there is the time when he claimed that one of his “close friends” committed suicide in Florida.  I cannot remember the man’s name, but O’Reilly claimed at the time “I was about to knock on his front door when he committed suicide”.

The problem with that story, according to his coworkers at the CBS station in Dallas where he was working at the time, O’Reilly was actually in Dallas at the time of the suicide.  Then there is the indisputable proof that he wasn’t there.  He wasn’t mentioned in the police report of the suicide.  If he had been “just about to knock on the door” he would have been interviewed by the police.  No mention of his highness.

So, as you can imagine, I am shedding no tears over the ouster of the bigoted, hate-filled man who told lies so easily he actually believed them.  As I said, the man is a pig and should never have been on air.

But, if you think this is going to change the culture at Fox News, I am afraid you are sorely mistaken.  That is what everyone said when Ailes was forced out over similar behavior.  Just look at who Fox tapped to replace the pig.  Another pig Tucker Carlson.  It was Carlson who declared that all of the sexual harassment accusations at Fox were a result of a “liberal assault” on the network.

Tucker Carlson is just as hateful of women as Ailes and O’Reilly are.  And, he is willing to openly wear his hate for women on his sleeve.  If you have the stomach for it, just watch Fox News for one 24 hour period.  Every show they attack women, minorities, gays, immigrants, Muslims, and liberals.

The entire network makes its money off of unproven accusations about the Clintons or Obamas.  They don’t care about the truth, they only care about ratings.  That is why the ouster of O’Reilly was so surprising to many people.

As long as Rupert Murdoch owns Fox News Network, the culture of the network will not change.  Rupert Murdoch was fighting against letting O’Reilly go right up to the end.  His two sons wanted O’Reilly gone but Murdoch wanted to keep his ratings star.

Reports claim that Murdoch only changed his mind when his wife backed his sons and said O’Reilly had to go.  Now that he is free of Murdoch, I wouldn’t be surprised if O’Reilly attacks Murdoch’s wife and blames her for his ouster.  Because O’Reilly doesn’t believe he can do any wrong so some “woman” must be behind his ouster.

This sickening episode is just another example of how Fox News treats their women personalities and behind the scenes workers.  If you look closely at how this network operates, you would think that you are watching an episode of “Ad Men” instead of how a company should behave in the 21st century.

The reason this has not hit home with most conservatives is because they also believe that women are property.  They believe that women are to be subjected to men and they should either only say what their man wants them to or keep quiet.  Conservatives believe that women are only on this planet for the man’s sexual pleasure.  That has been on full display at Fox News ever since it first polluted the airways 20 years ago.

As a result, I do not expect any “cultural change” at Fox News.  I expect that there will be fake moves to show how the culture is changing, but behind their closed doors, nothing will change.  The women Fox News puts on the air are nothing but window dressing and “eye candy” for their viewers.  That explains why Kelly and Gretchen Carlson left and why the current women on air at Fox have remained so silent about this mess.

For all of those wackos who believe that the O’Reilly ouster was some kind of “liberal assault on conservatives to keep them quiet” I say grow up.  O’Reilly was let go not because of some liberal assault on him.  He wasn’t let go because of his obnoxious behavior towards women.  He was let go because he was starting to cost Murdoch money by losing over 80 advertisers.  This ouster was more about money than ethics.

You cannot fire someone over ethics if your whole business is unethical.  Which is exactly what Fox News is.  So, the only way to actually be fired at Fox News is to lose them money.  Money is really the only thing Murdoch listens to.  So, I don’t expect anything to change over there.

One more pig has been slaughtered at the Fox News Sty.  But, the rest remain.  They will continue to plug the sewer so it will continue to flow into the streets.  Here is hoping that O’Reilly has finally been shut up.  Fox News has enough hate-mongers still on the air.  As one of his biggest supporters Sarah Palin once said, “if you put lipstick on a pig, it is still a pig.”  And, O’Reilly is definitely a pig!

 

 

 

 

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Day 153. 

We are at the end of month three of our beloved leaders presidency.  I am not one of those who think the first 100 days tells us anything, normally, but at this stage, I think it is time to reflect on just what our beloved leader means when he says “great”.

In the first three months, our beloved leader has accomplished absolutely nothing.  He failed in his attempt to “repeal and replace” the ACA with the House’s rotten Americans Without Health Care Act.  He twice tried to enact a Muslim Ban using Executive Orders and was blocked by the courts both times.

We keep hearing about all of the wonderful things he has done, so let’s look at what he has actually accomplished.  He has managed to raise the mortgage insurance rates for first time home buyers by $500 per year.

He has allowed coal companies to use rivers and streams for the dumping grounds for their toxic waste.  He has given the greenlight to a foreign company to build a pipeline across the middle of our country using foreign steel.  And, he is also allowing that foreign company to use U.S. Eminent Domain to steal land from the people who own it to build their pipeline.

He has ignored the environment case and the treaties with the Standing Rock Sioux to allow that pipeline to cross under a lake that provides drinking water to the reservations, and dumps into the Missouri River that provides drinking water to about 17 million other residents in three states.

He has started mass deportations of people who are undocumented immigrants.  He stayed quiet when his Secretary of Homeland Security announced they “might separate children from their families” when they are caught at the border.  He has allowed people under the protection of DACA to be rounded up with other undocumented immigrants.

He has refused to allow Syrian children and their families to seek asylum in our country, but then turned around and made a worthless attack on Syria because he saw those videos of “beautiful babies” being killed by the Syrian Regime.  He loves those “beautiful babies” so much he is willing to attack a sovereign country, but he hates them so much he won’t let them get away from the war and gain entry to our country.

His head of the EPA has given the greenlight to Dow Chemical to continue to sell and farmers to use a pesticide that has been proven to affect the brain development of children and the unborn that Republicans love so much.  The original ban was for “food crops” but his administration thinks that is too much to ask to protect our children.

His proposed budget will cut the State Department by over 30 percent.  It will cut the EPA by over 30 percent and he has placed a gag order on anyone at EPA from even talking about climate change science.  It will cut NOAA by at least 25 percent.  That isn’t too important, except that is the agency that provides the National Weather Service with information that helps get out weather warnings to the people.

He is cutting satellite time for the National Weather Service.  He wants to eliminate all of the Coast Guard’s funding for new equipment.  The Coast Guard only saves lives, protects our ports, helps with drug interdiction, helps with people trafficking, helps enforce and clean up after oil spills in our oceans, rivers, and lakes, and a lot more.  So, they aren’t that important.

It is going to cut out the National Broadcasting Corporation so you won’t find Sesame Street. They say you can now watch it on HBO, but they fail to tell you that you have to “subscribe” to HBO and poor people can’t afford that just to get children’s educational programming.  But what the hell, education is overrated according to beloved leader.

He has allowed ISP companies to sell your personal data to anyone without your permission or giving you any compensation.  He is about to eliminate net neutrality so those same ISP companies can charge you more for using their “fast lane” on your computer.  If you fail to pay the higher rates, you will be placed in the slow lane and have to wait longer to download your information.

His administration is embroiled in a counter espionage investigation being conducted by the FBI because it appears that at least some of his advisors were cooperating with Russia in their hack of our elections.  It was revealed that Carter Page was the target of a FISA warrant because the FBI believed that he was acting as an unregistered foreign agent.  The warrant was issued back in June or July while he was working for the trump campaign.

Paul Manafort has made the headlines again because at least $1.2 million form the so-called black ledger of the former Putin ally who was president did go to his consulting firm after he denied anything like has happened.

Both Republicans and Democrats who have viewed those classified documents that had Nunes all a tizzy said there is nothing in them that say anyone in the Obama administration, including Susan Rice did anything unusual or wrong.

The Immigration Advisor, Sebastian Gorka, has ties to an ultra-right wing party in Hungary that the State Department still labels as a collaborator with the Nazis during World War II.  He claims not to be a racist or belong to the organization, but he proudly wore the medal of the Order of Vitez to the presidential inaugural ball!  He claims he has not sworn allegiance to the Order of Vitez, but the Order say he has.  Yet, he still has his job with a president who has a daughter who is Jewish.

Our beloved leader has not created a single job since he took office.  He has done nothing to improve the lot of the working class.  He reuses to raise the minimum wage.  He has repealed worker protection orders on equal pay and sexual abuse for women working for companies under government contract.

He declared this as Women’s Abuse month, then went on to praise Bill O’Reilly for “being such a nice guy” even after the new blow up about his sexual abuse of women on his show and at Fox News.  Someone ought to tell our beloved leader that Women’s Abuse month is not a period of time to praise those who abuse women.  But, what do you expect from a man who brags how he can sexually abuse women and get away with it because he is famous.

A few days ago a teacher and one 8-year-old child were shot and killed in the school by the teacher’s estranged husband.  Not a peep out of the administration about this incident.  Why?  Because it did not involve a Muslim.  And, because it was committed by a man who apparently “abused” his wife when married.

Yesterday our lovely and stupid Attorney General announced a crackdown on every single person trying to cross the border “illegally”.  It even includes prosecuting people for “harboring” illegal immigrants.  It further appears that if a man comes across the border with his wife and children, he will face “harboring” charges for bringing his family with him.

Finally, beloved leader’s propaganda minister tripped all over himself with a horrible comparison between the chemical attack in Syria and Hitler.  Saying “even Hitler didn’t use chemicals against his own people”.  Then he called the concentration camps “holocaust centers”, like they were a nice place to go to be relocated.

Now, to be fair to Spicer, he actually did apologize.  He didn’t use the standard trump line of “if I offended anybody” he actually said he made a stupid mistake.  But, that doesn’t take away from the stupidity to begin with.  If you are going to be the Press Secretary, don’t you think you should know at least basic history?

It is also understandable that there has been no comment from the White House either.  Stephen Bannon, Gorka, and a lot of other “key” employees of trump are known to be white supremacists.  So the culture of such comments is not all that unusual for this administration.

What we have discussed here is just the tip of the iceberg.  There has been a host of other outrageous things that the administration has either done or is going to try to do.  For example, the proposed tax reform plan includes eliminating the Social Security Tax from your pay checks.  Sounds nice, but without that tax, how will Social Security be funded?  It will be at the mercy of Paul Ryan the Republicans who want to kill Social Security completely.

So, we must ask beloved leader one question.  What exactly do you mean by “Make America Great Again?  So far, you haven’t done anything that could remotely be any indication of making America great.  All you have done is lie to the American people and take just about every weekend off to go play golf at Mar A Lago on our dime.  At the rate you are going, you will have played more rounds of golf in one year than President Obama did in eight years.

It is very clear that when beloved leader says he is going to Make America Great Again” he isn’t talking about making it great for you and me.  He is talking about making it great for himself and the 1 percenters.

I guess it is possible that things will change.  But with trump, I find that possibility very unlikely.  And, we are only at the end of three months.  Seems like thirty years.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

 

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Day 145. 

Monday has come and gone, and things are getting even worse for the average person in America.  One of the first things trump did was sign the bill that allows ISPs to make money off of you without your consent.  He signed the bill that allows them to sell your personal information, including browsing history, to anyone they want to as long as they pay the price.

Not only is this law an invasion of your privacy, one right going away under trump, but it also steals from you.  Yes, I said it steals from you.  Under this bill, if an ISP gets a high bid for your browsing history, they can sell it and not give you a dime in compensation.  I don’t know about you, but I consider that theft of my money!  If an ISP sells my information to some advertiser, they should have to compensate me with a commission on that sale price.

The odd thing is that over 75 percent of the American people were opposed to this bill.  Over 72 percent of trump voters were opposed to this bill.  Shows just what trump thinks about us and his voters.  So under this bill, we lose our right to privacy and we lose our right to make money off of our use of the internet.  We lose two rights in one bill.

Then he decided that women in the workplace, especially those who work for government contractors don’t need to be paid fairly or protected.  He rolled back the Obama Rule that made federal government contractors be transparent with their pay and not be allowed to use “secret arbitration” for sexual harassment or sexual discrimination cases.

The law required contractors to report pay to the government so they could ensure that women are paid the same rate as a male counterpart doing the exact same work.  It took away the arbitration part because under it, companies could hide any sexual discrimination or sexual harassment cases from the public.

The purpose of this law was to make sure that “companies acting badly” cannot make huge amounts of money off of the tax payer.  It told contractors that they had to follow the law in all aspects or they would not lose their contracts.  If a contractor had a history of violations, they would be refused the ability to even bid on a new contract before fixing all of their violations.

Sounds reasonable to me.  Why should the tax payers be forced to pay contractors who abuse their workers?  Well, trump has decided that is exactly what the tax payer should do.  They should be forced to use their tax dollars to pay contractors who cheat, steal, or hide sexual harassment or sexual discrimination.  In other words, trump says if you treat your employees like slaves, that should not keep you from making money off of the government.

So, when it comes to government contractors, trump is saying they don’t have to follow any laws to protect employees.  Especially female employees.  The barbarians are going to be allowed to remain barbarians and still get fat government checks.  How wonderful for the average American.

Then last night it came out that the “repeal and replace” of the ACA has been put on life-support.  It was announced that our vice president mike pence is negotiating with those wacky guys in the so-called freedom caucus.  He is trying to get their support so some version of the bill can pass.  And, in order to keep the moderate Republicans who supported the bill, they are using a nice semantics game that will cause a lot more harm that the original bill did.

The final version of the “bill” hasn’t been made up yet, but there are two parts that came out that show just how heartless these miserable bastards really are.  And, the chances are these changes will have very negative effects on you or a family member if it passes.

The first thing they want to do is claim they will allow those with pre-existing conditions to keep purchasing health insurance.  But, in a nice switcheroo, they are going to allow states to “opt out” of that requirement as long as they have “high risk pools”.

Here is how it would work.  It would allow states to not use community rating.  Under this rule in the ACA, insurance companies are not allowed to charge people more money than anyone else in their age bracket.  Meaning, if you have a pre-existing condition, you cannot be charged more than someone who is healthy and the same age.  That is the basic principle of insurance of any kind.  Spreading the risk and costs.  Under this bill, states could change that part of the law so people with pre-existing conditions would not “technically” be denied coverage, they would simply be charged a whole lot more in premium costs and deductibles.

For example, if a woman is diagnosed with cancer, she would be able to purchase coverage at high rates.  But, the insurance carrier could also say they won’t cover chemotherapy.  So, she would have health insurance, but not the ability to receive the treatment she needs to get healthy.  Unless of course she has lots of money.  In other words, she will probably die.

You must also go back before the ACA to fully understand this problem.  It is not just related to serious life-threatening diseases that everyone wants to talk about.  Prior to the ACA if you didn’t get insurance through your employer, you could not get insurance if you had a pre-existing condition like allergies or arthritis.  If states are allowed to use “high risk pools” to cover people with pre-existing conditions, millions of people will probably be priced out of the market.

The other part of the bill would allow states to change the state requirement for insurance carriers so they don’t have to cover the 10 essential coverages as required under the ACA.  States under the ACA can still opt out of this requirement if they can show that an alternative program would cover as many people with comprehensive coverage at a lower cost to the government.  Not one state has been able to meet that requirement.  So, not one state has been able to “opt out”.

The evil freedom caucus leader, Representative Meadows from the Soviet Socialist State of North Carolina, says:

The fundamental idea is that marginally sick people would pay the risk associated with their coverage.  Those that have premiums that would be driven up because of catastrophic illness or long-term illness, we’ve been dealing with that for a long time with high-risk pools.

Yeah, they have been dealing with that for a long time.  Under the old rules, insurance companies charged sky-high premiums, extremely high deductibles, and had lifetime limits on how much they would be forced to pay before they dropped you like a rock.  Additionally, insurance companies would not cover your pre-existing condition for six months to one year.  And, in some areas, there were waiting lists you went on before you could even buy insurance.

The original Americans Without Health Care Act was going to toss about 24 million people from their insurance.  This new version with these wonderful satanic changes will toss even more people off their insurance.  See, there are two ways to reduce the health care coverage rolls.  Simply cut things like Medicaid and by making those damned sick people pay through their nose to a point they cannot afford coverage.

I wrote once before that Republicans understood our real problem when it came to health care coverage.  The problem as they understood it is that “too damn many people have health insurance”.  So, they came up with the Americans Without Health Care Act to trim those rolls.  When it crashed and burned, they had to go to the crazies in their party to make the bill even worse for the average person.  All in the name of tax cuts for the wealthy.

If these changes are accepted and put in the bill and passes, Republicans will deal a double whammy on the health care coverage of Americans.  They will get rid of many who rely on Medicaid, and they will get rid of the sick bastards that are driving up their costs.  The two ways to reduce the health care rolls in one bill.  Nice!

Who will be the people most affected by this evil bill?”  Those wonderful people who voted for trump believing his lies about making sure that “everyone is covered under my great health plan”.  Most of his voters in rural areas will be the first to lose their insurance.

During the campaign trump said he would “make America great again”.  What his devoted followers didn’t realize was that he didn’t mean “great” for them.  He meant “great” for the rich and the corporations.

To put it in very crass terms, trump voters are nothing but “cannon fodder” in his war against our democracy.  There were three things that trump did yesterday that puts this on full display.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

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Day 144. 

The Neil Gorsuch war heats up today.  The Senate Judicial Committee is to hold its vote today to send Neil Gorsuch to the full Senate for confirmation.  If Gorsuch gets approved because McConnell decides to change the rules to keep Democrats from filibustering his nomination, our democracy will face a new dilemma.

The real question is are the Democrats barking up the wrong tree in their disgust for Gorsuch?  They have lots of good reasons to oppose Gorsuch.  For one, he is definitely a right-wing nut job, in my opinion, and was very evasive in his answers to some very pointed questions.  He wouldn’t even go so far as to say things like Roe v. Wade is the law of the land that was settled by a Supreme Court Decision.

His record shows that he favors the “fat cats” over the little guy.  He has made some horrible decisions when it comes to worker safety, disabled education they require and worker’s rights.  But, are those the reasons that Democrats should be using to fight him so hard?

They are being handed something and they aren’t hitting it out of the park.  Republicans are arguing that no Supreme Court Nominee has been denied because of “partisan” filibustering.  They are half right.  In 1968 a Supreme Court Nominee was denied his seat due to a filibuster.  Only in that case there was enough screaming from both parties that it was considered a bipartisan filibuster.

Then there was the case of Bork.  He wasn’t filibustered, but he did withdraw because he was so bad he had no choice because there would clearly have been a filibuster.  But, being half-true in your claim doesn’t make you truthful.

You also have to look at the other side of the coin.  In total honesty, never in our history was a Supreme Court Nominee totally ignored for partisan reasons.  At least not until last year when the Republicans totally ignored the nomination of Garland.

Their argument of not approving a nominee from a President in his last year of office was bogus then, and it is bogus now.  The idea that McConnell is trying to push that the Democrats would have done the same thing flies in the face of past history.  Kennedy was approved in the last year of a President’s term, and Democrats did not ignore the nomination like it never happened.

Which brings us to the “cheaters” claim.  Republicans are willing to break any of the so-called “sacred rules” of the Senate if it is to their advantage.  They will cry bloody murder if the Democrats do the same thing.

Remember the howls that Republicans made over the change in rules to get lower court appointees confirmed?  There were so many open court seats that something had to be done.  The reason was because Republicans were “filibustering” those lower seats nominations because they believe the nominees were too “liberal” for them.  Wouldn’t you call that partisan?

But even then, the Democrats knowing how important the Supreme Court is, they left the filibuster rule in place for that court.  Now, Republicans are claiming that if Democrats demand a “super majority” to approve a Supreme Court nominee, they will change the rules so they can ram through anyone they want.

Some pundits are arguing that fighting against Gorsuch and letting the Republicans change the rules now will hurt with the next Supreme Court nomination fight.  I don’t see it that way.  If Republicans are still in control when the next vacancy opens, they will simply change the rules then to get who they want.

Neil Gorsuch is a terrible choice to sit on the Supreme Court.  He would prefer to let a company fire a truck driver because he chose to break one rule to keep from freezing to death.  His argument: “The law is the law and I must rule on the law”.  Sorry, as a Supreme Court Justice it is your responsibility to protect the minorities and average people from unjust and unfair laws.  Not to rubber stamp them.  If he refused to do that on an Appeals Court, he won’t do it on the Supreme Court.

With Justices like him on the court, we would never have had school desegregation, inter-racial marriages, same-sex marriages, civil rights, or voting rights.  All of those unjust and unfair laws were overturned by the Supreme Court.  With Justices like Gorsuch, those laws would have remained because as Gorsuch says “the law is the law”.

The real problem with the Gorsuch nomination is that it should never have taken place.  There should never have been an opening right now.  If Republicans had done their job and defended the Constitution as they swore to do, Justice Garland would be on the Court and there wouldn’t even be an opening to cause this fight.

I will stand by my previous statement that as far as I am concerned Neil Gorsuch is nothing more than a ultra-right wing snake oil salesman masquerading in a business suit.  In my world, evading answering questions is just as bad as out lying.  To me, his polished evasions during his hearing was nothing more than outright lying.  As I watched the hearings, I wanted to scream out “Just answer the damn question ass hole!”

So, as with everything else Republicans have touched over the last eight years, rules mean nothing to them.  If they need to change the rules to screw over the American People, they will change the rules.  If that means a little more of our democracy is harmed, that is okay with them.  Power is the only measure of their world.

I dare Republican Senators to join the Democrats in fighting this horrible nominee.  Gorsuch may come across as a charming nice guy.  But, according to the stories in the Bible, so does Satan.  Gorsuch would be a disaster for our country and the rights of minorities and average workers for years to come.  He must not get on the Court, but with the cheaters in charge, there is little anyone can do to stop them from the outside.  Republican Senators who have an ounce of integrity and love for country will help stop putting him on the court.

But, I haven’t seen any integrity or love for country from today’s Republican Party.  Today’s Republican Party created the partisanship in our Congress and our Politics today.  This is not about ideology either.  It is about what is right and what the Court is supposed to be.  The protector of the rights granted under the Constitution.  Even still, Republicans are not about to give up the ghost in the name of what is right.  And we all lose.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

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Day 140. 

With all of the crap going on in Washington and trumps gang of thieves, I promised that I would keep track of other things that the Republicans are doing to you without you even knowing it.

The first thing they did today was to rollback an Obama Rule that said states could not keep money from groups that provided health care even if that group provided legal abortions.  Today, they rolled that back so states can now defund Planned Parenthood just because they offer abortions to those who can afford it.

I say those that can afford it, because none of the federal funding they receive are used for abortions.  That would be illegal.  Either the woman pays for the abortion, or they use donations they receive from private people and/or organizations to fund abortions.

Now, several states are expected to ban Planned Parenthood from Medicaid funds.  That means lots of poor women will lose their health care since Planned Parenthood is the only place they can go to.  Especially in rural areas of many states.  And most of these states are trump supporters.  So, trump’s promise not to touch Medicaid is just as false as any other promise he has made.  You know that trump will sign the bill because he sent Mike Pence down to Capital Hill to cast the tie-breaking vote.

This isn’t going to hurt anyone right away because once states pass their laws, you know there will be legal challenges that will drag out for probably years.  But, the very idea that trump wants to defund Planned Parenthood shows he doesn’t give a shit about his own supporters.  Many rural areas of the country, mostly trump strongholds, only have Planned Parenthood to do cancer screenings, issuing out birth control, and many other women’s health care.  So women in these areas are the ones that will be hurt the most.

But if you really want to see the real heartless bastards that run the Republican party you need to look at the states.  That is on full display in Iowa.  There have been several counties and some local towns/cities that decided the poverty pay rate of $7.25 wasn’t enough for people to live on.  So, they decided on their own to raise the minimum wages in their jurisdictions.  Those raises were slated to go up incrementally from $7.25 to as much as $10.10.

Some of these jurisdictions had the pay raises already in effect.  Others were to begin this year beginning in April.  But, the Republicans who now control both houses of their legislature and the Governor’s office, said no more.

They passed a law that not only tells local jurisdictions that they do not have the right to raise the minimum wages for their citizens, they actually rolled back all of the pay raises immediately.  Meaning if you live and work in one of these counties and had already seen raises, you would go back to $7.25.

As many as 85,000 Iowans will be denied the pay raises they were either expecting or already received.  Eighty-four percent of these people are 20 years of age or older.  Sixty percent work full-time.  More than half are women.  Thirty-one percent are trying to raise families.  And, thirty-three percent are 40 years old or older.

Seeing the momentum going against keeping the minimum wage at $7.25, business lobbyists following the Koch Brothers American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) decided to go over the heads of local jurisdictions.  They went to the Iowa State Legislature to get this heartless bill passed.

This is the first time in history that a state actually rolled back wages for those who already had received them.  But, they won’t be the last.  Missouri is looking to do the same thing.  Other states have passed laws that stopped cities and counties from raising the minimum wage.  They have passed laws that kept cities from passing laws that favor LGBT rights like here in the Soviet Socialist State of North Carolina.

You have probably read that the state repealed HB2, the bathroom law.  But, don’t believe it.  Under the compromise bill that did pass, the state kept the right to pass LGBT rights laws to itself and is still keeping local jurisdictions from weighing in on their own.  I am still calling for everyone to boycott the state from vacations, conventions, etc.  I am still calling on the NCAA to see this as a simple trick to get them to keep NCAA basketball tournament games in the state and stay out of North Carolina.  This bill is a trick, it does not totally repeal the sad bill our Politburo passed to begin with.

Don’t you find is funny that all of the states that are passing laws like these are all Republican controlled states?  Isn’t it funny that when their hero trump kept telling their citizens he will make things great for them, the first thing they do is roll back minimum raises and hurt the very people trump claims he will help rise up?

I am not surprised.  We are talking about trump and today’s Republican Party.  These people do not care about the working people.  They only care about the rich like the Koch Brothers.  They only care about getting more money from people like Koch to stay in power.

The Republican Party is still telling the working people of America one thing.  They are saying “fuck you we are in power, sorry you were so stupid to actually believe us!  That’s your fault you lazy bunch of slackers”!

The Republican Party all across our land is showing that they are a bunch of heartless, mean-spirited, evil people who hate you and hate our country.  If you keep swallowing their bullshit, then they are right.  It is all your fault.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

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Day 140. 

I know that a lot of people may take exception to that question.  I also know that the knee-jerk reaction is “what the hell is he talking about?”  I hope both assumptions are correct, because it is time we have a real discussing about this issue.

I have been around for some time, and I have seen politicians come and go.  I saw the Civil Rights fights that led to the Civil Rights Bill.  I saw the conflicts that led to the Voting Rights Act.  I was part of the anti-war protests over the Vietnam War in the sixties.

I watched George Wallace bring his bigotry to the national debate with his independent run for the Presidency.  I watched as the old Dixiecrats all began to fade away the leave government either by retiring or dying.  I served under five different presidents with varying views of civil rights.  But, everyone of them loved America and American democracy in their own ways.  Even Richard Nixon.

Things were getting better.  Life was getting better for everyone.  Americans were beginning to feel good about themselves again.  Then, something happened and I cannot put my finger on exactly what that was.   In my view it started with Ronald Reagan.  It was Reagan who started coining the term “welfare queen”.

When Reagan was President, we had Iran Contra where his administration broke a real law by selling guns to Iran in order to raise money to fund the Contras in Central America which was breaking another law.

Several of Reagan’s people wound up in jail over the incident, but Reagan escaped untouched.  Then after Bill Clinton was elected, things got real nasty.  Clinton was actually impeached because he had sex with an intern in a consensual relationship.  What was his “impeachable” offense?  He lied about it, like every Republican who also got caught in affairs.

George W. Bush took us to war.  I didn’t have a problem with the war in Afghanistan since that was where the terrorists who committed the atrocious act of 9/11 were.  However, that wasn’t good enough for W.  He wanted to take out Iraq too.  As a result, it turns out he lied about getting us into the war.  He said over and over that Iraq had weapons of “mass destruction” and that was the justification for his war.

After the war, we found out that he did lie to us because Iraq did not have any weapons of mass destruction.  It was “proven beyond a reasonable doubt” that the President lied to the American people to start a war and kill hundreds of thousands of people.

The Republican Party began using lies as the only way to speak to the American People.  In the past, they used to wrap it up in “patriotic” language.  They would say things like “I am only dong what the American People want”.  or, “That is what the American People elected us to do”.

And they proved all of this was a big lie too.  When the Sandy Hook massacre took place, 70 percent of the American people wanted reasonable gun control laws.  The one they most wanted was a universal background check law.  The Republicans voted it down with “I am only doing what the American people want” lie.

We have started seeing more and more legal discrimination laws being passed, especially at the state level.  Republican state after Republican state are passing anti-abortion laws, voter restriction laws, anti-LGBT laws, and anti-local rule laws.

They have been trying their best to masquerade these laws as “liberty defense” bills.  For example, they claim that the anti-abortion laws are not intended for anything but “protecting woman’s health”.  Bullshit, they are intended to make safe and legal abortions unlawful.

They tell us that we need Photo IDs in order to vote.  Then they look at the types of photo IDs people have and the ones that are mostly used by non-whites or by the elderly or by young people, become not “authorized” as proper photo ids.  Then just to make sure no one can get around this, they shut down the government services, like Driver’s Licenses offices is areas that are primarily minority.  Making them drive or hitch a ride up to 250 miles to get the ID required to vote.

They pass laws they call “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” claiming that “Christians are being persecuted”.  They claim these laws are necessary because Christians cannot act like Christians anymore and everyone is “picking on us”.

But when you look at the laws, you discover the only purpose of them is to allow people to legally discriminate against any minority they want under the guise of “religious belief”.  They mainly targeted the LGBT community and tried to make it possible that a bakery could discriminate against a same-sex couple and not sell them a cake for their wedding.

Under this hateful behavior, they claim that if a baker must sell a cake to such people they would be “endorsing” the same-sex marriage.  BULLSHIT!  That is like saying that if you sell a cake to a member of the Chinese Embassy, you are endorsing Communism.  Or if you sell a cake to a member of the Iranian Government visiting America, you are endorsing the Iranian political agenda.

The only reason for these RFRA laws is simply to allow “government sponsored discrimination” against minorities.  Maybe they were only targeting the LGBT community, but every minority faces the same hate under these hateful laws.

Republicans claim they are the party that “wants government out of our lives”.  They claim to be the “small government” party.  Only their actions show otherwise.  When it comes to ensuring their pet projects get to see the light of day, they are more than willing to let government tell you what to do.

During the ongoing fight over the ACA, Republicans say they want the government out of the way and not get in the way of you and your doctor.  But, they are more than willing to tell doctors what they can and cannot do if a woman wants to talk about abortion or birth control.

Several Republican states passed laws “requiring” ultrasounds before an abortion could be performed.  Not because they were necessary for the woman’s health, but because they showed the fetus and they hoped that would change people’s minds.

They pass laws, like in Utah the other day, that are very dangerous to women’s health and even their lives.  They passed a law that says doctors “must inform women that after the first of two medications to perform an abortion is given, she can change her mind after the first medication was given and the abortion would be reversed”.  That is absolute nonsense and very dangerous to the health of the woman.

They pass laws like HB2 here in North Carolina.  This bill has several effects on our citizens.  First it mandates who is female and who is male.  It then says that you can only use a bathroom that matches the sex on your birth certificate.  It also says that local governments, like the city of Charlotte, does not have the power to modify this law in any way.

It does not recognize the LGBT community as a protected group under the Civil Rights laws.  It is still legal for a company to fire you simply because you are an LGBT person.  No other reason, just because you are gay.  But, Republicans say they are protecting “civil rights” of all of our citizens.

There is a push to reverse this horrible law, but the “compromise” they are announcing today is not very good and keeps in place the rule that local governments cannot pass their own laws or protecting LGBT from being fired just because they are gay.  The only reason this repeal is even being considered is because the Republicans are afraid the NCAA will lock them out of hosting any part of the tournament through 2022.  Since this law was passed by our Politburo the state has lost about $3.1 billion.

Republicans claim that women’s health care is very important to them.  Yet, they have been on a mission to destroy women’s health issues in insurance.  They have been making it difficult for women to get coverage for birth control in their “standard” health care coverage.

They have been going after Planned Parenthood for decades.  They don’t like the idea that you can get an abortion at Planed Parenthood.  So, they are lying to the American people telling them that Planned Parenthood is using federal dollars to perform those abortions.  Only that is untrue and illegal.

They latched onto the phony “sting videos” that claim that Planned Parenthood was “selling body parts” of fetus tissue after an abortion to “make money”.  The videos were proven to be heavily edited and fake.  That didn’t stop Republicans.  They insisted that Planed Parenthood be investigated.  So, many states did just that.

Problem came up.  After dozens of investigations, it was discovered the Planned Parenthood was not “selling baby parts” and they were doing absolutely nothing illegal.  The thing was someone was doing something illegal.  The people who made the videos.

In Texas, the City of Houston brought charges against them.  Felony charges.  Then just this week, California charged the makers of the video with 23 felony charges!  So, Republicans demanded investigations, but now that the only crimes found were by the people who made the videos, they are mysteriously silent.

Still, in the Americans Without Health Care Act that crashed and burned last week, one of the biggest things and most loved part of the bill by Republicans was the defunding of Planned Parenthood.  Again, Republicans say, “that is what Americans sent us to do”.

Only 70 percent of the American People do not want the government to defund Planed Parenthood.  7 in 10 people know that the services that Planed Parenthood offer are only offered by them.  Poor women and poor working women get their health care from Planned Parenthood.  Including cancer screenings, STD prevention and treatment, birth control, and a whole host of other services.

Did you know for example that unwanted pregnancies and abortions, especially among teenaged women and poor women are at their lowest in decades?  Did you also know that these women get birth control form Planed Parenthood and if you remove those services, unwanted pregnancies will increase.  How can you care about women’s health when you want to allow more unwanted pregnancies rather than fewer.

When you look at the whole picture, you have to wonder why today’s Republicans hate America and American democracy so much?  What indoctrination did they go through in order to become so anti-American?

In 2016, it was shown that Russia interfered in our elections.  But, even with this very serious problem, Republicans don’t seem too interested in getting to the bottom of the problem.  They are definitely putting party ahead of country.  Why?

Well if you are a conservative, you claim they are following “conservative principles”.  But, Ayn Rand had no “conservative principles” she only had selfish principles and Ryan is a huge follower if her principles.

If you are a Conservative Christian you will claim they are “protecting” Christian values.  I don’t know any true “Christians” who believe we should abandon the weak and the poor and the sick.  So there are no Christian values in their laws.  Only hate.

If you are a “small government” Republican you will claim they are trying to get government off of our backs and let us live in freedom.  Only,the laws they are passing have nothing to do with individual freedom.  They onely increase discrimination on minorities and favor corporate profits.

These factions of the Republican party are kidding themselves.  Today’s Republican Party is interested in power, and not for the People of America.  They are interested in their power, and mostly in the power of the American Corporations.  They want an Oligarchy.

That is why it is so easy for them to lie and lie and lie.  It is the reason they won’t answer a direct question with a direct answer.  Our current Republican beloved leader claimed he would work for “the average American”.  But, so far, he has only worked for corporations and the Republicans love him for it.

Today’s Republican Party is interested in destroying our democracy.  They are interested in removing civil rights for the people.  They are interested in destroying the middle-class because they are a threat to the oligarchs.

Today’s Republican Party is more enthralled with the way Putin runs Russia than in keeping our country a free country under a great Constitution.  They see the Russian Oligarchs getting richer and richer at the detriment of every other Russian, and that is what today’s Republicans want in America.

Somewhere along the path of our nation, the Republican lost their way.  Somehow they emerged out of a forest, and we discovered they were a lot more greedy and power-hungry than before.  Hate, greed, and discrimination are the Party’s mantra and their religious creed.

Are these the reasons why today’s Republican party hates America and American Democracy so much?  Are they the reasons this Republican Party has passed more intrusive laws against average Americans than any other party in our history?  You don’t do that if you love you country.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

 

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