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Archive for the ‘Taxes’ Category

Day 166. 

Today Congress returns from their break.  They have until Friday night to pass legislation to keep the government funded.  As I wrote, it should be a simple thing to do.  Simply pass a clean bill that funds the government through the end of the year at current levels.

That is not a hard thing to do.  Then, they can finish a new budget plan for next year, and hold their hearings and come to some kind of bi-partisan budget to keep the government being a government.

But, beloved leader and his minions don’t seem to get this simple fact.  In typical Republican fashion they are bound to put what are called “poison pills” into the bill that cannot pass both houses of Congress.  We have seen this before from Republicans and I am sure we will see it again this time around.

Beloved leader has stepped into the trap as well.  He keeps saying that his Berlin Wall must be funded in this bill.  According to his own words and those of his minions, he is willing to shut down the government just to get some money for his wall.

This bill is supposed to be a “continuing resolution” that keeps the government running.  It is not intended to increase spending beyond what has already been agreed to.  But, Republicans always try to increase spending or cut spending for pet projects rather than look out for the overall good of the country.

Except, this time around, they are the party in full control of the government.  They are the ones who have been bitching about the deficit, and yet they are apparently willing to raise the deficit in order to build a wall that is not needed.

As a result, beloved leader is starting to walk back from his wall thing.  At least, he is willing to play semantics games to make it look like it isn’t for a “wall” but rather for “security”.  This administration just doesn’t understand the problems at the border.

They have been arguing that the wall is needed to “stop the flow of illegal drugs into the country”.  But, the drugs are not coming into the country through those “holes” in the border.  They are coming through at border crossings.

The vast majority of drugs coming into the country are coming in through normal border crossings on the bottom of cars and trucks.  These vehicles get “special” tags or passes so they can use special lanes to cross across the border more easily.  The drugs are not coming in being carried by undocumented immigrants.  So, this “beautiful” wall that beloved leader loves so much would do nothing to even slow down the flow of drugs.

The only way to slow down and stop the flow of drugs is for Americans to stop using the drugs.  If there is no demand for them, there won’t be any need to stop the flow.  If the administration is really interested in stopping the flow of drugs, they need to support programs that will educate and help people get off of drugs.  That way the money will dry up and the cartels will also dry up.

The trump administration has proven over and over that they have no clue about the real world.  They have proven their love for the oligarchs and corporation profits, but they don’t have clue about anything else.  We have had a drug problem for as long as I can remember.  There are ways to cut that problem, but a wall is not the way to do it.

Walls do not stop anything.  If walls and fences were so effective, how do you explain the people who managed to get onto the White House grounds?  It has gotten so bad that the Secret Service has permanently closed down the sidewalk on the south side of the White House.  The Communists built a wall in Berlin and still people were able to escape.  So, what is the value of a wall?  It is simply a symbol of fear that you are in the wrong and need to show how “strong” you are against your fear.

We are facing a bunch of problems.  The Republicans are trying again to pass their Americans Without Health Car Act.  Beloved leader wants to cut taxes for corporations and the wealthy.  The infrastructure “promise” seems to be on the back burner.  The only bill that could possibly help the average person.  I say potentially because how that bill is written will determine if it is a real infrastructure bill or another give away to companies.

Beloved leader said he would release his tax reform bill tomorrow.  We will see just how much the deficit will explode with his proposed bill.  But, more importantly, we wait and watch to see if we will have another Republican caused government shutdown.

Stephan Bannon and his right-wing wackos want trump to “stand firm” on funding for his wall.  Even if it means the government will shut down.  The funny thing, and not a ha, ha funny thing, is that most of the government doesn’t even have enough workers right now.

The West Wing, the State Department, the Department of Defense, and every single District Attorney office are like ghost towns.  This administration hasn’t filled important positions that are necessary for a smoothly running government.  They fired all of the District Attorneys but haven’t hired one new one.  They haven’t even nominated a single one.

The State Department is missing people who generally advise the president and the Secretary on key issues around the world.  No one has even been nominated to fill those positions.  Same thing applies at the DOD and just about every single government agency.

A lot of people are wondering what this administration is really up to.  Are they deliberately trying to shut down the government for real and permanently?  Are they trying to limit the number of people who disagree with their analysis of the world?  Or are they trying to establish such a small government that it will be easier to establish an authoritarian government?

We may get our answer by Friday night.  If trump and his administration allows the government shutdown over his stupid wall, that could be a signal that he wants total control.  Even Chuck Schumer said that a continuing resolution can be reached by Friday if trump stays out of it.  But, trump being trump, immediately stepped into it.

The first 100 days of the trump administration has shown us just how bad and how incompetent he really is.  He has no clue how to run a country.  Rather than setting up a working government with qualified people to fill key roles, he has tried to establish a new Romanov dynasty in America.

Rules mean nothing to him.  Laws mean nothing to him.  Governing means nothing to him.  This mess about a possible government shutdown over a stupid wall that won’t do a damn thing, is just another indication of his incompetence.

So far trump has accomplished absolutely nothing.  And, from what he is saying now, he isn’t about to accomplish anything for the foreseeable future either.  This clown is making Millard Fillmore look like an accomplished problem solver.

But trump has a lot in common with Fillmore.  Fillmore was backed by the Know Nothing Party and finished third in the election of 1852.  One can only hope that this version of the Know Nothing Party Candidate faces the same fate.

In the meantime, the shirts keep marching along.

 

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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 160. 

As coal mines began to close down, they began showing up in bankruptcy court.  The victims of those bankruptcies were the retired miners who were about to lose their health benefits.  And, since most retired miners suffer from very debilitating diseases like black lung, something had to be done.

Those health benefits began to head towards the Federal Government.  The government took over those health benefits for the retired miners.  After all, it wasn’t their fault they were losing them.  Last fall Congress voted to finance health benefits for a large swath of retired miners for several months.  However, they have been unable to pass any long-term plan.

This brings up a real problem for these retired miners.  If nothing is done by the end of the month, about 20,000 retired miners will lose their health benefits.  These miners are all in states that went for trump in the last election.

Yet, beloved leader has said nothing about how much he wants Congress to come up with a long-term solution.  He has given coal mine owners breaks in several ways including Executive Orders, but has done nothing for the workers or these retired miners.

The health benefits are critical to these miners.  What is at stake is not only the ability to maintain a middle-class retirement, but in a lot of cases, their lives.  For example, Norm Skinner worked for more than 20 years as a miner in eastern Ohio and had triple bypass surgery in 2010. Without the retiree health plan, he said, the surgery “would have broke me,” even with Medicare picking up much of the bill.

Another miner Mr. Van Sickle, who lost parts of two fingers on the job, said his doctor advised him to retire two years ago, at 59, because he suffers from black lung, a condition associated with long-term exposure to coal dust.

He manages the illness by attaching himself to a breathing machine that essentially props open the airway to his lungs while he sleeps. “My oxygen content would drop so low without it,” he said.

Last fall, Mr. Van Sickle priced out a private insurance plan that would provide roughly comparable benefits for him and his wife, who takes about a dozen separate medications to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. The estimates came in at $1,500 to $1,800 per month.

“I always wanted to be a person who would leave a little legacy for my children,” he said. “If I lose these benefits and my pension, there will not be enough for me, let alone for my children.”

The other odd part of this story is that Mr. Van Sickle and his wife might be eligible for thousands of dollars in subsidies if they were able to purchase their insurance from the ACA.  However, that plan would be less generous and trump and the Republicans want to kill the ACA which would leave him with nothing.

The other thing you need to realize is that miners, like many other union workers over the last 20 years, took lower pay raises in new contacts in order to ensure health benefits and retirement pensions were never hurt.

Beloved leader made all kinds of promises to the miners during his campaign.  He talked about how those mines were going to be digging more coal than ever under his administration.  He made promises that even miners knew in their hearts was untrue, but they were hopeful that at least some of the promises would come true.

They believed their wish was a modest one. The price tag for their benefits averages a little under $200 million per year over the next 10 years, which can be partly offset through interest that accrues in a federal fund for reclaiming abandoned mines. Because no new miners would become eligible for the health benefits awarded to this group, the cost would eventually dwindle to zero.

But, Mitch McConnell is reluctant to expedite a vote on a permanent fix of this problem.  And, Paul Ryan says he may be open but not for more than 20 months at which point the benefits would either end or have to be reapproved.  Gee, how generous of the bastard.

In the last few days, the House Republican leadership has suggested that it, too, might support a permanent fix, according to Phil Smith, the chief lobbyist for the miners union, but only if it can settle on a revenue source to offset the full cost. “It leaves the door wide open to ‘Well, we couldn’t find one,’” Mr. Smith said.

Here we go again.  If something benefits average people, especially their health, it must be paid for by cutting something else.  If it benefits banks and/or billionaires, it doesn’t have to be paid for by anything.  You can always count on Republicans to screw over the “little people” with stupid arguments about the “deficit”.

And, while all of this is going on, beloved leader, who used coal miners to win his election is saying nothing about their plight.  He isn’t calling McConnell and Ryan and demanding these retired miners be taken care of like they were promised.  No, he is off playing golf and spending tax payer’s money, like from these retired miners, on lavish vacations at his own resort, thus putting money into his own pocket.

As far as he is concerned, the retired miners can just shut up and die.  He doesn’t care about them.  They are a burden on coal mine owners and the Government because the mine owners are pawning off their responsibilities on the tax payers.  Talk about the “takers”.

Working is a mine is a very dirty and dangerous job.  These people literally risked their lives to get out that coal the powered our power plants for generations.  They don’t deserve to be thrown to the side of the road by Republicans or trump.

Ever since beloved leader took the oath of office, he has shit all over the average American with his policies, executive orders, and silence.  He has shown that we don’t matter.  You only matter if you are in the top 1 percent of the economic ladder.

His Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross founded the International Coal Group, which was formed after several coal companies went bankrupt. The United Mine Workers of America protested the bankruptcy reorganization as it led to changes in health care and pensions for the existing employees.  Arch Coal purchased International Coal Group for $3.4 billion in 2011.

But before that, in 2006 there was an explosion in the Sago Mine owned by Ross’ company that killed 12 workers.  In a report from the New York Post, Ross apparently knew all about the mine’s safety violations.  The article also reported that the mine had 12 roof collapses in 2005, and that the U.S. Department of Labor data showed 208 citations for safety violations in that same period, including 21 times for build-up of toxic gasses.

So, is there any wonder why trump is not saying anything about protecting these retired miners?  Ross didn’t give a shit about the miners when they worked for him.  He certainly doesn’t care about them now either.  So, why would trump?

This administration should be called the “billionaires club”.  Because it seems that if you aren’t a billionaire you cannot work in the administration.  And, when the “little people” need something, the common answer from the billionaires club is “screw you”.  Those are words Republicans have been telling us for years.  We are unused to hearing an administration use them so blatantly by their actions before.

Hell, I bet Exxon/Mobile gets their waiver to return to the oil contract they signed with Putin to drill oil there.  They applied for a waiver today.  If that goes through, there will be no question whose side trump is on.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

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Day 154. 

I am very sorry, but I refuse to give our beloved leader any credit for seemingly acting like a president for two minutes.  This low bar acceptance for this clown is getting real old real fast.  In the last two days, our beloved leader has changed his position on six different campaign promises, and for two minutes during a press conference with the head of NATO, he sounded presidential.  Whoopee!

How is it that in the 21st century, we are willing to allow the so-called leader of the free world such a low bar to say he is doing his job.  That is ridiculous and I refuse to go along.  While the pundits are falling all over themselves praising the clown for his meaningless attack on Syria, for his now saying NATO is no longer obsolete, and for claiming that China is not a “currency manipulator” and looking presidential, he is on the verge of killing his own people.

Our beloved leader is so upset that he was unable to get his Americans Without Health Insurance Act passed, he is willing to make sure that Americans will lose their health Insurance anyway.  He says, “I don’t want to hurt anyone” but he is going to go ahead and not only hurt people, but possible kill people just to make a political point.  And, our wonderful pundits aren’t even talking about it.

According to the ACA, there is something called cost-sharing subsidies.  These are payments that are made to insurance carriers in order to help poorer people afford health insurance.  The Republicans sued to stop the payments, and that suit is in appeals, and even trump’s administration is defending the subsidies in court.

Yet, trump is now saying that if Democrats don’t help him repeal the ACA, he will probably cut off those subsidies.  You read that right.  In order to blackmail Democrats into helping him kill the bill they are proud of, he is willing to take health insurance away from millions of people.  Additionally, it will result in raising premiums for everyone else an average of 19 percent.

It is also expected that insurance companies will simply walk away from the exchanges altogether.  Which will mean even more people will lose their insurance.  But, trump doesn’t care.  He doesn’t care that a lot of his supporters and voters will lose their insurance either.

This whole plan of his is what we called a “protection racket” on the South Side of Chicago.  In an interview with the Wall Street Journal that appeared on Wednesday, he said:

I don’t want people to get hurt.  What I think should happen — and will happen — is the Democrats will start calling me and negotiating.

Those are the exact types of words you would expect to hear from a mobster heavy when speaking to a business they are trying to extort.  But, I am not sure Democrats have the stomach to go along with this extortion.

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), said, “Our position remains unchanged: drop repeal, stop undermining our health care system, and we will certainly sit down and talk about ways to improve the Affordable Care Act.”

My advice to any trump supporter it you better take a good look at what your beloved leader is trying to do.  He isn’t happy taking away your health insurance in the long run, he wants to use your health care as extortion bait against the other party.

Yesterday I told you about a “bait and switch” game Republicans and trump are going to use to try to take away social security.  Their plan is to eliminate the Social Security tax from your payroll deductions.  They will claim they are saving you a lot of money.

But, on the flip side there will be no dedicated funding for Social Security.  Meaning it will fall to Congress to ensure the system gets enough money to survive.  Naturally, they will claim it will be too expensive and therefore they will need to cut or eliminate the plan.

The biggest argument against their plans so far is that we pay into the system, so it isn’t really an “entitlement” it is a paid for benefit that we earned.  If the tax is eliminated, they will claim it is an “entitlement” and therefore you would be getting something you don’t deserve.  Another angle to the “taker” mantra they love to bandy about.

As you can see, our beloved leader is anything but presidential.  He is acting more like a mobster than a leader.  He is willing to lie to his supporters and then hurt them without any guilt at all.  He is a man who has no morals, no integrity, and no conscience.

Rather than working with both moderate Republicans and Democrats to fix the ACA and make it better, he wants to kill it and remove at least 24 million people from their health care insurance.  Even after saying “We will have a wonderful plan that will cover everyone”.

Rather than keeping his promise to “never touch Social Security and Medicare” he is planning a bait and switch game to take Social Security away from those who need it.  And, he doesn’t care who it hurts.  Even though it has been shown that his supporters are going to be hurt the most.

Of course none of this will matter much if he manages to bungle us into another war with Russia.  His tactics so far to “work wonderfully with Putin” as he claimed he would do, he admitted yesterday that our relations with Russia are probably at their lowest point in history.

The man has absolutely no clue what he is doing.  He doesn’t care about anything except that he is president and he won the election.  It is nonsense to saying that looking presidential for two minutes is a positive sign that he is learning his job.  I say bullshit.  Just look at what he is planning to do to us.  He is a buffoon who should have never even come close to the White House.

But, he is in the White House, so it is up to us to resist his madness.  The best way to resist is to throw his Republican Politburo out of office next year.  As my religious friends would say, “if we don’t god help us.”

And, the shirts keep marching along.

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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 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 137. 

Well, a new week and new issues.  The trump administration is fresh off of getting its clock cleaned by his own party, so he plans to move on.  The first thing he did was name his son-in-law to head up a new thing to remake the government with a “business view”.  Bad idea from the get go.  Don’t forget, trump’s business savvy resulted in six bankruptcies.

Before conservatives start to howl, think about it.  Every state that elected a “business man” to be their governor, the state’s economy crashed.  Look at states like the Soviet Socialist State of Kansas.  It was supposed to be the Tea Party Utopia.  It has failed miserably,  The massive tax cuts only raised the debt so much that basic essential government operations have been cut to the bone and are basically ineffective.

The State of Kansas is struggling so bad that the Republican controlled legislature even passed a tax hike bill to save the state from bankruptcy.  Only Chairman Brownbeck vetoed the bill and the Republicans couldn’t overturn the veto.

It was said that there would be some “privatization” of some government services.  That is also a bad idea.  Everything that Republicans have “privatized” in government services has wound up costing us more money than it did when the government ran it.  There is a basic reason for that.  Companies need to make money, the government doesn’t.  We already know what will be the first thing to be “privatized”.  The Veterans Administration.

It is trump’s view that after serving our country, we veterans should be handed a voucher for our benefits.  Forget that those vouchers won’t cover the cost of our care, that is what they will try to do.  The administrations’ view towards veterans is simple.  “Risk you life to serve our country, and get your voucher.  Then just go away”.

Then trump and his crooks are going to “reform the tax code”.  Reforming the tax code may be necessary in the long run, but the attention to detail that trump showed the Americans Without Health Care Act, or rather the lack of attention, doesn’t speak well that we will really get tax reform instead of a huge tax cut for the rich.

As usual, we will need to look and watch what the wacko fringe groups in the House do.  Already, the so-called deficit hawks are backing away from their idea that we need pay for the tax cuts to avoid raising the deficit.

“I think there’s been a lot of flexibility in terms of some of my contacts and conservatives in terms of not making it totally offset,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the chairman of the Freedom Caucus, told ABC News on Sunday on “This Week,” arguing that tax cuts would provide financial relief for ordinary American families.

“Does it have to be fully offset?” Meadows asked. “My personal response is no.”

As usual, the Republicans do not have a plan ready to talk about.  Again, they have only had like 30 years to put one together, but they didn’t bother until now.

Some of things that Ryan and trump want are huge cuts in tax rates.  Ryan want to eliminate all personal deductions with the possible exception of mortgage deductions and charitable giving.  That might not go far enough for some in congress.  There are still those who are looking for a flat tax with no deductions at all.

As discussed several times in the past, a flat tax would hugely help the rich pay even less taxes and the middle class and poor working class would pay on average $2000 more in taxes.  Which is exactly why conservatives love it so much.

Then there is the big kicker.  Under what Ryan has been talking about, these tax cuts would explode the deficit.  Even taking into consideration economic growth, it is estimated that Ryan’s plan would add $2.5 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years.

One way Ryan figures he can offset some of these losses is by implementing a “border tax” on imports.  He has talked often about a 20 percent tax on all products coming into the country.  But, in typical Republican fashion, Ryan has never considered exactly what that would mean.

Ryan claims that with the border tax, we would see more growth in American industry.  But he also forgets to mention that prices would explode as well.   There are a host of business interests that are against the border tax.  But, Ryan, as usual, doesn’t care about that.

Nor does Ryan consider that his border tax could result in an import tax war.  If we are going to raise import taxes at our borders what makes you think other countries won’t do the same thing to us.  Meaning our exports would be severely cut due to higher prices for our products overseas.  How is that making American Products competitive in the export business?

You can also bet that this massive tax cut for the rich will result in Ryan and Republicans going after the social safety net.  You can bet that we will see them try to “privatize” Social Security.  You will see them try to make Medicare a voucher program.  These two actions would have a severe adverse impact on our senior citizens.

But, Ryan and the Republicans don’t care about that.  They only care about the tax cuts for the rich.  If poor people and the elderly must suffer for that end, so be it.  And don’t feign surprise at that thought.  Ryan and the Republicans have pushed this for about 40 years now.  And, since they have an incompetent president now, they are licking their chops to get it done.

Republicans also tell us that corporate taxes need to be massively cut.  They say that our corporate taxes are too high.  Only, about half of the corporations in America do not pay a single dollar in taxes now.  Are they going to make it so corporations will have to pay taxes who don’t now?  Are they going to ensure that all of the loopholes that favor corporations are eliminated?  Yeah, like that will happen.

If there is one thing you would think would bring the Republicans together, you would have thought it would have been the repeal of the ACA.  It didn’t happen.  There are a lot more, and bigger, differences between Republicans on tax reform.

Like repealing the ACA there is only one goal they share on taxes.  Cutting taxes for the richest and corporations.  How they cut those taxes and how much they hurt the rest of the people and how big they are willing to let the deficit grow to achieve these cuts is where these differences lie.

As I wrote yesterday, Democrats in Congress is not the opposition to Republicans getting anything done.  Their main opposition is their own party.  The other thing to consider is that we are at the end of March.  The Republicans do not have anything firm in writing as to what they see tax cuts would look like.  Yet, they plan to have it done by August.

It took them seventeen days to fumble the ACA repeal bill.  It took them less than three months to totally screw up their health bill.  Now, they plan to put together a “tax reform” bill in four months.  Really?  Does anyone in the Republican Party even think about what they are saying?

The tax code has not seen a major reform in 30 years.  What makes them think they can do a “reform” in four months?  Are they planning to write their bill in a closet like they did the ACA repeal bill?  Are they going to try to ram through a bill like this without holding any real hearings complete with witnesses from both sides of the argument?  That is about the only way they can do this in four months.

And, what about their dear leader?  Are they going to allow him to have any input in the bill?  It is already known that trump is “cool to the idea” of the border tax.  Of course he would be cool to that idea, it would affect his family’s businesses directly since they don’t make anything in America and don’t have any plans to do so.

The resistance cannot take a rest because the ACA repeal failed.  There are issues that are just as dangerous to the American people on the horizon.  The “businification” of our government will kill our people.  And, the tax cuts they are looking to impose will allow the rich to save hundreds of millions in taxes while the rest of us pay the price.

If you think this is all a bad idea, don’t forget that trump still wants some kind of infrastructure bill that will cost about $1 trillion dollars.  He still wants to build the Berlin Wall on the southern border that will cost about $21 billion.  Those numbers are not included in the deficit explosion that Ryan’s tax cuts will already cause.

Trump promised his base that he would not touch Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid.  The ACA repeal bill proved he was lying on Medicaid, so what makes you think he will keep his promise when it comes to Medicare and Social Security?

Nothing trump or the Republicans have done so far was done to benefit the average American.  Everything has been done to benefit the wealthy.  The Americans Without Health Care Act was nothing but a tax cut for the rich masquerading as a health care bill.

The proposed budget from our beloved leader shows us just what he thinks is important.  It isn’t the people.  He wants to cut Public Broadcasting, Education, Environmental Protection, Science Research, Health Research, the State Department, and other areas that you depend upon.

Republicans and trump have brought the knives out, and we the average people are the ones who are going to bleed to death.  The class war to eliminate the middle-class and make this a two class society is in full swing.

Watch what they are doing very carefully.  When the “facts” start coming out about theses bills on the horizon, be ready to resist just as much as you did against the Americans Without Health Care Act.  Our resistance and actions is all that stands between what is right and wrong for average Americans.  Republicans have proven time and again they are on the wrong side.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

 

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