The First 100 Days …

If a president serves his entire four-year term, he will have been president for 1,459 days.  The first 100 days are some sort of a marker, though they are less than 15% of his expected tenure, because there is always an analysis of what a president accomplished in his first 100 days.  Additionally, a part of a candidate’s campaign platform also includes “What I plan to accomplish in my first 100 days”, which is later used as a benchmark for the aforementioned analysis.

I would like to clear some things up regarding Joe Biden’s “First 100 Days To Do List”.  Donald Trump seems to think he has a copy of Joe’s list, but it’s obvious that he doesn’t.  Donald Trump has falsely declared that in his first 100 days, Biden plans to …

  • Implement a $4 trillion tax hike
  • Demolish the U.S. energy industry
  • Shut down the entire U.S. economy to combat the coronavirus pandemic
  • Remove windows from homes and offices (Say WHAT???)

Now, obviously Trump has made all of this and more up in that demented mind of his, but … remove windows???  Where does he get this shit?  Anyway, I thought it prudent to take a look at what Joe Biden actually plans to accomplish in the early days of his presidency.

  • Rejoin the World Health Organization (WHO) and restore our leadership on the world stage
  • Rejoin the Paris Climate Accords
  • Contact NATO allies, saying “we’re back and you can count on us again.”
  • Work with Congress to pass hate crime legislation
  • Send a bill to Congress repealing liability protections for gun manufacturers, and closing background-check loopholes
  • Send an immigration bill to Congress creating a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants and retaining rights for “dreamers,” who were brought to the United States illegally as children.
  • Move to eliminate tax cuts passed under Trump in 2017
  • Direct his secretary of housing and urban development to form a task force and provide a road map for ending homelessness
  • Restore federal worker’s right to unionize
  • Reinstate federal guidance, issued by Obama and revoked by Trump, that would restore transgender students’ access to sports, bathrooms and locker rooms in accordance with their gender identity.
  • Issue new sweeping ethics standards that would apply to members of his administration
  • Give the inspectors general full power to investigate any allegation of improper influence

And there is more, but I think you get the picture … none of his goals and plans are ‘evil’, none are power grabs, none favour only the wealthy, and all are things that will benefit the people … We the People.

Joe Biden’s plans for his first 100 days and beyond are necessarily ambitious, for Donald Trump has broken much that needs to be fixed … PRONTO!  And, whether Biden is able to accomplish his initial goals largely depends on whether Mitch McConnell and his band of republican thugs continue to hold a majority in the Senate, for if they do, Biden and the rest of the Democrats in Congress will have to fight tooth and nail for every inch of progress.

Now, let’s think for a minute about what Donald Trump actually did during his first 100 days in 2017.  I can sum it all up in three words:  He Broke Stuff.  In April 2017, Trump touted that …

“No administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days.”

I guess it all depends on how one defines an accomplishment.  If I kill my neighbor, did I accomplish something, or am I a murderer?  In his first 90 days, it is true that Trump signed bills and issued executive orders … but not a single one did anything to help the people of this nation, or to make us a better nation.  Many of his orders were overturned within that same 90-day period, such as his ban on travelers from predominantly Muslim countries.  His executive orders overturned and reversed environmental regulations that were put into effect to protect and preserve the air we breathe, the water we rely on, and the ecosystems that are essential to life on this planet.

He attempted to reverse the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare) that enabled millions of citizens to have affordable health care.  He did manage to place Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, after bribing Justice Anthony Kennedy to retire, thus ensuring that the Supreme Court would lean to the right in most decisions – not a good thing for We the People if we are women or people of colour or non-Christians.

But to my original point.  Donald Trump has no idea what Joe Biden has pledged to do, and he is making up ridiculous lies, rants, to attempt to slur Joe Biden.  I saw a post by a (former) friend on Facebook tonight accusing Joe Biden of being a pedophile, and most every comment pertained to Roe v Wade, accusing Biden of wanting to “rip poor unborn children …”.  I could not help myself … I rebutted a number of the comments before finally asking myself why I was wasting my time with these low-life misogynists.  My point here being that, while Trump’s accusations are obviously uneducated, inaccurate, and blatant lies … some of his less intelligent followers will believe every word.  Therefore, I think it is important that we tell the public … over and over and over again … what Joe Biden really stands for and what he truly hopes to accomplish in his first 100 days.  Joe Biden is a good man with integrity and good values … something that has been sorely lacking in the Oval Office for the past 1,327 days since Trump’s inauguration.  Joe Biden cares about people, he cares about our planet.  Donald Trump cares only about … Donald Trump.  Your choice, my friends.

Is this what a president for the common man does?

Trump supporters seem to be unaware of the many ways in which they are voting against their own best interests, or effectively shooting themselves in the foot, when they vote for Trump. Keith provides a few of these examples in his excellent post this afternoon. Thank you, Keith!

musingsofanoldfart

Many of the Trump base have no idea they are voting against their economic interests. This advertised populist, common man president, fails to let folks know the following:

– in his first two hours of being president, he repealed a regulation that would have reduced homeowners insurance premiums for securing mortgages with the less than 20% down, that was scheduled to go in effect February 1, 2017. This would have helped about one million low income homeowners.

– he has hobbled the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that was very successful, but banks and credit card companies did not like it. The CFPB penalized these companies for fraudulent and aggressive lending practices, with 95% of the fines going to cheated consumers. In short, the CFPB helps folks who are targeted.

– he eliminated a new requirement that said all investment advisors have to be fiduciaries, meaning they must put your interests…

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Another One Bites The Dust …

So, another one bites the dust.  On Friday evening it was announced that Trump fired … well, ‘re-assigned’ … White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.  Mulvaney will be a “special envoy to Northern Ireland”, another term for another useless person on the payroll doing nothing.  Given some of Mulvaney’s actions, such as when he was attempting to defend the indefensible Ukraine phone call that led to Trump’s impeachment and he told us to “get over it”, I don’t have much empathy for ol’ Mick.  But the person replacing him is none other than the extremely ignoble Mark Meadows, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from North Carolina.  I will tell you a bit about Mr. Meadows in a minute.

This is the fourth chief of staff that Trump has had in just three years … a turnover rate that says more about Trump than it does about the lackeys who held the position.  If there is one word that best defines this administration, it is ‘chaos’.  You cannot have stability in any organization with the turnover ratio Trump has.  It’s not only the chief of staff, but I can name a dozen positions that have been revolving doors since day one.

Now, let me tell you just a bit about Mr. Mark Meadows.

Meadows is one of the founders, along with Jim Jordan and other such characters, of the House Freedom Caucus.  The group was founded in 2015 as a part of the Tea Party movement, and have largely done nothing but cause disruption, obstruction and obfuscation.

  • While running for office in June 2012, Meadows said, “2012 is the time we are going to send Mr. Obama home to Kenya or wherever it is,” implying that President Obama was not born in the United States. He made a similar comment later that month.

  • In February 2013 Meadows voted against renewing the Violence Against Women Act. Meadows has said he casts his votes based not on his personal feelings but on what the majority of his constituents in “God’s Country” tell him to do.

  • In December 2016 Meadows gave Trump a wish list of regulations to be repealed. It included a demand to get rid of federal funding to study climate change. He also requested Trump repeal several environmental regulations, including the Renewable Fuel Standard, end the prohibition of drilling oil on federal lands, and pull the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

  • He is against LGBT rights, against any form of gun regulation, against net neutrality.

  • Last December he blatantly lied about Trump’s phone call to Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, even though the transcript of the call put paid to the lie.

  • Meadows presented a letter to Donald Trump in 2016 that demanded the repeal of certain laws that exist to ensure fair pay for public works employees, and also demanded the repeal of the federal overtime rule.

  • Meadows is staunchly against the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and was largely responsible for pushing then-Speaker of the House John Boehner to shut down the government in 2013 unless the ACA was defunded.

Last December, Meadows announced that he would not seek re-election this year.  Our friend Keith, who lives in Meadows’ district in North Carolina, explained that the previously gerrymandered district maps had been re-drawn and that Meadows’ chances of winning re-election would be slim-to-none.  He is apparently hoping to run for the U.S. Senate seat that will be vacated by Senator Richard Burr in 2022.  Meanwhile, I guess he plans to bide his time creating more chaos and havoc as Trump’s chief of staff until next January 20th when Trump will officially be escorted off the premises, and Meadows and all the others along with him.


And in other news …

Last night, amid the growing coronavirus pandemic, after visiting the CDC and making a complete fool out of himself, Trump entertained the torcher of the Amazon Rain Forest, Jair Bolsonaro at Mar-a-Lago.  Not a care in the world for those two destroyers of Planet Earth …

trump-bolsonarotrump-bolsonaro-2

Oh look … Ivanka and Jared are there, too.  I can’t help wondering how much this is costing We the Taxpayer???


One last thought …

If you live in the U.S. and didn’t switch your clocks ahead one hour last night … stop reading this and go do so now, else you won’t know the right time and you’ll be late all day today!  And speaking of Daylight Saving’s Time …

Discord & Dissension – Part IX – The Courts

Today, Jeff has outdone himself on Part IX of our project, Discord & Dissension — The Courts. Many people don’t give much thought to the courts as a rule, but Jeff shows us just why it is so very important to consider the impact a president can have on the Judiciary. Thanks Jeff … this one is a real eye-opener!

On The Fence Voters

Now that Super Tuesday is behind us, and we’re down to a two-person race between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, it’s time to start thinking about what it’s going to take to get out the vote. If yesterday is any indication, with massive turnout all around the country, it’s apparent that defeating Donald Trump is on everybody’s mind. But it can’t be the only reason.

Jill and I began our project several weeks ago, and it’s still evolving. But, we’ve indeed entered a new phase in the campaign to defeat Donald Trump in 2020. And today, with Part 9 in our series, I’m going to discuss a subject that rarely gets covered, especially in Democratic circles: The Courts.

And, in my view, it’s time for both of our Democratic candidates to start addressing how important it’s going to be to not only win the presidency but also take back the…

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How Mitch McConnell Killed The Senate

On occasion, I share with you the work of Robert Reich.  Mr. Reich has served under three U.S. presidents of both parties and is a wise man who sees things as they are and isn’t afraid to call a spade a spade.  In the following essay, he analyzes the ways in which McConnell is changing not only the Senate, but the whole of the U.S. system.  I think his words are worth sharing …

 

Robert Reich-4How Mitch McConnell Killed The Senate

by Robert Reich

Congress has recessed for two weeks without passing a desperately-needed disaster relief bill. Why not? Because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell didn’t want to anger Donald Trump by adding money for Puerto Rico that Democrats have sought but Trump doesn’t want.

America used to have a Senate. But under McConnell, what was once known as the world’s greatest deliberative body has become a partisan lap dog.

Recently McConnell used his Republican majority to cut the time for debating Trump’s court appointees from 30 hours to two – thereby enabling Republicans to ram through even more Trump judges.

In truth, McConnell doesn’t give a fig about the Senate, or about democracy. He cares only about partisan wins.

On the eve of the 2010 midterm elections he famously declared that his top priority was for Barack Obama “to be a one-term president.”

Between 2009 and 2013, McConnell’s Senate Republicans blocked 79 Obama nominees. In the entire history of the United States until that point, only 68 presidential nominees had been blocked.

This unprecedented use of the filibuster finally led Senate Democrats in 2013 to change the rules on some presidential nominees (but not the Supreme Court) to require simple majorities.

In response, McConnell fumed that “breaking the rules to change the rules is un-American.” If so, McConnell is about as un-American as they come. Once back in control of the Senate he buried Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court by refusing even to hold hearings.

Then, in 2017, McConnell and his Republicans changed the rules again, ending the use of the filibuster even for Supreme Court nominees and clearing the way for Senate confirmation of Trump’s Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

Step by step, McConnell has sacrificed the Senate as an institution to partisan political victories.

There is a vast difference between winning at politics by playing according to the norms of our democracy, and winning by subverting those norms.

To Abraham Lincoln, democracy was a covenant linking past and future. Political institutions, in his view, were “the legacy bequeathed to us.”

On the eve of the Senate’s final vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act in July 2017, the late John McCain returned to Washington from his home in Arizona, where he was being treated for brain cancer, to cast the deciding vote against repeal.

Knowing he would be criticized by other Republicans, McCain noted that over his career he had known senators who seriously disagreed with each other but nonetheless understood “they had an obligation to work collaboratively to ensure the Senate discharged its constitutional responsibilities effectively.”

In words that have even greater relevance today, McCain added that “it is our responsibility to preserve that, even when it requires us to do something less satisfying than ‘winning’.”

In politics, success should never be measured solely by partisan victories. It must also be judged by the institutional legacy passed onward. The purpose of political leadership is not merely to win. It is to serve.

In any social or political system it’s always possible to extract benefits by being among the first to break widely accepted norms. In a small town where people don’t lock their doors or windows, the first thief can effortlessly get into anyone’s house. But once broken, the system is never the same. Everyone has to buy locks. Trust deteriorates.

Those, like Mitch McConnell, who break institutional norms for selfish or partisan gains are bequeathing future generations a weakened democracy.

The difference between winning at politics by playing according to the norms and rules of our democracy, and winning by subverting them, could not be greater. Political victories that undermine the integrity of our system are net losses for society.

Great athletes play by the rules because the rules make the game. Unprincipled athletes cheat or change the rules in order to win. Their victories ultimately destroy the game.

In terms of shaping the federal courts, McConnell has played “the long game”, which, incidentally, is the title of his 2016 memoir. Decades from now, McConnell will still be shaping the nation through judges he rammed through the Senate.

But McConnell’s long game is destroying the Senate.

He is longest-serving leader of Senate Republicans in history but Mitch McConnell is no leader. He is the epitome of unprincipled power. History will not treat him kindly.

ACA Is NOT Unconstitutional!!!

I would really like to know just how much Donald Trump paid to U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor of Texas.  Or perhaps it wasn’t money, but the promise of a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.  Whatever the enticement, Judge Reed O’Connor has just thrown the citizens of the United States under the proverbial bus.  What, you ask, did he do?  Last night, Judge O’Connor ruled that ACA in its totality is unconstitutional.  Not just part of ACA … the entire bloomin’ Affordable Care Act!Judge O'ConnorJudge O’Connor isn’t new to controversial rulings.  Let’s take a look at just a few he’s made in the past decade …

  • Halted implementation of ACA Section 1557 that prohibited discrimination against transgender people by federally funded health programs. Why?  Because the judge felt it violated religious rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. – December 2016
  • Ruled against the Title IX law that required that schools receiving federal funding not discriminate against students on the basis of sex or gender identification – October 2016
  • Ruled that the Indian Child Welfare Act was unconstitutional. The act halted the forcible removal of as many as 25% – 30% of Native American children from their homes for no reason other than their heritage, and then being put up for adoption, placed in non-Indian homes with a deliberate absence of American Indian cultures – October 2018

So, we have here a judge in the southern state of Texas who is a proven bigot and racist, and he has decided that the entirety of ACA, the program that was intended to ensure that every man, woman and child in the U.S. would have at least basic healthcare insurance, goes against the Constitution.  And Trump’s own ‘surprised’ reaction?

“Wow, but not surprisingly, ObamaCare was just ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL by a highly respected judge in Texas. Great news for America!”

No, you fat, pimple-faced, fake-hair jerk!  It is the worst possible news for America!  Only wait … that’s right, you don’t give a damn about America, do you, for your allegiance lies elsewhere … in Russia … in Saudi Arabia.

And later …

“As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster! Now Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions.”

Yeah, sure, right … and I believe that the Easter Bunny lays chocolate eggs, too …

Judge O’Connor has been sitting on the case that prompted his ruling for several months now, but it was decided to wait until the end of the open enrollment period and, more importantly, after the mid-term elections, where health care was a major deciding factor for many voters.  Clever, aren’t these damn republicans?

The judge’s ruling will no doubt be appealed all the way up the line until finally it lands on the docket of the U.S. Supreme Court, so for the time being, nothing changes.  What happens when it reaches the Supreme Court?  Good question.  Remember how just this week, Kavanaugh sided with liberal and moderate judges in a refusal to hear a case that could have ended in defunding Planned Parenthood?  People were scratching their heads, wondering if perhaps Kavanaugh was a decent guy after all.  I said he was biding his time, picking his battles.  What do you want to bet this is one of those battles he was saving up for?

The basic difference in ideologies between democrats and republicans boils down to whether the government’s focus should be on people or industry.  Prior to ACA, health insurance was so expensive that a large portion of Americans took their chances without insurance.  ACA sought to remedy that, sought to ensure that no child would have to die because his parents could not afford to take him to the doctor.  But the republicans believed that their tax dollars should not be wasted on the lives of those of us they view as second-class citizens because we haven’t had the same opportunities for enrichment they have had.

And now a bigoted judge in Texas has decided all by himself that healthcare should only be accessible to those who earn over a certain amount of money.  ACA is not unconstitutional.  ACA is about helping people live their lives.  Nowhere in the Constitution does it state that people should not be allowed to live if they are poor.  Unlike Donald Trump, I have actually read the Constitution … many times.  We The People are sick and tired of having to fight battle after battle to be treated with a bit of respect in our own country, the country that our hard-earned tax dollars support.  We are paying a high price for the follies of the current administration and it is past time for people to realize it.

As for Judge Reed O’Connor … I’m betting that next time Trump has an opportunity to nominate a Supreme Court justice, O’Connor’s name will be on the short list.

Random Thoughts from a Bouncing Mind

There are so many truly horrifying news stories today, most of which have some connection to Donald Trump, that I didn’t know where to even begin this morning as I sat down to write my afternoon post.  So, instead I cleaned house, did laundry, and cooked.  My hope was that doing something more physical, stepping back from the news for a bit, would help me gain focus, help my mental state achieve balance.  Instead, I wore out my body and my mind is still on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.  Ah well, at least the house is clean, and we had a nice roast chicken with my world-famous stuffing, mashed potatoes and fresh green beans for dinner.  Let’s see if we can squeeze some coherent thoughts from this mess.


First, let us talk about healthcare for a minute.  An estimated 130 million people under the age of 65 have some sort of a “pre-existing condition”, whether it be as simple as high blood pressure or arthritis, or more complex, such as heart disease, diabetes or even cancer.  Even pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition! One of the most important features of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was that applicants could not be denied coverage or charged higher premiums based on a pre-existing condition.

It is the duty of the Department of Justice to uphold the rule of law, to defend federal laws.  Yet on Thursday, the Justice department announced that it will no longer defend the ruling under ACA that people with pre-existing conditions will not be discriminated against in health care.  It all began in Texas, where a lawsuit has been filed claiming that certain provisions of ACA were “unconstitutional” and should be struck down, including the pre-existing condition clause.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a letter to Congress on Thursday that Trump, who campaigned on repealing the law and nearly did so his first year in office, approved the legal strategy.

Nicholas Bagley, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School who had been a Justice Department lawyer, says DOJ’s move is troubling.

“The Justice Department has a long-standing, durable, bipartisan commitment to defend acts of Congress. It’s a cornerstone of what they do. For the Trump administration to crumple that up and throw it out the window is galling.”

So, want to know what your illustrious republican representatives on Capitol Hill have to say about it all?

“We need to let that go forward and see if it goes anywhere.  I don’t know if that legal logic will fly or not.” – Representative Tom MacArthur, New Jersey

Most legal scholars think the lawsuit stands very little chance, which is good news.  BUT … the Trump administration and the Department of Justice have sent a loud and clear message to We The People that they have no interest in protecting our health and well-being.  Look for this issue to arise again and again until finally, if he remains in office, somehow Trump will repeal the entirety of ACA, even if he has to do it piece by piece.


puppet-2The G7 summit began this morning.  Trump arrived late, missing a scheduled meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, and intends to leave early tomorrow, before discussions of climate change.  I will have more on the G7 in the next day or two, but for now, one point stands out.  Trump made it clear that he wants Russia re-instated, changing the G7 back to G8.  Russia was expelled in 2014 after annexing the Crimea.  Trump’s insistence on Russia being brought back into the fold tells me that my instincts have been right all along … Trump is indeed a tool, a puppet, of Vladimir Putin.


Paul Manafort.You may remember that in October 2017, Robert Mueller charged Paul Manafort with tax evasion, money-laundering and fraud, to name only a few.  Manafort was confined to house arrest pending trial.  Well, while on house arrest, Manafort and a Russian co-conspirator, Konstantin V. Kilimnik, made some phone calls.  Who did they call?  Potential witnesses.  Why?  To ask them to lie, to coach them for their future testimony.  It’s called “witness tampering”, and thus, Bob Mueller has now added additional charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Two observations:  First, I see no way out for Manafort.  His guilt is as palpable as a tomato thrown in one’s face, yet he continues to proclaim he is but an innocent lamb.  B.S.  Second, house arrest should be automatically terminated and he should be sitting in a nice cell by nightfall.  Mueller has asked a federal judge to tighten the conditions of the house arrest Manafort has been under — or revoke his pretrial release altogether.


Charles Krauthammer says he has 'only a few weeks left to live'On a sad note, long-time columnist, author and political commentator Charles Krauthammer wrote his final piece for The Washington Post today.  Mr. Krauthammer has been battling cancer and a series of related illnesses for the better part of a year.  Recent tests show that the cancer has returned, and his doctors have estimated he has only a matter of weeks left to live.  He will be missed, for he was always, whether I agreed with him or not, the voice of reason.


There is much more detritus left bobbing around inside my head, but the rest can wait for tomorrow, by which time there will be still more annoying news to add to the mix. Hasta mañana.

An Open Letter To Congress …

 

09 April 2018

Dear Member of Congress,

I am told that you have concerns about your upcoming performance review on November 6th, as well you should.  Your employers, I and many others, are very displeased with your job performance and frankly, I am already seeking your replacement in the event you do not turn things around very quickly.  It appears the problem lies with the fact that you have forgotten to whom you owe your allegiance.  It was I and my fellow citizens who hired you, and it is to us whom you have a responsibility … all of us, not just some.

First, allow me to make one thing perfectly clear:  Donald J. Trump is not your employer!  He may have given you to believe that he is, but he is not.  He is merely another employee of the organization that is run by We The People, and his job is also in jeopardy, so you would do well to put distance between you, lest you be caught up in the maelstrom that is in the making, even as I write this.  Your mandate is not to do his bidding, but to do the bidding of the citizens of this nation.

Second, you are not employed by industries such as the oil & gas industry, the auto industry, nor the manufacturers of firearms.  If you are taking money from these in exchange for pandering to them, then you are in breach of your employment contract with your constituents.  The aforementioned industries provide no benefit for the citizens of this nation other than that for which we pay dearly, so there is no justification for your close ties to them.

Third, while it is true that you have many employers, and that we may not always agree on what we expect of you, we all trust that you will make sound decisions that benefit the nation as a whole. You got this job because we believed you had the ability to do that. To date, you have failed miserably in this task.  You seem to believe that the few with the most wealth are the only employers to whom you are accountable, and nothing could be further from the truth.  When the time for your performance review comes in November, those with great wealth will have only one, single vote, that will count no more than mine will.  You would do well to remember that.

Frankly, I would terminate your employment tomorrow, were it in my power, but per the terms of your employment contract (the U.S. Constitution, Article I), I must wait until November.  Understand, however, that I and my fellow citizens will be watching you even more closely than ever for the next seven months and there are certain expectations that must be met, else you will be seeking employment elsewhere.

Here is a partial list of the things that you must work on before November:

  • We The People have made it clear that we want stricter control over firearms in the hands of civilians. We want a ban on assault weapons, waiting periods, and stronger background checks that are actually enforced in all venues.

  • We want you to re-instate the environmental protections that have been rolled back over the course of the past year, for we believe that our health and the health of our planet are more important in the long run than the profits of the fossil fuel industries.


  • We want you to work on making necessary repairs to the Affordable Healthcare Act so that all of us will be able to receive medical treatment when we or our family members are ill.


  • We want you to serve as a safeguard, just as the framers of the Constitution intended, against radical and damaging policies put forth by Donald Trump. You are supposed to challenge him, hold him accountable, but instead, when he says, “jump”, you are asking “how high?”  This cowardly behaviour must stop once and for all!


  • We want you to legislate campaign finance rules that will severely limit the amount of money you and your fellow legislators may receive from wealth donors.  It appears that your conscience shrinks in direct proportion to the amount of monies you receive, and this is not conducive to good governance.


  • We expect to see, prior to November, your plan for a balanced budget. You have unconscionably cut revenue, while at the same time increasing expenses.  Even the most uneducated among us can understand what a disaster this is going to be.  You will likely find that you need to repeal your ‘tax cuts’ to the wealthy in order to increase revenues. It was just announced that the national debt will top $1 trillion by 2020!  This is disaster in the making and does not give us much credibility in the eyes of the world.


  • We want you to work on a realistic and fair proposal for immigration reform, including protections for the young DACA immigrants. There are far too many Middle-Eastern refugees for us to simply ban people from certain countries.  Other Western nations are trying to help these people, and we must do our fair share.


  • We expect you to block nominations of persons who are not qualified for the positions for which they are nominated, and that includes both cabinet members and judges/justices. Political party should not be a consideration.  Education, experience and other qualifying factors should determine whether a person is confirmed or not.  We all know that Trump would nominate an ape if he thought said ape would do his bidding.  It is up to you to be the voice of reason and block such ignominious nominations.


  • We demand protections for Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team, who are investigating the possibly treasonous activities of Donald Trump and many of those in his inner circle. We cannot trust that the executive branch will step back and allow Mr. Mueller to finish his job and issue a final report, so it is up to you to draft legislation with all due haste to protect this investigation.

As I said, this is a partial list, but if you manage to clear even as much as 85% of this list by November, we may consider allowing you to stay on the job.  Otherwise, I’m afraid the writing is on the wall and you might do well to polish up your resume.  Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions or concerns, for it is our opinion and ours alone that you need to be concerned with.

Sincerely,

 

 

We The People of the United States of America

Meet The Man Who Stood Up To Donald Trump …

Today, I discovered Governor Jay Inslee of the State of Washington.  Here is the video that caused me to applaud this man …

And in case you missed his last line …

“We need a little less tweeting and little more listening, and I just suggest we take [Trump’s proposal] off the table and move forward.”

WHOO HOO!!!  clapping  Go Jay!!!

And so, once I quit jumping up and down, clapping and whistling through my fingers, I sat back down and determined to learn more about Governor Inslee.  The very next tidbit of information I found also impressed the heck out of me (in this era of Trump, it doesn’t take a lot to impress me … it’s a very low bar).

In 1994, nearing the end of his first term as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Mr. Inslee lost his bid for re-election to the same candidate he had beaten in 1992, Doc Hastings.  Why, you ask, did he lose his bid for re-election?  Because, even though he knew it was highly unpopular in the rural district he represented, he voted in support of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban.  He voted his conscience, had the courage to stand by his convictions, despite knowing it might well cost him his seat in the U.S. Congress.  This, my friends, is the kind of person I want sitting in the Capitol, and in the White House.

Apollo's FireInslee is a supporter of clean energy initiatives, and co-authored Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy, in which he argues that through improved Federal policies the United States can wean itself off of its dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuel, create millions of Green-collar worker jobs, and stop global warming. Inslee strongly believes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should remain authorized to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

Inslee voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the federal health care law.

inslee-2On 11 February 2014, Inslee announced that he was issuing a moratorium on executions in Washington:

“Equal justice under the law is the state’s primary responsibility. And in death penalty cases, I’m not convinced equal justice is being served. The use of the death penalty in this state is unequally applied, sometimes dependent on the budget of the county where the crime occurred.”

Inslee began his second term in January 2017, proposing full funding of state education and addressing mental health needs, while also raising worker pay.

Inslee was awarded a “Friend of the National Parks” award by the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) in 2001 for his support of legislation protecting the integrity and quality of the National Park System.

When, just one week after taking the oath of office, Donald Trump signed an executive order to ban entry from Muslim countries, Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced their intention to sue Trump, alleging his order was unconstitutional. The civil action, Washington v. Trump, was filed on January 30 and on February 3 successfully earned a temporary restraining order to forbid federal enforcement of certain provisions of the order.

In 1998, Inslee once again ran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and won against republican candidate Rick White.  He remained in the House until March 2012, when he left to concentrate on his bid for Governor of Washington, where he is currently serving his second term.

In a recent interview, speaking of the upcoming mid-term congressional and gubernatorial elections, he expressed confidence in the democratic party candidates …

“No Democrat running for governor anywhere has to say, ‘Did you notice that Donald Trump has caused nothing but division, hatred and chaos?’ You don’t have to say that because he’s showing it himself. Our people are going to lead with an economic message … and we’re not going to be distracted by his divisiveness. … It’s not ideological. It’s just a rejection of chaos.”

A ‘rejection of chaos’ … spot on!  Perhaps that should be every democrat’s slogan this year!

There has been some speculation that Inslee might consider a run for president in 2020, to which he replies …

“I’ve got two great jobs right now. I do believe this is a generational opportunity for the Democrats to advance progressive policies by winning governor’s races. I think it’s a 50-year opportunity, or a lifetime opportunity, given the combination of circumstances here. I know you’ve heard this before, but it’s honest: I’m focused on the job that I’ve got.”

Inslee-2020Aw shucks … that’s what they all say, about a year before they toss their proverbial hat into the ring.  This is one to watch, folks.  I like his ideas, love that he stood up to Trump  today, and followed his conscience in 1994. If I have any concern about Inslee, it is this … A total of 43 percent of Inslee’s donations came from Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland. The largest interests funding Inslee’s campaign were pharmaceutical and health related companies, lawyers and law firms, and high tech companies.  That, of course, is not in and of itself troubling, but definitely something I would wish to know more about.  At least, as far as I can determine, he has not taken donations from the NRA!

Inslee-Trudi

Trudi Inslee

Heck, I even like his wife, Trudi, who over the years has volunteered for organizations like NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, Planned Parenthood, and Mothers Against Violence in America. She also maintains a large garden outside of the Washington Governor’s Residence. In 2013, Trudi grew 500 pounds of food which was then sent to the Thurston County Food Bank, the Rainier Valley Food Bank, and the Salvation Army.

As I said, this is one to keep an eye on …

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

During his 2015-2016 campaign, Donald Trump vowed to dismantle our Affordable Care Act (ACA) that, while not without flaws, provided millions an opportunity to obtain health insurance that they would not otherwise have been able to afford.  After taking office, Trump, with the aid of many congressional republicans, attempted to relegate ACA to the bins of history with no viable replacement plan.  And most recently, Trump and the republicans in Congress snuck a repeal of the ACA individual mandate into their already-abominable tax bill in December.  The effect of this is expected to be a sharp increase in insurance premiums, and millions of people losing coverage.

All of which proves that Trump, a) understands nothing about healthcare, and b) cares not a whit, as long as he has his.  And yet, he had the unmitigated gall to criticize the UK and Theresa May for its National Health Service???

His tweet:

“The Democrats are pushing for Universal HealthCare while thousands of people are marching in the UK because their U system is going broke and not working. Dems want to greatly raise taxes for really bad and non-personal medical care. No thanks!” –  Feb 5, 2018

The National Health Service in the UK is not going broke and it works just fine.  I have a number of friends in the UK who benefit from this system and are able to visit a doctor, endure a hospital stay, receive home nurse visits, and purchase prescription medications … all at no cost!  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada. I, meanwhile, must spend most of my monthly earnings to purchase my insulin so that I may stay upright and breathing.

The marches in the UK that Trump refers to were actually in support of the National Health System and were calling for greater government funding.

Understandably, the Brits did not appreciate the uneducated words of our embarrassing leader:

“I may disagree with claims made on that march but not ONE of them wants to live in a system where 28m people have no cover. NHS may have challenges but I’m proud to be from the country that invented universal coverage – where all get care no matter the size of their bank balance.” – Jeremy Hunt, Britain’s health secretary

Responding to Trump’s tweet, a spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said that “the prime minister is proud of our NHS, that is free at the point of delivery.” The spokesman said that funding “is at a record high and was prioritized in the budget with an extra 2.8 billion pounds. In the recent Commonwealth Fund international survey, the NHS was rated the best in the world for a second time.”

The organizers of the weekend march, People’s Assembly and Health Campaigns Together, said they were campaigning against a U.S.-style health-care system that they said is “expensive, inefficient and unjust.”  BINGO!  Our friends across the pond see our system more clearly than Trump, the republicans in Congress, and most citizens of either party.

Will the U.S. ever have universal healthcare?  I have my doubts, and the further we move toward a plutocracy, a governemt run by the wealthy, the less likely it becomes.

Perhaps one day, Trump’s handlers will find a way to either educate him or else shut him up.  Once again, I am deeply ashamed of and embarrassed by the ‘man’ in the Oval Office.

foot in mouth