Time To Kick The Rubbish To The Curb

Will this year’s mid-term election finally break the grip the former guy has had on both the Republican Party and the media?  Somehow I doubt it, but time will tell, and for the record I certainly hope so.  Jamelle Bouie, writing for the New York Times has a few thoughts on the topic that I found interesting and share-worthy …


Republican Elites Might Be Done With Trump

By Jamelle Bouie

12 November 2022

After the results of Tuesday’s election, where Trump-inspired and Trump-backed candidates went down to defeat across the country, Republican elites are desperate to make Ron DeSantis happen. It makes sense. This right-wing, pugilistic governor of Florida won a smashing victory in his race for a second term, albeit against a lackluster opponent — the former governor and perennial candidate Charlie Crist — and a moribund, uninspired Florida Democratic Party. But a 20-point margin is still a 20-point margin, even if you run virtually unopposed.

DeSantis, for his part, has national ambitions. He wants to sell himself to voters as the nation’s foremost defender of freedom (terms and conditions apply). He wants to lead the Republican Party back to the White House. And many of the most influential conservatives are eager to hand him the reins. But first, they have to clear the field.

Which is why the morning after Election Day saw a full-scale assault on Donald Trump’s position as leader of the Republican Party. The Wall Street Journal, for example, ran an editorial blasting him as “the Republican Party’s biggest loser” and urging Republicans to move on from the former president.

“Trump is a bust for Republicans,” wrote Rich Lowry, editor in chief of National Review, for Politico magazine. “He picked the candidates who lost. He helped make himself an issue. He changed what should have been a pure referendum on Joe Biden into what was more of a choice between Biden and a Trumpified Republican Party that couldn’t make itself palatable enough to suburbanites and independents.”

Even Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, took a (veiled) shot. “Conservatives are elected when we deliver,” he said on Twitter. “Not when we just rail on social media.”

There is a good case to make that all of this will work. The chief problem for Republican elites in 2016 was that they could not coordinate around a single candidate for president. In the absence of a figure who could unite the entire party establishment, Trump steamrollered through the competition, even if he never claimed a majority of Republican primary voters.

A unified party establishment is a powerful thing, and there’s real reason to think that Republican elites could muscle Trump out of his position if they committed to the aggressive, scorched-earth tactics it would take.

But there’s an issue. The idea that Republican elites could simply swap Trump for another candidate without incurring any serious damage rests on two assumptions: First, that Trump’s supporters are more committed to the Republican Party than they are to him, and second, that Trump himself will give up the fight if he isn’t able to win the party’s nomination.

I think these assumptions show a fundamental misunderstanding of the world Republican elites brought into being when they finally bent the knee to Trump in the summer and fall of 2016. Trump isn’t simply a popular (with Republicans) politician with an unusually enthusiastic group of supporters. No, he leads a cult of personality, in which he is an almost messianic figure, practically sent by God himself to purge the United States of liberals (and other assorted enemies) and restore the nation to greatness. He is practically worshiped by a large and politically influential group of Americans, who describe him as “anointed.”

It is one thing for Republican elites to try to break a political fandom. It is another thing entirely to try to break the influence of a man whose strongest, most devoted supporters were willing to sack the Capitol or sacrifice their lives in an attack on an F.B.I. office. Some Trump supporters will leave the fold for an alternative like DeSantis, but there will be a hard-core group who came to the Republican Party for Trump, and won’t settle for another candidate.

This gets to the second assumption: the idea that Trump would go quietly if he lost the nomination to DeSantis or another rival. Donald Trump might have been a Republican president, but he isn’t really a Republican. What I mean is that he shows no particular commitment to the fortunes of the party as an institution. His relationship to the Republican Party is purely instrumental. He also cannot admit defeat, as you may have noticed.

There is a real chance that Trump, if he loses the nomination, decides to run for president anyway. And if he pulls any fraction of his supporters away from the Republican Party, he would play the spoiler, no matter who the party tried to elevate against him. Republican elites might be done with Trump, but Trump is not done with the Republican Party.

Two Bastards Sitting in Governor’s Mansions

Governors Abbot (Texas) and DeSantis (Florida) are playing a game of Russian roulette with the lives of people – families with children.  And why?  Because there are 52 days left until the mid-term elections and they are both up for re-election.  Because both are Republican incumbents who don’t have a whole heck of a lot going for them right now and who are up against strong Democratic opponents.  So, they respond by playing a deadly game with the lives of people who trusted in the goodness of this nation enough to come here in hopes of a better life for their children.  Dan Rather and I are in complete agreement on this …


A Shameful Stunt

Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner

16 September 2022

A bus carrying migrants who crossed the border from Mexico into Texas arrives in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

It is easy to demonize the “other” — the one who looks different, speaks differently, or comes from somewhere else. Especially during periods of deep social, political, and economic anxiety, pounding one’s chest about “us” and “them” and using fear as a rallying cry can whip populations into a fervor.

It is clear that Republicans, facing tremendous blowback in the face of the Supreme Court’s abortion ruling, falling gas prices, the specter of Donald Trump, and the backlash he provokes for many voters, have settled on immigration as a motivator to turn out their base in the upcoming midterm elections.

The stunts by Republican politicians — specifically Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis — of busing and flying migrants and asylum seekers to places like Washington, D.C. (including outside of the vice president’s residence), New York City, and now Martha’s Vineyard have all the toxic energy of a fraternity prank. This is deadly serious.

And it may be effective politically. It has been the case many times before, both in this country and abroad. History is replete with political power built on vilifying foreigners and immigration. As much as they might not like to admit it, Democrats may worry about their vulnerability on this issue, especially in close elections. Fear can be a motivator to get people to the polls.

The public rationale for what Republicans are doing can’t be only to “own the libs,” although that desire is clearly behind the glee with which the governors and their supporters justify their actions. They say they are pointing out rampant hypocrisy, that blue states should have to carry the burden of immigration. The truth is, of course, that blue states, and cities in particular, are full of immigrants, documented and undocumented. And many of these immigrants are thriving members of local communities. Furthermore, blue state tax revenue is a major source of federal government funds, which are then distributed across the nation, including to red states and in support of immigration infrastructure.

You could imagine a reason it would make sense for migrants and asylum seekers to travel from the border to other parts of the country. But a good faith effort would include planning and resources. It would include giving people full and accurate information about where they would be going and some choice in their fate. These current stunts are nothing of this sort. They are driven by cruelty and lies. They are certainly not for the benefit of the immigrant or even the immigration system. They are about scoring political points on the backs of others. Can you imagine being put on a bus or a plane with your children — or even being a child yourself — and arriving at some street corner, maybe late at night, with no idea where you were or what would come next?

Immigration is a complicated issue. It always has been. It stirs emotions deep and powerful.

The movement of people across oceans, over lines on maps, and within nations is a fraught endeavor. It is often driven by desperation, coercion, bondage, and hope. Those in transit tend to be vulnerable for exploitation.

One of the hallmarks of the human species is that we are incredibly mobile. From our origins (probably in Africa, say scientists) we spread out to almost every imaginable corner of the Earth — from the arctic tundra to equatorial rainforests, from the tops of mountains to remote islands. We invented all manner of conveyances to carry us over open seas, across continents, and even through the air. Horizons beckon us to go beyond them.

Humans, however, are also territorial. We have claimed time and time again, around the world, and throughout history, that this land is “ours.” We have divided the globe into discrete states. We have created borders, sometimes hundreds or thousands of miles long, that delineate divisions over who has the right to live on either side. Sometimes these boundaries follow geographic reasoning — rivers or mountains. Sometimes they are literally just random lines on the map.

For all this human movement, however, we are also a species with a strong sense of home. We group ourselves in regions where we share language, culture, family, and friends. Some of us may be inveterate wanderers, but many would rather stay close to where we are most familiar and comfortable.

But that changes when violence threatens us, when living conditions prove inhospitable, when our prospects for earning a livelihood and providing for our family are hopeless, when our freedoms are trampled. Then a primal survival mode kicks in. We would do anything to protect ourselves and our families. We would put our own health and security at risk in search of a better life. It was this very instinct that over the course of many centuries brought waves of immigrants to the United States.

America, it is often said, is a land of immigrants. Most of us here had ancestors who attempted a similar journey to that of those now being used as pawns in political showmanship. Back in our family tree, someone made the decision that they needed to leave somewhere else and come here. For some of us, that decision was decades or centuries in the past. For some it was recent. Many in this country now are immigrants themselves.

There are also those among us whose ancestors didn’t choose to leave. They were ripped from their homes by force — chained, beaten, and raped — and taken to a new land where they were separated from their families and forced to live in bondage. Others still are the descendants of the original inhabitants of the Americas, whose lands were taken by new immigrants. Many of these Native peoples perished from the diseases brought by white settlers. Those who didn’t were forced from their homes and pushed into far less hospitable lands.

Of course, you won’t hear any of this context from those sneering now with xenophobic fear-mongering. There is no nuance in the MAGA slogan. Heck, they want to ban the teaching of this very history in schools. The truth isn’t comfortable, and it challenges their divisive narratives.

For as long as America remains a beacon for those seeking a better life, we will have to find ways of creating a fair, equitable, safe, and humane system for immigration. What can be done? Recognize the incredible advantages immigrants have brought to this nation. Be driven by empathy. And keep our nation protected. We should not expect these balances to be easy. And that is all the more reason to debate the issue with seriousness instead of scapegoating, with a commitment to our noblest values rather than an appeal to our basest instincts.

We would do well to remember those stirring lines from the Emma Lazarus poem “The New Colossus” that adorn the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor:

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

We are talking about people here. Our fellow human beings. And there but for the grace of God go I.

STOP 🛑 The Violence!!!

A child comes home from school, says he’s going to beat up the kid who called him a name.  The mother sits down with the child, offers him a piece of cheese and a juice box and explains to him that there are other, better ways to resolve his differences with the other child.  She talks about finding the reason why the other kid called him a name, talks about him sitting down with the other kid and maybe a mediator, to talk about their differences.  And she explains to him that violence is never the answer, that violence will only lead to more violence and that eventually someone will get hurt, perhaps badly.

Okay, sure … that’s the fairy tale scenario, but believe it or not, similar scenarios are happening as we speak around the nation today and every day.  But … among the so-called adults in the room?  HAH!!!

Violence.  It has become a part of life in our society, has become the accepted way of resolving disputes and differences, especially when it comes to politics.  A few examples:

  • The Republican candidate for governor in Wisconsin, Tim Michels, angry about a story published by a local newspaper calling out his contributions to anti-abortion groups, is calling for people to take up “pitchforks and torches”. “I believe people should just, just be ready to get out on the streets with pitchforks and torches with how low the liberal media has become.”
  • Says Florida governor Ron DeSantis about Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading virologist in this nation … “And I’m just sick of seeing him. I know he said he’s going to retire. Someone needs to grab that little elf and chuck him across the Potomac.”
  • In Idaho last November, Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland threatened a carful of teens with a gun. The then-sheriff pointed a gun at a vehicle containing seven girls and their church group leader and said, “I will f—ing shoot you.” Their crime?  They placed a “thankful turkey” on his front door as a part of a neighborhood goodwill effort.  Rowland has since been relieved of his duties and pleaded guilty to aggravated assault.

These are just a few examples of people in public office, elected officials, blatantly inciting violence.  Consider Lindsey Graham who … threatened? … promised? … that if Trump were indicted on the many potential charges facing him, “there’ll be riots in the streets.”

DAMMIT, people!!!  WE THE PEOPLE work our asses off every day to pay these people’s salaries, to pay for them to fly across the ocean on a whim, to pay for them to wine and dine diplomats and others … and this is how they repay us?  By inciting violence, by calling for people to come after us with pitchforks and guns and whatever the hell else they have in their arsenals?

I don’t know about you guys, but I find it completely unacceptable and a heinous crime against the people of this nation for an elected public official, whether a sheriff, governor, or a member of Congress, to call for violence!  This nation is currently in a state of turmoil, thanks largely to right-wing radicals, and the politicians who call for violence are throwing fuel on the fire.

Worse yet … we are seeing the results across the nation.  It takes little or nothing to spur such groups as the Proud Boys, Oathkeepers, Three Percenters and others into action, but today even the average Joe is angry, and it doesn’t take much for him to pick up that AR-15 or his trusty Glock and head out the door with a lust for violence.

We are a nation of angry people on both sides of the political spectrum.  There are more guns in this nation than there are people.  That’s a bad enough recipe for disaster, but add in the people we elected to public office telling us to get out there and take our revenge and … is it any wonder that gun violence has increased?  Where are we headed?  Back to firebombing homes and schools as was the case in 1960s Mississippi?  More children dead in school shootings?  A world where it’s not safe to walk down the street or shop in a grocery store?

I don’t care where your ideology falls on the political spectrum, I think most sensible people agree that violence is NOT going to solve our problems but will only exacerbate them.  When our elected leaders are the ones calling for and supporting calls for violence, then this country has bigger problems than we thought.  Are our leaders really so stupid that the only way they can think of to respond to ideas with which they disagree is to call for violence?  I believe that any public official who calls for or in any way promotes violence should be immediately removed from his office.  Period.  We need peacemakers, not warmongers.

The Week’s Best Cartoons 4/23

I thought this would be a good time to take a look at TokyoSand’s weekly political cartoon post and see what cool ‘toons she’s found for us.  Naturally, the central topic of discussion is Ron DeSantis and his ban on fact-based education, his retributive action against Disney that will harm the people of Florida far more than it will harm Disney, but there were a few other topics as well.  I especially liked the one about Tucker Carlson!  Thank you, TS, for all your hard week finding the best of the bunch!


Here are some of the great editorial cartoons I saw this week. A lot of cartoonists were focused on the, well, fascism coming out of Florida.

 

See all the ‘toons at TokyoSand’s Political Charge!

The Week’s Best Cartoons 4/2

Y’know … some days even the political cartoons raise my hackles, but I must admit they are dead-on accurate and say as much at a glance as some of the OpEd writers can say in 1,000 words.  And so, each week I head over to Political Charge where TokyoSand has compiled the best of the best from the week.  This week is no exception and I think you’ll agree with the take of most of those drawing the ‘toons.  Oh, if only I had such artistic talent … I could be rich and famous!!!  I wonder …

Anyway, here is a sampling of Tokyo’s Toons and I hope you’ll follow the link at the bottom and head over to her place to check out the rest!  Thank you as always, TS!

There were a lot of different news stories that got traction this week, as evidenced by the range of cartoons I saw. Here are some of the best ones, in my opinion.

 

See all the ‘toons at TokyoSand’s Political Charge!

A Stranger In My Own Country

Y’know … lately I’ve begun to feel very much a persona non grata in the nation I was born in and have lived in for all of my 70 years.  Why?  Comments like this one from Florida governor Ron DeSantis …

“We want people that are going to fight the left, and that’s what we need to do in this country. That’s what we’re doing in Florida, standing up for people’s freedoms. We’re opposing wokeness. We’re opposing all these things.”

So, to be clear, DeSantis says ‘they’ (whoever ‘they’ are) oppose equal rights for Blacks, LGBTQ people, women, Latinos, atheists, Jews, Muslims, and anyone who doesn’t meet DeSantis’ approval, for that is what “wokeness” is, as defined by the narrow-minded conservatives who see white, Christian males as superior to all others.  And ‘they’ oppose helping people in need, oppose international alliances and trade, and oppose basically anything that is supported by people like me.  Since I was 13 years old, I have been a taxpayer in this nation, and yet today I am intentionally made to feel an unwelcome entity.

Another example is when the former guy makes claims like “Americans want _________” and yet it is nothing that I support or think is just.  Am I no longer an American, then?  Did my citizenship expire sometime in the past decade and nobody thought to tell me?  For the record, I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat … I am an Independent.  I am an Independent for a number of reasons, the first being that I don’t wish to be hounded by phone calls, emails, and texts begging for donations for one candidate or another.  Beyond that, however, is the fact that I don’t support every policy of either party, or every candidate of either party.  I largely, probably 90%, lean toward the same values as the Democratic Party, but I’m not willing to commit to any political party.  Although I have voted for Republicans in the past, the current ideology (or lack thereof) of the Republican Party is such that I cannot foresee ever doing so again.

I am an independent thinker, always have been.  My antennae start twitching the instant somebody tries to tell me what I should think, and then I head off to do my own research and form my own opinion.  As Euripides was fond of saying, “Question everything.”

State legislatures all around the nation are doing their darndest to keep people from voting … poor people, Black people, young and elderly people.  Why?  Because those are the demographics that typically care more about the average people in this country than about the wealthy, therefore those are the people who would more than likely vote for a Democrat.  Legislatures and governors in nearly every state are also passing laws that would hurt LGBTQ communities.  They are also trampling women’s rights in many states, robbing us of our rights to decide what is right for us without the interference of a male-dominated legislature.  The only people who seem to matter to the Republican Party are the wealthy, white, straight males – the rest of us can go to hell in a handbasket for all they care.

I used to think this nation had values, that the people, the average working people, would see through the political arrogance and greed and vote for those who pledge to ‘do the right thing’ by the nation and its people.  Today, I no longer believe that.  I don’t know if it’s a reflection on our devolving education system or that people are changing, but today it seems that people fall for the flimsiest lies on the part of the politicians and eat up every word that comes out of the mouths of the Fox “News” opinion people.  Humans pride themselves on being an intelligent species, but I’m just not seeing it in the general public.

Back in the day, Richard Nixon was demonized for his corruption, but in this, the 21st century, we see people like Donald Trump being worshipped as heroes not only in spite of their cruelty and lies, but in some cases because of them!  They seem to be cheering on the most horrific people, while turning against those who are trying to do the right thing, to care about the nation and its people.

After I wrote my post about Montana governor Greg Gianforte and others murdering endangered wildlife for trophies, my friend Mary Plumbago commented “What is wrong with us! Why are we this way!”  I’ve been ruminating on this … trying to find an answer … but the truth is that I just don’t know.  There is definitely something very wrong with some of the people … maybe many of the people in this nation, but I don’t know how we got here and the bigger question is … how much worse will it get?  What will it take to stop the madness, to bring the people of this nation together to fight for a set of values that benefit ALL people, not just some?

I will tell you this much … if the people of this country are so ignorant as to return Donald Trump to the Oval Office in 2024, I will thereby renounce my citizenship on that very day and will begin seeking my best option for relocating myself and my family outside the United States.  And that is a promise.

Where Is The Compassion???

Two things caught my attention first thing today and thus, it must be time for me to step into my snarky shoes.


Dangerous in Arizona

Wendy Rogers … remember the name, for she is by far the worst political wannabe I’ve seen, and I’ve seen some pretty awful ones lately!  Ms. Rogers spoke at the same white nationalist (KKK) rally last month that Representatives Margie Greene and Paul Gosar spoke at, and Ms. Rogers topped even those two for utter inhumane remarks like this one …

 “We need to build more gallows, make an example of these traitors who’ve betrayed our country.”

Who is this Rogers clown?  She is a state senator in Arizona who was once considered to be a traditional conservative, but apparently drank so much of the former guy’s Kool Aid that her mind has become a toxic fertile ground for the radical right-wing hatred we are seeing so much of in this country today.

When she won her current Arizona State Senate seat in 2020, she had lost five previous elections, so she changed her message to one of hate, of bigotry, of destruction and conspiracy theories.  For example, she refers to the COVID vaccine as a “bioweapon” and is full-on supportive of “The Big Lie” that is still a talking point in some Republican circles, though it has been debunked so many times that it’s a joke.  But all of her messages of hate seem to be working, for she is the biggest fundraiser in the Arizona state legislature, having raised some $2.5 million in 2021.

She has been censured by the Arizona Senate for her remarks, but it matters not to her …

“This censure is nothing more than an attempt to limit my speech. In the end, I rejoice in knowing I do and say what is right, and I speak as a free American regardless of the actions of this corrupted process today.”

Ms. Rogers is only a state senator and you might say she’s irrelevant outside the state of Arizona, but state politicians often aspire to higher office and this is a woman that we do not need in the United States Congress!  As much as I despise the likes of Greene, Boebert, Cawthorn and their ilk, this woman could prove to be twice as dangerous.  Arizona – if you guys want her, then fine, you can have her, but do not let her out of the state!!!


And in Florida … “Don’t Say Gay”!

I have a number of friends who live in Florida, and they are all good people, sensible people, kind, caring and compassionate people.  But obviously they are the anomaly in the state, for it seems the majority in Florida are egocentric, bigoted, homophobic, and cruel, starting with none other than Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who said …

“We are going to make sure parents are able to send their kid to kindergarten without having some of this stuff injected into some of their school curriculum.”

Oh for Pete’s sake, Ronnie … wake up and walk into the 21st century!!!

Clinton McCracken, 49, a teacher at Howard Middle School Academy of Arts, voices his concerns …

“This is a dangerous bill, which basically tells our LGBTQ students that something is wrong with them. This bill says I won’t be able to have conversations or be able to create an affirmative space for my students.”

The bill passed the Florida Senate by 22-17 along party lines.  So … let me get this straight … the lives and well-being of Florida’s children has now become an issue for partisan politics???  I sure as hell am glad that I don’t live in Florida!  What a lot of bigots!!!  Everyone, it seems, must fit into a very narrow box in order to be treated with respect … the box will only hold white, straight, ‘Christian’ people, preferably males.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Let The Snarky Snippets Roll!

I’ve always been a news junkie, I think since I learned to read at around age 5 or so, but I cannot remember a time that the news created as much angst as these last few years, and especially the last week or so!  What to do with all that angst?  Well, turn it into snarky snippets and share it with my friends, of course!  😏


Florida’s #1 Jerk

Numerous states in this country have the misfortune to be governed by fools who put their own political careers ahead of the well-being of the people of their state, but I often think there is none so corrupt, so uncaring for the people of his state, as Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis.  Now, mind you that DeSantis has never been mistaken for a great humanitarian, having spoken and passed laws against immigrants, against the LGBTQ community, against women, against voting rights, and more.  But since the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020, DeSantis has been even more crude & cruel than usual, refusing any sort of restrictions such as lockdowns, mask mandates or vaccine mandates.  All of which, naturally led to Florida being the state with the highest per capita hospitalizations for COVID in the nation.

But what he did this week is beyond unconscionable.  On Wednesday, DeSantis scolded students for wearing face masks at a press conference he called, saying, “You do not have to wear those masks, I mean, please take them off.  Honestly, it’s not doing anything, and we gotta stop with this Covid theater. So if you want to wear it, fine. But this is ridiculous.”

The governor of a state of 21.48 million people telling school children to take off their masks, to expose themselves, their families and friends, to a deadly disease that has already killed nearly 1 million people in this country, with Florida having the third highest death rate from Covid in the country!  What a bastard!  I’ve heard that DeSantis is actually considering a run for president in 2024 … Florida, you can keep him … he’s not setting foot in the Oval Office if We the People have anything to say about it!


They say they love veterans, but …

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would expand health-care eligibility for veterans who were exposed to burn pits and other toxins.  Interestingly, just 34 of the Republicans in the House voted for the bill, with 174 voting against it.  The final tally was 256-174.

The U.S. military used burn pits throughout Iraq and Afghanistan to dispose of waste, medical and hazardous materials, and jet fuel, exposing veterans to toxins that have caused long-lasting medical problems. Veterans who have been exposed often face difficult disability benefit claims processes with the Department of Veterans Affairs to get necessary health care.  Under the House bill, 23 health conditions, including respiratory conditions and cancers, would be considered to have either been caused by or exacerbated by military service, meaning veterans with these conditions would no longer have to prove that they were caused by their exposure to the toxins.

However, the Republicans decided the cost was too high, so … let the veterans suffer.  This from the very people who claim to be dedicated to the nation’s veterans, who tout their own ‘patriotism’.  Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi hit the nail on the head when she said …

“It’s a cost of war. For the Republicans to go to the floor and say that veterans really don’t want this help because it’s going to cost money, and they’re more concerned about the budget than they are about their health. Oh, really? You just gave tax cuts in 2017 to the richest people in America. Tax cuts for the rich, cancer for our veterans … That’s how we see this discussion.”

She’s right.

The bill will have to go through the reconciliation process with the Senate bill that passed last month and is much narrower in scope, only extending how long post-9/11 combat veterans are guaranteed VA care by expanding a window of health-care eligibility from five to 10 years after they’ve been discharged.

Republicans claim they are the friends of veterans … with friends like that, who needs enemies?

Filosofa Is Grumpy …

Apologies in advance … I am in rant mode today!


Of all the men (and a few women, but mostly all men) who occupy seats in Congress and call themselves “Republicans”, there is not one who possesses a conscience.  Not a single one.  Oh sure, a few actually stood up to the former guy last year, but even they have now reverted to form and are toeing the party line … whatever the party line is.  And so, I have this to say to every Republican who has an office in the Capitol …

WAKE THE HELL UP!!!  WE THE PEOPLE PUT YOU IN OFFICE AND WE CAN DAMNED WELL TAKE YOU OUT!  IF YOU TAKE AWAY OUR RIGHT TO VOTE, WE WILL FIND A WAY TO TAKE AWAY YOUR CUSHY JOB, YOUR OFFICE, YOUR FREE TRANSPORTATION, AND HOPE YOU END UP WORKING IN A FACTORY FOR THAT MINIMUM WAGE THAT YOU HAVE REPEATEDLY SAID SHOULDN’T BE RAISED!!!  AND THAT GOES FOR YOU, JOE MANCHIN AND KYRSTEN SINEMA, AS WELL!!!

Whew!  Sorry, folks, but I just had to get that one off my chest.  We the People were guaranteed the right to participate in our government, to have a voice about who represents us, centuries ago and now, all of a sudden, the entire Republican Party is working diligently to steal that right from us.  I, for one, will not sit quietly by watching the demolition of our rights in this nation without raising my voice and maybe a fist or two!


If you live in Orange County, Florida, be advised that your local health department wants you to die.  Yes, you heard me right.  The Orange County Health Department has placed its Director, Dr. Raul Pino, on administrative leave.  Why?  Because he is in favour of people being vaccinated in an effort to eventually end this horrible pandemic that has ruled our lives for the past two years!!!  After finding that out of the 568 active staff at the department, only 77 had received a COVID-19 booster, 219 had two doses of the vaccine and 34 had only one dose, Dr. Pino wrote in an email …

“I have a hard time understanding how we can be in public health and not practice it.  I am sorry but in the absence of reasonable and real reasons it is irresponsible not to be vaccinated. We have been at this for two years, we were the first to give vaccines to the masses, we have done more than 300,000 and we are not even at 50% pathetic.”

And for this, he was suspended from his position.  According to a statement issued by the Orange County Department of Health …

“As the decision to get vaccinated is a personal medical choice that should be made free from coercion and mandates from employers, the employee in question has been placed on administrative leave, and the Florida Department of Health is conducting an inquiry to determine if any laws were broken in this case.

The Department is committed to upholding all laws, including the ban on vaccine mandates for government employees and will take appropriate action once additional information is known.”

The ‘Department’ would better serve the people by demanding every one of their staff be fully vaccinated and encouraging the vaccine, rather than punishing people for promoting it!


And speaking of Florida …

According to the Associated Press

“A bill pushed by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that would prohibit public schools and private businesses from making white people feel “discomfort” when they teach students or train employees about discrimination in the nation’s past received its first approval Tuesday.”

BULL***T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Maybe, just maybe it’s about damn time that ‘white people’ start to feel a bit of discomfort for how Black people have been treated throughout the history of this nation and are still treated today!  Maybe if they feel a bit ‘uncomfortable’, they will take a stand and be a part of the movement to end racism in the U.S.  Any ‘white’ person who believes that they are somehow ‘superior’ to others based solely on skin colour deserves to be made to feel uncomfortable, deserves the feelings of guilt that they and their ancestors have earned.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr …

Two Monsters In Governor’s Clothing

The state of Florida currently has more hospitalizations due to COVID than any other state in the nation.  Cases in Texas are also surging, sending hospitals scrambling to find ICU beds for all the patients.  Both of these states have Republican governors who are doing everything in their power to reduce the population in their states.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (left) and Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Both Governor DeSantis of Florida and Governor Abbott of Texas have banned mask mandates in their state, meaning that localities cannot legally put a mask mandate into effect in order to protect the people.  Bad enough under any circumstances, but now, with parents preparing to send their children back to school in a week or two, it is critical.

Columnist Greg Sargent has the latest on the battle between the governors, localities, and school boards …


The rebellion against pro-Trump, anti-mask GOP governors is gaining steam

Opinion by

Greg Sargent

Columnist

Yesterday at 11:04 a.m. EDT

Let’s state this up front: GOP governors are not required by some higher Trumpian law to use official powers to actively thwart efforts to fight the spread of the coronavirus. Some are choosing not to do that: In South Dakota, the governor left decisions about mask mandates to local officials, and in Arkansas the governor admitted that an earlier ban on them was an “error.”

But the Republican governors of Texas and Florida — Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis — are in a class by themselves. Their states are seeing some of the worst surges of covid in the nation, yet they are continuing to hamstring local officials from acting to protect their constituents.

Which is why these governors are facing a rebellion of sorts. In both states, ABC News reports, officials are defying limits on mask mandates, setting up direct conflicts with those governors.

This will flush out into the open the truly twisted nature of what DeSantis and Abbott are doing. They piously claim to be defending their constituents’ freedom from government mandates. But they are using their power to prevent local officials from implementing basic public health measures in a highly selective way that is plainly molded around the obsessions of former president Donald Trump and his movement, not anchored in any genuine public interest rationale.

Local officials are rebelling

The derangement of this position is particularly clear in Texas. On Monday, Abbott announced that he is seeking the help of outside medical professionals to deal with the state’s covid surge. He is also asking hospitals to postpone all elective medical procedures as hospitals fill up.

Amid all this, the Dallas schools superintendent has reasonably announced that students, visitors and staff will have to wear masks in schools. He noted that the decision is an “urgent” matter of “protecting” children, teachers and workers.

Yet this directive required him to defy Abbott’s executive order barring mask mandates by government entities. To be clear, Abbott’s own actions amount to a stark admission that the state is in serious trouble — yet he continues to ban localities from taking measures to protect public health.

The absurd result, as the New York Times reports, is that local officials are scouring legal codes to find ways to get around Abbott’s blockade on implementing public health measures. This isn’t how officials should have to spend time and resources during a public health emergency.

In Austin, where cases are surging, local officials have recommended masking, but cannot require it, which has led the mayor of Austin to declare the situation “dire.” The Austin school district just announced a mask requirement, defying Abbott.

Meanwhile, in Florida, the superintendent of Alachua County Public Schools is moving ahead with mandatory masking. This is in defiance of DeSantis’s recent executive order empowering the state to withhold funds to punish school boards who implement mask mandates.

Incredibly, it appears DeSantis may make good on this threat. The superintendent, Carlee Simon, told “Morning Joe” on Tuesday that she’s received a letter from the state demanding justification for her move and essentially indicating that funding is at risk if she continues.

A handful of Florida parents are now suing DeSantis. One mom told CNN that she “never envisioned” that the governor “would actively be trying to harm my child,” and lamented correctly that limits on mask mandates are interfering with her son’s ability to get educated safely.

Anyone who has taken a young child to a camp or gathering this summer has witnessed how children playing together continue to drift inevitably into very close contact. It’s particularly ludicrous and venal to bar local officials from acting to defend these children from spread.

Abbott and DeSantis love to proclaim that they are defending the liberty of their states’ residents to proceed free of public health mandates, and that they should merely exercise “personal responsibility” in dealing with covid. But it’s hard to discern any genuine ideological vision here, since they have no apparent objection to all manner of other public health mandates.

“We have plenty of mandates,” Steve Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin, told me. “We require elementary school students to get various vaccinations. We require drivers to wear seat belts. We require adults to wear clothes.”

“There are any number of ways in which the laws of every state, including Florida and Texas, impose mandates that are designed to protect individuals,” Vladeck continued.

‘Covid exceptionalism’

All of which suggests that the real working ideology here is something you might call “covid exceptionalism.”

Obviously it would theoretically be possible for DeSantis and Abbott to believe, in good faith, that mandates against covid represent unacceptable incursions on liberty while other mandates do not.

But everyone knows the real reason DeSantis and Abbott are suddenly concerned with protecting people from public health mandates on covid in particular is that government officials eager to battle covid this way have become associated with assorted enemies of Trump and his following.

Because Trump and his movement have required this adherence to covid exceptionalism, local officials are being hamstrung from carrying out their own official responsibilities to act in defense of public health. It’s hard to find the right language to describe the seething contempt for public service and the public good that’s truly on display here.