Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Betsy DeVos (Educ Secy) Feebly Tries to Defend Harsh Trump Budget: Earns “F”

Possibly the Worst Edu Secy in our Nation's History

Betsy DeVos as the Education Secretary must go… she is a disgrace and a threat to public education and just because she was appointed by Trump does not in anyway make her qualified or presumed to be qualified for the task – she is not.
Take for example her recent appearance and testimony in the House as reported on here from the Washington Post — this proves my point.
Highlights from that appearance follow this short reminder of who she is and what she stands for – she, a billionaire in a very key job. BTW: she was only confirmed by one vote and that was when VP Pence had to cast the tie breaking vote – which underscores just how unpopular and unqualified she truly is:
Betsy DeVos: Her background and views:

DeVos believes education in the United States should be opened up to for-profit charter schools.

She says “public education is a closed system, a closed industry, a closed market. It's a monopoly, a dead end.”

She believes that opening up the education market will offer parents increased choice, a view that critics call a drive to privatize the American public education system.

She is known as “a fierce proponent of school vouchers” that would allow students to attend private schools with public funding. According to The New York Times, it “is hard to find anyone more passionate about the idea of steering public dollars away from traditional public schools than Betsy DeVos.”

DeVos has been attacked for not having much of a connection to public schools, too – and that is true. She never attended public schools and neither did her children – they all attended privately-funded Christian schools. DeVos advocates expanding charter schools, even that means taking public money to fund them or to be used for vouchers for non-public schools, to include religious schools.

Now to the main story: Fielding questions from members of a House appropriations subcommittee, DeVos said in part: “...states should decide how to address chronic absenteeism, mental health and suicide risks among students, and states should decide whether children taking vouchers are protected by federal special-education law.”
Asked by Rep. Katherine M. Clark (D-MA) whether she could think of any circumstance in which the federal government should step in to stop federal dollars from going to private schools that discriminate against certain groups of students, DeVos did not directly answer, adding: “We have to do something different than continuing a top-down, one-size-fits all approach.”
Democrats immediately criticized that DeVos’s philosophy, saying the nation’s top education official must be willing to defend children against discrimination by institutions that get federal money like this from Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) who said: “To take the federal government’s responsibility out of that is just appalling and sad”
DeVos pushed back against that notion that the Education Department would be abdicating its authority, saying in part: “I am not in any way suggesting that students should not be protected.”
DeVos had traveled to Capitol Hill to defend a spending plan that has drawn criticism from both ends of the political spectrum that includes Trump’s proposal to cut some 10.6 billion from federal education initiatives, including: (1) after-school programs, (2) teacher training, (3) career and technical education, and (4) reinvesting $1.4 billion of the savings into promoting his top priority: School choice, including $250 million for vouchers to help students attend private and religious schools.
The administration is also seeking far-reaching changes to student aid programs, including elimination of subsidized loans and public service loan forgiveness and a halving of the federal work-study program that helps college students earn money to support themselves while in school.
In her opening remarks Wednesday, DeVos said that while the size of the proposed cuts to K-12 and student financial programs “may sound alarming for some,” the president’s budget proposal reflects a push to return more decision-making power to states and more educational choice to parents.
“We cannot allow any parent to feel as if their child is trapped in a school that is not meeting their needs,” DeVos said.
Democrats predictably attacked the administration’s budget proposal as an effort to undermine public schools and low-income students’ ability to attend college.
This woman in this job is awful and cannot be stated any plainer than that.
Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Trump's First Budget: Meat Cleaver Approach — Disregards and Hurts Most Americans

Serving up: “Trump steaks” or “Trump rich pal stakes”

INTRODUCTION: Trump’s long-awaited budget… I refer to call it “Doomsday 101” - thus far, we see him offer this outline: 
HIGHLIGHTS according to OMB: The FY-18 budget plan spreadsheet obtained by Third Way shows the Trump administration will attempt to to get these things passed into law. We call this his “Dirty Dozen” as it were:
1.  Eliminate the Social Service Block Grant, a $2 billion program that helps help low-income families;
2.  Zero out $3 billion of heating assistance for the poor (LIHEAP);
3.  Cut funding for substance abuse and mental health treatment by 20 percent.
4.  Raid funding for student financial aid,
5.  Cut the National Science Foundation funding by more than ten percent,
6.  Eliminate the budget for the PBS.
7.  Reduce and cut the food assistance program (SNAP).
8.  Add $54B down payment to modernize the military and nuclear defenses.
9.  Increase DOD troop strength by 56,000 / almost half for the Army.
10. Increase, and separate into different line item, the overseas contingency operations funding for Afghanistan and Iraq of some $64.5B.
11.  Get and use $2.6B for border security for materials and planning for the Trump wall to be built between the U.S. and Mexico – which could cost as much as $26B. 
(I NOTE: Trump vowed to force the Mexico to pay for the wall, but he has backed away from that pledge more recently and is now demanding that it be financed with U.S. taxpayers' dollars – so, grab your wallet the Flim-Flam man has arrived and hang on tight).
12. Get and use $200B as down payment for infrastructure as part Trump’s pledge of $1 trillion on infrastructure over the next decade (I NOTE: He has not offered any plausible plan thus far).
NOTEWORTHY ABOUT ALL THAT:
1.  Republicans will likely push back on the tens of billions of dollars in cuts in domestic programs that enjoy broad bipartisan support (and helps keep them in office) like back in March when Trump tried to force Congress into making deep cuts in the EPA, NIH, STATE, HUD, and an array of other agencies – those efforts were roundly rejected.
2.  Budget watchdogs and other critics warn that this Trump budget is likely to be loaded with gimmicks to mask the true cost of the president's initiatives and exaggerate economic growth forecasts in computing long term deficits.
(I NOTE: Last year’s FY deficit was $587B).
3.  Trump and his “team” claims they can wipe the deficit through a combination of steep cuts in “certain means-tested entitlement programs,” other savings, and robust economic growth to help drive up federal tax revenues. (I NOTE: Now is a good time to pause and laugh).
The White House is projecting that the economy will grow at a rate of 3 percent annually by 2021, according to The Wall Street Journal, arguing that its proposed tax cuts and regulatory relief will spur economic growth and leave the federal coffers flush with new tax revenues.
The non-partisan CBO, no stranger to Republican supply side economics, in January projected just 1.9 percent average growth in the gross domestic product through 2027, absent some significant change in fiscal policy.

4.  The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) also is urging that the administration to reject “rosy scenarios and other budget gimmicks in order to be credible.”
5.  As to the administration's 3 percent growth projection, CRFB says that “with an aging population, achieving that level of growth would be quite unlikely and would require a heroic mix of smart policy and very good luck.”
Finally I note:  Luck? Yeah, need lots of luck. Good luck finding that Unicorn!!!
GOP's Budget Mascot

Also from the OMB re: their Health care repeal and reform numbers report.
(I note: Expect that to be very ugly). 
Sadly, Trump's base still sticks with him – why is that do you suppose? Whew boy, who in the world knows — call it their wishing and hoping dream, I guess???


Friday, May 19, 2017

(Q:) When Will We See The Last Nail in Trump's Coffin — (A:) Hopefully Soon

He might be headed down the trail to a final resolution 
(Or maybe not)

Who will have the honor of putting in the “last nail”
(Or maybe not)

Now add this to the mix vis-à-vis Robert Mueller being appointed as Special Prosecutor, updated from Reuters via Vox.com:
Trump has said that Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein's hiring of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead the investigation “hurts our country terribly,” ergo: Trump’s move to squelch that appointment within hours of Mueller's appointment on May 24, is: To have the House begin reviewing the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which restricts newly hired government lawyers from investigating their prior law firm’s clients for one year after their hiring.
Note: An executive order signed by Trump in late January extended that one-year period to two years.
The impact: Mueller's former law firm, Wilmer-Hale, represents Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, who met with a Russian bank executive in December, and the president's former campaign manager Paul Manafort, who is a subject of a federal investigation.
Legal experts said the ethics rule can be waived by the DOJ which nominated Mueller. Mueller did not represent Kushner or Manafort directly at his former law firm.
If the department did not grant a waiver, Mueller would be barred from investigating Kushner or Manafort, and this could greatly diminish the scope of the probe, experts said. 
Plus, the DOJ is already reviewing Mueller's background as well as any potential conflicts of interest, said DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores.
Even if the DOJ grants such a waiver, the White House would consider using the ethics rule to create doubt about Mueller's ability to do his job fairly. Plus, administration legal advisers have been asked to determine if there is a basis for this at all.
All this appears to be totally new, and let’s call it for what it is: underhanded and sneaky which would allow such a strategy to occur allowing the administration to  raise the issue in press conferences and public statements to justify squelching the Mueller appointment while having it appear “all fancy and legal.”
I Note: And, who says Trump is a dummy? Ha… dummy like the proverbial fox in the hen house, um? Call it “Art of the Con.”
Stay tuned as usual … a lot more shoes to drop before this nightmare is over...!!!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

State of Affairs in America: Ask Miss Liberty She Knows

View of Washington and Most of America in These Trying Times

Shameful Days – Our Moment of Truth


Key parts follow in this fine article from The Week whose headlines is a real eye popper to say the least:

There's no waking up from America's Trump nightmare

I would add: There is no simple way to wake up from this nightmare, but it’s still achievable, and however, slowly, I believe, people are starting to wake up – time will tell. The key question is “How did we reach this point in the first place and how do we rectify it?”

Before you continue the key parts from the article, allow me to present these two thoughts along the way:

First, is the so-called “mainstream idea” that Russia wanted to influence and disrupt the 2016 election outcome in favor of getting Donald J. Trump elected as some sort of “Putin Puppet or American lackey.”

This part is what all the investigators and experts in the many on-going investigations are trying to find out, and it surely is a valid avenue.  

At this point, most of us know and trust the intelligence reports to date. All of them support the contention that the Russians were involved in our 2016 election cycle. Maybe  they were not directly involved with rigging ballot boxes, or tampering with voting machines, or stuffing ballot boxes as such, but reports have shown there was some hacking attempts, however they were not very successful – and that part is good.

Then Trump won. Yes, Hillary failed in many regards to be the super candidate she was thought to be – good but not good enough. The GOP, mostly via Trump made a huge and concerted effort to paint her badly, plus the Comey announcements; the screaming about “lock her up, lock her up; and “where are the missing emails;” plus the dark cloud of Benghazi hanging over her, and the millions of times that Trump called her “crooked Hilary” and made threats if elected he would prosecute her, etc. That all certainly had a strong negative impact without any doubt and the voters went with Trump.

Now this second idea, which is solely my hypothesis. Yes, all mine even though others may also think along this same path, but I have no way to determine that or not. So, I own this as it were.

Consider that Putin did not want Trump in office to be his puppet or lackey or as some sort partner in dividing up the world as it were, I think it could be more plausible to assume that what Putin wanted in the first place, instead of that, could be this: 

Putin, with his mind-warped wisdom and well-oiled KGB mind and background desires to be some sort of world emperor able to go back the days of the old USSR with the standing they once had by seeing Trump in office winning on is own.

That would be more destructive to America than any election tampering, or balloting nastiness, or cyber war of any kind Putin guessed. So, let Trump on his own with all his nastiness and hype and ugliness that we saw, win. I will continue down the “fake news” road and cyber hacking and such. Then I can sit back and watch Trump win and then watch Trump do to America that which Russia cannot and hence not my fingerprints anywhere near the results.

Result: Watch America destroy itself from within by allowing their own system to collapse around them as Trump continues his wild rage rampage.

Here we are today with this part pretty much that which we see right now taking place all around us with Trump in power and Congress out to lunch and sadly, very loyal to Trump - at least his party types in most cases.

In short, all this may not be what Putin wanted, but it’s what he gets and Trump seems to be delivering what is left of our country on the proverbial silver platter.

Sound far fetched? Not really. So, I ask in closing – how much confidence do you have in Trump, or the GOP, or even our overall democratic system of checks and balances, due process, equal protection under the law, and “that no one is above the law” – the very foundation for the rule of law and our nation?

Now the extract from The Week article – this historical point of view: When Nixon faced impeachment, Democrats controlled both houses of Congress, and it was a far less polarized era in terms of both ideology and partisanship — one in which powerful Republicans were willing to speak out against the president when he acted to obstruct justice. This was also long before the advent of news outlets explicitly designed to push a political line, when the mainstream media (a handful of TV networks, newspapers, and weekly news magazines) monopolized the distribution of information to the electorate — and these outlets were uniformly skeptical of the president's increasingly desperate defenses of himself and his administration.
Things are profoundly different now. The two parties are more polarized than at any time since the Civil War. The president's own party controls both houses of Congress, and the vast majority of Republican voters support the president — in large part because many of these voters have cut themselves off from legitimate news sources and now receive the bulk of their information from propaganda outlets like Fox News, talk radio, and websites that specialize in gratuitous and cowardly displays of anti-anti-Trumpism that automatically deflects criticism of the president.
Look at the helpful list The New York Times has compiled of responses to Comey's firing among lawmakers. Some 136 Democrats or independents have called for the appointment of a special prosecutor or its equivalent. The number of Republicans who have done the same? Zero. The number of Democrats who have called for an independent investigation? Eighty-five. Republicans? Five. While a grand total of 40 Republicans have gone so far as to express “concern,” more than twice that many, some 90, have offered support for the president or refused to comment one way or the other.
That is not the behavior of a party even tip-toeing in the direction of turning on its president.
And perhaps most unsettling of all, the dynamic is powerfully self-reinforcing. The more it is Democrats alone who criticize or denounce Trump's words and actions, the more Republicans can dismiss the response as an expression of ordinary partisan animus, which nicely confirms Republican voters in their tendency to view everything the other party does as a politically motivated witch hunt.
Until something breaks through this partisan wall and begins to change public opinion among rank-and-file Republicans, Trump will stay right where he is.
Of course Democrats can and should work hard to take control of both houses of Congress in the upcoming midterm elections. That could open up more possibilities beginning in 2019.
But recall: Removing a president, from either party from office, even under Article II (House impeachment and Senate removal) requires a 2/3 vote from the Senate, while the 25th Amendment (not fit or capable to carry out presidential duties) requires a 2/3 vote of both the House and the Senate.
It's hard to imagine any series of events that would deliver that kind of electoral sweep to the Democrats in either chamber, let alone both. 
I conclude: Could enough of the public peacefully demand Congress take whatever legal action they can to remove him – um… not likely. Government of, by, and for the people now seems to have little meaning – a statement with no teeth from its original intent, doesn’t it?

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Trump-Putin/Russian Connections As They Say: The Proverbial Plot Thickens

Trump: “Я беру дверь #1” 
(“I take door #1”)

A long yet very timely and very detailed account of Trump-Putin/Russian connections from this fine article here from “Talking Points Memo.”
From one of Trump’s sons, Donald J. Trump, Jr. this good overview (The Washington Post) – this one tasty morsel for illustration:
Intro: Since the 1980’s, Trump and his family members have made numerous trips to Moscow in search of business opportunities, and they have relied on Russian investors to buy their properties around the world.
From Donald Trump, Jr. who spoke at a real-estate conference in 2008: “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” he told a reporters off the cuff, and concluded by saying: “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”
More on Trump, Jr. views on Russia are on the website “eTurboNews” which is a trade publication site.

My Last Note: All this is not just about President Trump or his wife and sons and daughters who are active and greedy enough, but it's also about all their family ties and connections like this one I recently posted here

They all have one goal/one aim/one purpose: To always promote the Trump-Kushner names, gain more fame, and rake in more fortune to keep their coffers full. 

They all have deep ties and conflicts of interests beyond measure – all the while they say they are “proudly serving the country.” What a crock. They are serving themselves and they all need more media scrutiny and then public outrage.  

Thanks for stopping by.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Trump's Main and Only Goal: Reformat America to Fit His Image and Views — WTF Moment

Trump's View of the Media (all except FOX) and their Criticism 

Trump's Legal Approach to Media Critics
(Forthcoming it seems)

While he was still a presidential candidate, Donald Trump floated out the idea of changing the libel laws to make it easier to sue media outlets over their reporting. Now that he’s president, it appears that this is potentially one promise that he’s looking to keep, commenting last month about changing the laws to go after the New York Times.
Appearing on ABC’s This Week, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus was pressed on this and he let it be known that the administration is considering going down that path. (NOTE: All that isn’t clear since libel laws are different in every state.)
“I think it’s something that we’ve looked at, and how that gets executed or whether that goes anywhere is a different story,” Priebus told Priebus told ABC host Jonathan Karl.
Priebus is the former head of the RNC – he then went on to complain about 24/7 cable news networks and other outlets devoting stories on Russia/Trump that “have no basis in fact.” 
Karl then asked: “So you think the president should be able to sue the New York Times for stories he doesn’t like?”
Karl then pushed back after Priebus statements and asked: “[… do you think Trump] “He should have a right to sue them.” Priebus said that they are looking into it.
My view: The GOP, is of course, the party of “we are always right and don’t need no stinkin’ criticism and certainly don’t need any critics from the media with their “fake news”, which BTW is now the current GOP catch phrase and standard. It’s as if they are angels and are never guilty of any producing any kind of “fake news” themselves, right?

That short ABC clip is from here:

Related article that helps answer this question “who is behind Trump’s maddening thinking.”  Recall that Bannon once said he wanted “deconstruct America.” 

Yep this Alt-right nitwit:

Bannon and Priebus (behind the scenes)

The bottom line as it were (in my view): Trump wants to redesign America and Bannon is helping (pretty sure of that aspect) — change our values, customs, traditions, and entire democratic structure and toss all processes and now our legal system as well. All as if it were some sort of personal toy or business project that he and his family wants and needs and apparently at any cost except on their terms and that is based on all he has said and done up to this point.

So, when will the public as a whole wake up and see him for who and what he is really is: A dangerous and skilled con artist. 

That is the $64,000 question isn't it?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Heat on Former and Present “Trump Team Officials” (e.g., Carter Page) Cover-up Looms

Wow — stunning news

From an expert journalist who knows this topic

Logical response from logical source

This report is based on the two slides and Trump response thus far from here - worth watching — good stuff:

Click here and enjoy (about 7 minutes).

A whole lot of shoes still to drop in this really big mess. Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

President is Exempt from Conflict of Interests: So, Let 'er Rip — Ka-ching

Like a giant spider web and just as sticky

Interesting poll to say the least 
(Notice how the Trump voter base stays in line)

While Trump himself has done pretty well through this week’s conflicts of interest (from Salon.com) his children have received unusual attention for their own shady activities. And, this is directly related to this story here from The Atlantic (another interesting analysis of the Trump quagmire – at least in my view). And, speaking of quagmires how about this one re: the Kushner’s (Jared and Ivanka) – with their own ties and conflicts. But, as long as they skate, so what, who cares, right? (Hint: That’s what they count on: Public apathy). So, here we go: Taxpayers flipped the bill for Eric Trump’s business trip to Ireland.
Maybe we could suppose it’s forgivable that Eric Trump needed to spend $11,261 of taxpayer money on Secret Service protection during his trip to the Trump Doonbeg Golf Course in Ireland. After all, although it’s questionable whether he actually needs to do all this globetrotting at this time in his life — and that would all be moot were the president to completely relinquish control of his companies to his blind trust, and not to his kids — it at least makes sense that a presidential child should receive protection when he does so.
But $4,030 on Eric’s personal limousine.
Just as her father’s company began notoriously receiving Chinese trademarks after the president recognized a “One China” policy, so too has Ivanka received recently three new trademarks in China after speaking with Chinese President Xi Jinping during his recent dinner at Mar-a-Lago. Considering that Ivanka Trump is now one of her father’s chief White House advisers, she lacks her brother’s ability to claim that there is nothing improper about mixing business with geopolitics, right?
It now turns out that, on the day when White House counsel Kellyanne Conway made an unethical plug for the first daughter’s business line, sales spiked by 10,700 percent for Ivanka products over what they had been on the same day from the previous year.
Then just as March ending, Ivanka’s sales were still up by 262 percent from where they had been in March of the previous year.
Violating basic ethics rules can pay at least if you’re a Trump.
Also, who says you can’t make money running for president? This is why people make a big deal about Trump not divesting himself from his companies:
In the first three months of 2017, Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign (yes, he’s already started that) has spent almost $500,000 on hotels, golf clubs and restaurants owned by the Trump family. It’s almost as if the same president who allegedly applied political pressure to diplomats from other countries to go to his Washington hotel doesn’t see any separation between his business goals and his political ones.
One supposes that when son Eric admitted last month that he also discussed “the bottom line, profitability reports and stuff like that” with his father, but that it didn’t mean like most people think it means, um?
Check poll chart above one more time … see a pattern here – not that it matters, right?
Just imagine the time this man and his clan still has in office … scary isn’t it?
Stay tuned and remember what Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward said during the whole Watergate mess: “Follow the money.”
That was good advice then and still is today. Where it leads, well, that’s anyone’s guess.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Charles Ponzi, Bernie Madoff, or Donald Trump — 3-Card Monte Gurus

One Example of Modern Day Trump Scheme

Carlo Pietro Giovanni Guglielmo Tebaldo Ponzi
(Namesake of “Ponzi Scheme” – mugshot when booked in 1910)

Trump’s first 100 days … video point of view on CNN via YouTube:

Introduction: Re: Take for example his so-called “Contract with the American Voter.” 
This was his promise to the American people of everything he planned to accomplish during his first 100 days in office.
One little problem, he and the entire GOP cannot blame DEMS is pretty simple: He did not get one single piece of legislation outlined in this “contract” passed – which shouldn’t surprise anyone that he’s now downplaying the significance of the “first 100 days.” Ironically, and somewhat funny, but classic Trump, he keeps saying the first few weeks of his administration have been some of the most successful in U.S. history – now that a stretch even for him.
The truth is by all measurement standards, Trump's brief time in office has been a near total disaster
(2) Nearly daily barrage of new scandals and controversies and faux pas swirling around his administration, with Conway, Spicer, Flynn, Bannon, his daughter and son-in-law – the list goes on and one. 
Ergo: The only people naïve enough to think his time in office has been some of the most successful in our nation’s history are without doubt those who were dumb enough to vote for him and had the Trump-care healthcare measure passed would have been impacted probably the most – and they still probably don’t even know it … just wait until round two of the AHCA in week or so reemerges – expected to pass and watch the impact across RED America – and again, DEMS cannot be blamed – the GOP owns it all: W/H, Senate, and the House and now, possibly the Supreme Court; so, hang on tight.
Keep in mind he has been woefully ineffective despite the fact of his daily EO signing TV spots. As noted above, he and his party controls both the House and Senate and all they needed to repeal Obama-care and pass Trump-care was a simple majority vote and they couldn’t even muster that. Not even to mention our fleet was heading 180 degrees opposite of North Korea when he implied they were heading for North Korea shores to I guess “prevent WWIII.” That is a whopper for sure.
The sad fact is yes, Trump is Trump: He demands and needs and has to have the spotlight — the limelight just like a game show host or a junkie needing a fix. He always has to be at the center of attention and winning – even when he loses he considers the effort a win even with defeat.
His own words prove and show that practically on a daily basis. Others feel the same as seen here.
Donald J. Trump is a very poor president, a very dangerous CINC who has awesome power, and he has a string of failures to prove it.
He is not even a successful or savvy businessman unless we count his con artist deals and projects that looked good and then failed – a salesman on the same level as another P.T. Barnum, Bernie Madoff, or Charles Ponzi.
Harsh you say, yes, but not as harsh as Trump actions to date and pending or forthcoming — bet on it.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Donald J. Trump the Axe Man Cometh: 100-Day Goal is Driving Him Insanely Over the Edge

You guys ready for round two 

One focus, one goal, one aim, one mission, one issue


They'e bacccccccccck...!!! Trump and his misguided and confused minions are once again rushing through another “repeal and replace” to meet Trump's 100-days-in-office deadline pledge. WTF that is his standard? 
One huge impact lingers:
At the center was the court battle that began under the Obama administration to help lower-income people pay medical bills and insurance deductibles. (Trump and GOPers hate that sort of thing).
Taking the basics away now would prompt the giant insurers to either flee the market or severely hike premiums to cover costs. 
Despite calls from the health care industry, business groups and Democrats to continue the payments, the White House has yet to tip its hand.
According to a draft of the tentative deal obtained by POLITICO, the latest proposal would allow states to apply for “limited waivers that would undermine Obamacare's protections for pre-existing conditions.” What does that mean exactly?
A FEW KEY NOTES ABOUT THAT:
Under those waivers if implemented, states could opt out of Obamacare standards setting minimum benefits that health plans must offer and a requirement — called community rating — forbidding insurers from charging different prices to people based on health status.
Both are provisions that the GOP’s ultraconservatives have pushed to eliminate as part of the repeal effort, contending that these coverage mandates drive up the cost of insurance.
States opting out of the community rating rules would: (1) be forced to set up separate insurance pools (known as high-risk pools), and (2) people would be priced out of the private market where insurance is sold, and (3) they would be not be able to get good affordable coverage that they have right now under Obama-care.
In essence, this governing GOP does not give a crap. 
Now imagine that group included you and your family and loved ones?

Monday, April 17, 2017

Are We Becoming a Police State — Also Look Worldwide — Very Troubling Aspects

Eyes Always Turned On Us (24/7)

Did Worldwide Events Cause This

The Good Old Days
(Now normal new days)

All To Common Across America
(Probably in your hometown, too)

A timely topic for discussion to be sure: Police State U.S. of A.

So, are we becoming or already have become a police state? – This a simple yes or no question. Along the way while you ponder that question, consider these articles that address this subject, then research the issue yourself. It is important.



7.  Then consider this story, published locally – but has wide application.

Let me be perfectly clear: I totally support law enforcement and respect their loyalty and dedication “To Serve and Protect,” and for the many sacrifices they make.

But to be quite frank: Why do police today have to look like they are ready for a heavily-armed infantry combat patrol?

In some cases, yes, force is needed I understand that, but more and more often we now see them deployed regularly looking like an angry SWAT team or running some CTU operation with “Jack Bauer” up front. That is my point.

Surely the public knows what I mean, but at the same time we need not be scared shitless should we? Just asking.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Democracy Wins Again: Courts Still Rejecting Discriminatory Voter ID Laws

Click Here for Interactive Map - Link Also in the Post Below


Update on the following – posted at various times (those links are at the end of this post).
Introduction: This is a great research site with state-by-state interactive map – do your own search and bookmark it for future reference [click your state or other one for good info] here from Ballotpedia. 
July 29, 2016 - the Washington Post here. 
January 23, 2017 - Reuters here.
April 11, 2017 - The Wall Street Journal here.
Still the “go-to” site for the whole voter fraud issue ginned up mostly by the GOP far right zealots is here from the Brennan Center at NYU.
Voter ID laws in mostly RED states and it’s a weak cover for voter suppression.
FYI: People are 3,615 times more likely to report a UFO sighting than they are to commit in-person voter impersonation, according to national data.
A few facts regarding the GOP argument that voter ID laws prevent fraud:
Wisconsin: The non-partisan Brennan Center for Justice at NYU found only seven cases of voter fraud out of 3 million votes cast in Wisconsin during 2004, which amount to a fraud rate of 0.0002 percent.” Republicans in WI at the time and many since continue to say there was much more. Plus, this: all seven of those cases involved persons with felony convictions who were not eligible to vote after being released from prison and they thought their right to vote still existed.  
Another example came during the Bush years: After an extensive probe from 2002-07, the DOJ found out of 300 million votes cast only 86 were fraudulent, and most of them again, felons, or a few immigrants ignorant of voting law and thought they were eligible to vote.
Some argue that we “Must show an ID to fly, to drive, or to buy beer, so why not to vote.” I say as simple as possible: That is a red herring. Those licenses are not constitutional rights – voting is a constitutional right all things being equal, age, address, residency, etc., no one should be deprived of that right over proving who they are or their right to vote.
In short: This is a GOP solution seeking a false or bogus problem, or as they like to say these days, “a fake” problem.
The striking statistic has surfaced at the same time as the news that a new voter ID law in Pennsylvania could render nearly 10 percent of the state's residents ineligible to vote in the presidential election this fall.
Mother Jones assembled the numbers in order to fact-check claims by many Republican lawmakers that their states are facing rampant voter fraud.
1.  Since 2011, 24 voting restrictions have passed in 17 states. This fall, new laws could affect more than 5 million voters in states representing 179 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency, Mother Jones reports.
2. Studies indicate low-income and minority voters are most often disenfranchised by laws requiring voters to have government-issued photo IDs. For example, 25 percent of voting-age African-Americans don't have valid IDs.
Put the 13 confirmed cases of voter impersonation into perspective this way:
1.  Each year, 15 Americans are crushed to death by their furniture or televisions.
2.  Fourteen are injured by exploding toilets, and 100 are accidentally set on fire by their doctors during surgery.
3.  Americans are 3 million times more likely to have a favorable view of North Korea than to commit voter fraud.
4.  In PA: The fake and phony voter ID / voter fraud issue continues, apparently unchecked.
5.  Assume this classic case of 93-year old grandmother, Viviette Applewhite, who lives in PA. She had voted for over 50 years but for a while could not since she can't meet the new state voter ID requirement. She like millions of Americans of her generation, and many others, do not have a birth certificate, which is the main new requirement to get a new voter ID. Imagine she were your mother, grandmother, or great grandmother.
Below is list of my previous posts related to this critical subject. Some of the links therein may be broken no longer active – if so, I’m sorry in advance):

This is the most-critical issue of our time ... it speaks directly to the most-cherished right we have: The right to vote for the government we want, and not the kind some choose or want for us.

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