Healthcare without the Care.

Republicans are mean. And by Republicans, I’m talking about the elected civil servants in the House and Senate.

They keep flailing and failing on the healthcare front. Good.

Not one of their proposed healthcare laws increased the number of Americans who would be covered with reasonable health care insurance. Not one moved us towards what Trump had promised during the campaign – coverage for everybody. Not one would have realistically reduced premiums.

Instead, each cold-hearted attempt at repeal-and-replace would have thrown millions onto the uninsured lists, creating massive burdens for society as a whole and specifically for the healthcare industry. Thank God they failed.

None of this should be a surprise to anyone. Republicans can’t come up with a “conservative” alternative to the ACA because the ACA already is a conservative plan. It’s based on an approach drawn up by the conservative Heritage Foundation; it was meant to get the freeloaders who didn’t buy insurance, but who burdened the system when they were sick or injured, to pay their fair share. Conservatives hate freeloaders!

So now they are spinning their wheels trying to replace Obamacare with something, anything, even more conservative. Why? Simply because they promised they would. We now know they had no plan of their own and nothing they come up with makes sense.

And most cold-hearted of all, now Trump wants to let Obamacare implode. (And he can do that.) Where is the pushback from Republicans? Do they not realize that Trump’s threat will imperil millions of Americans, including a huge faction of their own supporters?  Republicans would rather score political points than protect their fellow citizens. Even now, with Trump threatening to hold back insurance payments, GOP leaders in the Congress remain strangely silent.

Trump, for his part, badgered and belittled his fellow Republicans for their healthcare failures. What, however, has he done for the cause? Other than lip service, nothing. It’s painfully obvious that’s because he is astonishingly clueless on the issue. We all cringed when our president said “No one knew healthcare was so complicated.” No, clueless leader, everyone knew.

In 2010 when Obama was promoting his ACA plan – which had been hammered out over many months and with many public hearings — he went to a Republican caucus and stood before them, alone on live TV for over an hour, answering their toughest questions. That’s what a leader does.

A real leader, a real Chief Executive versus a carnival barker. Obama cared. Democrats care. Republicans apparently don’t.

Sad.

Thanks for caring about the truth.

Ken

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Vive la Resistance!

A dear cousin of mine, a bright, left-leaning and highly spiritual fellow, slightly chastised me for an anti-Trump posting on my Facebook page. My message was a compelling quote from an essay by Garrison Keillor, the writer and former host of NPR’s popular Prairie Home Companion:

He will never be my president because he doesn’t read books, can’t write more than a sentence or two at a time, has no strong loyalties beyond himself, is more insular than any New Yorker I ever knew, and because I don’t see anything admirable or honorable about him. This sets him apart from other politicians. The disaffected white blue-collar workers elected a Fifth Avenue tycoon to rescue them from the elitists — fine, I get that — but they could’ve chosen a better tycoon. One who served in the military or attends church or reads history, loves opera, sails a boat — something — anything — raises llamas, plays the oboe, runs a 5K race now and then, has close friends from childhood. I look at him and there’s nothing there.

My cousin replied (in part):

But he IS our president. I think we harm ourselves by continuing to wish him away. And as long as we continue to say “he’s not my president,” we’re no better than the people who spent the last 8 years pretending Obama wasn’t THEIR president.

And my response:

Intellectually we all know that he is (will be) our president. But as Keillor points out, this man is singularly apart from all other presidents, and, in fact, all other American leaders in any major position. What I, and so many others are doing, is to continually re-stoke the fires of anger — not to be blind obstructionists, but to forestall a sense of normalcy from creeping into the Zeitgeist of our nation.

Trump is not normal and reminding ourselves of that fact is, in my view, the patriotic thing to do.

The back and forth has stuck in my mind because I recognize that my cousin’s views are similar to those of many Democrats.  And that’s why in this blog post I want to amplify my sentiments.

We can’t sit back and return to business as normal because when we accept, when we “normalize” Trump, we…

  1. Accept that future presidential candidates no longer must release their tax returns. Business entanglements and potential conflicts of interest thus will remain hidden from public scrutiny,
  1. Accept the vilest, crudest forms of behavior from our candidates,
  1. Give away our demand that candidates adhere to facts, and that they never promulgate conspiracy theories, or other unproven statements,
  1. No longer insist that chief advisors and Cabinet appointments are recognized experts in their fields and not merely acquaintances or cheerleaders for the president. (Ben Carson at HUD?!)

Each of the above requests, bizarre in every other previous presidential campaign, are minimum standards!

That’s why, while we can hope that some of Trump’s plans do in fact help our country be “greater,” we do ourselves and our country’s future a disservice by passively accepting the results of the Electoral College victory.

Donald Trump will be OUR president, but because he is so strange in so many ways, I don’t have to accept him as MY president.

Thanks for caring about the truth.

Ken

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The Easy Guide to Election 2016

The Easy Guide to Election 2016

It’s not complicated. You’re going to vote for Hillary Clinton because:

  1. You know that climate change is the greatest threat to life on Earth and it is based on scientific observation, and is not a Chinese hoax.
  2. You care about protecting a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body.
  3. You know more than 30,000 Americans are killed by guns every year and you know that reasonable gun control will save some lives.
  4. You know that trickle-down economics — tax cuts for the rich — has never worked.
  5. Since, over the past 30 years the lion’s share of economic gains have gone to the wealthiest Americans, you know it’s time for that group to start paying their fair share of taxes.
  6. You understand that the important work Planned Parenthood does deserves our support, not our scorn.
  7. You want sensible regulations that protect your food, water and air.
  8. And most importantly, you desperately want a smart, rational, experienced adult to lead our military and to possess the power to unleash our nuclear arsenal.

Those are the big issues and Hillary Clinton is on the right side of all of them. Delusional Donald Trump has shown us again and again that he stands firmly on the wrong side of each issue.

Your decision, therefore, is easy, clear and urgent.

Thanks for caring about the truth.

Ken

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The Rock-Solid Case Against Trump (and for Hillary)

Forget, if you can, about grabbing and groping. The case against him and for her goes far beyond the sleaze factor.

Here’s your eye-opening brick-by-brick summary of how this campaign looks right now. For Trump supporters, it’s brutal. Most of these articles have been posted to my Facebook page over the past two months, but seeing them all strung together like this is stunning.

Never has any major party candidate been so thoroughly repudiated by so many competent observers.

Every story here includes links to the sources.

  1. The Arizona Republic

“Since The Arizona Republic began publication in 1890, we have never endorsed a Democrat over a Republican for president. Never.

Hillary Clinton is the only choice to move America ahead.”

  1. The Cincinnati Enquirer

“The Enquirer has supported Republicans for president for almost a century … Our country needs calm, thoughtful leadership to deal with the challenges we face at home and abroad. We need a leader who will bring out the best in all Americans, not the worst.

That’s why there is only one choice when we elect a president in November: Hillary Clinton.”

  1. USA Today

“The Editorial Board has never taken sides in the presidential race. We’re doing it now. … Donald Trump is, by unanimous consensus of the Editorial Board, unfit for the presidency.”

  1. No Fortune 100 CEOs Back Republican Donald Trump

From the Wall Street Journal: “Democrat Hillary Clinton has 11 contributors and 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney had far more.”

  1. Trump v. Clinton: Comparing the costs of their Economic plans (CBS News)

“The latest estimate shows Clinton’s economic plan would add $200 billion to the national debt over the next decade, while Donald Trump’s would add $5.3 trillion – or 26.5 times as much as Clinton’s – according to a new report from the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.”

  1. Military Officers for Clinton

“While only a tiny portion of military officers reach the rank of admiral or general, an even smaller sliver earn three or four stars.

Fifteen percent of Mr. Trump’s retired officer supporters are among those most senior officers.

Mrs. Clinton’s backers include nearly twice that number of highest-ranked officers.”

  1. Dallas Morning News Endorses Democrat For President For First Time In Over 75 Years

“For all her warts, she is the candidate more likely to keep our nation safe, to protect American ideals and to work across the aisle to uphold the vital domestic institutions that rely on a competent, experienced president.

Hillary Clinton has spent years in the trenches doing the hard work needed to prepare herself to lead our nation.”

  1. No Former Members of the White House Council of Economic Advisers Support Trump

“In a WSJ (Wall Street Journal) survey, no former members of the White House Council of Economic Advisers—spanning eight presidents—openly support Mr. Trump”

  1. The Atlantic

“For the third time since The Atlantic’s founding (in 1857!), the editors endorse a candidate for president. The case for Hillary Clinton.”

  1. Foreign Policy magazine

“In the nearly half-century history of Foreign Policy, the editors of this publication have never endorsed a candidate for political office. We cherish and fiercely protect this publication’s independence and its reputation for objectivity, and we deeply value our relationship with all of our readers, regardless of political orientation.

It is for all these reasons that FP’s editors are now breaking with tradition to endorse Hillary Clinton for the next president of the United States.”

  1. 50 G.O.P. Officials Warn Donald Trump Would Put Nation’s Security ‘at Risk’

“Fifty of the nation’s most senior Republican national security officials, many of them former top aides or cabinet members for President George W. Bush, have signed a letter declaring that Donald J. Trump ‘lacks the character, values and experience’ to be president and ‘would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.’

Mr. Trump, the officials warn, ‘would be the most reckless president in American history.’”

  1. Here are all the major newspapers that have endorsed Hillary Clinton for president

From Business Insider: “This presidential election may have the most lopsided batch of newspaper endorsements the US has ever seen.

While Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has garnered the support of a long list of editorial boards, her Republican rival Donald Trump hasn’t received any.”

 

Whew. Quite a list, and it’s only a small fraction of what I could post!

How could any breathing, sentient voter still be supporting Trump?

Thanks for caring about the truth.

Ken

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The Veep Debate, Style vs. Facts

Mike Pence, a former radio talk show host, showed off his smooth radio personality at the debate. He clearly won on style points. But poor Mikey had to defend the indefensible, and the only way he could do that was to lie, over and over. I wish he had been more forceful. He could have and should have swatted away, with hard facts, so much more of what Pence said.

Overall however, Pence will be seen as a fool for constantly denying things we all know are true. Here’s a brilliant 90 second video that wipes away any doubts about who blatantly lied.

And for a look at it all with greater detail and clarity, try this article from the Huffington Post. The title sums up the debate — Mike Pence to America: Trump Never Said Those Things He Said.

Finally, let me apologize for being lax with these posts. I’m afraid I’ve become addicted to FaceBook where it’s so easy to put my political thoughts (almost always with links to reputable sources) up on my Timeline. I’d love you to check it out. Here’s one to get you started.

Thanks for caring about the truth.

Ken

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SHAMEFUL: Zika and the GOP

Here’s a story you probably don’t know. It’s sickening.

You do know that the destructive Zika virus is here. It’s infecting many thousands of people in South America and now it’s spreading in the U.S. There is no cure for the devastating problems it causes for mothers and their babies.

President Obama and Democrats in Congress wanted to act quickly. They put together a bill to combat this encroaching disease — a pure, Zika-fighting bill.

Republicans agreed, apparently, that action was necessary.  But instead of agreeing on a bi-partisan compromise, they tacked on poison-pill provisions that they KNEW the Dems could never swallow. Their version blocked funds for Planned Parenthood and loosened environmental protections! As a result, they can now run TV ads saying “Senator So-and-So voted against protecting babies.”

So now there is no bill at all!

This is outrageous, and once again, the Democrats have done a lousy job of getting the public riled up about this grievous offense against women’s and children’s health.

Yes, a few media outlets have covered this shameful episode. This editorial from Columbus, Ohio (originally in the LA Times) makes the story quite clear and I hope you read it.

Republicans repeatedly play political games with people’s lives. Why do we stand for it?

Thanks for caring about the truth.

Ken

 

Where is the Democrats’ Backbone?

You’ve not heard much from me this election cycle.  Aside from personal reasons (all good, I’m happy to say) I am disheartened by the way Democrats are running their campaigns; if they lose, it will be because they are wimps.

I’ve been in a number of different states over the past few months, and I watch the local political ads. Democrats have a great story to tell, but they, or their high-priced consultants, focus on tiny snippets of issues, and send out attack ads instead of reminding the electorate of the big issues.

Worse still, Democratic candidates are working hard to distance themselves from the president.

Why? If a Republican president had exactly Barack Obama’s track record, the GOP would be highlighting these positives with intense and repetitive enthusiasm…

  1. A massive improvement in the economy. In 5 years under Obama the economy has created twice as many jobs as were created in 8 years under George W. Bush. And the stock market has soared, adding billions of dollars to middle class nest eggs.
  2. The Federal deficit is shrinking rapidly. It’s been cut by two thirds since 2009.
  3. Income taxes on middle-income families are near historic lows.
  4. Millions of Americans have health care for the first time. No one can be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition.
  5. Two wars ended or winding down.
  6. The U.S. now produces so much energy we now are a major exporter of oil. And gasoline prices have fallen sharply (despite repeated GOP screams that under Obama prices would skyrocket).

And MANY more! For an eye-opening list of the major accomplishments under Obama, all carefully documented, click here.

If that was say, Mitt Romney’s list of accomplishments, the Fox-holers would be falling all over themselves in orgiastic glee. Their told-you-so’s would be deafening and non-stop.

But instead of reminding folks which party stands up for a higher minimum wage to keep working people out of poverty, women’s rights, minority rights, sane environmental laws, helping students with college debt, better education for all students, and so many other important issues, for the most part  Democratic candidates and the ads they run stay mum about their party’s core beliefs and achievements!  It’s a stupid strategy.  And attack ads disgust everyone and turn people away from politics.

The polls indicate that Democrats are likely to lose control of the Senate next week. The silver lining is that in 2016 the Republicans have far more seats to defend, and it’s likely they will almost certainly cede Senate control back to the Dems after that election.

I just hope that between now and then the Democrats grow a spine.

Thanks for caring about the truth.

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