Trump: Worst President Ever

Donald Trump will surely be seen by future historians as the worst president in our history. Dozens of respected historians are saying that now. The reasons are clear to anyone who follows the news:

  • He has massively increased the federal budget deficit. The stock market and job market are artificially inflated and the coming downturn cannot be avoided. His tax cuts were a boon for corporations and the wealthy while doing little or nothing for the middle class.
  • He has severely weakened health care for millions of Americans without providing any viable alternative.
  • He continually endangers future generations by cancelling environmental protections.
  • He has made America a laughing stock, literally, within the community of nations.
  • He has done nothing to stop what he called “this American carnage.” Mass killings continue unabated, while he cozies up to the NRA.
  • His long-standing barrage of attacks on our most valuable and cherished institutions – the Intelligence agencies, the FBI, the election process, the Free Press – have done harm that cannot be easily repaired.
  • He has done nothing to improve our crumbling infrastructure.
  • He shows us daily that he considers being president to be a part-time job. Between his non-stop campaign rallies and his golfing, along with his obvious lack of knowledge about the most basic issues, we know we have a narcissist, not a leader, in the Oval Office.
  • And worst of all, he has horrifyingly debased the office of the President of the United States. His mean-spirited school-yard bullying, his wide-spread and treasonous conflicts-of-interest, his continual pitting of one segment of America against another, his debasement of women, minorities, immigrants, scientists, professors, journalists, all accompanied by his incessant deluge of daily lies, have all combined to diminish the integrity of, and respect for, the Office.

For all that (and much more) he can never be forgiven. And we must shout that message out tomorrow.

Please vote. Please vote straight Democratic. We need to save America!

Thanks for caring about the truth.

Ken

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Labels, Soros, and Right-Wing Insanity

Libtard. Snowflake. SJW (social justice warrior).  Sheep. Sheeple. The folks on the right have an endless stream of put-down labels for those of us on the left. The latest one, which I learned about in a NY Times story, is NPC, which stands for “NonPlayable Character.” The phrase is “borrowed from the world of video games, for a character that is controlled by the computer rather than by a player.” In other words, in the real world an NPC is someone who is incapable of independent thinking. And that’s how millions of conservatives see us.  As the article explains, conservatives believe, “Liberals… join the anti-Trump crowd not because they are led by independent thought or conscience to oppose President Trump’s policies, but because they’re brainwashed sheep who have been conditioned to parrot left-wing orthodoxy.” Yes, Fox “News” and social media posts throw those labels around frequently, and always in that context – that we are “brainwashed.”

They “know” that we are sheep led by the nose by Saul Alinsky, George Soros, and Nancy Pelosi. We cannot see the “truth” they see.

How ironic. How stupid.

In their closed minds, they refuse to acknowledge what we see every single day:

·       Tax cuts for the rich with little for the middle or lower class

·       Stagnant wage growth

·       A massively ballooning federal budget deficit (which was what the Tea Party fought against!)

·       No healthcare alternative to the ACA

·       Dismantling of protections of our air and water

·       Crumbling roads and bridges with no plan in sight

·       Rampant racism and sexism

·       Attacks on our closest allies while cozying up to Putin and other brutal dictators

·       The very real march towards fascism

·       The daily attacks on the Free Press

·       The attacks on the FBI and our Intelligence agencies

·       The daily deluge of LIES about everything

·       The stunning hypocrisy of the spineless “leaders” in the Republican party

·       The huge number of prominent Republicans who have left the party

·       Blatant conflicts-of-interest by Trump and his family

·       The unraveling of our national moral fiber.

Trump supporters see none of this. They fall back on mindless labels and personal attacks.

The Right’s disconnect from reality is not imaginary. As I posted on Facebook (“Follow” me on Facebook!) on 10/5/18,

“Senator Grassley was asked on Fox News if George Soros was “behind all this…paying these people to get in elevators and get in your face?”

“I tend to believe it,” he said.

And this, a radio interview with Senator David Perdue (R) where he said the people protesting Kavanaugh are “paid activists…This is a George Soros conspiracy.”  Plus, incredibly, he says Soros and his group pumped “$32 billion, billion! into this effort.”

That bizarre statement was from a US Senator!

It’s all so demonstrably insane; it’s what your right-leaning neighbors are listening to, all day, every day. And it’s killing our country.

The Right has gone crazy. In their own paranoia, fueled by Fox “News” and other propaganda outlets, they see only what they want to see, hear only what keeps them comfortable. They label us NPCs or snowflakes, while remaining steadfastly blind to reality and to their own best interests. The issues cited above are imaginary to them, while the preposterous idea that Soros tells me what to think is accepted as truth.

It’s bizarro world. It’s frightening. And if you care about America, understand that the only way to resist the madness is via the ballot box. Please support rational thinking! Do whatever you can.

Vote. Contribute. And spread the word.

Thanks for caring about the truth.

Ken

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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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DO Trust the Polls.

Starting almost immediately after the inauguration the polls have been delivering bad news for Donald Trump. Does that concern his hard-core fans? Of course not. They scoff at poll numbers, saying, “Yeah, you mean the same polls that showed Hillary winning in a landslide?!” I’ve read and heard that response too many times.

But it’s nonsense.

Look at what actually happened in the 2016 presidential race. On the eve of the election most polls showed Hillary up by around three percentage points nationally. She ended up winning the popular vote by 2.1%, which translated into nearly 3 million votes. Every poll cautions about its built-in margin-of-error which in most cases is 2 or 3 points. So the polls were, in fact, correct! They said more Americans were going to vote for Hillary than Trump, and that happened.

And more to the current situation, recent polls show that Americans are waking up to the disaster the Trump administration has become:

(Trump’s) overall disapproval among Americans has reached record highs…Just 37 percent of Americans approve of the job Trump is doing just over five months into his tenure, while 51 percent disapprove.

The polling agencies compete hard against each other. Each wants to, needs to, deliver reliable figures.

So, dear Trumpsters, feel free to add or subtract one or two percentage points to any particular poll, but know that it’s certain your guy is deeply unloved. And know that when they say less than 20% of Americans approve of the new healthcare plans, it’s truly a warning sign of deep dissatisfaction.

And here’s the juiciest finding:

In addition, by a 24-point margin, Americans believe former President Barack Obama was, by far, a more effective leader in comparison to Trump, 58 percent to 34 percent.

HA! Poor Donny. That’s gonna leave a big fat bruise on his delicate ego.

And finally, let’s look at one aspect of the only “poll” that counts, the actual election. The most embarrassing loss that can happen to any presidential candidate is to lose his or her home state. Well, Trump lost New York State by 21 percentage points. That’s bad. Very bad. Probably unprecedented in U.S. history. Far worse, however, is what happened in his home county, Manhattan. Those folks have had Trump in their faces for decades. They know him better than anyone. Do you know how Trump did in his hometown?

He won a pathetic 9.7% of the vote! Hillary got 86.6%.

Too bad NYC didn’t do a good enough job of telling America what we’ve all known for years – that “The Donald” is, was, and always will be a narcissistic scam artist. And we didn’t need a poll for that.

Thanks for caring about the truth.

Ken

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Trumpcare’s Pre-Existing Condition

Winston Churchill said democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others. It may turn out that Obamacare will be seen in a similar light.

Democrats readily acknowledge that the Affordable Care Act needs revision. This is a massive program and we knew going in that it would take years to work out the kinks. It is certainly not in a “death spiral” as some say. The uninsured rate is low and millions of folks have health care insurance for the first time in their lives. (For a quick reminder of what Obamacare really is and why it was needed, check out this column.)

But Republicans are twisting themselves into pretzels trying to come up with something better. Right now CNN is reporting that 21 GOP members of Congress are leaning towards a NO vote on Trumpcare. That puts it on the cusp of failing to pass. Politically, they’re stuck; if they make the plan more lenient the conservative wing will bolt, and if they make it even more stringent (the CBO says 14 million people will lose insurance in the first year!) more “moderates” will defect.

Here’s the GOP’s problem in a nutshell. Insurance is pure numbers. The insurance companies need to balance X expected income against Y expected outflows. When Obama said those firms could no longer discriminate against those with a pre-existing condition, and that they could no longer set life-time caps, it was based on having large numbers of younger, healthier folks sign up for health insurance. Hence the mandate; it forced those younger people to buy the insurance.

But now President “Nobody knew health care was so complicated!” (um, everyone knew) has promised to keep all of Obamacare’s good parts. Heck, he went further and promised to deliver health care for all Americans. Great.  Now go figure out how to do it. Without Medicare for everyone, or some sort of mandate to increase the pool of insured people, you can’t make the numbers work. Period. Thus the Republicans have boxed themselves into a corner.

The great irony is that if any form of Trumpcare passes a vast swath of Trump voters will be the ones hurt most by the new plan. Then again, they are the ones polls show are most likely to not know that Obamacare is the Affordable Care Act. Which would be funny … were it not a matter of life and death.

Thank You, President Obama!

Bracketed by the disastrous George W. Bush and the unstable Donald Trump, it’s clear that future historians will look kindly at Barack Obama’s presidency. On December 16, he held what was expected to be his final press conference. (He decided to have one more on 1/18/17.)  Below is a section of the opening remarks from that 12/16 session. I’ve reformatted some of the transcript to enhance the clarity and impact of his accomplishments. Nothing was changed, added or deleted from his words.

Typically, I use this year end press conference to review how far we’ve come over the course of the year.  Today, understandably, I’m going to talk a little bit about how far we’ve come over the past eight years.

  • As I was preparing to take office, the unemployment rate was on its way to 10 percent.  Today, it’s at 4.6 percent — the lowest in nearly a decade.
  • We’ve seen the longest streak of job growth on record, and wages have grown faster over the past few years than at any time in the past 40.
  • When I came into office, 44 million people were uninsured. Today, we’ve covered more than 20 million of them.
  • For the first time in our history, more than 90 percent of Americans are insured.  In fact, yesterday was the biggest day ever for HealthCare.gov.  More than 670,000 Americans signed up to get covered, and more are signing up by the day.
  • We’ve cut our dependence on foreign oil by more than half,
  • doubled production of renewable energy,
  • enacted the most sweeping reforms since FDR to protect consumers and prevent a crisis on Wall Street from punishing Main Street ever again.

None of these actions stifled growth, as critics predicted.  Instead, the stock market has nearly tripled.

Since I signed Obamacare into law, our businesses have added more than 15 million new jobs.  And the economy is undoubtedly more durable than it was in the days when we relied on oil from unstable nations and banks took risky bets with your money.

Add it all up, and last year, the poverty rate fell at the fastest rate in almost 50 years, while the median household income grew at the fastest rate on record.

In fact, income gains were actually larger for households at the bottom and the middle than for those at the top.

And we’ve done all this while cutting our deficits by nearly two-thirds and protecting vital investments that grow the middle class.

In foreign policy, when I came into office, we were in the midst of two wars.  Now, nearly 180,000 troops are down to 15,000.  Bin Laden, rather than being at large, has been taken off the battlefield, along with thousands of other terrorists.

Over the past eight years, no foreign terrorist organization has successfully executed an attack on our homeland that was directed from overseas.

Through diplomacy,

  • we’ve ensured that Iran cannot obtain a nuclear weapon — without going to war with Iran.
  • We opened up a new chapter with the people of Cuba.
  • And we brought nearly 200 nations together around a climate agreement that could very well save this planet for our kids.

And almost every country on Earth sees America as stronger and more respected today than they did eight years ago.

In other words, by so many measures, our country is stronger and more prosperous than it was when we started.  That’s a situation that I’m proud to leave for my successor.  And it’s thanks to the American people — to the hard work that you’ve put in, the sacrifices you’ve made for your families and your communities, the businesses that you started or invested in, the way you looked out for one another.  And I could not be prouder to be your President.

And we, Mr. President, are proud we elected you twice to lead us. Your quiet grace and dignity in the face of unprecedented and unrelenting opposition, your deep and wide-ranging intelligence, coupled with your unbridled enthusiasm for America and Americans, have guided us through eight difficult years.

Thank you. Thank you so very much.

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