Thursday, January 19, 2017

This is the swamp being repopulated with worse bad actors.

For those who do nor recognize the Rump nominees by sight, they are the people currently being vetted by Congress without first filing their ethics paperwork, so that they cannot be asked about conflicts of interest.
And since I don't see former Texas Governor Rick Perry, all round dumbass, in the above photo, here is another graphic to illustrate how utterly unqualified are those "best People" with which Rump promised to surround himself.

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And for those who don't get this joke, Betsy DeVos, whom Senator Al Franken took to the woodshed in her confirmation hearings, believes we need guns in schools to protect children from bear attacks. Of which we have none on record, with or without guns in schools.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

We are fortunate to have Sen. Franken working for us in Washington DC

DeVos, Rump's pick for Sec of Education, has in these hearings stated that there is a need for guns in schools to defend children from grizzly bears, and has stated her purpose in education is to build the Kingdom of God in public schools. That is among her many other failings that have been revealed in these hearings.

She has also admitted that she has not merely given money to Republicans and conservative causes, but that she has done so to purchase influence.  I would hardly characterize this as "draining the swamp".

This should be completely unacceptable. There is ZERO evidence that DeVos appreciates sexual orientation is innate, and she has further stated that it is "premature" to keep LGBT students safe from rape, per the guidelines that after serious examination, were set up for educational entities, and which have worked successfully to reduce assaults and harassment.

This woman, like Trump's other nominees, is utterly unqualified and unsuitable to the position for which she is nominated.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Conned-servatives, Pixie Dust and Unicorn Poop - the issue of Health Care and Government Funding


References to unicorn droppings seems to be a frequent euphemism for unrealistic expectations or ludicrous political promises in the UK.  I have become a big fan of the phrase while reading comments at the BBC web site on a range of topics, including in particular Brexit promises from the right relating to funding the UK National Health Services.

(An aside, gentle readers; be prepared for the unexpected should you choose to google the term Unicorn Poop.)

Similarly we might as well get out the shovels for the unicorn poop when it comes to Donald Rump and his promises of health care and health insurance for everyone, better and cheaper and serving more people than what was provided under the ACA  aka Obamacare.

A recent poll from the Pew Research Fact Tank shows that a sharply increasing number of Americans, including the Conned-servatives who vote Republican, NOW believe that the federal government should ensure Health Care Coverage!  As with the change in public opinion, which the right tends to consistently lag, this reflects a similarly dramatic change which in some respects parallels the shift in public opinion relating to the LGBT community and how they should be treated fairly.  In that regard the shift is both unexpectedly rapid, and likely to be reflected in demands for legislative changes.  This is a dramatic change that the political right would be wise to follow; however they appear hell bent on the opposite.  That doesn't bode well. 

More Americans say government should ensure health care coverage

As the debate continues over repeal of the Affordable Care Act and what might replace it, a growing share of Americans believe that the federal government has a responsibility to make sure all Americans have health care coverage, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
Currently, 60% of Americans say the government should be responsible for ensuring health care coverage for all Americans, compared with 38% who say this should not be the government’s responsibility.
Just as there are wide differences between Republicans and Democrats about the 2010 health care law, the survey also finds partisan differences in views on whether it’s the government’s responsibility to make sure all Americans have health care coverage. More than eight-in-ten Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (85%) say the federal government should be responsible for health care coverage, compared with just 32% of Republicans and Republican leaners. 
...The survey also finds continued differences on this question by race and ethnicity as well as income. A large majority of blacks and Hispanics (85% and 84%, respectively) say the government should be responsible for coverage, while non-Hispanic whites are split on the issue (49% agree, 49% disagree). And while about three-quarters of those with family incomes of less than $30,000 per year (74%) say the government should ensure coverage, only about half (53%) of those with incomes of $75,000 or higher say the same.
Currently, 52% of Republicans with family incomes below $30,000 say the federal government has a responsibility to ensure health coverage for all, up from just 31% last year. There also has been a 20-percentage-point increase among Republicans with incomes of $30,000-$74,999 (34% now, 14% last year). But there has been no significant change among those with incomes of $75,000 or more (18% now, 16% then).
Those who think government should ensure health coverage for all are divided on a follow-up question about whether health insurance should be provided through a mix of private insurance companies and the government (29% of the overall public), or if the government alone should provide insurance (28% of the public).
...Most of those on the other side of the issue – people who say the government does not have a responsibility to ensure health coverage – say on a subsequent question that the government should continue Medicare and Medicaid (32% of the overall public), while just 5% of the public says the government should have no role in health care.
Among Republicans and Republican leaners, most of whom (67%) say the government does not have a responsibility for ensuring health coverage, there is very little support for the government not being involved in health care at all. Just 10% of Republicans favor no government involvement, while 56% say it should continue Medicare and Medicaid.
While Republicans in Congress have already taken the first steps toward repealing the ACA, Americans remain largely divided on what Congress should do with the health care law. Overall, in a Pew Research Center survey in December, 39% said it should be repealed, while an equal share (39%) said the law should be expanded. Just 15% of Americans said the law should be left as is. Although the public is divided on the future of the law, there is bipartisan support for a number of ACA provisions.
It is dispiriting that there are still so many people, particularly among the conned-servatives, who do not know the ACA / Affordable Care Act IS THE SAME THING as Obamacare.  That we should be assured these people were wiser than the rest of us when they elected Don the Con (T)Rump to office or pretty much ANY of the GOP is ludicrous.

Continuing his con, his direct and ludicrous lies, that any human being either over the age of 4 or with an IQ higher in equivalence than a 4 year old would recognize as impossible BS.  Or should I say US2, for United States of Unicorn Scat?

The current crop of Republicans either don't know or don't care, or more likely don't care enough to want to know, what Americans really want from them and from government.  The next election is coming up fast in 2018, and this looks to be a hot issue, one that will likely fracture support for Republicans and Conservatives.  The next presidential election will be in 2020, the same year that the Census mandated by the constitution will raise the issue of gerrymandering and redistricting.

If the right continues to ignore what "we the people" really really want, to borrow a blast from the past phrase from the Spice Girls,  I think we can realistically hope for some change in those elections, and be confident that the interim not-valid president Rump will provide nothing but unicorn poop and rubbish promises.

I've said it before and I will say it again here now; Republicans do not govern well, and do not correctly grasp the proper function and role of government.



Monday, January 16, 2017

It is spelled CONFLICT OF INTEREST

It's Martin Luther King Day, and John Lewis has it right!

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A young John Lewis, arrested 41 times for protesting Jim Crow,
with his non-violent civil rights protests
Back in the late 1950s and through the 1960's John Lewis fought for civil rights.  He was a non-violent protester who was severely injured during peaceful protests.

As a result of those peaceful protests, civil rights legislation was passed, and became law with the signature of then-president Lyndon Johnson.  Since the passage of the Voting Rights Act, the conservatives have worked tirelessly to bring back Jim Crow and to undo the provisions that guaranteed voting rights.

This is the shame, the stain, on conservatives and on our history that we let them get away with doing it.  No one understands that better than now-Congressman John Lewis.  Throughout the south, and in places other than the deep south which have Republicans in control of state legislatures we see voter suppression taking root.  This has been reflected in the decreasing voter participation.

I would argue that the lower the voter participation, the less legitimate, the less valid is any government of the people, by the people, or for the people.  To selectively take away the right to vote is not only a racial attack, it is an attack on the very premise of our nation, representative government, by limiting government representation as much as possible to conservative white people.

Nothing could be more in opposition to John Lewis, or to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

When we have a racist drug policy that disproportionately makes felons of minorities for what were previously not felony crimes, not only imprisoning them in largely for-profit jails which steal their labor for pennies an hour -- sometimes as little as 8 cents an hour.  This is Jim Crow all over again.  To further deny these minorities the restoration of their voting rights has further shifted the participation in voting to white voters, and been part of the rise of white supremacy again in the south.

If anyone doubts that there is still an unrepentant population of white bigots in the US, we have only to look at the polling on those who desire to bring back anti-miscegenation laws which would again prevent intermarrying between people of different "racial" backgrounds.  This reflects not only a desire for racial purity that is synonymous with white supremacy, but also a completely false understanding by ignorant conservatives of race and the characteristics associated with that false understanding of race.

Make no mistake, Trump is himself a racist, and so are those who support him, or at the very least his supporters are tolerant of racism.