Can you outfox an old Fox

You must admit, Donald Trump, at 71 years old, is older than most of us, and there are many insights that come with age, so it was difficult to know what to title this article. Can you outfox and old Fox, Bannon & Trump’s Clever Plan, or Don & Steve’s Excellent Adventure, all were considered. Some of the news pundits want us to believe that our president was moved by the events in Charlottesville to purge his administration of the influence of Steve Bannon, but based on what we have seen from Trump since he announced his candadicy, he is not moved to change by nay-sayers. Judging from the recent headlines, Trump believes Bannon to be a great guy, and a great friend.

It does appear that the violent events at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA, have shown Trump that there are a good many loud voices on every side that will protest scenes like that. The media exposure of the violence that erupted, and many, many on-scene, live-action videos that were quickly uploaded, have served to enlighten the whole nation to the savage nature of face to face confrontations, when several groups, in fear of being marginalized, confront each other without respect to the right of the other person to have the equal right to free speech. But there is so much more we can learn from these events.

It turns out that Trump cannot publicly champion Bannon’s Alt-Right cause without parts of his base becoming disenchanted. Considering that some of his base carry torches and automatic weapons, it seems prudent for Trump to be less provocative. But how can he move forward with the intended agenda with these new restraints in place?

For the last 7 months there have been rumors and leaks about disharmony between Trump’s top 3 advisors, Steve Bannon, Ivanka Trump, and Jared Kushner. Bannon is a leader in the Alt-Right universe, while Ivanka and Jared are Jewish Democrats, but being such a fan of diversity, President Trump loves all of them.

It is clear that Bannon has Trump’s confidence, and Bannon may be a more forward thinker than Trump. He strikes me as the kind of guy who is playing the long game. Trump wants to play the long game too, but maybe he wants someone else to write the outline for him, and the thesis statement, and provide some quotes.

Bannon is good at providing content and rhetoric. He gave an interview mocking his White House colleagues and claimed, after it aired, that he’d though it was off the record. Rumors spread that Trump suspected Bannon of leaking things and that Trump wasn’t happy when Bannon contradicted him publicly over his North Korea threats. Trump had made tough threats to Kim Jong Un, before Bannon stated publicly, “…there is no military solution there. They got us.”

According to someone who leaked something, it is said that Trump and Bannon had agreed on Bannon’s departure during the week before the events of Charlottesville occurred.

Some of Bannon’s first comments after his ouster were to mock other White House staff members, and declare, “The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over. We still have a huge movement, and we will make something of this Trump presidency. But that presidency is over. It’ll be something else. And there’ll be all kinds of fights, and there’ll be good days and bad days, but that presidency is over.” Then, as a means to redirect the audience’s attention, Bannon began to explain why he thought the more important topic is the economic war with China.

By contrast, some of Trump’s first comments after Bannon’s ouster were about what a great guy and a great friend Trump believes him to be, and how he wishes Steve the best as he returns to Breitbart, even encouraging him to get back to work because the ‘fake news’ needs the competition. I guess that is accurate enough. There’s no danger that Bannon will compete with any of the ‘real news’ media. 

Trump’s bidding him a public farewell, and Bannon’s proclaiming that the originally intended Trump agenda is over, though he still vows to make something of this Trump presidency. That sounds like the beginning of a black op. What do you do when your plan is thwarted by the outcry of the masses? You go under cover. Do you believe that Trump is giving up on his original agenda? Do you believe Trump is leaving his friendship with Bannon for the sake of the nation’s good? You may have been outfoxed by an old fox.

 

Open Letter to President Trump

Dear Mr. President,

It seems clear that this whole presidency thing is much more than you anticipated. Perhaps it looked a lot easier when someone else was on the job. When Bill Clinton was president and the two of you were playing golf, did you look at him and think, I could do that, and do it much better? When W. was president and started a war in Iraq, you said, if I was president I wouldn’t have done that. When Obama was president you were very vocal about what you thought, and decided to run for the office so you could undo any/every thing he had done. For the last 20+ years you have been telling everyone your opinions on politics and current events, and now, you are president.

I appeal to you, as the leader of our great nation, to put aside rhetoric and partisanship, and lead our great nation into a future that serves and protects all US citizens, and our future elections. Is that too much for a citizen to ask from a president? Is that too much for a nation to ask from a president? If you believe it is, please allow someone else to take over the job.

You have the prerogative to choose the kind of leader you want to be. Is this it? Do you think it is even possible for ANY president to govern using only the strength of his own party? This is not, and has never been, a one party nation. In one of your tweets from July 22, 2017, you said, “ObamaCare is dead and the Democrats are obstructionists, no ideas or votes, only obstruction. It is solely up to the 52 Republican Senators.”

I can agree with you that there is a lot of obstructionism going on, but it is not anything new. The US Congresses have been at loggerheads for a long time now, and we the people are weary of it. We do not want our nation to be governed by 52 Republican Senators. We do not want our nation to be governed by 100 Senators either. We want, and deserve, to be governed by the THREE branches of our government because only by the checks and balances provided by combining all three branches do we have any hope of democracy.

The founding fathers came together to establish the three branches of government because they had seen the alternative played out elsewhere. We need the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches for democracy to function. The United States of America is not a monarchy or a dictatorship.

How can you justify your comment that the Republicans are not doing enough to protect you? And protect you from what exactly? I feel confident that I am not the only citizen asking you to clarify that statement. Further, we are weary of hearing you call unflattering news articles leaks and flattering articles good coverage. The public depends on the fourth estate to deliver the news about what is truly going on in our nation.

It is not the responsibility of the Republicans to protect you, it is your responsibility to protect all American citizens. You accepted that responsibility when you took the oath of the office, and now you are expected to follow through.

There are media outlets representing both sides of every issue because there are always two sides to every story. Will you continue to claim victim-hood whenever some media outlet publishes something you don’t want them to publish? Will you continue to label the facts you find inconvenient as witch hunts and fake news?

After the Washington Post published an article on July 21, 2017, stating that according to intelligence intercepts, Attorney General Sessions had indeed discussed campaign issues with Sergei Kislyak during their 2016 meeting, your response was to tweet, “While all agree the US President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us. FAKE NEWS.” Mr. President, when the intelligence agencies of our nation make a statement and the media publishes the news of that statement to the public, it is not a leak, it is the news of the day. 

I understand that you would prefer that the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election cycle would just go away but that is an unrealistic expectation. I’m sure Bill Clinton would have preferred that the investigation into Whitewater, curious deaths, and sexual harassment during his administration would have just gone away. I’m sure that George W. Bush would have preferred that there had been no investigation into the reasons he gave for the pre-emptive war in Iraq. Likewise, Obama would have preferred that there had been no investigation into his administration’s Fast and Furious fiasco, but if these histories teach us anything, it is that presidents WILL be investigated for any/every thing that seems damaging to this great nation.

On July 23, 2017, Anthony Scaramucci made a statement to Jake Tapper on CNN, that, ” if the Russians actually hacked this situation and spilled out those emails, you would have never seen it. You would have never had any evidence of them. Meaning that they’re super confident in their deception skills and hacking.” When Tapper asked him for clarification he said that it was you, Mr. President, that made that statement to him. So, I ask you, Mr. President, what can ever be done without leaving behind any evidence? And also, how can you be so confident that the Russians are so adept at hacking that they could commit such a conspiracy without leaving any evidence while at the same time denying that the US Intelligence agencies are incapable of gathering the information necessary to protect our national security? What makes you so confident that Russian Intelligence is so superior to American Intelligence if you truly have had no dealings with them?

During your campaign for the presidency you often cited the corruption in Washington DC as a problem that you could fix. You condemned those corrupt swamp dwellers and lobbyists, and promised to drain the swamp, loudly and often. Yet, here we are, watching you fill your administration with billionaires, lobbyists, and swamp things.

You have indicated that if Mueller tries to look into your finances it will be the crossing of a line, but you have yet to release your tax returns to the American people. You gave your word to release them after the audit was complete but it has been more than a year since you said so, and still no release. How long does it take to complete the audit?  You kicked the ball down the road with the audit long enough to run out the clock on the election. Now you say that the people don’t care about it anymore because you are president now, but that is inaccurate. We still want to know. If Mueller decides he needs to see your finances to determine whether or not you are subject to Russian coercion he will make some kind of report that will be broadcast by the media. If and when that happens, it will not be a witch hunt, it will be the news of the day. Prepare to be investigated, Mr. President, because you are president.

 

To Trump the Truth

By now, we’ve all heard about how the 4-person meeting Donald Trump Jr. called innocent and non-productive was really a carefully orchestrated face-to-face attended by 8 people. (Robert Mueller is investigating.) For months, Don Jr. claimed there was no such meeting at all, but when the New York Times notified him that they were publishing the evidence they had found, he published those incriminating emails himself before the NYT story was published.

When he did that he was following the advice of his legal council. Better to admit it and seem more open than to hide the facts and look like a liar.

Well, it seems Trumps have a habit of trying to trump the truth. When Don Jr. made his statement about the contents of the emails he said an old friend (Goldstone) had asked him to arrange a meeting with a Russian lawyer (Veselnitskaya) to receive evidence that would implicate the DNC and Hillary Clinton, and that this was a show of assistance from the Russian government for his father’s run for the presidency. He claimed that though he had asked Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort to accompany him to the meeting, he had not told them who they would be meeting or what the meeting was about. (But he did forward the emails to them, which contained the details) Don Jr. phrased it in such a way as to suggest the meeting was limited to those 4 people.

Don Jr. seems genuinely disappointed that no concrete dirt on Hillary was obtained, saying the meeting was unproductive because the information offered by Veselnitskaya was not evidence of accepting contributions from foreign entities, but merely an illustration of the avenue that was used. Don Jr. said that Veselnitskaya then turned the conversation to Russian adoptions and the Magnitsky Act, and it became clear to him that the new topic was the real reason for the meeting. He felt he had been duped into the meeting.

The newsies took this up and suddenly it wasn’t just the New York Times that wanted the details. The politicians on both sides of the aisle had things to say. Some said it proved collusion. Some said it was just the way business is done in DC. But then someone else had something to say because the media reports were leaving him out of the conversation.

Enter Rinat Akhmetshin, Russian-American lobbyist and former Soviet military officer, who is a well-known Washington presence. For some time now he has been lobbying for Russian interests trying to escape the Magnitsky Act. (He has duel citizenship) The Magnitsky Act was a US action intended to punish Russian officials for the murder of Sergei Magnitsky, who was the lawyer that exposed corruption at high government levels.

Magnitsky had alleged there had been a large-scale theft from the Russian state, sanctioned and carried out by Russian officials. He was arrested and eventually died in prison seven days before the expiration of the one-year term during which he could be legally held without trial.[4]

So, Akhmetshin was at the Don Jr. meeting too. He says that Veselnitskaya invited him to the meeting at the last minute and he didn’t even have time to change his clothes, attending the meeting in jeans. Since his specialty in Washington is lobbying against the Magnitsky Act, an invitation from Veselnitskaya does seem to jive well with the idea that the true purpose for requesting the meeting with Don Jr. was not to discuss Hillary Clinton, but to push another agenda.

After Don Jr. was forced to admit that there were more than 4 people at the meeting, President Trump’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, threw shade at the Secret Service. As an attempted distraction, Sekulow suggested that if there had been anything nefarious about the meeting the Secret Service would have vetted the attendees. The Secret Service spoke up to say that Don Jr. wasn’t under their protection at that time, and even if he were, they wouldn’t tell him with whom he could meet, they would simply protect him, no matter who he was meeting.

So, what was it really about? Goldstone says that Ike Kaveladze, a Russian lawyer representing the Agalarov real estate interests in the US, asked him to arrange a meeting between Veselnitskaya and Don Jr. (Goldstone is the agent of Emin Agalarov.  Aras Agalarov, Emin’s’ father, is known as the Russian Trump).

Akhmetshin says Veselnitskaya invited him to come along with her, and her interpreter, Anatoli Samochornov. Don Jr. says he invited Kushner and Manafort. Goldstone was there as the organizer, and Kaveladze was a silent observer. So what does all that have to do with adopting Russian children? Nothing. (The end to Americans adopting Russian children was the action Putin took to retaliate against the Magnitsky Act.)

The law enacts sanctions on certain Russian officials as a punishment for human rights violations.

Adopted in 2012, the Magnitsky Act permitted the U.S. to freeze financial assets of Russian officials who contributed to the abuse, arrest and death of Magnitsky. It was later expanded in 2016 to include human rights abusers anywhere.

Well, since Kaveladze, who works for Agalarov, asked Goldstone, who also works for Agalarov, to arrange a meeting between Don Jr. (friend to the Agalarov family) and the lovely Veselnitskaya, using a ‘trumped up’ pretext that would be sure to capture Don Jr.’s interest, it would appear that it was really Agalarov that wanted the conversation to take place.

So, in light of that, let’s ask why Jared Kushner left the meeting after the first 10 minutes or so. Let’s ask why the meeting went on for 20-30 minutes after Kushner left. And while we are asking, let’s find out who was talking and who was taking notes. Did the meeting provide an innocent cover for a mafia-style face-to-face? If so, whose faces should we be looking into? The questions that come to mind are all suspicious now that we know Don Jr. has denied the meeting happened, lied about Kushner and Manafort’s knowledge of the meetings’ purpose, and has no compunctions about methods of information gathering.

I suppose it is a good thing that Don Jr. has so openly demonstrated the way the Trumps try to trump the truth, (like the way Eric showed us what President Trump does with charity dollars that come into their foundation), because we need to know. This is the first family of the nation. They say you can know the tree by the fruit it bears. I wonder if even Robert Mueller can trump the Trump’s attempts to trump the truth.

 

Cheryl Thurston, lives in North Carolina, is an author and graphic designer whose work has been purchased by Perdue College and featured in the N.C. Zoological Society’s public awareness project in 2010.

Why is a Health Care plan “happening to us” this way?

There really is a reason for everything. Everything people do has a purpose and a motivation. My, what big brains we have.

When Trump was campaigning, and trying to keep his rural voting block enthused, he promised that under the new health care plan that he would “make them write”, everyone would be covered, including those with pre-existing conditions, and that premiums and deductibles would be lower. (Naturally people voted for that)

A few months after the inauguration, the nation is learning how Trump thinks and works. He doesn’t read much, but he watches TV. When something new comes to his attention, he tweets his response without delay.

On July 14th, shortly after Mitch McConnell released the new revisions to the Republican’s plan to replace the ACA (Obamacare), President Trump tweeted out the following: “Republicans Senators are working hard to get their failed ObamaCare replacement approved. I will be at my desk, pen in hand.” That was 3:57AM on July 14, 2017, and Trump was in France at the time.

Trump didn’t mention any of the particulars of the bill, because how could he know them? The bill has been kept quieter that the secrets Snowdan exposed. It was released Thursday afternoon and the tweet above surfaced at 3:57a.m., in France. (It would have been 9:57PM in Washington, DC, at that time) Still, my attention fell on the way Trump’s tweet pledges to quickly sign whatever “they” put on his desk. It sounds like he has no intention of reading it to determine if it might be something he should veto, as president of a nation.

Trump is pressing legislators to put this bill on his desk so he can sign it and be done with ObamaCare, even though, anyone who’s ever seen the School House Rock video, “I’m Just a Bill” knows that after the Senate gets around to passing something, it still has to go back to the House, for revisions and funding, before finding it’s way to the president’s desk.

McConnell may have asked Trump to help him get (republican) people on board to vote for the bill, because repealing the ACA is the most important thing in their world right now, (and like ever since it became the law of the land). After 60 failed attempts to repeal, the Republicans now have the majority but still can’t get the votes to pull off a repeal because their plans are “mean” to the base, according to Trump and rewarding to the rich, according to the CBO.

The House pushed their bill through, chomping at the bit like the clock was running out. They flew through the process, begging the Senate to pass it before the CBO report was out. I guess they didn’t realize that kind of behavior would make that rural base ask, “What’s the all-fired rush?” Then the Senate decided not to allow any of the democrats to sit in on the discussion and development of their version of the House bill and now the base wants to know, “ What are ya’ll trying to take away from my health care, and whose pockets are you filling with the tax savings?”

The lack of support for the Senate’s first draft sent them back to work on it some more, so Senate leadership doled out concessions here and there to garner support. Even the notoriously “most unpopular senator”, Ted Cruz was granted an amendment to the bill. (Remember in 2013, Ted Cruz took credit for shutting down the government to ‘unsuccessfully’ leverage repealing the ACA)

The Ted Cruz amendment would allow insurance providers to sell packages without pre-natal care to men, which would effectively force women to pay more for insurance simply because of the possibility of pregnancy. Would these scaled down plans be sold to women? (Makes it look like Ted is working for Catholic men who want to make sure they don’t have to pay for any woman’s birth control or delivery expenses. I thought the word “catholic” meant for everyone.)

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/catholic

  1. Of broad or liberal scope; (comprehensive)

      2. Including or concerning all humankind; (universal)

I am concerned about what the final bill might look like. I am further concerned that our president probably won’t even read it before he signs it. Isn’t that exactly what the American people said when the ACA was being debated? Everyone was so angry with Nancy Pelosi when she said, “We’ll have to pass it to find out what’s in it.” But that anger was justified. We have found out what’s in it, higher premiums and deductibles. After 7 years and 60+ attempts to repeal, where is the plan written by the cleverest minds? Who has the solution for the health care question?

Why does a health care plan have to be something that is happening to us? Why don’t our legislators listen to the needs of the many? Is it because of the affluence of the few?

 

 

 

 

Insurance Premiums at a Premium

What’s a nation to do? We will always need health care and well care.

When we are able to define the problems and issues we are able to find solutions to those problems and resolve those issues.

Why can’t the issues with Health Care be resolved (if they are no older than the ACA)?

  • The ACA has been blamed for rising premiums and deductibles
  • The ACA has been held responsible for failures in the insurance industry
  • The ACA has been blamed for expanding Medicaid for the poor & disabled
  • The ACA has been blamed for exploding profits in the insurance industry
  • The ACA has insured health care to 20 million, otherwise unable to get it

Why are premiums and deductibles rising? Because that’s what they do. They were rising before the ACA was passed, but at least, the ACA put some limits on runaway profits, right? There are failed businesses in every industry, and insurance is no exception, right? The poor and disabled need health care, should they receive it? Businesses have to turn a profit to continue in business, but how much profit does it take to be considered obscene? If there are 20 million more people getting health care now than there were before the ACA, how will they react when they are forced off of Medicaid, when the rug is once again pulled out from under their feet?

Are our legislators pondering any of these questions? Do they even see the blue collar and middle class? It has been 7 years since the ACA was signed into law and we are still talking about it, suffering from it, and failing to repair it.

Since the ACA was signed into law in 2010, through a Democratic majority, the opposition party has done just that; oppose. The harsh rhetoric, on both sides of the aisle, which has dominated the political conversation for the last 7 years, has not been constructive or conducive to bi-partisanship.

Did the Democrats anticipate how the Republican outrage over the Obama election and the resultant obstructionism would last as long as his presidency? How did they deal with the way the Republicans dug their heels in after Obama’s re-election, and shut down the whole government (Ted Cruz-November 2013) for the sake of another failed attempt to repeal the ACA without a replacement?

Did the Republicans ever consider that there might be a future wherein they would be held responsible by their constituents for refusing to allow legislation to pass with their blatant obstruction? Did they expect the same type of obstruction to be used against them by their “friends across the aisle” when they took the majority? Are they surprised at the difficulty they are still experiencing under their new Republican president.

Incessant attempts to repeal without an adequate replacement have served to broadcast the message that our legislators are more concerned with posturing in front of their colleagues and contributors than serving the best interests of their constituents.

Let’s look at the issues in bullet points above.

(1) The insurance providers, not the ACA law, have raised premiums and deductibles. Statistics show that the increase in premiums and deductibles has slowed under the ACA as compared to pre-ACA rates of growth. The ACA has placed limitations on the percentage of premiums that can become profits in some cases.

(2) Some failures in the insurance industry have been blamed on the ACA. The insurance lobby had plenty to say while the ACA was being crafted. It was the insurance lobby that insisted on the ACA forcing mandatory participation, because without it, they said they wouldn’t be able to cover all pre-existing conditions. The mandated individual participation was supposed to be enough to cover pre-existing conditions without soaring premiums, but that isn’t exactly how it worked out, now is it?

(3) The Medicaid expansion that was part of the ACA was optional to the individual states. I happen to live in a state whose governor rejected the Medicaid expansion option, preventing the disabled and poor in my home state from being able to avail themselves of health care, medical care, dental care or well care.

(4) The profits reported by the insurance industry since the ACA became law have been embarrassingly YUGE. If the profits are so high, why the consistent increase in premiums? The interesting nugget below comes from an article published in March 2016 on the healthinsurance.org blog

While the Dow Jones average has increased an impressive 253 percent since March 5, 2009, Humana’s share price is up a truly remarkable 1010 percent. No, that’s not a typo. Cigna’s share price has done even better. It’s up 1113 percent. That’s more than four times better than the Dow. The other big companies aren’t far behind. Anthem is up 469 percent. Aetna is up 628 percent. And UnitedHealth Group is up 814 percent. But it’s WellCare that takes the prize. Its stock price is up an astounding 1,410 percent. Thanks entirely to its federal and state government customers.

Source: https://www.healthinsurance.org/blog/2016/03/01/no-obamacare-isnt-killing-the-insurance-industry/

 

(5) The ACA’s expansion of Medicaid has allowed about 20 million people who are under-age, disabled, or otherwise unable to purchase coverage, to be able to seek medical care, surgical care, and dental care that they would have had to do without, if not for the ACA. Some people talk about that like it’s a bad thing.

So, what are our legislators going to do next? The Republicans are still hoping to push through their bill, which at last look retracts Medicaid availability for many over time. The Democrats feel justified in obstructing anything the Republicans put forth without bi-partisan input and debate, because the Republicans taught them how to use obstructionism during the Obama administration.

On July 10, 2017, during the 7AM hour of CNN’s New Day, Chris Cuomo interviewed Rep. Mo Brooks (R) Alabama, who serves on the Armed Services & Foreign Affairs committees, concerning the Senate bill Mitch McConnell is pushing.

Cuomo asked Brooks if the new Republican bill being reworked this week were to get a CBO score showing that the proposed ‘tax savings’ would be the cause of millions being pushed off of Medicaid over the next 5-7 years, would that be enough to kill the bill, and Brooks responded that it would for some Senators but not for others, because “we” have to keep in mind our ability to pay for things. He acknowledged that there are a lot of families out there which would be self sufficient were it not for high insurance premiums and commented that he’d love to deliver perfect health care to every American, but we just don’t have the money. To that Cuomo retorted that his (Brooks) policy argument conflicted with the reality of where this ‘tax savings’ would be going, to the very wealthy. Cuomo further questioned, if the congressman was so concerned about not being able to pay for Medicaid for the millions who can’t afford insurance, why are the tax breaks going to the wealthy. Brooks countered that the people who have great wealth are the ones who create the jobs that employ us all.

So what does that mean? Is he suggesting that the “have money” people are the ones insisting on depriving the poor and disabled of Medicaid so they can get a tax break? Is he suggesting that if you are able bodied or middle class that you can be sure to land an adequate job (that is yet to be) created by those who will receive the ‘tax savings’ from the restructuring of heath care? Are you holding your breath while hunting for these jobs?

Brooks claimed that health care and tax savings are all inner-related and are a difficult balance to achieve. He said in a free enterprise economy, it’s that wealth that creates the businesses that create the jobs for our blue collar and middle class workforce. He didn’t mention any of the jobs that have been lost to out-sourcing from this country over the last 40 years. He didn’t mention anything about the other tax breaks/loopholes that have been granted to the top 1% over the last 20 years. (Surely 20 years is enough time for the “have money” people to create jobs.) Where are the jobs? Oh yes, I remember where they went.

Definition: Job outsourcing is when U.S. companies hire foreign workers instead of Americans. In 2013, U.S. overseas affiliates employed 14 million workers. The four industries most affected are technology, call centers, human resources and manufacturing. (Source: “Activities of U.S. Multinational Enterprises in 2013,” Bureau of Economic Analysis. https://www.thebalance.com/how-outsourcing-jobs-affects-the-u-s-economy-3306279)

A difficult balance to achieve, huh?

I might have lent more credence to Rep. Brooks’ position except that to close the segment with Cuomo, Brooks threw shade at McConnell’s Senate, saying that he didn’t understand the hold up on the legislation. (This from a Tea Party Republican) Brooks claimed that the Senate could have been working on their own bill for 3 months while they were waiting for the House to pass their bill. He berated the Senate for waiting 3 months to start working on a replacement bill, even though the House has been trying to repeal the ACA for 7 years, but has no better replacement except to push those newly covered off of coverage while granting tax savings to the 1%. He slammed the Senate for the impasse they face with the Democrats, even though the House bill passed 217-213, without a single Democratic vote.

What will it take to break this deadlock? Why is every issue divided into Democratic/Republican rhetoric? This nation is more than just Democrat or Republican. It will take conversation, debate, and a fair amount of concern for the national population to call the attention of our legislators back to the people they were sent to Washington, DC to represent. I remember a time in history when American people felt like they were being taxed but not represented. There was a Tea Party then too.

 

 

 

 

 

Cat’s Litter, what a site.

This is a blog about whatever comes into my mind and then leaks out my fingertips on the keyboard.

I started with a graphic of a cat walking away because I thought it was funny when I saw a similar graphic on the wall at the animal hospital. Then I thought, the written word is referred to as literature, and cats dump their unmentionables in litter, so I came to rest on Cat’s Litter because Cat’s Scat is less palatable. (Pun intended)

I wanted to have an outlet for my thoughts because I’m concerned with the direction my nation is taking. There are so many issues that touch so many people, I’m happy that WordPress allows me to blog like this. Thank you WordPress!

Please check back often to see what is new.

Aren’t we all in this together?

Recently, the United States inaugurated a new president. You know the one, the non-politician, narcissist that wants to have everything his own way, even though he isn’t the only citizen here. The one who, in 1991, pretended to be someone else so he could act as his own publicist. Then, acting as his own publicist, he went on to brag about his sexual exploits, (whether real or imagined) so people could hear about how great he is, (in his own mind) and be impressed.

Yes, that was a long time ago, and I’m sure he has learned some lessons since then, but it does lend some insight into how the man’s mind works.

Since the advent of Twitter, there’s no need to pretend to be his own publicist, he has become it. There is no longer the need to call a reporter to publicize any story he wants to put out there. He just puts it out there, whether true or imagined. Isn’t technology wonderful?

As a private citizen, he was just one of the voices in the crowd, so when he carped about Obama’s birth certificate, and denied his citizenship, it was just rhetoric. Blatant and  divisive, yes, but still just his opinion. He waited until after the 2016 election was over to admit that he believed Obama was, in fact, an American citizen. Some people may have grown tired of his (very public) complaints about Obama, and others may have been inspired by it. But his relentless comments brought him the attention he so desired.

But now he has become the president of the United States of America, and his opinion is more than just rhetoric, it is becoming policy. During the campaign, he suggested that the Russians should hack Hillary to find out what she was hiding. He may have thought that it would help him if someone else was responsible for bringing her “crookedness” to light. He probably understood when he said that, that it would inspire hackers to go for it, and that was what he wanted. But now, as president, he doesn’t like to look like he was asking hackers for their help. He doesn’t want to be responsible for inciting hackers to break internet protocols. But his comments are on tape and on TV, how can he back track?

He wants to be viewed as an innocent. He wants to get the credit for the good that happens, but not the negative. When he hosted the president of Panama at the White House, one of his opening comments was, “The Panama Canal is doing quite well. I think we did a good job building it, right?” 

The Panama Canal project was started by the French in 1881 and finished  by the US in 1914, (about 33 years before Trump was born). But since it was something positive, Trump sought to take credit for it as the president.

The U.S. continued to control the canal and surrounding Panama Canal Zone until the 1977 Torrijos–Carter Treaties provided for handover to Panama. After a period of joint American–Panamanian control, in 1999 the canal was taken over by the Panamanian government and is now managed and operated by the government-owned Panama Canal Authority. Credit to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panama_Canal

Maybe Trump was trying to point out how good the US has been to Panama, but that begs more questions. Was he taking credit for building the Panama Canal or was he trying to remind the president of Panama that he should be grateful to the US?

Was he trying to change the subject of the national news that day? At the time, it had just come to light that the 110 billion dollar arms deal Trump said he had made with Saudi Arabia, was neither a done deal nor his own accomplishment?

There is no $110 billion deal. Instead, there are a bunch of letters of interest or intent, but not contracts. Many are offers that the defense industry thinks the Saudis will be interested in someday. The above excerpt is from the Brookings Institute, https://www.brookings.edu/blog/markaz/2017/06/05/the-110-billion-arms-deal-to-saudi-arabia-is-fake-news/

Where is he leading this nation? Are we headed to the same place he has lead several of his businesses, bankruptcy court?

He has admitted in the past that he pretended to be a publicist, and called it “a good time at Marla’s expense.” He admitted recently that he has no tapes of the conversations he had with Comey, and said his Tweet stating, “Comey better hope there are no tapes” was intended to keep Comey honest. Some people are now questioning whether it was intended to shut Comey up or manipulate what Comey might say. Personally, I wonder if he is saying he has no tapes because having them signals another intent.

The citizens of this nation are woke and paying attention. Anyone can be taken in by a con-artist, but eventually the con will unravel, and the con man will be exposed. Woe be to the con-artist who tries to take 325 million people at the same time.

This is a great nation, founded on great principles, but with an inexperienced captain at the helm, I fear we are headed for treacherous waters. Let’s hope it doesn’t look like the Titanic when the time comes to man the life boats. We ARE all in this together.