Liar, Liar . . . but that’s ok

When I was little, my imaginary friend was Casper the ghost.  Most of the time, blaming him for some minor thing in the house was just passed over, which didn’t happen much because we were terrified of our dad.  We tended to keep to ourselves and not make waves.  Sometime when I was 4 or 5, we were ‘holding’ a piano for a friend while they moved.  It was fun to play with the piano, trying to make music or pretending to be performing in a great hall.  So when if found a new thing to play,  I was all over it, but it wasn’t music.  I had found a little metal rod and tried to play the keys with this little rod.  It didn’t move the keys, but it put a really cool, perfectly round, half circle chip on the edge of the ivory key.  Wow, that was neat, would it do it again?  It did.  On every single key, some twice.

When mom saw the piano, she pretty much knew, but did the whole parent thing.  Who did this?  I stood there and blamed my sister.  Nope, that didn’t fly.  Well, my brother could take the fall, he would have thought of it anyway.  Boy, did he get in trouble . . . until mom figured out it wasn’t him.  She stood me in front of the piano again, asked who did it.  Well, since she still hasn’t figured it out (my little 5 year old mind reasoned) I’d blame Casper.  Needless to say, that sealed my fate.  I have no recollection of what happened after that, but I was busted.

That was my lesson on lying.  My lesson on ‘fessing up.  My lesson on being accountable.  I may be an optimist and idealistic, but I would like to think everyone had that moment at one point or another while growing up.  I know that some, after getting away with said lie, felt empowered to try again.  We grow older and learn that a lie is not a lie, that they are not all the same.  Some are beneficial, some self-serving, some small, some devastating.

So, unlike George Washington, we have all lied, and will most likely do it again.  But when does a lie become bad?  When does it stop being small?  At what point do you recant and come out with the truth?  When, as an observer, do you call bullshit?

In U.S. politics, the word doesn’t exist, lie.  Somehow, no one in U.S. politics ever gets busted for lying, even if they are caught it is just put aside.  They are all initially treated like a white lie, like the lie you tell someone about their food.  You tell them it tastes good, even though it is so vile you wouldn’t give it to your worst enemy, but telling the truth serves no purpose other than hurting their feelings and potentially stopping them from cooking again.  Unless they are poisoning people, then the nice little white lie doesn’t make the earth implode.

We have become so complacent with the word vomit that spouts out of the mouths of politicians, we only become outraged if the act itself is discovered, not the lie.  The only thing in recent memory where the lie apparently was worse than the act was Bill Clinton.  The fact is, the man cheated on his wife.  Not a crime, hell, really shouldn’t have been the huge public circus that it became.  If you cheated on your partner and all of a sudden your job demanded you publicly address the accusation, most people would lie and try to distance themselves from it in hopes that your marriage (relationship) wouldn’t be effected.  There have been plenty of bigger things lied about in government than a blow job, and most of the time . . . NOTHING HAPPENS.

The problem with that is most of those lies effect policy.  They impact voting.  They take us to war.  They make the government less reputable.  They insult their voters.  When we lie as children, it’s the lie we get in trouble for, not for breaking the glass.  When you take responsibility, it’s not all rainbows and fluff, but the punishment is dialed down.  Why are we allowing these ‘public servants’ to not only do a really shitty job, but lie with a straight face and become indignant when we don’t buy it.

There need to be repercussions for lying.  They need to be called out.  The media needs to push back on lies, especially blatant misrepresentation of the facts.  These people need to face perjury charges, they need to be removed from committees or even office, they need to answer to the public that they lied and why, what are they going to do to rectify the situation.

Trump and his unending blabber of erroneous lies is not funny.  They are not trump being trump, just saying what he thinks.  No, he is impacting policy, opinion, our government.  He needs to stop being handled with kid gloves and forced to answer for any lie he has or will tell.  Opinion is one thing, but accusing Obama of wire tapping then sending your page boy out to say it wasn’t a lie, it was a generalization is not acceptable.  When he mis-states facts and numbers, he needs to be confronted with the actual numbers and demand that he state his source.  Claiming during the campaign that the unemployment rate was 25, 30, even 45% (total fabrication).  There can’t be allowance of pick and choose statistics just because they are unfavorable to the narrative.  If he cannot back it up, he must publicly recant / correct the statement.

I would love to see a week of the press coming together and agreeing to call the White House out on one item, and don’t let them speak about anything except one topic until either they show tangible proof or admit it was a lie.  Just pick one.  Hammer it home.  Don’t let them off.  Every day, hour, press conference.  Every interview, every tweet, every statement drill in the fact that the White House is lying.  Call it what it is and don’t let it be anything less (alternative facts, really?).  Don’t let the sources be, ‘I heard it from people’ or ‘we read the numbers in a report’.  Could you imagine Spicer trying to avoid answering a question that the entire press corps kept asking him?  Forcing Kelly Ann Conway to answer questions with a yes or no, not her bizarre blather that makes no sense and leaves her not answering anything.

Every time they are allowed to lie, and not confronted one to one, they are like the kid that got away with it the the first time.  ‘Well, it worked before and nothing happened, I can do that again’.  We need to shove it right back in their face, collectively, the moment it happens and not let it go.  I’m tired of it, aren’t you?

The Greatest Health Care?

I keep hearing the talking heads in Washington bitch about the ACA and how the increased premiums are hitting the middle class.  That the increase is in the thousands with astronomical deductibles.  I know I’m broke, but I was mystified at ‘who is this middle class’?

Let’s start with some basic assumptions about this group.  Income is per adult, so you can apply this generalization to a family or a single person.  So, this ‘person’ is paying a rent or mortgage.  They have a car with a note on it.  There is a basic cell phone, average bills, food and even insurance.  This ‘middle class’ is defined as a one person household making $47,520, and a two person household at $97,200.  Take home each month would be around $2400.  Take a look at what you lay out each month and work with that number, $2,400.  Rent – $1,000, Car $250, Cell $50, Utilities $100, Gas $100, Food $350, Insurance $300.  This alone comes to $2,150.  There is $250 left for incidentals, emergencies, savings, car maintenance and anything else that might pop up.  For me, an emergency room visit is $250 the first time, goes to $500 there after (unless I’m admitted).  Imagine now if you have a kid or two as a single parent.  Even with dual income as ‘middle class’, it’s not like there is an extra $2,400 lying around, they have double the expenses except rent.

We have heard about the income gap and how a very few control most of the money.  There are about 320 million people living in the U.S. with about 150 million actually earning a paycheck.  66% of the wage earners, or 100 million earn less than $40,000.  This is NOT the middle class.  This is the group that got insurance under the ACA that didn’t have insurance before.  This is the group that will be most impacted if the ACA is repealed.

The majority of the group that everyone is talking about, the group that had their premiums shoot through the roof, the group that is complaining how bad the ACA is, it’s about 33 million that make between $45,000 to $100,000 (remember, each wage earner). I’m not judging, but when a republican representative has the gall to say that instead of buying the latest phone people should invest in their health, I look at this group and how they budget their money.  It’s $3,000 for rent, it’s a $499 car payment, it’s Starbucks every morning.  Asking that 66% to sacrifice so they can buy healthcare while the 33% is being inconvenienced is asinine.  Also, keep this in mind, those making less than $40,000, have little to no insurance offered by employers (not full-time, not given the hours).  The higher the income, the more likely insurance comes with the job.  There is a certain population that is either self-employed or small business owners in that wedge between $45,000 to $200,000.  They are being hit and hit hard, but this is the exception.

This is the infuriating part.  Of the 150 million wage earners, 2.5 million make over $200,000 . . . and of that group 72 people earned over 6 BILLION in one year (2009).  These are the people making the decisions, creating a new health care bill that will be better than the ACA, the greatest healthcare ever.

Either they are completely in the dark and have no idea what is going on in America, or (more likely) they REALLY don’t want to share their toys.  Between republicans flat-out hate for Obama and anything he implemented  and the upper crust’s utter fear of having to pay for anything that does not benefit them, Americans are about to be slaughtered.  And they don’t realize it.

We know that “The Best” is just a turd covered in fake gold leaf to make it shiny.  Always keep in mind who is the middle class and who they think is the middle class – it is not the same.

Wow, 6 fucking billion.