There’s a sucker with a 10¢ ring

Perspective is everything. Not sure about the top 10, but political position aside, it is idealistic to think we “control” what are representatives do at a national level as a general statement, and that is because of money and the distribution of it.We have allowed it to slowly favor the upper crust, with the middle of the road guy to pay for supporting the masses. From citizens United to a non competitive market for pharmaceuticals, the balance has tipped more and more to one side with a smaller and smaller collection.  

It is a strategic way for fiscal conservatives / republicans to maintain representation in states with liberal major cities (Texas, Arizona, etc). Reminding that small portion of Americans (getting smaller and smaller) that their hard earned money shouldn’t go to government programs, they’re not responsible for the mom with five kids on welfare, my family comes first.  

This is true, this group of Americans are shouldering an unfair percentage of the burden. Because those at the top, the 2 million making over 200k each, the 6 people that make 6 billion combined, are putting on a show. There’s a sucker born every minute, as the saying goes, and they’ve counted in that.  

The top doesn’t want to let a penny go and have made many assurances that they won’t, they tell their voters across the board, ‘you won’t be taxed’ from top to bottom. To do this the “show” is to cut all of these “welfare” programs, the programs they say that aren’t necessary, or why should I pay for them to have this – I worked so my kids could have it, it’s a luxury, if they want it they can pay for it themselves. This is great, voters think, I take care of mine, you take care of yours.  

What the ring master doesn’t tell them is, for all that OTHER pesky stuff, like military, bank bailouts, salaries, programs that appear to benefit them, what the fail to say is all of THAT, gets paid for by them. They are the ones still getting taxed. Not to say all others get off Scott free, everyone will pay more in taxes and penalties. It’s just that middle group, the ones that were sold the 10¢ ring, they get spanked.  

That upper crust never gets touched. The next group of earners, they put in some, but are still part of that elite group that has a low tax rate, takes advantage of tax shelters and off shore accounts. The middle class (100-200k) they are stuck in the crap tax bracket, the ones trying to start/maintain small businesses.  The rest, they just see a chunk of their paycheck is gone no matter how hard they work.  That money could have bought school supplies, paid for after school programs so mom and dad CAN work, it could have bought milk and diapers instead of having to choose.  You tell the “middle class” that they should decide how to spend their money, where to put profits towards of their small startup, and then the worst part.  You convince not only the voters but even you start to believe the lie, that this “middle class” is the average American family.  Once that is burned in your brain, you can sell the crap out of it to the majority of America, those under that 100k threshold with the bulk of those at or just above the poverty line.  Convince them they are the middle class, that the taxes they pay are going to the lazy, the illegals, the freeloaders.  What you don’t say is most of the taxes that don’t end up in military spending are actually going back to their communities, be it SNAP, housing assistance, the arts, health care.  The exact programs that are needed but you will take away because you convince them of lower taxes, those giant government programs are what is eating up that paycheck and “social” spending can be decided at the local level.  Taxes won’t be lowered, if anything more of that paycheck will be taxed.  Spending isn’t being cut, it’s just being reallocated and other than a smaller paycheck, the actual everyday American now won’t see ANY benefit in their daily lives.

Dear Senators (and I’m looking at you Mitch),

‪The #ACA which took 2 years and everyone’s participation works for the majority (u know, us making under 30-50k) too bad yours is not exactly the same as before, you poor federal employee with a net worth on average of 1 million. Your 75 yr old ass and 32 yrs polluting the Senate are ending, you have NO right to be making health care decisions for young women, children in poverty, adults with and on disabilities or anyone for that matter that is not in your immediate family. Which if you so much as have a cough, you would be first in line at the ER, whisked to a private, mahogany paneled, personal chef, 1:1 nursing with a living room room.
The republicans on the hill are the obstructionist. The ACA works and just needs to be built upon, but you people are so invested in destroying ANYTHING Obama touched. You did for eight years. You jerkoffs had 7 years to come up with a comprehensive bill. 7 years. Instead you take 13 white male senators with an average age of 60 years old with 5 past forced retirement age in most companies and go hide in a room to come up with crap that ensure YOU get your federal health care back to what it was before the ACA and more tax breaks for all you wonderful idiots that make more than 200k.
This is not about you. This us not about republicans. This is about Americans and their future. Just because your future is short and your 3 spoiled kids and their rotten crotch fruit have daddy’s money and don’t have to worry, that’s only about 1.5% of the ENTIRE population.
Get off your Republican high horse, take what the ACA has (while assuring the insurance companies of little to no volatility), create real working groups with even numbers of dems and rep. Each group can focus on one aspect of the bill and get it done. 13 old white men will not determine our future.
Oh and by the way, don’t be chicken shits and face your constituents, every last one if you. If you really believed in what you were doing is for the people, you jackasses wouldn’t be afraid to meet with us, take a call, actually write a letter (not those stupid form letters that are cranked out). Not only has Congress had the LOWEST approval rating in modern history, but also the most inaccessible.
You work for us, remember?

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.

He’s Counting On You Not To Listen

Today, Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau met with Donald Trump at the White House. After a meeting with ‘women business leaders’ and other pleasantries they held a press conference. Next is the transcript of what Trump said to the press before both Trudeau spoke and the press asked questions. Now keep in mind, the initial statements are usually prepared and even reviewed by the president even if it is composed by a speech writer. After reading this it will make you question who the hell wrote it, did anyone else see it and is everyone really that paralyzed by this guy that they won’t correct him on ANYTHING? I will first have it in its entirety. Then I will attempt to analyze it.

On behalf of all Americans I thank you for being with us today. It is my honor to host such a great friend, neighbor and allies at the White House, a very special place.
This year Canada celebrates the 150th year of confederation. For Americans this is one of the milestones in our friendship and we look forward, very much forward, I must say, to many more to come.
Our two nations share much more than a border. We share the same values, we share the love, a truly great love of freedom and we share a collective defense. American and Canadian troops have gone to battle together, fought wars together and forged the special bonds that come when two nations have shed their blood together, which we have.
In these dangerous times it is more important than ever that we continue to strengthen our vital alliance. The United States is deeply grateful for Canada’s contribution to the counter ISIS effort. Thank you. And we continue to work in common and a common cause against terrorism and work in common cooperation toward reciprocal trade and shared growth.
We understand that both of our countries are stronger when we join forces in matters of international commerce. Having more jobs and trade right here in North America is better both for United States and is also much better for Canada. We should coordinate closely.
And we will coordinate closely to protect jobs in our hemisphere and keep wealth on our continent and to keep everyone safe.
Prime Minister, I pledge to work with you in pursuit of our many shared interests, this includes a stronger trading relationship between United States and Canada, it includes safe and responsible cross border travel and migration, and that includes close partnership on domestic and international safety.
America is deeply fortunate to have a neighbor like Canada. We have before us the opportunity to build even more bridges, and bridges of cooperation and bridges of commerce. Both of us are committed to bringing greater prosperity and opportunity to our people.
We just had a very productive meeting with women business leaders from the United States and Canada where we discussed how to secure everything that we know the full power of women can do, better than anyone else. We know that. I just wanna say Mr. Prime Minister that I’m focused and your focused on the role women play in our economies. We must work to address the barriers faced by women entrepeneurs including access to capital, access to markets and very importantly access to networks in our discussion.
Today we will focus on improving the ways our government and our governments together can benefit citizens of both United States and Canada and in so doing advance the greater peace and stability of the world.
Mr. Prime Minister I look forward to working closely with you to build upon our very historic friendship. There are incredible possibilities for us to pursue Canada and United States together.
Again, thank you for joining us and I know our discussion will be very, very productive for the future of both countries. Mr. Prime Minister – 

All righty.  Did you get that?  Or is your brain still trying to figure out what the hell any of that was?  I listened to it, listened to it again, listened to it a sentence at a time, typed it out, read it and still have no clue what the hell that was.

To open with, he doesn’t bother to personally thank Trudeau for coming.  Nothing about it being nice to have him down, hope he’s enjoying his visit.  What he DOES do is welcome him on behalf of the country and emphasized ‘great friend‘ to make sure we know Trudeau likes him.

Canada is celebrating their sesquicentennial this year, their 150th birthday (well, one of them anyway), so it’s kinda like their 4th of July.  He basically brushed it aside and comments on how it is a milestone for America and their relationship with Canada.  Nice dude.

Next, Trump proclaims we share the same values.  HA HA!  Canada is and has everything Trump is trying to eliminate here, then suddenly jumps to battle.  I don’t think war is on Canada’s top ten.

The comment “forged the special bonds that come when two nations have shed their blood together” is only for dramatics.  Take that same idea and apply it to all the people who were banned from the country that weekend.  Iraqis fighting side by side, literally shedding blood arm and arm, but because they are from Iraq, that’s not a real bond.

The fear dramatics weren’t missing today either.  We had the ‘dangerous times’ and ISIS reference and hinted at illegal boarder crossing.  He make the ‘war on terrorism’ aka the counter ISIS effort, seem like it was ours, we were in charge and thanked Canada for their ‘contribution’  To me it sounded very condescending.

His segways did not exist, he is on one topic and in the same sentence will jump to another from left field.  The rest is a rambling mess about commerce for the most part.

There are some stellar lines that just cannot even be explained, like this one, “we understand that both of our countries stronger when we join forces in matters having more jobs and trade in North America, better for United States and Canada.”

We should / we will coordinate closely to:
protect jobs
keep wealth on our continent
keep everyone safe . . . . in our hemisphere – WTF?

I pledge to work with you for our ‘shared’ interests:
stronger trading relationship (US/CA)
safe & responsible cross border travel AND migration
includes domestic and international security

Then he went on a whole bridge obsession.  To build even more bridges, bridges of cooperation, bridges of commerce.  What, our relationship with Canada has been that frictional?  The only reason we would need to build bridges with Canada is after Trump has burned every single one of them.

I don’t know the context of the ‘meeting of women business leaders from US & CA, but this might have been the most bizarre word vomit of this speech.
“How to secure everything that we know . . . can do better than anyone else, we know that”
“Focused on the role women play in economics”
To work to address barriers faced by women:
access to capital
access to markets
access to networks (emphasized ‘very important’)

These are just words:
Today we will focus on improving the ways our government and our governments together can benefit citizens of both United States and Canada and in so doing advance the greater peace and stability of the world
My summation – Focus on improving way to benefit citizens which will advance peace and security.
Yeah, neither make any sense.

As he wrapped it up, he wanted to ensure that everyone one knew J-dog was his BFF by referring to it as a “historic friendship“.  The ‘incredible possibilities’ are  what?

I haven’t seen anything in this speech that has any actionable statements.  It’s:
There is danger.
Teach everyone two are greater than one.
A little bit of geography.
Lots of trade and trading, but don’t know what and don’t know how, just we can trade commerce together.
Oh, Canada, don’t let illegals cross your border to come here.
Some shit about women businesses (this is hard for him unless we are talking about tiaras and bikinis).
Justin Trudeau loves him.

There were 2 mentions of jobs.
There were 5 mentions of commerce and / or trade
There were 5 mentions of safety in some way
There were 20 times he reminded us what countries he was talking about.

I was going to do the entire press conference to show the difference in how Justin Trudeau spoke and Trump did.  I was particularly interested in how different the answers would be to unscripted questions from the press (it was really sad) but this exhausted me.

Non-stop Alternative Facts

We know that Trump is keen on flair and exaggeration, even a bit of manipulating stats to the benefit of himself.  We first thought that once in the White House some of the grand standing would tone down, that, even though he had some out there ideas, he’d act like, well, act like an adult.  Holy shit how wrong we were.

Most of the time now, the majority of what comes out of his mouth and fingers, there is actually no source he is referencing.  Nothing has actual proof, has a source or are just a blatant lie.  At first it was dismissed as his campaign rhetoric.  It’s still happening.  In office.  With real people.  With the world.  The credibility of this government is dying, chip by chip.

It’s one thing for an administration to have some disagreements with the press, or to not fully disclose some of what is going on behind doors.  However, this has just become a flood of flat out lies, distractions and childish out lashes.  Trump is quick to react to anything that he doesn’t agree with or paints him in an unflattering light, no matter how small or insignificant.  The fact that a skit on Saturday Night Live elicits a tirade of tweets and comments just shows how easily anything can get under his thin skin.  Aside from angry insults, Trump pairs those with retorts filled with ‘facts, quotes and data’ that he really just pulls from the air.  As would any support team or dedicated employees, his talking heads are left to defend or explain his claims.  Better yet, in order to maintain the illusion, they appear to buy into the rhetoric and have no hesitation to repeat and embellish these claims.  Kelly Ann Conway will now forever by infamous because she coined the phrase “alternative facts”.  Like a meteor, it has become the lexicon of this administration.

Why this is has taken off, and not just called out for what it is only encourages the administration to continue.  It gives validity to the term and allows them to keep dispersing LIES.  It’s not an alternative fact, it’s not an untruth, it’s a flat out LIE.

Each day I wake up wondering what did they lie about while I was asleep, or who did they manage to piss of in less than 10 hours.  Everyday, every single one of them, there is something that happened which fits that criteria.

Keep checking back.  I’ve been keeping notes and shaking my head on a regular basis, so I have quite a bit to write about.  Let me know your thoughts!

In Plain Sight

It’s amazing.  If just a tiny portion of what has been brought to light and yes, verified was put on every billboard in America and Fox news delivered it as gospel, people would and still are supporting him.

The recording of the cheeto with Billy Bush was brushed off by supporters (women included) as ‘what boys say’ or ‘locker room talk’.  He plainly said that if he were elected he would release his taxes, still hasn’t happened.  He promised that Mexico would pay for his insane wall, Pino Neito not only said no, but hell no and that was even before he was elected.  He was going to drain the swamp.  Well, I guess no one really knew what that really meant, because he has drained all the intelligence out of Washington & the people he has selected to be part of his administration are not qualified and some even stand against the very department they have been selected to head.  His cabinet has a liquid net worth of over 5.6 billion.  Yes BILLION.  He did tell everyone that he was smarter than the CIA, well, he refuses to get daily briefings.  Instead, he watches Fox news for his intelligence.  His relationship with the media is nonexistent, he has managed to convince his followers that anything negative is fake.  Instead, his tweets and a select number of outlets is what he references or acknowledge.

There is more to come, not only from me . . . but the insane cheeto will have something daily that will make you say WTF?

 

Not Any Longer

I have been absent for a short while, over the holidays, the astonishment that a cheeto was selected as the republican nominee and the utter disbelief that the very same cheeto won.

Not only is he everything he was on the campaign trail, it’s much worse.  At least Arnold Schwarzaneger was an actual politician, and not just a bizarre character.  A character that has the vocabulary limited to that of a child and the emotions of a 6 month old.

WE ARE NOT TRUMP.  WE DO NOT ALL SUPPORT HIM.  WE ARE SORRY TO THE WORLD.

Aside from the blatant lies he espoused on the trail, he continues to spew misinformation to widen the divide.  This man is in the process of creating a new government in this country, one run by money and hate.  One of elitism and racism.  One that serves the few and not the many.

If you are reading this, and in anyway agree, do one thing today that yells your opinion.  Call, write, email, visit, challenge, call out.  It doesn’t matter if you’re in New York or the Netherlands.  I have written letters to my senators as well as Angela Merkel and Pino Nieto.  I just can’t sit by and let this nut job get away with this.