Sunday, January 15, 2017

When Do We Call it Murder?

They repealed the Affordable Care Act.

An estimated 20 to 30 million people will be kicked off their medical insurance with no hope of getting insurance again. Rural hospitals will lose financial support. Sick children and adults with 'existing conditions' will die.

I'll repeat that: Sick children and adults with 'existing conditions' will die.

Bernie Sanders was quoted as saying "36,000 people will died every year." Think about that. In ten years of the Iraq war we lost 123,000 people. That's over 12,000 per year. So we are going to lose 3 times that many people, per year, because they need insurance and can't get it, as we did in the Iraq war.

Just because Mitch McConnell hates President Obama -- McConnell and Trump are condemning tens of thousands of people to death. Why do I say that? Because the Affordable Care Act was a Republican construct.

I have a dozen friends and family members who got Life Saving Medical Care because of the Affordable Care Act.

These people will lose access to health care - they are likely to become sicker and sicker until something fatal happens.

Then there's this cute little factoid: Women are scrambling to get IUD's because they know that birth control will be more expensive, and they may lose access to it all together now that ACA is history.

It has never ceased to amaze me that the very people who cut benefits to single women with kids are also cutting their access to birth control. Anti-abortion, anti-birth-control AND against benefits for poor mothers and education. That's the GOP for you.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Foggy on Christmas morning - 2016

We're expecting snow tomorrow.

The wind is bitter and it finds it's way inside my hood and trickles down my neck.

I bought a bale of straw to cover the strawberries, that just took a couple sections. The rest went into Chicken World to get them out of the mud. (Chickens get frost bite.) I left the open bale, thinking they would scatter it. But as of evening stables, the bale is intact, sitting in the middle of the pen.

The horses were waiting at the door for me as usual. No silly antics tonight, they were serious about getting inside. The geese, Jamie and Cerise were in the alpaca stall with the baby chickens. The alpacas came in on their own, so the geese decided to come out. The baby chickens have their own corner, so they stay in with the alpacas at night.

The horses and the alpacas ate an entire round bale in under a week. I guess there's not much grass, alive or dead, in the pastures. So we'll need to get another round bale before Saturday. Most afternoons, I'll step outside to find all three horses laying down, sleeping in the sun, sometimes the alpacas will be there, two sleeping and one standing watch for the entire mixed herd.
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Monday, December 12, 2016

Too Angry For Words

Well, it's finally happened.

Came out on Friday that the CIA told the Senate that Russia was messing with our election to get Trump elected.

Mitch McConnell told them NOT to tell the public it was happening.

I only have one word for him: Traitor!

I'm not the only one:
The Washington Post reported on December 9 that McConnell had opposed a joint public statement on Russian election interference before the election, “According to several officials, McConnell raised doubts about the underlying intelligence and made clear to the administration that he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics.”
The behavior, as reported, seemed treasonous.
 What happened? Trump shot himself in the foot:
The Trump team’s immediate response calling the CIA liars pushed Republicans, like McConnell away from them, but the straw that may have broken the camel’s back came from Trump himself when during an interview on Fox News Sunday he called the CIA assessment ridiculous and claimed that Democrats were spreading the Russian election interference story as an excuse for losing the election.
The Washington Post closes with this little gem:
McConnell’s quick turn against Trump is proof that the president-elect doesn’t have many friends in the US Senate. If it becomes a matter of saving their own skins, Republicans like Mitch McConnell will throw Trump under the bus without blinking.
Make no mistake about it, Mitch McConnell supporting an investigation into Russian election meddling is terrible news for Donald Trump.
McConnell has a lot to answer for. The Democrats had better find someone strong to run against him. There are a lot of voters calling McConnell a traitor to his Nation and his home state of Kentucky.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Saving Jobs - At What Cost?

The hollowing out of the middle of the nation has created a huge need for aid, and a huge opportunity for a propaganda machine. Nuts and bolts factories are important, but states don't run on federal funds, they need state taxes to run.

The newly elected Trump has saved 1000 jobs at one factory, and it's cost 7 million dollars over 10 years. Are those people going to make the $700,000 a year that it will cost to keep their jobs?

Is Trump going to spend that kind of money every time he 'saves' 1000 jobs?

Can Indiana go without $700k in taxes a year, when they aren't going to get that kind of return on their investment in income tax?

What kind of state funding cuts are going to take place in the next 10 years because the state lost that money? Education? Police? Firefighters? Schools? Roads? Bet it comes out of Health Care, nobody really needs health care, right?

Does spending $70,000 for every job 'saved' make economic sense? The average worker earns maybe half that.

Trump got a lot of mileage out of this 'deal.' Maybe the amount of media coverage would have cost him more than the $7 million that Indiana will spend over the next 10 years. That makes it a 'good deal' for him...right?

How many times is it going to cost individual states $70k per job, per year for our president to "Save Jobs"?

Can the states of Fly Over America afford this kind of "help?"

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

In For A Rough Ride

Counting down the days to the Inauguration.

Two jets cancelled, 30 years of One China policy shattered, business dealings of questionable legitimacy heading to a constitutional crisis, hundreds of thousands of Indiana tax payer's money given to a company moving jobs to Mexico, the Alt-Right emboldened enough to "Hail Trump" and protests in the streets. The Trump Presidency is already cursing us with interesting times.

Short of the electoral college switching sides en mass -- don't hold your breath on that one -- we've got to get used to the New World Order.

All this noise and clamor, with the press permanently out of favor, camped out in the lobby of Trump Tower, guessing what is going on -- there's a pattern to this. It's not a pattern most city folks would have seen, because it's a whole different game, more like a rodeo than any political talking head has ever seen.


Trump is acting like a bull getting into a bucking chute. Banging into the side panels, bawling, climbing the gate, all the while the boys in the back are getting the rope in place, getting ready for Uncle Sam to climb on board.

Think about it.

To this point, Trump has been singing "I Did It My Way" and he might put up a good fight for quite awhile. But the Job is the Presidency of the United States, a huge responsibility that has sucked the life out of younger, more active men.

We've all seen what four years in that job does to men - it AGES them.

Trump is not a young man.

He can kick up a huge fuss now - make mistakes that will take on a life of their own, but he can't buck off Uncle Sam for the next four years. He signed up for this ride and he's in it for the duration.

The flankers are in place, ready to set the flank strap while Uncle Sam eases into position and gets the rope around Trumps girth, ready to give the nod to the gate keepers who are gonna open the gate for this bucking bull of a President. He might spin before he starts sun-fishing, Uncle Sam might get hung up and there might be a hell of a wreck before this is over.

We're in for a rough ride, here in Fly Over America, but we're in the sidelines. Uncle Sam has some wicked sharp spurs, there are bullfighters in the arena and the pitfalls are many and deep.

Hold onto your hats, folks. This bull is a bad hombre!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Trump's Hit List - Federal Employees

according to Trump and his GOP lackeys are sighting Federal Employees as their first target. There are 2.1 million federal civilian employees.

The Washington Post says: "Many inside and outside government agree that change to the way federal workers are hired, promoted and disciplined is long overdue. Employees under investigation for breaking the rules can sit at home for years — collecting paychecks and benefits — while their cases drag on. Performance rankings are widely panned as a joke, because the vast majority of workers are rated as exceeding expectations or doing outstanding work."

What that really means is more contract workers. More departments under contract and a select few companies collecting big bucks while paying low wages to workers doing the same work as Federal Employees in the next cube. NPR has a good article here. In it they site "Paul Light, a public policy professor at New York University, (who) says adding in federal contractors and grantees brings that number up (2 million) to between 7 million and 9 million."

So Trump and the GOP are talking about cutting between 2 million and 9 million, with the mistaken thinking that this will not have an impact on the economy.

Yeah, sure. Whatever.

Hate Didn't Elect Anybody - No Propaganda Did

One of those critters isn't like the other - and like the results of the election - a quick glance isn't going to give you the whole picture.

The internet is flooded with both 'The Democrats Didn't Get it' posts and an equal number of 'Middle Americans voted against their best interest' posts.

That's on top of the 'Rednecks are sexist bigots' posts.

It's true, the plight of Fly Over Americans has been ignored by people who are more interested in 'those poor _____ who have ____'. A big complaint that I've heard since childhood is that the government wastes billions of dollars overseas when there are people here in the USA suffering more.

Headlines about bathroom "issues" are adding insult to injury.

Nobody in Fly Over America gives a damn, just flush the john and wash your hands.

But how about some help for the millions of Americans addicted to opiates? Instead of getting help for the problem, Naloxone or Narcan is being passed out to police, EMTs and anybody who might save a life.

It's a game of 'inject and release' with addicts left to their own devices to get help. Like that's going to happen?

Shame on the GOP, for cherry picking their issues from their own sounding box, but more shame on liberals for ignoring the massive streams of propaganda that run through Fly Over America like a stream of dirty water from a septic tank. They've had blinders on for decades.

When the national stage is overtaken by bathroom issues, while people who are floundering in a economic siege with opiates killing friends and family daily, regular folks are going to be pissed off; especially when Talk Radio and Fox News have been hammering the same message home for decades: "You need to take your country back."

The results is that everybody except Sanders looks like a damn fool.

Propaganda Trumped social issues this election. (Not sorry for the pun this time.)

Propaganda won this time. The non-breathing citizens who used money as their free speech won this election. Even the people who don't understand the problem, can see what happened.

Take this quote from Forsetti's Justice where the writer blames the denizens of Fly Over America for their own problems:
The real problem isn’t east coast elites don’t understand or care about rural America. 
The real problem is rural America doesn’t understand the causes of their own situations and fears and they have shown no interest in finding out.
They don’t want to know why they feel the way they do or why they are struggling because they don’t want to admit it is in large part because of choices they’ve made and horrible things they’ve allowed themselves to believe.
The italics are mine.

Forsetti and #FlyOverAmericans might not know the source of the misinformation, but that doesn't mean that nobody knows. Somebody knows, Roger Ales, the Murdocs, maybe even Putin, if you aren't afraid of taking the problem global. The narrative is a unending, mind-numbing, bludgeoning of the listener that resonates because there's a kernel of truth: Fly Over Americans don't matter to those living large on either coast.

It would be interesting to see a map comparing the places where Fox News is on the local network TV station and the results of the election. The correlation would be eye-popping.

If there is a way to console Clinton, it might be this: "You called it: "a vast Right Wing Conspiracy" and you were right, it exists. But it isn't just you they're after. They are inciting unrest in all middle America. Your best act of public service might be in the private sector after all."


Thursday, November 17, 2016

"Good to see you today"

When Mitch McConnell was asked what he thought of President Elect Trump's Chief of Staff - he merely smiled and said "Good to see you here today." 

Since both he and Ryan had been pushing for the Republican National Committee chairman  Priebus, they told CNN would be the “best fit” for the critical role. Alas, those hopes have been dashed.
"Priebus late Thursday, however, poured cold water on the notion of assuming the highest-ranking position in Trump’s future White House.
“That’s not something that we’re talking about,” he told MSNBC’s  
Chuck Todd. "I know people don’t believe those things when people – but we’re just not talking about those sorts of plans right now.
Trump’s campaign chief Steve Bannon and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway were both mentioned as contenders."
Instead Steve Banner, the er - banner man of the Alt-Right is the primary contender for the job.

One by one the GOP's former superstars, all vehemently anti-Trump, are coming to heel. First it was Christie and Carson, now it's (choke, gasp, smirk) Cruze and  Romney.

Meanwhile, Trump is still doing it 'his way' - dumping his 'protective press corps' for a steak dinner with the family. Note that he didn't dump the Secret Service, just the media that he detests.

What can a cynic take away from the last few days? A few snickers at the ousting of Christie, and eye roll or two for the former enemies who've come to heel like "puppy dogs" now that Trump has a clear path to power.

Meanwhile, people are donating to the ACLU, and Planned Parenthood while they still exist.

You can donate in your own name, or in the name of someone else. Quite a few people are donating in the name of VP elect Pence.

Donate now, the life you save might be your own, of that of a loved one.

The next four years promise to be entertaining - but they may not be pleasant.