Week 15, America, the blighted shining lie…
As a kid, I hated canned beets because they tasted like steel. Even my authoritarian father couldn’t force the fuckers down my throat. I’d be forced to stare at the goddamn things, (along with the fat and gristle from whatever dead meat was on my plate) until I capitulated or fell asleep. So, as a preface to this story, it’s safe to say that nearly 50 years went by until I ate another beet product.
In 2005 while living in London, I, by accident, discovered beet chips for the first time. They weren’t identified as such, it was just a chip bag with sweet potatos, parsnips, turnips, beets, and whatever the hell else the Brits could find to make into chips, and I didn’t bother reading the label. They were tasty, but shortly after, I was left with the impression that I was bleeding to death, if you know what I mean and I think you do. Being both inexperienced and ignorant of beet consumption and digestion, AND a hypochondriac, I walked a few blocks to an NIH clinic to get checked out. I figured that I was doomed to have 30' of my intestines removed because I was pretty sure that in four hours I had gone from running in the Heath every morning to dying of cancer. I was just a short term American resident. I had health insurance in the U.S., but it didn’t matter to the British. They tested me, informed me that I was ok, suggested that I see a shrink when I returned home, and sent me on my way. That is what happens in a civilized, compassionate country where health care is a right…they even treat idiots.
So, mark down May 4, 2017 as the day that the GOP finally fulfilled the dream of serial philanderer Newt Gingrich to fuck the Americans that he hadn’t married. The republicans have done it by passing legislation that will deprive American’s of the one good thing that they’ve been granted in the past 20 years: Affordable Health Care. In EVERY civilized country on this planet, including neighboring countries north and south, health care is considered a RIGHT. In America, and to the GOP, health care is a privilege and as of May 4th, it’s a privilege granted only to those of substance or under the protective umbrella of a beneficent employer.
Republicans, and the insurance companies that they serve are in denial about how insurance works. Insurance is nothing but a wager…a bet that you will not need services during the period in which you are paying your premium. If you don’t require medical assistance, insurance companies make out like bandits. If you do fall ill, then they’ve taken the risk and have to pay out. For companies in the risk business, insurance companies are incredibly risk adverse, and continually seek to game the system in order to collect premiums, but minimize payouts…and that is how we get to TrumpCare.
The AHCA/TrumpCare bill passed by the House today repeals nearly all of the benefits and protections of the Affordable Care Act, in order to reduce the risk to insurers. TrumpCare leaves it up to individual states to execute the “replace” leg of “repeal and replace”. Each state will be left to determine which of the 10 “mandatory” services, including things like emergency room care, maternity care, mental health care, prescription drug coverage, and wellness care, it chooses to include in their state plans and risk pools. If you need one of the the denied services, or if you’re poor, or have a pre-existing condition, including congenital conditions, you will not be able to afford the health care premiums in these high risk pools. You, or your loved one will die of something treatable, and the republican party will shrug, and blame you for not leading an “appropriate” life.
In addition, TrumpCare deletes funding for Planned Parenthood, thereby cutting off primary health care for approximately 5 million under served women, men, and adolescents. Yep, you read that correctly. Planned Parenthood doesn’t turn away anyone, not even people with bad comb overs and small orange penises. Not a dime of federal money is spent performing abortions, even if Fred Trump’s wife and the nation would be better off if she had had one 70 years ago. The bile is rising in my throat as I watch a republican congress surround Trump and give one another celebratory hand jobs. This is week 15 of the blighted lie of the Trump presidency.
- You can tell a lot about a person by whom they admire and try to emulate. For better or worse, a lot of kids emulate athletes. Too few emulate scientists and adventurers. Donald Trump admires dictators. First it was Prince Vladimir, who has a bad habit, 38 bodies deep, of eliminating dissent. Trump then moved on to praising Turkish president Erdogan who consolidated power by restricting the press and imprisoning everyone else. Last week Trump couldn’t resist the temptation to call Philippine president and un-indicted murderer Duterte; and much to the surprise of his staff, invite the Philippine terrorist to dinner at the WH where they can share stories of assaulting women.
- If you want to know who is really pulling the strings in the National Security Council, it is none other than retired General and federal detainee, David Petraeus. NSA McMaster has appointed yet another Petraeus acolyte, General Rickey Waddell over the objections of Jared Kushner who had hand selected Goldman Sachs exec. Dina Powell to be deputy NSA. McMaster is seen as pushing the Petraeus agenda for a ground war in Syria, which is something the American people can ill afford, because we’re still fighting Petraeus’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Selection of the deputy NSC is kind of critical, because McMaster is rumored to be slated for a fourth star and Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, a promotion that NO ONE could turn down, especially when the alternative is working for a functionally illiterate, orange tinted president that behaves like an ape in a zoo cage…if you know…duck!…what I mean. In any case, referring to your boss as “disruptive” might get the exit door opened sooner than later. At the moment, lacking a State Department and coherent foreign policy, we might as well be wandering the Negev looking for a burning bush.
- The Library of Congress is a short walk from the WH, and it is literally crammed to the rafters with books and ORIGINAL documents pertaining to the history of the United States. So, it really is unnecessary for someone who might be, say, the President of the U.S. to ask the question: “Why was there a Civil War?” For god’s sake, send Ivanka down there with a library card and a reading list, and she just might return with something that tells you that Andrew fucking Jackson was: 1) a racist asshole and slave holder, who was angry about abolitionists trying to deprive him of his human property, 2) responsible for the Trail of Tears, killing tens of thousands of native Americans, and 3) deader than fuck 15 years before the Civil War started. Andrew Jackson on the $20 is a stick in the eye of black Americans and native Americans. How about replacing him with Martin?
- There is a snowflake safe zone around AG Sessions in which the 1st Amendment does not exist. Apparently you can get convicted of disrupting the nation if you laugh at the little bastard klansman’s lies while congress is in session.
- We nearly got into a literal dick measuring contest on Tuesday when Chuck Schumer and OMB Director Mick Mulvaney both claimed victory over the $1.1T continuing budget authorization keeping the government alive until the end of FY17. Democrats won because the CBR covered increases in pretty much everything they wanted, and excluded funding for a fancy fence. Mulvaney declared victory because they got the increase in military spending that even the democrats supported, and they just needed a win for Mr. Small Wanger. The fucked up classical music teleconference announcing the funding bill passage was followed by an equally inept, in person, news conference that Mulvaney fled when the multi-media presentation displayed virtually everything but live porn.
- Just because…Sean Spicer is becoming an expert at defining the various types of “walls” that could be built along the southern border. The Russians were experts on walls, just sub the damn thing out to the bare chested guy stuffing Trump’s…wallet with oil rubles.
- Continuing with the theme of appreciating the prowess of crazy dictators, Trump lauded the North Korean dictator KJ Un as a “smart cookie” for retaining power against “all odds” considering that he fell into power at such a young age. Given that Trump is going to school on the world’s craziest fuckers, we need to take note if the noted pet hater brings a few Rottweillers into the WH. That’s how KJU eliminated the threat from his uncle after all.
- The United States really needed an Executive Order exempting people of faith…IOW, Christian fundamentalists, from discrimination suits. So, congratulations, your Christian leader, Moses Trump, gave you what you wanted. While this is primarily targeted to protect those who don’t want to do business with the LGBT community, or employers that don’t believe in contraception, it’s a slippery slope with a new SCOTUS justice experienced in greasing the Hobby lobby skids. You know it’s bullshit when over 1,000 religious leaders issue a statement condemning the order. We’ll see you in court Fat Man…or is it Little Boy…can’t keep you straight.
- Trump doesn’t like the “archaic” traditions of the Hill, considering them “bad for America” in spite of 240 years of success. Aside from the fact that he apparently ditched American History and American Government in middle school, Trump’s TV remote apparently has the History Channel on a parental block. Don baby, it isn’t meant to be pretty. Read the Federalist Papers, they’re in English. They’ll give you a bit of a clue that governing is a bit different than bullying your privately owned employees. You can find the originals in the LoC, right down the street. BTW, advocating for a shutdown of YOUR OWN FUCKING GOVERNMENT is like Bob Kraft praying for Tom Brady to get stabbed in his sleep by Giselle. Simply put, it’s stupid.
- If you’re weary of war in the mid-east, so is everyone else. That’s why NSA McMaster is telling us that we need to prepare ourselves for a ground war in Korea, because Korea is half a continent away and is the one country that cannot be permitted to own nuclear weapons…in spite of Trump’s campaign claim that “everyone should be able to have them”. Just perhaps there is a diplomatic way out of this collision if the WH quits behaving like a twittering bully. Saving face is everything in Asia…a competent State Department would be able to tell you that.
- Like most things in the Trump administration that make no sense at all, he’s appointed Teresa Manning, an anti birth control activist as head of the HHS Family Planning department. Manning claims that birth control leads to…I don’t know, breast enlargement surgery or something. She’s the birth control version of Betsy DeVos and Scott Pruitt. Why not appoint a 15 y/o skateboarder to head the DoT? This is yet another mind boggling crazy appointment.
- According to Reince Prebis, the administration is looking at loosening libel laws that would allow Trump to sue virtually anyone, this writer included, if we wrote something with which he disagreed. We have a compulsive liar considering pushing a change to the 1st Amendment. Go ahead, make our day. I have my pitchfork and torch ready to go. As an aside, what did Prebis’s parents misspell to come up with that name?
- Where would we be without Jared failing to disclose financial ties to Goldman Sachs? Nixon’s dog Checkers is rolling over in his grave. We actually have rules in the Constitution about this stuff…who is enforcing them? Oh right…the republicans.
- Just in case you were wondering, Paul Ryan and his band of merry men and women exempted their own medical plan from the provisions of TrumpCare. You have that right…they retain the protections of the Affordable Care Act enacted under President Obama, while the rest of the country gets it in the back passage.
I don’t care who you voted for, today you lost. If you live in a state that refused the ACA medicaid enhancements, you likely live in a largely republican state, and today your representative sold you out and you’re on your way to losing your health care. You’re a coal miner? Tough shit…your black lung potential is going to push you into a high risk pool, and your premium will exceed your annual income. TrumpCare permits insurance companies to close the door on Americans by pricing them out of the market. 24 million Americans will lose coverage if this travesty makes it through the senate, and Turtle McConnell is using a reconciliation process, requiring only 51 votes to push it through.
After decades of being brainwashed with tales of “American Exceptionalism”, American’s have been losing their humanity. Now our leaders have lost their empathy and turned their backs on the American people, denying them what should be a basic right. This is no longer a government by and for the people. It’s beholden only to the donors funding the political campaigns of those in power. If we truly want to be exceptional, we’re going to have to earn it, and it starts at the polls. Don’t run and hide. Take note of who cast their vote against you this afternoon. We’re going to put them in the unemployment line in 18 months.
That’s your week. In disgust, I’m quitting at 15.