Trump Is A Sideshow Distraction, The Kochs And Their Ilk Are The Real Danger To Our Democracy

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http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/kochs-want-to-kill-this-senate-rule-heres-why/ar-BBDKsge?li=BBnb7Kz

I’ve been saying this for months now. The Republicans already control Congress, the White House, SCOTUS, and have gained virtual control of the election process nationally and in most states.

Now their bosses, the Koch Brothers and others like them, having targeted the federal judiciary system. If they are successful, the Democrats will never, ever win back anything again and no “liberal” laws will ever be enacted. Those in effect now that the Kochs oppose will be struck down in the lower courts or be declared unconstitutional by the Koch employees on SCOTUS.

Stop focusing exclusively on the idiocy of Trump. It’s now clear he was intentionally put into office not only to do their bidding but mainly as a sideshow distraction.

The Kochs and their ilk have been pursuing this complete takeover for the past 45 years. They’ve been unwittingly aided and abetted by the neoliberals who seized control of the Democratic Party: the Carters, the Clintons, the Obamas, the Nacy Pelosis, the Debbie Wasserman Schulltzes, the Chuck Shumers, the Harry Reids, the Heidi Heitcamps, the John Warners, the Joe Manchins, the Jon Testers, the Chris Dodds, the Barney Franks, the congressional Black Caucus who backed Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders, etc.are all responsible for this. All the center of right gutless wonders who converted the Democratic Party into the Republican Lite Party.

We’re now paying for the fixation on building their own financial success as they pursued business-friendly legislation and warmongering at the expense of working to help make this country and the lives of the people who voted them into office better. If the Republicans are successful in further marginalizing and castrating the Democratic Party into total governmental impotence, then it will be our children and the ensuing generations to come who will continue to pay the price as well. I place full blame for the current state of this country, not on the Republicans but on the Democratic Party who enabled this to happen.

 

The Democrats Are Dead And Buried, Which Means The Rest Of Us Are In Big Trouble

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NPR Saturday Edition crystallized why, in my opinion, the Democratic Party is dead and buried. It lost voters to Trump and even after those same voters feeling betrayed by Trump–or even still hanging in there with him–the Dems won’t get those voters back.

Here are three laid off steelworkers in Alabama, all Democrats I believe, who talked about how job searches and job retraining worked for them, why two of the voted for Trump, and more importantly how the see Congress (and they’re in a Democratic district) has failed them. I’ve selected some quotes to post.

SIMON [show host]: Bo, you’re 49.

EDWARDS: Yes, sir.

SIMON: So what happened when in your late 40s, you go to look for a job and people see, oh, gosh, this guy did something important and dangerous, he’ll be a good employee?

EDWARDS: Being my age, the first thing they look at, they go, oh, he’s 50 years old. And they discriminate because of age because, oh, this guy don’t have much more left in him. And then if you do get past the first part of the interview, and you go in and you have a physical, you know, they want to know, oh, what kind of medications are you on?

Well, guess what? OK, I’ve got some health issues. You know, you have to tell them what kind of medications. And then, oh, Mr. Edwards, we’re sorry. We don’t have a position for you at this time.

SIMON]: Diane, you’re in a job retraining program.

WOOD: Yes. I’m taking culinary arts at Wallace State Community College right now.

SIMON: So what’s the price difference between what you were earning and what you bring in now?

WOOD: Probably about $30,000 to $40,000 a year.

SIMON: That’s the difference?

WOOD: Yes, sir.

SIMON: That’s a lot of money.

WOOD: Yes, sir.

POWELL: I cannot type. Siegfried [referring to himself in the 3rd person] has very little computer knowledge. Somebody showed me a brochure from U.S. Steel that I was doing something. I say, heck, you know, you do the same thing for 20 years, you know, GFB, GFB, you know, the keyboard always wear out on those three keys. But it might have looked technical in the book, but it was just the same thing that we were trained.

So I knew that I had to retrain myself, especially on that computer. And once I started it – I got in the game too late. And the young people I was in school with, they still had their earbuds in their ear, and they were doing stuff on their phone. And I was, like, sitting in front of the class. And I’m like, OK, is this guy going to slow down so we can ask a question?

SIMON: The former steelworkers seem resigned and regretful now, but when you ask, they’ll say they’re angry at U.S. Steel for shutting the blast furnace in Fairfield when they say it still made money and the U.S. Congress for not protecting their jobs from foreign competition.

WOOD: Do you think Congress could have done different? I always think Congress could do different, so I don’t have the anger in me. I think things could have been different if they were done differently, but there is no anger in me.

EDWARDS: There’s a major disconnect from your working families and your people in Washington. They do not understand the working man. You know, I got an 18-year-old daughter who’s just graduated high school. College is coming up. Here I am in a situation where I have lost my job. Well, I have a child that needs to go to college. And I need to be able to provide for my household.

So what do I do? I’m in a catch-22 situation. I like Donald Trump. I’m a union man and I’m saying that I like Donald Trump. That’s completely 180 degrees from what a union man would say, but he understands us a little more right now, I think. I and my family growing up were Democrat all the way – Democrat, Democrat, Democrat – but the Democratic Party has got away from the working man.

POWELL: I think the reason Trump is so popular – I like to fight, though. It’s about time for the fight. The country had got to a point where it was – it needed somebody to show the fight. God, I hope this not racist, but every gas station you pull in, every hotel, I am still waiting for one that I see an American face behind. So where is that American face at? I’m missing something.

Everybody read that? “The Democratic Party has got away from the working man.” “It’s time for the fight.” It’s clear that these people knew nothing about Trump’s background and, they didn’t care. They just heard his (phony words) and bought in to them out of hope, because he was the only one of the two presidential candidates talking to their hopes and their fears. Hillary Clinton was all about job equality for women when she wasn’t pushing the college expenses and health plan ideas stolen from Bernie Sanders. Her hollow words fell on the deaf ears of middle-aged people struggling to make a living–even find a job–while trying to provide for their families.

And remember Siegfried Powell, who put himself in a retraining program that didn’t work out? Here’s their Democratic congresswoman, Terri Sewell, talking about her the job training program she’s pushing.

“I have my own program called Project READY. Ready stands for Realizing Everyone’s Ability to Develop Yourself. It’s about putting together all of the resources – federal, state and local – to try to help retrain and focus my constituents on jobs that are here now and the jobs that we’re trying to recruit in the future.

It’s actually not a government program, that’s the whole point. The reality is that we’re actually leveraging resources that are already being spent locally, federally and statewide. So we bring together the Alabama Career Center. We bring together, you know, Jefferson County industrial development training as well as Jeff State and Lawson State. And we try to – these are community colleges that are located here – trying to leverage the resources that we were already have.

But it’s also important that we don’t sell a bag of goods. Look. There are a lot of jobs that are not going to come back to America, but that doesn’t mean – or back to the Deep South – but that doesn’t mean that we don’t promote the opportunities that are coming this way. I think that it’s so important that we leverage the fact that we have Mercedes Benz and Hyundai and all of these amazing manufacturing opportunities to retool, meaning the future of work is automation.

So we have to be able to get our workers trained and – for the jobs that are here now and the jobs that are here in the future. But look. I’m not going to make any excuses. The Democrats lost the last election. And if we do not listen to Americans and actually put forth policies that make sense for average everyday Americans, we’re going to be in this quandary again in four years.”

The three ex-steelworkers, one aged 50 and the other two in their late 40s, aren’t going to be hired by Mercedes Benz or Hyundai, and those jobs wouldn’t pay anything near the $40,000+ they were earning an union steelworkers. Diane is training to be a chef, and her starting salary in a small town in Alabama–or elsewhere–is most likely going to be minimum wage, or perhaps $11 an hour. Bo and Siegfried both have their ages and lack of marketable skills for “the jobs that are here in the future” against them. Sewell and the rest of the Democratic Party have nothing to offer them, no words of hope, not even the phony “I’ll bring the jobs back” claim they voted their hopes on. And they sure don’t care about Trump’s ties with Russia or what really happened between him and James Comey.

And this is why I believe the Democratic Party is finished, why I believe that if the Democrats fail to remake the party from the ground up so that it is once again relevant to its traditional base of working class families and young adult voters–including students–it was never, ever regain control of Congress, the presidency, and the Supreme Court.

The lasting legacy of the Hillary Clinton’s and the DNC defeat in the 2016 Presidential Election. Yes, she won the popular vote. But if the Democrats had actually had a plan to win, they would have targeted the Electoral College vote. That’s what the Trump campaign did.

So, take a good look at the smug smiles of the glib Republicans now running the show: Trump, Pence, Bannon, McConnell, and Ryan. They will continue to remain fully responsible and in control of everything the federal government will inflict on us now and in years to come because there is absolutely no political party left to challenge and to beat them.

The Impeachable Hypocrisy Of The Congressional Democrats

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I’m proud to be one of the prescient millions who foretold the almost immediate crash and burn of Donald Trump in the White House. If a wink is as good as a nod to a blind man, even the blind could see this coming from the onslaught of winking eyes as far back as the primaries. Make no mistake, Trump will turn the heat up on the Republicans so high they’ll have to doff their ongoing participation in providing cover for him and stand out alone in the cold light of common sense and allow themselves to be blown toward the inevitable: either the impeachment and conviction or the resignation of Donald John Trump, destined to have the shortest tenure in the White House of a tenant (I will not refer to him as the president) who was not forced to leave due to serious illness or death.

But, being the faIr-minded Farlefty that I am, it’s now time to out the Democrats for the partisan, opportunistic hypocrites that they are. Granted, Trump has committed more impeachable offenses in the shortest period of time after moving into the White House than all the other real presidents. But, his treasonous, unethical, and illegal transgressions haven’t cost any lives—so far. Contrast that with the treasonous, unethical and illegal transgressions of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld. They conspired to concoct a lie that would not only result in thousands (and counting) of American troops and the deaths of millions (and counting) Iraqi troops and citizens, and led to the total destabilization of the Persian Gulf, Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Peninsula regions. They assassinated Saddam Hussein without having a single coherent and workable plan in place on how to fill the governmental vacuum left by his death.

And I said this was all built upon multiple lies, right? And from those lies they started multiple wars, decimating an entire part of the world for their own personal gains and those of their business cronies. Yet, in 2006, with the Democrats once again the controlling majority after winning the midterm elections, Nancy Pelosi made the announcement that impeachment of Bush &n Co. was off the table. The Democrats weren’t even actually in power until January 2007 yet she still kicked the shovel out of all liberals’ hands. And Harry Reid was right there with his foot on the shovel to make sure it remained impotently on the ground.

So, all this public outcry calling for the impeachment of Trump over his dangerously immature, illegal and treasonous activities has a very hollow ring to it. I want the guy out of the White House and relegated to an existence of public disgrace and humiliation, as well as the butt of stand-up comic and late night show host jokes for the rest of his miserable and hopefully less wealthy and connected life. But again, the high crimes and misdemeanors he’s perpetrated up to this point don’t even rise up to the level of the Bush administration outing Valerie Plame as a CIA operative through a Robert Novak column just to wreak revenge on her hubby Joe Wilson. But I digress.

So, save me from all this self-righteous chest thumping of the Democrats (albeit rightfully) demanding Trump’s head on a platter held by Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. They had and blew their chance at positioning themselves as the sole guardians of the Constitution and safeguarding our democracy and governmental institutions. And following on the heels of the Republicans impeaching Bill Clinton over virtually nothing, they not only wimped out, they sold us out.  Yes, Trump deserves to be both impeached and convicted. But spare us the dramatic posturing and the self-righteous indignation, Democrats. You sound just as phony and self-serving as the Republicans back in 1998-99.

Republican Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers: She Gets To Keep Her Obamacare So Screw The Rest Of Us

McMorrisRodgers-sideway-glare

 

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/my-son-has-a-preexisting-condition-he%E2%80%99s-one-of-the-reasons-i-voted-for-the-ahca/ar-BBAKYgm?li=BBnb7Kz

 

Donald Trump is fond of talking about fake news. This self-serving specious column by Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Republican House representative from Washington State’s 5th congressional district, is an example of fake opinion, since the Washington Post has labeled it as “opinion”. This is typical propaganda bullcrap by a typical Republican only concerned with her own political career advancement. Just another case of putting people before politics.

 

What she left out in her entire article was the salient fact that House Republicans included a clause in the Affordable Health Care Act (keep in mind that Republicans always title their bills with the name that means the very opposite of what the bill will do) which exempts them from the AHCA while maintaining their full eligibility and enrollment in Obamacare health plans. Which means that HER Obamacare will continue to fully cover her son’s preexisting Down syndrome special needs while with the rest of us, the AHCA will result in about 10 years, 24 million people losing their healthcare coverage by no longer being able to afford it, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. That means that 19% of the American people will no longer be covered by health insurance.

 

What a wonderful prospect, considering that most Red State refused to expand Medicaid coverage, which was meant to help the very people targeted by Republicans to lose their employer-provided or self-pay health insurance coverage. So she’s all for screwing YOU over because she and her family get to keep theirs.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/obamacare-revision-would-reduce-insured-numbers-by-24-million/2017/03/13/ea4c860a-0829-11e7-93dc-00f9bdd74ed1_story.html

 

Secondly, although I’m not privy to the reported incomes of the Mc Morris Rodgers family from all sources nor the value of their varied investments and holdings, I’d say they’re well-positioned to pay out of pocket for medical expenses far beyond the financial reach of most of us. And by voting for this she knows it will affect her and her family not in the least while screwing middle and low income classes who remain unprotected by the greed and self interest of House Republicans.

 

Lastly, McMorris Rodgers is a long-time House member and is the House Republican Conference. You can bet her Obamacare-supplied health insurance company treats her as a special case.

 

So, please don’t cry for her, Argentina, nor anyone else cry for her either. She can write any kind of crap she chooses. She represents a safe district, and as I said, she has hers. I only wish she was in a different congressional district so she could get hers in the election next year.

Jason Chaffetz, Just Another Elitist Snob Republican Politician Destroying The Country

Chaffetz
Ok, the guy’s an ass because he’s your typical elitist right wing snob Republican politician who will never have to choose between the two. Chaffetz is out of Utah but unfortunately he has the power to kill access to healthcare for people nationwide wide. We can post complaints about him and his ilk on social media websites all day, every day, but it will not make one bit of difference because their constituents will still vote to reelect them. To voters like those, no matter how bad their lives are made by the Republicans they keep in office, they fear liberals and Democrats far more. To the average Republican voter, no matter what hell they’re put through during the dance (should they even be aware of it) they’ll stick with the ones who brung ’em.
 
Contending that there should be a choice is what makes him and the Republicans both venal and murderous. They view health care as a commodity, something to be purchased if one chooses to. They don’t view it as a human right and as a core function of any enlightened government to provide at no cost to its citizens. I see that Republicans are murderous because they plan to limit the poor’s access to Medicaid. In addition, for those whose income is too high to qualify for Medicaid, their Obamacare replacement will boost health care premiums and costs even higher, because everything legislation they pass that promises to increase competition and lower costs actually do the opposite of both. Look at the costs of airfare, cell phone service, cable TV, and…healthcare, every other industry where mergers and takeovers were allowed to run rampant (the Democrats being equally guilty in this). Don’t buy into the analysis that Obamacare had nothing to do with the original Koch brothers’ Heritage Foundation healthcare plan pushed by Robert Dole and then implemented by Massachusetts under Governor Mitt Romney. The whole thing is Republican through and through except for the prohibition against denying people with pre-existing conditions and the Medicaid expansion (which many Republican governors refused to implement).
 
And now those who giveth plan to taketh away come 2020. Healthcare will cost more for everyone but members of Congress, the Prez and the VP, and, of course, the wealthy. The rest of us will have less choice and more costs. And then the Republicans plan to destroy both Social Security and Medicare in the very same fashion If only national elections were like an open primary where everyone could vote wherever and for whoever they chose. But if the Republicans have their way, in about ten years it will be only those who they have designated as deserving to vote who will rubber stamp all elections as Republican victories. When that comes about, what Trump is currently doing to destroy the federal government and this country will only be a precursor to irrevocable and fatal damage. You thought things were getting bad under Trump? Just wait…

Hillary Clinton And The Republicans Working The System

It says a lot—maybe everything—that Hillary Clinton is joining the GOP and the conservative-to-right-wing political pundits in asking how can the federal government possibly afford to pay for Bernie Sanders’ proposals like “Medicare For All” and free higher education.

They’ve convinced the non-thinking voters who adamantly support the presidential candidacies of Clinton and the Republicans to ask that same question. If those voters were actually thinking people they would realize they are being instructed to ask the wrong question so that don’t get the correct answer.  The correct answer is: Bernie’s programs will be paid for by raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy and closing all IRS tax loopholes that enable many corporations and wealthy people to pay little or no taxes at all. Bernie’s programs can be paid for by passing laws enabling the federal government to seek out and find all offshore accounts that hide income and assets that so they can’t be taxed.

They can be paid for by forcing stock traders to pay for the millions and millions of automated transactions, which would also serve to drastically decrease these types of transactions that can quickly affect the stock market either positively or negatively or increase or lower stock share prices in a matter of moments.

These programs can be paid for by ending once and for all the corporate welfare by which working people subsidize the very corporations that pay them minimum wage, cut their benefits, raise the costs of their healthcare insurance, or lay them off entirely. Lastly, although there are still other ways to generate more federal income, the military budget can be cut by billions and billions of dollars.

But here’s the problem: politicians like Hillary Clinton and the Republicans, reinforced by the corporate media, train non-thinking voters to believe that they have absolutely no say about the federal budget because those decisions are made by powerful forces totally outside their control. This is the primary message of Hillary Clinton and the Republicans, reinforced by the corporate media, instill in non-thinking voters: “You have control of nothing. You need to elect us to control it for you.” Or they convince non-thinking voters that both parties are the same, they’re all crooks so there’s no sense in voting.

This is all mostly true under the present system. And this is what makes Bernie’s presidential campaign so important: he wants to change the system. Hillary Clinton claims that as president Bernie will never get his programs enacted because: 1. They’ll raise your (lower-and-middle class) taxes, and 2. No one in Congress will work with him to pass these programs. Non-thinking voters never stop to think that #2 would cancel out #1. And they never stop to think that, as I explained above, they shouldn’t have to be the ones to pay for all these beneficial programs anyway.

She is correct—under the present system. However, if you elect Bernie, chances are you will also vote to elect like-minded politicians who WILL work with him. And that’s the key. Incrementally over two election cycles it would be possible for thinking voters to elect enough like-minded politicians at every level to change the system so the programs that Bernie proposes will be enacted. And once that genie is out of the bottle there’s no going back. Unless enough non-thinking voters re-elect politicians like Hillary Clinton and the Republicans in sufficient numbers to reinstate the old system.

This is why Hillary Clinton and the Republicans, reinforced by the corporate media, keep telling non-thinking voters that they are the agents of change, because non-thinking voters keep buying into that fiction by electing and re-electing politicians who perpetuate the unchanging system.

Elect Bernie Sanders president. He is in the vanguard of like-minded politicians who want to actually replace the outdated system with a new one. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a brand spanking new system in Washington, D.C. for a change?

Selling The Social Security Retirement Scam

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/retirement/how-millions-of-americans-are-flubbing-retirement/ar-AAeJrMV

This article is a primary reason why you don’t read MSN Money for actual money advice. It just serves to perpetuate the cover-up of the greatest ongoing theft in US history: the raid on the Old Age, Survivor And Disability Insurance trust fund. It’s just more of selling the scam.

“It’s widely regarded as the best deal in retirement. Researchers can’t figure out why more Americans aren’t taking it. The deal, of course, is putting off Social Security benefits, which can boost your monthly paycheck by more than three-fourths if you delay until the maximum age of 70.”

What you’ve just read is total bullshit. Is the article writer, Ian Salisbury, by chance a Republican? The best deal in retirement was when full Social Security retirement benefits were payable at age 65. Then came Ronald Reagan who, along with both chambers of Congress and Alan (Mr. Andrea Mitchell) Greenspan, started the mass raid on the OASDI trust fund with the signing into law of the Social Security Amendments of 1983. And the theft just keeps on growing.

Unless Salisbury is a Millennial he and “researchers” should know damn well that most of us in our 60s can’t wait until we’re 70 to draw our SS retirement checks. And we shouldn’t have to. We’re not the ones who, like a federal Dracula, have been feasting on the blood of the Social Security trust fund for 32 years. But this article wants us to be good little Social Security benefits blood donors and wait until we’re all 70 years old to start making our withdrawals from the SS blood bank.

First, with this lousy economy that every Congress and every president since Bill Clinton has saddled us with, I don’t have any savings to tide me over for the next seven years and there are millions of baby boomers riding in my same financial boat.

Secondly, how do any of us know we’ll make it 70? I’m pretty confident about reaching 65, just about as confident of hitting 66 which was at one time where the age for full benefits was pushed back to. But 70? If I am still alive by then what is my life expectancy beyond that? You can bet that the Social Security Administration already has those actuarial tables on file and are updating them as needed.

I got a much better idea for a better deal in retirement—MY retirement. Close down the pension system for all members of Congress and the president, remove the $118,500 cap for OASDI payroll deductions, and then mandate it that all members of Congress and each president must have enough quarters of earnings paid into the system to draw their retirement benefits when they reach 70. But in this case, I’ll be generous: I’ll allow Congress to lower the age for full benefits back down to 65.

That change alone will pay enough into the fund to keep Social Security solvent for, well, forever. Or at least until all life on earth dies out from global warming or the sun supernovas in 5 billion years and takes the Solar System with it.

But until either of those events happen, I can wait two years to reap the rewards of the best deal in retirement.