Kentucky Fried Stupid

Behold the amazing, glorious irony of a group of people ignoring and trashing a law for years that has benefited them, and proudly voting in people wanting to take away that benefit, only for the obvious consequences of such votes finally coming to fruition. Now, it appears, folks are upset.

What did these people think was going to happen? Dumb – just dumb. I call it a special version of dumb, Kentucky Fried Stupid. Trump and the Republicans are, after all, only doing what they said they would for years in regards to Obamacare.

Now let me just go ahead and get two things out of the way upfront. I am picking on the kind folks of Kentucky. Obviously, there are others who vote against their own interests, but I really like saying Kentucky Fried Stupid – so there. Second, I have a bias against the Trump voters out there. I have tried to understand, I really have but with each passing day and each passing absurdity of this administration it just makes it extraordinarily hard for me to believe anyone would willingly vote for this man and his policies.

I have debated posting this because there are elements that aren’t exactly kind. I can acknowledge that my feelings on this topic don’t represent everyone and there may be a stereotype or two in this post. These are my feelings, my opinions – not facts. See, look at me being an adult and more mature than our President and being able to distinguish between alternative facts, feelings, opinions, and actual facts.

I kind of scrunch my nose up these days when I think of anything West of the Hudson River and East of San Francisco Bay, so Kentucky is in that vast swath of American land where reading is bad, blacks are criminals and terrible- except Oprah, and health-care is even worse still.

So with no health-care, they probably have rotting teeth and are proud of it. I also envision barefoot women walking on dirt roads and men with coal on their faces at all times. Oh, wait, that’s what I envision when I think of West Virginia – I am confusing my downtrodden places. See, I told you I was going to stereotype and generalize. At least I was honest, which is more than I can say about Republican lawmakers trying to sell this new health-care bill.

Ok, now let me be an adult and temper my critique. My vitriol towards these folks exists because in my opinion they were uninformed and were conned. But because enough of them came out in droves and voted in Clementine the Great, the rest of us will have to suffer the consequences too – in a variety of areas. So, yes, sometimes I have a little disdain for the Trumpsters.

But as we are now witnessing with this new healthcare plan which would adversely affect a state like Kentucky, they will suffer too for allowing themselves to be duped. It turns out folks in Kentucky like their Obamacare even if they call it other glossy and pretty names. Turns out the Republicans aren’t magicians and have no special glittery health-care wands to lower costs and give access to those who need it. It appears as though while not perfect, Obamacare had some elements that work – imagine that.

So part of me is entertained by the entire spectacle. Sometimes I cannot help but hope that Paul Ryan and President Trump are successful in overhauling Obamacare and screw these people – maybe they will wake up and not make a mistake like this again. But, of course, innocent people who did not vote for this man will be hurt too – so I cannot advocate for that seriously. But I hope a lesson is learned and that maybe when they have an opportunity to vote for a Hillary Clinton or a Donald Trump in the future, they won’t pick the pussygrabber because the other one wears pant suits and is the “devil” – they will actually pay attention to policy.

Ok, had to get that off my chest!

I want to point out that I am not personally affected by any potential changes. As an adult, I have always had insurance through my employer – always. I have never been on Obamacare and to be honest, most of my friends and family are in the same boat and, so, you can argue they truly are not affected on a day to day basis by this law – whether it remains, is repealed, or watered down.

But you know what I am a human being. I am a decent human being in a Western country, and I believe people should have affordable health-care without being bankrupted and I believe the government does have an interest in seeing that this happens. And before anyone gives me that crap about other people subsidizing other people’s healthcare, the government subsidizes insurance people receive through their employers too – it’s called deductions and write off’s for those businesses.

I don’t want anyone to lose their healthcare, including my toothless friends in Kentucky. I am sure they are not as bad as all that I described earlier. Hell, some of my dearest friends and family live West of the Hudson in good old Pennsylvania so there is bound to be some good reasonable, logical folks in Kentucky too.

I want folks in Kentucky – and everywhere – to remain healthy and to keep their coverage and, ironically, it looks like that might happen. I want to live in a country that is willing to spend more on health-care for the elderly and sick than to spend money on manufacturing yet another bomb.

But there appears to be some good news.  The newly elected Governor of Kentucky, Matt Bevin, railed against Obamacare and wanted to repeal it, now in office, he seems less eager to do that. And some moderate Republicans are already balking at the idea of scrapping the Medicaid expansion component to Obamacare.

Also, as I mentioned, some folks in deep Republican-red Kentucky are waking up to the fact that Obamacare is a benefit to them and for those of us fortunate to not have to worry about this issue, could be there for us if we ever found ourselves unemployed or in a jam.

The other thing that kills me too is that we’re not talking about blue New York or blue California with the highest rates of uninsured, it’s Republican areas of the country (i.e. Kentucky) that are benefiting from this law the most and seeing significant drops in the rate of  uninsured. Look at the America hating Muslim helping out the country bumpkins!

I am glad to see people protesting in Kentucky and elsewhere. It’s not a coincidence that the deep red South has some of the largest uninsured rates in this country. It would have been nice had these folks been more vocal in their support in 2009 and 2010 when President Obama practically used all his political capital to get this done but, you know, better late than never. I hope everyone keeps their health care and that folks are more vigilant against the next con artist in the future.

 

A Watchful Eye on all Weasels – Democrats and Republicans Alike

When the idea to start this blog began, I had no intention of it necessarily becoming an anti-Republican, anti-Trump blog. I could easily become a Republican tomorrow with the right leadership and policy positions that aligned with my ideals. We’re not there yet, but I think it’s worth remembering that the segregationists, Senator Strom Thurmond and George Wallace – were Democrats – so parties change.

So I fully acknowledge that my “love affair” with Democrats can all be temporary. I am politically a cheap slut and will go to whatever party that I believe is doing the right thing. I’m very easy that way.

As of today, Republicans routinely attempt to screw over the American people while Democrats only sometimes bang their constituents when they least expect it. Those are not good odds for the average Joe the Plumber, but I would rather take a sometimes unwanted banging as opposed permanently being bent over the table.

So in this past week of screwing, Democrats proved that they can be weasels too and that in our anti-Trump fervor, they cannot be left unwatched or off the hook either. In this climate, everyone needs to be called out on their shit.

Bernie Sanders sponsored an amendment to the 21st Century Cures Act – which would allow prescription drugs to be imported from Canada to help reduce prices in this country through competition. The amendment had bipartisan support. However, because there are assholes in every organization, some Democrats apparently had an attack of conscience and could not support the bill.

In defense of Trump (can’t believe I typed that) and the politics he represents, this is what he tapped into. I would bet money that most of his voters don’t even know this vote happened or how a simple yay or nay could affect their lives positively or negatively. They don’t know policy, but that can feel policy. Besides the blatant sexism and racism and anti-other sentiments Mr. Trump stoked this election, he successfully tapped into a feeling of dread about our institutions and how they don’t work for the average citizen and when you look at a vote like this below – it’s hard to argue that. I think that view is overly simplistic and no big on details, but I get it. And even with that, I personally don’t believe you turn to a stooge like Trump, but many Americans have.

To be clear, had these 12 senators had voted yay, the amendment would have passed.

The list of Democrats who did not support the amendment are below – with the year they are up for re-election:

Michael Bennet (D-CO) – 2022
Cory Booker (D-NJ) – 2020
Maria Cantwell (D-WA) – 2018
Thomas R. Carper (D-DE) – 2018
Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA) – 2018
Chris Coons (D-DE) – 2020
Joe Donnelly (D-IN) – 2018
Martin Heinrich (D-NM) – 2018
Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) – 2018
Bob Menendez (D-NJ) – 2018
Patty Murray (D-WA) – 2022
Jon Tester (D-MT) – 2018
Mark Warner (D-VA) – 2020

Not surprisingly, all of the Senators who did not support the amendment all have their mouths agape at the money trough of the pharmaceutical companies. They have all received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from pharmaceutical companies. (Campaign finance reform is needed in this country, but that’s a discussion for another day).

Maybe they voted their conscience, as Senator Booker’s office talked about “safety concerns.” More probable is that they want to make sure they collect those coins.

Now to my earlier point about Republicans routinely screwing over the American people and Democrats sometimes doing holds true even in this vote. It is not a surprise that it was Bernie Sanders and not say, Mitch McConnell, who sponsored this amendment. It’s not a surprise that a majority of Democratic senators did support the amendment and that a majority of Republicans did not.

But 12 Democratic Judas defections is a significant number and needs to be called out.

Many progressives are already calling for these Democrats to face a primary challenge during their upcoming re-election bids. I am not sure if this one vote alone should cause them to lose their seats. There are other issues that will come before them, and that will be important to the country – where they land and how they vote should be considered. We are a representative democracy, after all, you don’t always get what you want. We also have to be careful of the alternatives, but we definitely should be watching these folks.

Personally, I will really keep my eye on Senator Booker who is charming, intelligent, attractive, and often says the right things. But if he wants to go down the screwing path, it should not be forgotten if he decides to run for President in 2020 as is rumored. I also will keep my eye on Senator Casey, who represents my home state of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania has disappointed me in a variety of ways recently. Those fun and games of going red in this last election after being blue for so long hurt my heart. Maybe the Keystone State needs a senator change too.

To the handful of Republicans like Senator Ted Cruz who did vote for the amendment, thank you. I just shuddered, I praised Ted Cruz. I think I am developing a rash! I can’t see. Oh, my stomach. I jest, but only a bit. Right is right folks, I suppose one thank you won’t kill me.

People should remember these names. Keep a closer eye on their voting records. If 90% of their records make sense, but they did this – not sure if that means they should lose their seats. But this view requires Americans to pay attention, for all of us to stay engaged. You don’t get angry and vote for the uneducated schoolyard bully who seemingly only knows how to break things to get your voice heard.