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.

 

I Still Smell Bullsh*t

I don’t feel like sugarcoating stuff today. The bullshit kept rolling in last week. Sorry for cursing folks, but there is not a better word for what is coming out of Washington, D.C. other than bullshit.

I love blogging and really dislike when life gets in the way, but that’s what happened last week for me and boy did I miss quite a bit of absurdity coming out of Trumpland this week. Damn this day job of mine! Does anyone want to pay me to sit at home and drink coffee so I can watch and read about this lousy excuse of an administration with my mouth agape – and then write snarky blog posts about them? Ugh, that would be the life! A boy can dream.

What do we do when our President lies as he breathes and blinks? How do we take him seriously? At this point, I suspect it is not his fault. The President is not well and cannot be blamed that this horrible affliction of rampant dishonesty has washed over his mind, that he cannot separate fact from fiction and cannot discern real new sources from fake ones.

So, President Obama tapped Trump Tower. GROAN. Yep, there was Barack in a black skull and leather gloves breaking and entering into a most public of buildings on 5th Avenue to wiretap Trump’s phone lines. OY VEY. I am not going to even bother to get into the legality and logistical problems with those claims other than to say our President has a sickness. If he were just your 70-year-old orange Uncle who spouted off nonsense, you’d probably just roll your eyes or pat his head and just think to yourself – that’s just crazy old Uncle Donald. Unfortunately, our crazy Uncle Donald is President.

We received job numbers this week which were hugely, and bigly, good and poor Sean Spicer was trotted out to joke about how these particular numbers are now true but were somehow fake under President Obama. Meanwhile, the numbers are coming from the same Labor Department they have always come from. More lies and more insanity. The press giggled like schoolchildren at the joke. Appalling.

We had movement on healthcare which has been entertaining to watch and listen as Republicans try to remove their necks from the noose they tied for themselves almost eight years ago. Instead of critiquing certain parts of the healthcare law, they basically just said the entire thing sucked like hormonal angry, gothy teenagers. That was an easy position when they didn’t own the thing, but now they do own it and they have to govern. They’re learning that health care policy is hard.

Sean Spicer brought out props again to inform the American public of the virtues of their new plan. He pointed to two stacks during a press conference. Obamacare lots of pages. New plan not so many pages. See, even a toddler can get it. But, for real, can someone tell Mr. Spicer no more props? Stop trotting out paper to make political points and Spicer the fool wonders why it is so easy for Melissa McCarthy to skewer him on Saturday Night Live. Yes, let’s make judgments about health care based on the number of pages that came out of the printer – riiiight!

There was more dirt on Michael Flynn.

We had a new and improved Muslim-ban because Trump is like a dog with a bone and just want let that particular nasty, discriminatory bone go.

The Russia scandal that the Trump folks protest is not a scandal continues to look like one more and more each day.

Oh, and Ben Carson opened his mouth. As a black man, I really shake my head at his tomfoolery. I began a separate draft about his brand of stupidity earlier in the week, but never posted it as the days got away from me and the subject seemed outdated as the Trump folks love rolling out new hits of insanity each day. However, I may have to make an exception about that topic and post it anyway.

I am sure I am missing foolishness.

So I missed quite a bit of bullshit this week. I’ve got to keep my eye on the rolling fecal balls coming out of the White House each day. I will redeem myself with posting this upcoming week.

Thanks for reading!

 

Republicans in a Pickle

The object of Republican’s eternal wet dreams, the repeal of Obamacare, is finally coming to fruition in real life. They can touch it and feel it – it’s right there. But when grabbing the pickle that is health care, one should beware – if they’re not careful, they might drop the pickle and break the entire jar as well.

Never mind that fact, let’s start with the good news for Republicans. They can rejoice, millions of people may lose their health insurance! Let the church say amen! It’s a glorious day! Estimates are that 20 million people now have coverage. Hell let’s be really conservative and say it’s only 10 million, but to quote the President-elect, that’s a YUGE number. YUGE. What happens to those people?

It is time to dance with the devil to get the details – and the devil is a lie, doesn’t play fair, and steps on your toes while he twirls you around the ballroom.

How will they do this? When will they do this? What will the new plan look like?

Cue the crickets.

The Republicans have spent so much time trashing a law that has provided health care to millions (through private insurance by the way) and bringing down the country’s uninsured rate they have to find somehow a win that is better than that. What does the win look like? Is it going to be single payer? No, of course not – only all those other stupid Western democracies do that. We Americans are always so unique, thumbing our noses at healthcare and silly things like the metric system that all the cool kids are raving about. We’re like Raven-Symoné on the world stage with purple hair and one side of our head shaved. So unique and weird – we just won’t conform.

Will it be more access and cheaper prices? How? Do they have a plan to control the consistent rise in the cost of health care (not an Obamacare creation)? No, of course not. How do they deal with the problem of insuring the sick which is terribly expensive? One of the Republican “plans” floating around gives more subsidies to younger people to obtain health care and less to older people (who are usually sicker). I guess that’s one way to do it. Yikes! Don’t be in your fifties and ever lose your job. Eh, let’s just send the old folks to the glue factory – what the hell.

What do you do about the subsidies for low-income earners in a state like Kentucky where the uninsured rate has dropped precipitously? What do you do when you realize those on the plan in that state are overwhelmingly Republican? If you keep the subsidies aren’t you holding a main component of Obamacare? Do you give them tax credits? Who pays for the tax credits?The Affordable Care Act has many taxes – geared towards top income earners and on certain industries (tanning for example). Now, not surprisingly, the “plans” we have seen seem to shift cost burdens from the wealthy and virtually tax low-income earners by removing subsidies.

Kentucky is a red state. You take away coverage, you’re shooting yourself in the foot with one of those ak-47’s you believe everyone should have. Now even though some Kentuckians are dumb and know they have coverage, but don’t know it’s Obamacare now, they’ll find out soon enough. It’s not their fault; they call it “Kyncet,” which sounds so cute and non-Muslimy. Hell, it could be a little white kid’s name like River or Tripp. No, but seriously, I went to the website – so helpful and colorful. You’d never know Barack Hussein Obama had anything to do with giving those folks health insurance.

So many questions, so little time. What to do, what to do?

The funny thing is, you can be that rascally Kenyan, foreign-born Muslim President attempting to destroy the country through socialism, or the current anarchist and pussy grabbing President-elect, but the problems are the same. The Democrats, for all the laws flaws, put a plan out there. They have offered something that is an imperfect attempt to make things better for people. It needs work, but objectively how an anyone claim insuring millions more puts us in a worse position as a nation than we were in 2008 without the law?

But since we’re starting from scratch supposedly, all the aforementioned questions are the challenges presented before the Republican Party. Are they truly going to accept it?

The Republicans have full government control. What’s their solution? Besides, regurgitate the line repeal and replace in of every t.v. camera available. What are they going to do? Who is going to walk the tightrope from Capitol Hill to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on this issue? If anything, it should surely be fun to watch. Can they make the rhetoric and policy on this issue line up?

They have promised repeal for so long and used this issue as a boogeyman for so long. Presumably, the President-elect won many votes this issue (and some others) – now they must deliver. It’s Christmas for the Trump voters, and they want their new white pony.

Of course, despite all of the President-elect’s bluster of fixing this in a few weeks, the complication of the American healthcare system cannot be overstated. The President-elect talks about repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as if he is just replacing an ottoman for Ms. Smith in Smalltown, USA. There is a reason why this was a wishlist item for every Democratic President (and even Nixon) from FDR to Obama. This shit is hard, and it matters and healthcare coverage for people who don’t have it when they are sick matters.

Repealing and replacing a law of this size, and of this magnitude, will not happen without causing pain – and sensible Republicans know that. Even though the President-elect is mashing the gas, look for reasonable Republicans to start raising some red flags. There the fat bastards at Thanksgiving who cut a slice of Pumpkin Pie too big only to realize a few bites in that it may be more than they can digest.

Trump Meets the Press

 

The character of Billy Flynn from the musical Chicago famously sings, “Razzle dazzle ’em and they’ll never catch wise!” Today, the President-elect did his best Billy Flynn, not only razzle-dazzling, but as Billy sings during his number – the President-elect gave us the “old film flam flummox, fool and fracture ’em” as well.

The President-elect met the press today and what we learned is that the President-elect will just do what he wants and create truth as he breathes. He scolded, dismissed, grimaced, and evaded. We had tap dancing and two stepping and more willful suspension of disbelief.

Let’s relive the razzle dazzle, in no particular order.

We had adjectives like tremendous and great and beautiful and massive.

We relived the election – again – and were informed of the “movement” and his huge election win (although that didn’t happen – it wasn’t huge).

He used big words like crap.

We had props. Yes, because no one knows what paper looks like, or to show us how HUGE his business is, we had lots and lots of files on a table – all of which he has signed apparently. We were told he was turning over his business to his sons – so it must be true. Never mind that this does not solve the ethical challenges. I mean, in theory, he will speak to his children about the business, right?

We had a special guest star in attorney Ms. Dillion and were told that conflict of interest laws don’t apply to the President or Vice-President. She explained all the reasons why the President-elect can’t untangle himself from his businesses and that everything will be fine and because Ms. Dillion says it is so – it surely must be fine.

People and presumably some members of the press clapped like grade schoolers when she finished.

We learned we would repeal and replace Obamacare all at the same time.

We learned that 96 million people- NINETY-SIX – who want jobs and they couldn’t get them, and we were told that is the real number and he is going to fix that. And so it must be true.

Surprisingly he does accept the findings that Russia did hack the DNC, but because the President-elect is a prepubescent boy, he quickly informed us that other countries do it too! I always forget he is a silly boy. When Pussygate broke, Melania Trump was dragged out in front of the press and did an interview with Anderson Cooper telling him that the President-elect was “egged on” by Billy Bush and that his own description of what would be defined as sexual assault was just “locker room talk.” Sheesh, I thought boys slapped each other with towels in the locker room. I had no idea they were so rapey.

Yes, the President-elect was reacquainted with the media today, and he seemed to like it as much as a child being forced to eat his vegetables. While it appears the President-elect will only be providing the American people with seasonal press conferences, he has given a preview of what we can expect when is President – more ego, more evasion, anger, stream of conscious rambling, petulance – and just a general mess.

God help us.

The Anti Party

Last week Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced the House would repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood. Is anyone surprised? I mean, really, is anyone surprised? These folks are nothing if not consistent. They have been harping about the injustice of President Obama daring to provide healthcare to the poor and working poor since 2010, and whining about a woman making their own reproductive health choices seemingly since the beginning of time. The absolute horror of those two things will destroy the republic!

The Republicans are so vile, but oh so determined, and I suppose that can be commended. I respect determination. It’s like watching a soap opera where no matter the year or the month – twenty years later even – the same old characters are doing the same old shit. Victor Newman will always love Nikki Newman on The Young and the Restless and Republicans will always default back to screwing women and the poor. I suppose when you think of it like that, while we watch the trampling of woman’s choice and the snatching of people’s healthcare – we can at least be comforted that the Republicans are like a dusty old blanket crocheted by your Grandmother. The entire thing feels like home.

Republicans are much better than Democrats when it comes to truly fighting for what they believe in. How Democrats have been unable to win the health care argument and reproductive rights argument is beyond me. But, alas, here we are with the Republicans doing what they always do. Who is going to resurrect Maya Angelou so she can remind is that “when people show you who they are, believe them.”

The fact that the American people cannot be persuaded that for whatever Obamacare’s ills – is providing access to healthcare to millions of people, quite a few Trump voters by the way. Millions and millions of people who did not have it before – that’s a good thing. Are there issues with the law, yes. Should we just throw it the entire thing and start from scratch again – no. That’s like burning down your home because the roof has a leak and needs a repair.

Planned Parenthood provides so many vital services for woman’s health, such as cancer screenings but can’t get past the fact that some woman may decide an abortion is a right choice for their life – even though abortions are not funded with taxpayer dollars. The fact that the American people keep voting for old white men who keep telling women what they should do with their bodies is also disheartening.

And yet a  bunch of stupid women and stupid poor people voted these people into office against their own self-interests.

But more than that, when are we – the American people – going to wake up and realize we are being sodomized without the sodomizer at least having the decency and kindness to provide lubricant? Put healthcare and women’s reproductive rights aside for a moment and think about the fact that a political party, that is against everything – has the levers of power of the entire federal government.

The Republican Party is a political party that on the whole does not believe in climate change, environmental protection,  healthcare, funding public education, women’s reproductive rights, any common sense gun control,  or immigration reform. I am sure I am leaving something out. This party generally believes that government is the problem on every issue unless we’re discussing the military at which point it can solve all the world’s ills.

The Republican Party is no longer a political party about the business of bringing positive change to this country. It is a party that is against any sort of progress, it is an anti-government and anti-progress party. The philosophy can really be broken down into two categories. Number One – a no government needed policy and number two – the market can handle everything.

So on issues of guns and gun control – the government should stand back –  millions of people, unrestrained by any common sense laws, can handle deadly weapons. No need for government or sound policy.

On issues like regulating Wall Street, public education, privatizing Medicare and Social Security and dealing with business and the environment –  get out of the way and let the private sector handle it. What could possibly go wrong? Nothing is sacred and if people can make money even better. The market unregulated and unrestrained always works for the people. Giving corporations the ability to do as they please has always been great for the American worker and the country. Sheesh!

So I am not shocked by this past week’s events and either, should you. We have seen this movie before, and we are watching the same script, and for the most part, minus Trump, the same old characters. I suppose it’s a sad sequel at this point.