Cruz debate with Sanders: Cruz calls for repeal ACA…but GOP has NO PLAN

Cruz ended the debate tonight with an argument that repeated the lie promoted by Obama and the left that “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” which I railed against on my blog. The problem is that Cruz and the GOP have their own lie, they don’t know what the hell to do to repeal it, replace it, OR, make it better.

The lie perpetrated by the GOP including Ted Cruz since 2011 is that they want to repeal ACA because they “know what’s better”. The GOP Congress held 60 plus votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, over SIXTY votes since 2011. The problem is that these votes were smoke and mirrors, the votes were not underpinned with a plan to replace it. All the GOP wanted to do was repeal, not replace. They wanted to leave average Americans uninsured, they wanted to leave more tax money on the table to give back to the wealthy.

Over the past seven years, the lazy, incompetent Republicans did not care to put in the work to create a health care plan to replace ACA. They merely wanted to draw blood for their base, and that blood to be drawn without regard to the possibly dire results for millions of Americans who would lose insurance and become uninsurable. The Republicans had no plan to replace it, and incredible as it is, they still don’t.

That my friends is a huge lie, it is a monstrous lie. The repeated votes to repeal the ACA is an act of treason against the American people. To repeal the ACA without regard to the consequences, and without a plan to replace to ameliorate the dire consequences to average Americans is not merely irresponsible, it is treasonous.

Democratic Leadership Needs to Step Aside

I watched part of the Nancy Pelosi Town Hall on CNN tonight. Her performance reflected my thoughts about the Democratic Leadership. They are old, they are doddering, they can’t deliver a single straight sentence. It’s unbelievable that the Democrats continue to keep these people who led the party through the worst three elections in the history of the party, which mind you led to the election of a GOP Congress and President.

Step aside people. Let the young people take over the party. Find a woman politician who can talk without a quaver in her voice, who sounds strong, who can deliver a clear answer to a straight question. Trump is in power because he gives the appearance – to stupid, angry people – that he gives straight answers. He gives the illusion that he is honest and straightforward.

The Democrats keep rolling out the people that THE PEOPLE lost trust in. The politicians who earned the reputation for lying, for getting nothing done, for leading us to Trump. Enough already, dump them in-party before the voters dump them for a Republican. I can’t watch it any longer.

Goodbye Obamacare, Hello Republican Health Care Plan: But Wait, There is No Plan!

House Republicans voted over 60 times since 2011 to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). I heard about this happening over and over again throughout that time and I thought, in my naivete, that those Republicans must have one heck of a super, duper all-American plan to replace ACA since they were so all-fired determined to get rid of Obamacare. I thought that plan was a thing of wonder, a red, white and blue marvel with spiral binding and 3 color printing. That plan inspired my Reagan-esque dreams of unsurpassed Republican expertise in business and economics.

But 2011 is six years ago. If the first vote of the 60 was in 2011, then I assumed the Republicans came up with their plan to replace it before that first vote happened, maybe in 2010, seven years ago. But now that the House and the Senate have both voted in recent days on some legislative maneuver to give them an avenue for repealing Obamacare without working with Democrats at all, I am hearing on television that the GOP has no plan to replace it, no plan? That’s what I am told, they have no plan at all.

So I sit here and scratch my head. I thought that if the Republicans wanted to get rid of the ACA they had to have a plan. But I was wrong. I thought if they had a plan they must know what must be done differently. But, wrong again. But I thought if they moved to repeal it over and over and over again, they must at least agree on what replaces it. Wrong.

I hear on television that the Republicans are NOW scrambling now to create a plan to replace it, scrambling NOW, TODAY, in 2017, after taking over 60 votes to repeal ACA since 2011!

Now, after all the bluster and bullshit of the past 7 years they don’t know what the hell they want to do differently? With millions of people depending on health care and Republicans about to repeal the existing plan without having one in hand to replace it, without ever putting together a plan over the past seven years?

Are you Republicans F’ing kidding me?

What in the unholiest of hells have these conservative, right wing jackasses been doing for seven years? How could they not have a plan? How could it not be written, edited, polished, illustrated, published and ready for action to replace ACA? How can it not be ready to pull off the shelf and bring forward to the American public? How can Republicans not have a plan the they can point to with pride and confidence, one that enables them to say loud and proud, here is why we were so asininely and fervently opposed to Obamacare, and here is why we all voted over 60 times to get rid of the “bad plan”, and here is why, because our “Stupendous, Terrific, Happy Plan” is ready to roll out? ANd how can they not be ready to say of this plan, were there actually one created, “And it, my friends, will solve all issues and problems in health care in America.”

How can the Republican alternative plan not be ready, years ago mind you, for the anticipated stroke of Donald J. Trump’s magnificently phallic gold plated writing instrument?

But maybe the Donald has a plan. He boasted throughout the campaign how bad ACA was and how easy it would be to replace it with something much better, a plan that keeps the good parts and pares away the bad parts. Maybe on a shelf in Trump Tower, above his gold plated toilet there is a Royal Trump Plan just waiting for a ride down the escalator.

Tell me the Republicans have not spent the past seven years doing nothing but taking silly votes to repeal ACA when they should have been producing a plan for its replacement? Tell me they aren’t that incredibly inept and stupid, please, they’re in charge now, a lot is riding on them not being this lame.

I am gob-smacked, and I don’t even know what a gob is.

Who’s the Mexican Now?

Only a couple of weeks in advance of the Trump presidency and he’s already stepping all over himself, and us. This week he called out the national security agencies over Russian hacking saying he knows things about hacking they don’t and then never telling anyone what that is, after promising to do so last week. He then got a briefing in which it was reported that the chiefs of the FBI, CIA, and National Security Director showed him the evidence of Russia’s activity. Afterward all he could say was there was no evidence Russian hacking influenced the election.

Trump was wrong, he knew nothing they didn’t know about hacking, made wrong assumptions about his pal Vladimir, and now all he can say is that no electronic voting machine was tampered with. Of course that wasn’t the aim. Putin wanted to tamper with the weak minds of under-educated Americans and of course he got that done with a flourish. He also got one elected.

Trump continues to reveal on Twitter that his tweeting is not some brilliant media ploy by a savant. It is merely the output of a vitriolic adolescent jumping from one tantrum to the next. A spoiled man with zero emotional intelligence. A billionaire with connections he won’t reveal, investments he won’t characterize, and debt he won’t disclose.

If Trump voters are paying attention, and care, Trump earned post election strike one this week too. Trump will now force all U.S. citizens to pay for his big beautiful wall. Guess who the Mexicans are now? Do you have a red hat? You too are paying for a wall, Feliz Navidad Paco Estupido.

I told you so hat
Want to remind Trump voters they made a mistake in terms they’ll understand?

Need a new hat Paco?

The run up to this president’s term has been the most turbulent and troubling in my lifetime. The right wing conservatives Trump selected for cabinet, the generals, the ongoing mudslinging, have been sickening to watch.

Democrats and like-minded independents need to call an end to their pity parties and get to work on 2018. Now is the time to gear up, get busy, find leaders, clear out the garbage and roll up our sleeves. We have an election to win before we lose the country we had.

Raley’s and Uber, To Hell With That

I’m all for freedom but two stories on the news lately made me cranky. First of all Lincoln, California has decided, supported by Raley’s Supermarkets, that the new state law banning polluting plastic bags is not for them. They have said they won’t abide by new law.

Well Raley’s you’re not for me. I won’t shop at Raley’s again until you become a law-abiding corporation.

As for Lincoln, California, I don’t go there anyway so it’s no skin off my nose, Lincoln is just a a podunk little nothing of a whistle stop full of fat, diabetic  right wingers on early white man’s retirement (disability) who are too lazy and flatulent to open their trunk to retrieve a reusable bag.  I do hope Raley’s executives are at least consistent in their disregard for the environment and state law by locating a fleet of fume-belching 2-cycle fat carts in their Lincoln store so their spandex-clad guests aren’t inconvenienced or politically offended by a rechargable electric model.

And that goes for Uber too.

Who the hell does Uber think it is driving computerized, driverless cars on the road in perhaps the worst city to drive in on the continent against the orders of the City of San Francisco? I am uninstalling the Uber app and cancelling my account until Uber abides by the law.

Uber, I saw your driverless car blow a red light on the news. AND, I don’t appreciate you trying to get rid of drivers either, people need jobs you bunch of crony capitalist a-holes. People who need jobs are the ONLY reason you exist at all.

Trump makes everyone feel they can do whatever the hell they want in the face of the law, and decency. Well, I can vote with my wallet and Raley’s and Uber are out of my wallet until further notice.

As my Uncle Harv would say, “To hell with that”.

Mutts and Nuts

My Dad once had a dog named Daisy. Daisy was a little wiry-haired terrier mutt who loved farts. As a kid I thought that a dog would react to the sound of a fart was hysterical. All I had to do was make a fart sound with my mouth and Daisy would leap up on the couch and sniff around me for the gas.

Trump uses Twitter to make fools of the media the same was I used mouth farts to make Daisy jump up on the couch. All Trump does is Tweet out a fart and the entire media jumps on the couch sniffing around for gas. But just like Daisy, sometimes there is something real to sniff and most of the time there is nothing. Lots of sniffing and little methane.

Somehow the media needs to figure out what are the farts and what is just noise. Trump often makes them look like fools sniffing around the couch.

Speaking of fools, let’s look at what just happened to Mitt Romney.

The one thing I admire about Trump is his ability and willingness to expose political whoredom. Mitt is the latest political whore to be exposed and publicly castrated. Guiliani, Cruz, Christie, Carson and more lined up for treatment.

Think about it, Mitt is all over Trump during the election, could not be clearer that Trump was not qualified to be president. Then Trump gets elected and Trump throws out a withered olive branch and Mitt comes chasing the stick like a goofy dog wagging and tongue hanging out.

Trump meets with Mitt publicly, just long enough to get Mitt to say nice things, allows pictures and video at a very public dinner out, and then Trump cuts him loose. In the end, Mitt gets nothing except an excruciatingly public castration.

I will never be able to believe a word Mitt Romney says. He pulled the ultimate flip-flop and even if he’d gotten the job he’d have been unbelievable, but wearing a leash is less demeaning than what actually is happening to him.

Mitt Romney is now in no man’s land politically, he has no left or right, no east nor west. Mitt has no political capital left to spend and he came away from this with nothing. At least Ted Cruz still has his job as a Senator, even if he now sings soprano in the Senate choir.

Tearing Away the Fabric of Courtesy

The loss of civility in the USA is real and concrete and will worsen unless Donald J. Trump and his administration seek to lower the temperature of the country. I do not see evidence of that happening so far.

Being civil to each other is the fundamental principle of courtesy which for years now has been a fabric that is stretched and threadbare, now to the point of tearing. The political election and most prominently pushed through the threadbare fabric of politeness we held dear. Under the theme of political correctness, the veil is torn and the ugliness it hid or held back is now coming forth.

Examples of this ugliness are everywhere and undeniable, to everyone except the new president-elect and his administration. They do not care that the people of this country are free now to express prejudice. That discourtesy towards others based on differences is now acceptable behavior.

A white man with a history if racial prejudice verbally attacks a woman working at Starbucks.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/11/18/i-voted-for-trump-you-lost-white-starbucks-customer-accuses-barista-of-discrimination/?tid=hybrid_experimentrandom_1_na&utm_term=.edb5e5dee05e

A group of middle school students chant, “Build that wall.”

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/11/11/students-at-michigan-middle-school-chant-build-that-wall-following-trump-win.html

Any personally I was called “white boy” outside Safeway just yesterday but a triad of young black men. That hasn’t happened to me since I was in Richmond working as a educator.

The question is where does the lack of political correctness and civility lead us?

I was discriminated against as a white man in Richmond. When cuts were to be made in administration I was cut in favor of a black woman with less qualifications, except that she was black. This was not a figment of my imagination, it was real. I was told directly but the Assistant Superintendent and Director of Personnel that “White males are not in demand in the inner city.” One of these women was white and the other one was black. I was also told that my complaint about this treatment was “whiny”. So I took myself to an area where white males were in demand, a mostly white area of the state.

I am sure that black people would say, “Welcome to my life.”  A black person has a much narrower geographic option if in fact the statement that, “Black employees are not in demand here,” is a reality, if unspoken.

The anger about the discrimination I experience was real. I was angry that my skin color determined by employment status. But I remained polite. My anger didn’t go away quickly from that single incident but I did not take it out on other people. It is true that I looked a black people differently because I was surprised that having experienced so much discrimination that they would be to blatant about offering it up to me. I learned that discrimination is not a one way street.

But had learned that the way through discrimination was not to confront it with impolite language. It was to build relationships that were founded on politeness and courtesy. I knew from my years in Richmond that the way we speak to each other while we work through our anger, while we deal with our inner demons of bias, and while we suppress the impulses that do not represent who we want to be, is courtesy. It is politeness. It is political correctness.

I see politeness as a veneer that enables people to open conversation and conduct their lives in business, religion, and community. Courtesy is a form of patience that acknowledges that we may not always be the person we hope to be, the person we think we will become if we only suppress uglier feelings until they pass, or are replaced by new realities.

Has politeness become seen as an unnecessary custom that suppresses real feelings that people now feel the need and right to express? Perhaps courtesy is not to be replaced with coarse, direct expression of all prejudicial feelings and opinions. Perhaps we’ve lost patience with being nice to each other and somehow feel that the ugly side isn’t wrong and should be on full display.

I think we are in a dangerous time when disagreements often turn violent, and when violence often escalates beyond all reason in no small part due to the proliferation of guns.

I call on President-elect Trump to establish a norm of courtesy before it is lost, and the loss of self-control is out-of-control and leads to total disintegration of the fragile fabric of this society.

Electing a John Wayne Meme

I’m still trying to rationalize the election and why so many people, decent people, kind people, moral people, could cast a vote for Donald Trump who showed in so many ways that he is none of those things. All we know about him really is what came out of his mouth which at times was vulgar and all the rest (no need to rehash what didn’t ultimately matter).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I think this election is a hearkening back. I miss the 1960’s in terms of my personal life. I miss the time in my life before my parents divorce. That was a time when life was orderly. Things were OK and others were not and there were clear lines on the surface of things that for a kid made us all feel safe, that the world was understandable place with rules and norms and a way of doing things that was reassuring rather than jarring.

Enter the late sixities, well not that late in retrospect, before JFK’s assassination was the first seismic jolt to the normalcy of our little WASP world in the form of the Cuban Missile crisis, then the assassinations, civil rights, Vietnam.

Some memes stand out to me from those days and perhaps one of the central ones was the western. Memes for you oldsters out there my age and older is defined below.

Meme
(accessed on 11/13/2016 – http://www.urbandictionary.com)

1 : an idea, belief or belief system, or pattern of behavior that spreads throughout a culture either vertically by cultural inheritance (as by parents to children) or horizontally by cultural acquisition (as by peers, information media, and entertainment media)

2 : a pervasive thought or thought pattern that replicates itself via cultural means; a parasitic code, a virus of the mind especially contagious to children and the impressionable

Westerns were central to who men wanted to be back in the sixties. As a little boy we all had our cowboy boots, our hats, our die cast cap pistols and leather holsters that we used to shoot each other on the suburban sidewalks.

Media portrayed the western as a glorified time of American manhood. John Wayne, the Lone Ranger, Marshall Dillon of Gunsmoke, Ben Cartwright of Bonanza, Crocodile Dundee, Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon) are a few of the patriarchal characters that we all believed our Dads to be, or wished they were.

Us little kids loved those men. They were strong, tough, fair, kind, tender, and they always won. (remember win, win, win until you’re tired of winning).

Ronald Reagan understood the meme before meme became a word. Donald Trump understands the meme today; hell, even Putin understands the meme riding shirtless on horses. Hillary couldn’t compete with John Wayne. She raised her voice in rallies and sounded like my Mom late at night when I broke curfew. John Wayne wouldn’t raise his voice, he’d lower it.

For all the young, tech-savvy people in the Clinton campaign, they should have hired an older guy like me to advise them. They needed to pop the meme bubble of Donald Trump. Clinton needed to have her moment denouncing the meme, “I knew John Wayne and you’re no John Wayne.”

Trump may or may not be John Wayne but the older white people who voted for him wanted a Clint Eastwood as president. In this era of fear of everything from radicals and the rise of foreign powers to the internal fight from “crumbling” religious establishments, white people missed their John Wayne meme. There is no John Wayne and the attempt to replace it in the media with the likes of Katniss Everdeen hasn’t taken hold yet, at least not with males and older white Americans. A teenage, female John Wayne isn’t convincing to those of us who watched our heroes punch out a bad guy. Girls are who our memes protected.

Bullying as a national topic of concern today is a reinforcing of the meme, it reinforced the need for a Trump who many people saw not as a bully but as an anti-bully. Remember the political correctness thing, he was not a bully but a courageous truth teller who stood up to media bullies and foreign bullies and cultural bullies. The western meme says you step up to the bully and punch them in the nose and that is what Trump did. It also says that a bully on the right side, is not a bully at all but a hero. (topic for a future post) Facing a down a bully you don’t run crying to mom, you sure as heck don’t run crying to dad. You step up and throw the first punch and take your licks.

I think Clinton’s Campaign Team missed some key points in this election.

  1. There were not enough millennials willing to vote to elect her.
  2. People feel bullied by the changes, the shootings, the bombings, the beheading. And Donald stepped up and said, “I’m your huckleberry”.
  3. Clinton is not a male archetype and she failed to convince old white guys she could go toe-to-toe with Trump/Putin/Jinping.

Given the fact that enough older white people and perhaps younger white people wanted a John Wayne meme for president means there was no way a grandma playing the woman card could win without all the votes of people who did not grow up with the John Wayne meme.

I tend to think millennials sunk her ship a lot more purposefully than Comey did but in the end I think election of a comforting, if flawed, patriarch in the face of all the horror we’ve seen in the world over the past eight years should not be a surprise and perhaps, unlike Mike Dukakis, Hillary needed to climb into a tank and fire off a few rounds.

Who the Hell Voted For Trump?

Trump won. I can’t believe that almost half the voters in America chose him. Even in liberal California, one in three voters cast their vote for Trump. I’ve been noodling this ever since the results came in, much like the majority of voters in the election.

Since the election, I find myself passing other middle-aged white people and looking them in the eye, and they look back at me, and I think I can read their mind, are you a Trump voter? We all want to know who voted for him, we want to understand. It would really help me if they’d just wear their red hats in public.

I have to confess that there is some small part of me that feels perversely comforted by the thought of Trump in the White House, some part of the white male bias in me thinks Trump kind of gets what I get, that we’re on the same team, which is a totally unexpected and aberrant feeling and hits my stomach like a bout of food poisoning coming on.

As I walked this fine fall day through the falling leaves under blue skies and cool temperatures, I wondered who among my fellow walkers in the Farmer’s Market voted for Trump, and WHY.

Here is where my mind went.

  1. Bernie Voters Did Not Vote for Trump, They Pushed Their Parents into Voting for Him

I keep hearing pundits saying that Bernie’s people wanted change since Bernie was out, they voted for Trump instead. While there may be a few schizophrenic anarchists who could justify voting for a candidate that is the polar opposite of Sanders, I sincerely doubt that many of Bernie’s younger voters cast a vote for Trump. The pundits claim this is what happened but I doubt it. What makes more sense to me is that independent voters, white middle class voters, were pushed toward Trump because of Bernie’s positions and Bernie’s impact on Hillary’s positions. Bernie pushed a socialist agenda, some of which Hillary was forced to parrot in order to try to hang on to the Bernie voters. She was forced left, toward adopting some of Bernie’s positions.

I was turned off by Bernie and his gimme generation followers. I think a lot of older voters were turned off and disgusted by the freebie campaign of Bernie Sanders. Boomers have been on this earth too long to think that anyone deserves a free ride, to college, to health care, to anywhere. We went to college and we paid for it, or our parents paid for it, and it was supported by government but there was no expectation that it would be free, that it was a right. Boomers believe you have to work for what you want. The younger generation seems to want it all, now, and they think they deserve it at no cost. In the face of a Democratic party that seems to value the millennial vote more than sound economic policy, I think a lot of older people were pushed to hold their noses and vote Trump.

  1. Boomers Want Trump as Millenial Daddy

The reaction to Trump’s election is like a nation-wide millennial temper tantrum. Not too unlike their reaction to Bernie losing the nomination if you recall the convention tantrum. Millenials think they deserve to have everything their way, including the election, and NOW! Well our Democracy doesn’t work that way so they can march and make signs and make noise and vandalize, but they can’t have the election their way. They’ll have to work for it over the next four years, they have to get off their asses and vote when the next election happens, they have to donate time and money, volunteer, and know what they stand for and why it’s good for the country, not only for themselves.

  1. Boomers Want Monsignor Trump

On the other side of the fence, I see a generation that raised kids without church, and so millennials lack an internal moral code to live by and to guide their decisions and view of the world. The millennial moral code is me, me, me and to hell with everyone else. It is obvious in the way they tune in to their phones and tune out the world, their social ineptitude reflecting lack of empathy, their inability to carry on a conversation with adults. Their helicopter parents made them think that they deserve to be catered to in every moment of every day and it starts in the back seat with the video playing. Entertain me, please me, gimme, gimme, gimme.

  1. Boomers Want John Wayne Trump

The boomers were the me first generation and they raised their kids to as the gimme generation. Baby boomers wanted to get what they wanted when their time at the front of the line came to them, their children think standing in line is annoyingly anachronistic and disrespectful of their entitlement because they deserve to be first, they are owed the fast pass as Disneyland.

Now millennials are out of the house and out of control and boomer parents don’t like it. They need someone to discipline their kids.

It is possible that part of the boomer vote against Bernie’s millennials, the “Occupy crowd”, was a ceding of moral authority they never asserted with their kids. They want Trump to be the strong man, the Cesar, the Gladiator, the John Wayne. Trump will whip these little nose pickers into shape.

Trump will put millenials in the army that he’s going to grow by 70,000. Boomers want Daddy Trump to teach their kids what is important in America discipline, ambition, male dominance. Boomers want Trump to be their kid’s generalissimo, their priest and holy father, he will be their chaplain and father superior.

That is what I thought about as I eyed, and others eyed me, with suspicion the middle-aged people among the crowd. Who are the traitors among us I could hear them thinking? Or maybe I was projecting.

Are my thoughts right or wrong? Am I too harsh on millennials lumping them all into one deplorable socialist basket? Probably.

But if I wasn’t just on an apple fritter hallucination while I walked today, then perhaps Trump’s election makes a little more sense, even if I don’t find it any less unsettling.