Friday, May 26, 2017

Since @marcorubio won't hold a town hall, here's a message for him


As a Floridian, I can not understand why you won't hold a town hall. We have a lot of concerns, and you won't hear us. Yes, the conversations would be difficult, and there would likely be some hot topics. But please understand that we are passionate about some issues and feel like you are only it for yourself and your wealthy donors, and not for us and not representing us,

Realizing that, I wanted to share a few topics and my thoughts on them.
1. Russia. The evidence shows that their was a hack of sorts and influence by Russian agents in our election. Our democracy was subverted. Where is your senate panel on this? You haven't advance much over the last few weeks. We need to see the investigation continue!

2. Trump. You said, effectively, get over it and help the man have success. No. No. And no again. The man is a petulant child, who is making money as president because he is president. He has hired family to work for him. He has obstructed justice, at least in a way that should garner more outrage. He continues to embarasss us with our allies. He has passed classified information to others. He had Russians in the White House as guests. And on and on. He must not go unchecked. You must do your job and keep the balance of power.

3. The budget. What he has proposed is insane. Effectively he proposes guts from every social program and pays for his stupid wall, and his golf outings. I realize congress passes the budget, but you can't just stand idly by and pretend like this is okay. Social programs are one of the things your state, and particular, your community relies on. You can't just leave us in the (I would say cold, but it's Florida so I'll say) heat.

4. Big corporations, finance, and Wall Street. Letting big corporations, and particularly banks, run amok will harm us. The sensible regulations that were put in place in 2008 should protect us against another financial crisis like in 2008. We can't just deregulate and expect companies to do the right thing. There were surely be run away inflation, rising consumer prices, and likely higher unemployment as companies look to maximize their profit. Floridians are as vulnerable as anyone - and because we are a tourist economy, we rely on others spending money to come here. If they don't have disposable income, we all lose.

5. Immigration and visas. Similar to my point on a tourist economy, we need people visiting from other places to invigorate our economy and keep hotel rooms full. We can't just keep casting people out and calling them bad hombres. We can't just deport people Willy nilly. What are your thoughts on the person who came over in the Mariel boat lift in 1980 who was a legal resident, but is now awaiting a deportation proceeding to Cuba. I realize it's complicated, but it illustrates a problem: after 40 years here, he's being sent to a country he doesn't know. How can you let things like that slide?

6. And finally, healthcare. We need universal care. We need to know we are always covered. It shouldn't come down to whether we can afford private care. This is a right that all first world nations offer. We should too. It shouldn't be that your state will have a high level of uninsured and have to try and get sub-par care, rely on public hospitals if that's even possible, or simply die. No. we can and should do better. Medicare should be available for seniors and others who built this country. Medicaid needs to be there for the vulnerable among us. It shouldn't be left to the states to decide how to administer healthcare. That's ridiculous and will never work. Stand up for us, and fight for what's right!

We're Floridians and we need you to stand up for us.

Thank you.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Sage words from Lincoln

For the 1963 worlds fair, Walt Disney created a show about Abraham Lincoln.  I detail the show in a podcast that I created last year.

Basically, James Algar wove together real quotes from Lincoln to be brought to life.  There's one particular quote that should resonate today, with the state of politics such as it is, and talk of ties to russia. It's at about the 11 minute mark in the video:

"At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some trans-Atlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of EuropeAsia, and Africa combined could not, by force, take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years. At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, [that] if it ever reach us, it must spring [from] amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we [ourselves must] be [the] author[s] and finisher[s]. As a nation of free men, we must live through all time[s], or die by suicide."

Monday, May 22, 2017

#hackedvote #illegitimate

Still more info lost BEFORE the election!

I take back anything I might have said suggesting the election "might have been" hacked. It probably, and most certainly was, hacked!

There's only one thing to do: kick the administration out, and hold a new election. 

Sent from my iPad

#hackedvote #illegitimate Wisconsin Recount: The Alex Halderman Affidavit on Russian Hacking

Need more corroborating evidence that the machines themselves may have been hacked? Here's an interesting nugget that got lost in November.

The salient point is in the graphic.

#HackedVoting #illegitimate #unhackthevote strange things are afoot

I have been saying for a while that there is (or perhaps was) the possibility that the voting machines, the very system we use to vote could have been hacked.  

I don't know much about this site, but I did see two articles from last august that suggest that not only was it possible, they saw evidence of it, and warned us.

It lends credibility to the theory that something was actually wrong with the vote totals. 

These guys have been tracking much of this...

Holy cheep chit. 

Sent from my iPad

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Let's not forget - election edition

What's happening *is* about el Donaldo and his potential crimes - obstructing justice, violating the emoluments clause, hiring people that are unfit (like his daughter and son in law), handing over classified documents, etc.

But it's about much more. We still have the collusion with Russia item to deal with. And the very real prospect that Russia actively interfered with our election. And here's where things could get really tricky and very interesting.

Mitch McConnell (the turtle) has gone on record to say that he's not in favor of any looking into trump because it will interfere wit the senates legislative agenda. Yet that didn't stop him from shutting it all down when the last guy was there. He was more than happy to not do anything and pout because he couldn't have his way.

And then I saw he made a curious comment about this maybe leading to a special election. I can't find a link to that, but assuming it was, in fact him who said it, why make such a curious comment? Unless you think there's a chance the administration will be impeached.

Eddie Munster (Ryan) is an odd case. He just jumped into trumps pocket and is a yes man. I'm supposing it's because the report of trump donating heavily to Ryan's campaign makes them connected. And of course, Ryan is a tool that looks at his agenda and sees an opportunity to get what he wants in exchange for whatever the orange man wants. Because it's politically expedient to make a deal with the devil to push through what you want, and couldn't have for a few years under the last guy.

And here's one more nugget: don't forget that GOP leadership - specifically McConnell and Ryan - were given a classified briefing by the CIA, FBI and others last year about the potential links between trump and Russia. And they decided not to act on it, saying they'd claim it was partisan to get Hillary elected if it came out.

At that moment, they effectively implicated themselves, or perhaps opened themselves up to an ethics charge, or maybe an obstruction charge. That remains to be seen, but they did take a risk to get the outcome they wanted. And surely there could be consequences for them if the administration were brought down. So it is - regardless of what they do now - in their best interest to slow this moving train down if they can, lest they get hit too.

Now as for trump, clearly there's some nefarious business going on. Yes, you can argue he's a businessman, but it's amazing how many times russia comes up, and how his business ties are all just this side of sketchy. You get a lot of "yeah it's not illegal, but..."
How do any of us know whether he's a good or bad business man? He filed for bankruptcy protection several times in his career. I don't know of many (supposed) billionaires who have done that once, let alone more than once. It's just strange.

So let's suppose Russia is backing him in some way, or that Putin was involved in the election. Even if it's as simple as Russians trying to target voters to manipulate the outcome with alternate facts, shouldn't that be enough to undermine the credibility, the integrity of the election? Suppose I told you that Hillary won under that circumstance, or worse Obama. Wouldn't trumps base be indignant?

And what if it was worse the propaganda? Wouldn't you really wonder?

Even if it was the influence scenario, that would mean the whole election was flawed, and it wouldn't be a "simple" matter of removing trump, because he and pence one as a ticket. And it would mean that pence should also be subject to removal.

Plus, of course, pence appears to be complicit in much of this. He knew about Flynn. He knew about Russia. So if charges were to brought against trump for impeachment on some of the other charges, he would be culpable too.

And that brings us back to Ryan. He's third in line of succession. If he interfered or was involved, he would be unable to serve.

And next in succession is the president of the senate pro tempore, one Orrin Hatch. He's from Utah, is 83 years old, and has been serving in the senate for 40 years. He did run for president once, back in 2000.

If he were to choose not to serve, then we run through secretaries that trump appointed. Some of them worked on his campaign, or had ties to it, so you have to wonder if they would be eligible if the administration were removed.

And in the need, there would probably be a call for a special election so the person serving in that place would have limited time to do much, and would be regarded by both houses as a stop-gap. Maybe they get some of what they want, but you still have to deal with the reality that you can't just blame them for everything since they just assumed the post.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Voter suppression

Does anyone else see this?  El donaldo is selling the fact that he won really hard.  He's got a map he put up somewhere in the whitehouse, and he has copies he hands out at time.  Weird enough, but there's a purpose here.  And it was more or less revealed when he announced his intent to get to the bottom of how Hillary won the popular vote by so much.

Clearly, there's a game being played.  And it seems to me that the intent will be to find whatever he can, and the only answer they can possibly come up with will be to suppress the vote.  And if that's the case, it's all over. Who needs gerrymandering when you can simply stop some peop,e from voting?

We must stop this. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

#MakeAmericaSmartAgain Read about Benedict Arnold

In the revolutionary war, Arnold "turned coat" against the Americans, and essentially joined the British, thus being called a traitor to his country. 

But the story isn't quite as simple as that, and is worth a read.  He did attempt to aid the British by turning over West Point, where he held the head post, and then snuck out of New York.  He ultimately made his way onto a British ship and sailed to England where he lived out the remainder of his life. 

Sent from my iPad

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

#ThisIsNotADrill our democracy is at stake #TimeForAction #CallYourRep #IndependentInvestigation

Trump firing Comey is a direct assault on democracy.

Maybe he (el donaldo) did something wrong and has something to hide. Or maybe not.  But his firing of Comey as the head of the FBI looks like it's intended to stop any investigation into his dealings.  The problem is that if it's stands unchecked, then we are potentially allowing authoritarianism to rise.

The checks and balances are there for this reason, to not allow him to go completely unchecked. Look, even if you're deluded enough to think he's great, I would argue that simply an investigation into the firing and handling of Comey should warrant a second look. Like I said, maybe he did nothing wrong.  But we have to know that before it's too late.

Comey told us there was an active investigation looking at the ties between trump and Russia. And then Comey got fired. Trump must not be allowed to simply stifle anyone who dares oppose him. And his spokespeople must be held accountable for saying it's time to move on from Russia just because Comeywad fired.

Call your senators and congressman/woman
Send them a fax.
Tweet them.
Email them.

Do whatever it takes

Here's an easy way to fax them.

Here's how to find your congressperson

And your senator

We need an independent investigation into the dealings of trump.  We the people demand answers. We need to know that there are no ties to Russia, no influence, and the whole mess that started on November 8th (we'll really before that) is simply due to the will of the people, and not because of some shady business. And that it does not continue to be some shady shnizzle. 

Do something. Act now.

Sent from my iPad

Sunday, May 7, 2017

12 Angry Men (and their majority leader)

The senate has rejected the congressional bill to repeal Obamacare. But now these 13 in-duh-viduals (many of whom are asshats) will decide the future of healthcare in this country.

It's funny because its sad. No wait, it's funny because during th Cold War a term was coined called "first world nations" which basically meant any countries that aligned with the US in policy and basic well being (and capitalism), and opposed the Soviet Union.

Over the years it's been re-defined as wealthy nations, or those that provide for their people.

And here's the funny part: we are the ONLY first world nation that does not provide universal healthcare. We've fallen so behind, and become so petty that we have decided that wealth and the ultra elite are all that matters. Screw everyone else. Which essentially means we are becoming a third world nation. Because we don't ally with the principles and values that created the term first world.

And given that 3rd world nations are often considered the ones that don't provide for their people, we're there.

It's absolutely unbelievable to me that 13 white men are going to decide the future of healthcare for 300 million, and move us further away from great.


I don't know how, when, or why (well, maybe I do know why-money!) all of these people fell into el donaldo's con game, and decided it would be in their best financial interest to turn their backs on the people they were elected to represent.


Oh look, and they are all white. And all men.*

(* women are considered on a case-by-case basis)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Political games

Sometimes things are not quite what they seem in the world of politics. I watched "trumpcare" get rammed through the house today in a spectacularly absurd way, with no budget scoring, a hodgepodge of silly items listed out (some added at the very last minute) and of course no one - and I mean not a single congressman/woman - read it. 

They violated their own doctrine of allowing for transparency (the pledge to America) which calls for them to post a bill publicly and take time to review it. 

But the thing is that passage of this bill will actually harm Americans, those that our congress people are elected to represent. And how did congress respond to its passage? Why by having what amounts to a keg party with the orange cheeto!  Yes they celebrated their "victory" of harming everyday folks.  Nice guys (and girls). But don't forget that they are all up for reelection in 18 months. It's our duty to ensure that they're not re-elected. 

Anyway, back to my main point: it occurred to me later in the day that this wasn't quite as cut and dried as it seemed. Ryan and his ilk have such loathing for Obama that they will stop at nothing - even the threat of hurting Americans - to attack his legacy. And in the near term, they lined up donors for their re-election campaign, and managed to get specific concessions from other legislators for their own pet items. And they appeased el donaldo for now ("look we did all we could!") to try and get him to give them some of what they have on their agenda. 

And all the while, they were pretty certain that the bill would go nowhere in the senate. Ryan hinted at this yesterday when he was asked about it and replied "we'll let the senate figure out the details."  That's code for "I don't give a shit, I'm just #winning"

The senate, of course, said that the bill was crap and would craft their own.  But due to technical issues, it has a bit of an uncertain future: due to their own rules, they need 60 votes to get legislation through.  And even so, getting to 51 votes (or really even 50 so pence can break a tie) is going to be tough. 

The silver lining here is something I noted on social media earlier: as a nation, it seems we are more passionate about the political system.  People know who they're representative is, how to reach them, and know when they do (or don't) have town halls. We're more aware of the political process and are rallying and engaged. Those are all pretty amazing, good things. 

These asshats couldn't even follow their own rules

This is an excerpt from the pledge to America. The healthcare change wasn't even printed until this morning and still had changes in it.

I don't think any of them - as in none - actually read it before voting on it. How's that for transparency?!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

What am I missing: healthcare and trickle down economics.

Here are prominent politicians touting, touting, touting trickle down economics. As a primer, here's what that means from Trumans speech writer:

> The philosophy that had prevailed in Washington since 1921, that the object of government was to provide prosperity for those who lived and worked at the top of the economic pyramid, in the belief that prosperity would trickle down to the bottom of the heap and benefit all.

So give to the wealthiest and they'll spend more and we all win!

And on the other hand, you have the same politicians wanting to do away with the affordable care act. And in doing so make insipid comments like "why should I have to pay for someone else?..."

Isn't it the same freaking thing? What am I missing?