Tag Archives: Congress

It’s Party Time!

5 May

Image result for Congress celebrating healthcare repeal with beer

Congress has repealed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and replaced it with the American Health Care Act (AHCA). All they had to do was take the word affordable out! It was just that easy and also very American. Now let’s all party at the President’s Palace! (formerly known as the White House) There are free buses to and from and beer and selfies!…But sadly you and I were not invited.

Anyway, experts agree that the changes in America’s Healthcare will mean cheaper prices and more healthcare for the young and the wealthy and more expensive prices for the poor and elderly. Huzzah! This is just as it should be!

If you want something you have to pay for it. This is called Capitalism… and if you want something and don’t have the money to pay for it then you don’t get it. It is a very simple and straight forward system. Tried and true.

So naturally our new Healthcare system favors those who can pay over those who can’t because if you want something that you can’t pay for and then cry about it, you are a Socialist and Socialists can go screw and have babies! And a lot of good that will do them because their babies won’t get healthcare either. So rest easy… In case you were worried.

But look at the bright side. If you are elderly then you are close to dying anyway so isn’t spending money on healthcare a waste of money? And if you are poor then what do you have to live for? (especially in one of the most expensive countries on Earth) so wouldn’t spending money on your health be counter productive? And if you are poor and elderly well then… do the words “cost effective” mean nothing to you?

Besides, the United States is number 1 in child poverty (Among industrial nations) and number 1 in the amount of money we spend (Don’t) on helping the poor. (As in LAST)…in case you were worried again. So when it comes to Entitlements this new Healthcare Act is not one of them! Huzzah again!

Because Freedom is Expensive, not Free! It’s expensive when you are born. Expensive when you are alive and expensive when you die. And if we are doing it right it gets more and more expensive as you go along. That’s called business.

And oh yeah, the new bill eliminates The ACA’s employer mandate, which required large employers to offer affordable coverage to their workers. If the bill becomes law, companies that do not wish to cover their workers will face no penalty. It frees all large employers of the complex reporting necessary to enforce the provision and It also pushes back enactment of a tax on high-cost employer health plans.

So take your excess money (if you have any) and put it in your new Healthcare bank account (tax free) and tell the bank to invest it in Healthcare (not yours silly…the business) and Pharmaceuticals and medical devices and even tanning beds! Those businesses are about to go through the roof! If you’re lucky You’ll be able to cash in on the death and dying of others so that you can afford your own future demise.

And if we can get the banks to bundle these healthcare accounts into derivatives and then sell them back and forth to each other until the whole system collapses under its own weight and from sheer greed, then the feds will have to step in and bail out the entire convoluted establishment and we all get rich…if we don’t get dead first!…which of course we most probably will.

Anyway, I digress. Just look at all of those happy, old, rich, white guys laughing and smiling and about to party like it’s 1776! And most of them haven’t even read the bill they’ve just passed (I kid you not) including the big guy in the middle who says that it’s a great, no, very great, piece of legislation.

But don’t despair yet. The American Senate still has to approve this bill and so far they say that they aren’t going to read it either…just disapprove it… and then make their own healthcare legislation. Why? Because the American Health Care Act is…wait for it…too generous!

So party hearty America!…Happier (if maybe not healthier) days may soon be here again…and If you’re an old, rich, white guy… did they ever really end?

 

 

 

 

You Want More?!

24 Mar

Image result for sad healthcare stories

The Republicans in Congress are having difficulty passing their replacement healthcare bill for the Affordable Care Act. It seems that many Republicans find the new healthcare law to be too generous. House Speaker, Paul Ryan has even offered to make additional cuts to satisfy the Republican upstarts who won’t settle for less than an all out repeal of the ACA… You know, exactly what the American people want and have mandated by electing them.

Here is the list of the frivolous health benefits that health insurers are required to provide under the ACA that the Speaker has offered to have removed from the new bill:

• Ambulatory patient services (doctor’s visits) • Emergency services • Hospitalization            • Maternity and newborn care • Mental health and substance abuse disorder services,            • Prescription drugs • Rehabilitative services and devices • Laboratory services • Preventive and wellness services, and chronic disease management • Pediatric services, including oral and vision care

Wow! Who needs that stuff?…But still the watered down porridge of a bill could not receive enough votes from Republicans. Why, you may ask? It still left too many benefits intact! It wasn’t a repeal!

President Trump is demanding that this healthcare plan be passed by Congress tomorrow (at the latest) or else he’s done with healthcare and the nation can go scratch! (as in Beelzebub?) (As in “This is going to be the best healthcare plan ever! New and improved and cheaper! And now with better care!”… ???)

Anyway, what’s a political party to do with a nation that wants to visit their own doctor when they are sick??? And at these prices?! Have you seen what doctors charge nowadays? (Most Congressmen haven’t…but they’ve heard!) And it’s much too expensive for people who are…Non-Congressmen!

But Even with their proposed cuts the National Budget Office says that about 151 billion dollars will be shaved from the national deficit… in a budget that sees half a trillion dollars in payment to the National Debt!…every year! (Now that’s saving some real chump change)

And now we pause for a brief excerpt from Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens:

‘Please, sir, I want some more.’

The master was a fat, healthy man; but he turned very pale. He gazed in stupified astonishment on the small rebel for some seconds, and then clung for support to the copper. The assistants were paralysed with wonder; the boys with fear.

‘What!’ said the master at length, in a faint voice.

‘Please, sir,’ replied Oliver, ‘I want some more.’

The master aimed a blow at Oliver’s head with the ladle; pinioned him in his arm; and shrieked aloud for the beadle.

The board were sitting in solemn conclave, when Mr. Bumble rushed into the room in great excitement, and addressing the gentleman in the high chair, said,

‘Mr. Limbkins, I beg your pardon, sir! Oliver Twist has asked for more!’

There was a general start. Horror was depicted on every countenance.

‘For MORE!’ said Mr. Limbkins. ‘Compose yourself, Bumble, and answer me distinctly. Do I understand that he asked for more, after he had eaten the supper allotted by the dietary?’

‘He did, sir,’ replied Bumble.

‘That boy will be hung,’ said the gentleman in the white waistcoat. ‘I know that boy will be hung.’

Nobody controverted the prophetic gentleman’s opinion. An animated discussion took place. Oliver was ordered into instant confinement; and a bill was next morning pasted on the outside of the gate, offering a reward of five pounds to anybody who would take Oliver Twist off the hands of the parish. In other words, five pounds and Oliver Twist were offered to any man or woman who wanted an apprentice to any trade, business, or calling.

‘I never was more convinced of anything in my life,’ said the gentleman in the white waistcoat, as he knocked at the gate and read the bill next morning: ‘I never was more convinced of anything in my life, than I am that that boy will come to be hung.’

And so what will happen in tomorrow’s chapter of American Healthcare? As always, stay tuned! Perhaps with a promise of 5 bucks per person some other country will take our excess poor citizens off of our ruling class citizen’s hands? Doesn’t someone need an apprentice??? ( OK we’ll make it 400 dollars adjusted for inflation but that’s our final offer) We’ve got to be in Mar-a-Lago by Saturday morning!

 

The Devil in the Details?

4 Mar

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Congressman Roger Marshall, a newly elected Republican to Congress who is also a doctor, recently said that he doesn’t support the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion because he believes some poor people just don’t want health care.

“Just like Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with us.’ There is a group of people that just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves. The Medicaid population, which is a free credit card, as a group, do probably the least preventive medicine and taking care of themselves and eating healthy and exercising. And I’m not judging, I’m just saying socially that’s where they are, So there’s a group of people that even with unlimited access to health care are only going to use the emergency room when their arm is chopped off or when their pneumonia is so bad they get brought the ER.”

That’s a direct quote from one of our Congressmen and a doctor who basically believes that poor people, as a group of people, just don’t want to take care of themselves health-wise…as opposed to rich people?

You’ve never seen a rich person who didn’t eat right and who never exercised or was overweight? have you? Like our President maybe?… But I’m not judging… Anyway, just like Jesus said once,… according to Congressman Marshall…Fuck em!

Apparently that’s how the Congressman understands his Bible when he reads it… and he is part of the GOP Doctors Caucus, which is a group of 16 lawmakers with health care backgrounds who are at the center of the Republican Congressional effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Wow! Is that how you read your Bible? Is that what Jesus meant?… There are poor people. There will always be poor people. Because poor people don’t care about themselves (like non-poor people do?)… Jesus was poor. He was always poor. He died on the cross rather quickly. Was that because he never exercised or ate right?

President Trump, in his most recent speech before Congress said that he wants to see Repeal and replace Obamacare with reforms that “expand choice, increase access, lower costs, and at the same time, provide better health care.”…with freedom to choose our own healthcare plans (not forced upon us, but the ones we want) and Medicaid resources that make sure “No one is left out.”

I think that’s great! And I agree with that POTUS plan! And I hope we get just that and for everyone! But that is not what Congress is pursuing. Let’s hope that the President is true to his word and stands up to Congress. That’s why we elected him, right? So stay tuned! Will we end up replacing Obamacare with JesusCare with a capital J…or with a smaller case j…where the devil just may be… in the details?

The 2nd Amendment Isn’t the Only Amendment

30 Aug

Image result for 1st amendment

And all Americans should know that as can be attested to by the 2nd Amendment’s name…

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s has refused to stand during recitations of the national anthem at football games in a personal attempt to protest police brutality in the United States. Consequently this has many conservative Americans up in arms, including Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Which I find quite interesting because conservatives are supposed to be the ones who have less of an inclination towards change or liberal interpretations… of, say… the Constitution of the United States of America! As in the 1st Amendment which guarantees freedom of speech and the right to peaceably protest without fear of government reprisal.

So Mr. Kaepernick would like to protest, which is his 1st Amendment right to do so, in front of America’s football fans, just like he has the right to carry a gun and shoot himself in front of America if he so chooses. And you can bet that Conservatives all across this great land would defend his right to do just that (after having staged the appropriate moment of silence before prying said gun out of his cold dead hands)

But when Mr. Kaepernick exercises his 1st Amendment right to free speech and protest, so called Conservative pundits are going hog wild with apoplexy and are making comments like. “How dare he!” “He’s UN-American!””He must be a Muslim!” “But I thought his parents were white?”(which of course is a prerequisite for American contentment?)

And then even that great Constitutional scholar, Donald Trump, chimed in with “Why doesn’t he go find another country?” (Also his immigration policy)

Yes, we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave but how dare anyone be brave enough to exercise their freedom  by protesting that which they find disturbing or inequitable about their government or country.

This is America after all so sit down and shut up… or rather stand up and place your hand over your heart and shut up…no don’t shut up. Just sing! About the ramparts and the red glare and about how the country fought for its freedoms because freedom isn’t free and that’s why we have the 2nd Amendment, which is the only really true and important amendment, so when you get frustrated and angry with your government that you feel no longer serves the people you can go out and get your gun and then just shut up and shoot someone…

No wait…that can’t be right can it???

Damn liberals!

 

 

Making America Safe…

20 Jul

https://i0.wp.com/i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2016/images/01/18/gfx-isis-attacks-northamerica.png

And From Whom?

According to CNN, since declaring its caliphate in June 2014, the self-proclaimed Islamic State has conducted or inspired at least 126 terrorist attacks in 23 countries other than Iraq and Syria. Those attacks have killed at least 1,735 people and injured thousands more.

In North America there have been 7 attacks inspired by ISIS

On October 23, 2014 A man with a hatchet attacked four police officers in New York. Police said the attacker, was self-radicalized and believed to have been inspired by ISIS. On May 3, 2015 — Two men opened fire outside a Prophet Mohamed cartoon contest in a Dallas suburb. The gunmen wounded a security guard before police shot and killed them. The attack is believed to have been inspired by ISIS. On November 4, 2015 — A University of California student stabbed four people before being shot to death by police. The FBI concluded the attack appeared to be terror-inspired. On December 2, 2015 — Tashfeen Malik and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, shot 14 people to death and injured 21 others at a gathering of local government health workers in San Bernardino, California. On January 8, 2016 — A man was arrested after a Philadelphia police officer was shot and wounded. The assailant later claimed to have committed the attack on ISIS’ behalf…
And On June 12, 2016 — A gunman killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The shooter, was killed by police three hours after taking hostages in the club. He was a 27-year old U.S. citizen of Afghan descent who pledged allegiance to ISIS in a 911 phone call during the siege. The attack is believed to have been inspired by ISIS.
There is no doubt that these have all been horrible attacks carried out in the name of a Radical Islamic organization, leaving 63 dead and 79 injured throughout North America. Many Americans are outraged and want these attacks avenged, no matter the cost and no matter how long it takes. America’s 2 political parties will be debating 24/7 how to solve this crisis for the next 5 months and beyond.
Earlier this year 100,000 citizens were discovered poisoned with lead in the Michigan city of Flint. The Governor of Michigan was hoping to save money for the state by rerouting the cities perfectly clean water supply through a corrosively polluted river and into the cities aging lead lined pipes. This went on for nearly 2 years before the state would admit to any wrong doing on their part.
We hear about ISIS every day on the news but Flint, Michigan? Not so much anymore. The Governor of Michigan just had to say “My bad” and everyone in America seems to be satisfied even though the residents of Flint will never, ever, recover from their lead poisoning.
Now Imagine for one second that ISIS had been responsible for the poisoning of 100,000 American citizens over the course of 2 years while American state government did nothing to stop it even though they had been aware of it all along.
That’s all I have…just imagine that…

Rhetorical Question

18 Jul

This week is the opening of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland Ohio.

Ohio is a traditional open-carry state. The open-carry of firearms by those who legally possess the firearm is a legal activity in Ohio with or without a license.

But this week, in the wake of gun violence across the country, the head of a Cleveland police union called on Ohio’s Governor John Kasich to declare a state of emergency and suspend the open carry gun law, during the Republican convention.

The union head said that he was concerned about copycat shootings at the Republican convention, but a spokeswoman for Governor Kasich said that the governor did not have the power to suspend Ohio’s open carry law.

However, as everyone in the Republican party knows, guns do not kill people. So why should there be any problem?

Welcome to 1984!

18 May

I think that President Obama has done a good job as President of the United States. I know that not everyone agrees with me and even though I don’t agree with everything that President O. has done, our 44th elected President is about to do something that no other president in the history of the United States has ever accomplished.

He is about to become the only president who has been at war during all 8 years of his presidency! And when you consider that President G.W. Bush had the nation at war for the last 6 years of his presidency then the United States has been at war for the past 14 years, non stop…with no stopping in sight.

Hillary Clinton, should she become our next president, is well known in Washington for being a “war hawk” herself… and Donald trump, should he become our next Commander in Chief, has vowed to “Bomb the shit out of them!” Whoever “they” may be…but does that matter anymore? Who they are?

Does anyone know why we fight everywhere and for always these days? We’ve been at war now 7 times as long as we were involved in WWI and almost 4 times as long as we were involved in WWII. And Vietnam, our longest war, was a matinee short compared to our current involvements in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Even President Lincoln was able to bring about the conclusion of our very own Civil War in one third of the time that it has taken for our present day armed forces to secure the fighting “Over There”against nations that don’t even have governments, let alone, armies.

So why do we fight so long and so hard and at such great expense to our nation and our citizens? We are currently over 19 trillion dollars in debt and a 2011 Brown University study concluded that the cost of war since 2001 will reach 5 trillion dollars, or $16,000 per American; $64,000 for a family of four…by 2020. And that was a 2011, Pre-ISIS, estimate!

If you are voting this year for a political party or person who you think will reduce our national debt…good luck with that! Unless you are hoping that our government will trade Social Security and Medicare spending for a reduction in the debt, it will just never happen. And even then the ever increasing costs of our never ending wars will simply chew up that savings and add more debt to our society anyway.

And then what would we be left with… but war, debt and absolutely no societal programs for our society that we have been fighting to protect? What does it avail a nation to spend a fortune and lose it’s soul?

But now, at 19 trillion dollars in debt and rising by the minute, how will we, without war, keep the peace… and the economy? Our dollars now remain strong because we back them up not with gold (we ran out of that in the 1970s) but with guns instead.

In 1960 President Eisenhower admonished us to “beware the military-industrial complex”, and we apparently have not, for it seems to me that war has now become peace in the minds of many if not most Americans. So shall our ignorance become our strength too?

 

 

 

 

Still Not Interested!

15 Nov

I was doing some on-line banking this morning and as I was scrolling through my recent transactions I happened to notice that my bank, one of the largest in the world by the way, made an interest deposit in my favor…for 5 cents!

Once upon a time when I was little an interest credit of 5 cents would have meant that I was a five year old whose dad had just opened a savings account for him with 1 dollar.

I’m all grown up now and I have quite a few more dollars in the bank but I’m still getting 5 cents in interest!

I tried to figure out what kind of a percentage that meant I was getting on my money but my calculator melted while trying to do the math.

Honestly I don’t even bother to add the interest into my balance anymore. It’s not worth the time or worth using up one of the spaces in my register to add just pennies to my balance. I just wrote pennies didn’t I? Imagine that! Pennies in interest on a banking account in the 21st century… when I was teaching high school the students would throw pennies at each other rather than keep the annoying coins in their pockets. Now they’re my investment income.

Honestly, I’d rather they kept their 5 cents than insult me with such a transaction.

But sadly, just the other day, while I was making a transaction at the drive up window, a bank assistant manager asked if I would like to transfer my money from my checking account to a fabulous new Platinum Savings account where I’ll earn 3 times as much money in interest! Wouldn’t that be a wonderful idea?! And she was so cheerful and peppy and excited for her offering me this great new prospect for my increased wealth!

Wow! I thought. 3 times as much interest! So, instead of .01 percent or .0001 for those who do math. I can get .03% or .0003 in interest on my hard earned and saved money. Why that’s 3 dollars instead of 1 dollar as thanks for holding onto my 10,000 dollars (that’s if I had 10,000 dollars…I’m only using that figure so my example can have real numbers in it instead of imaginary ones! As it is that’s 25 cents or one quarter per month…in interest on 10 thousand dollars.

Soon I suspect they will be paying my interest in imaginary numbers.

I’d love to be able to take out a loan from the same bank and then hand them 5 cents when the interest on that loan came due… wouldn’t you?

Of course that probably would have meant that I had only borrowed a dime.

I mean really, one of the largest banks in the world can only afford to give me 5 cents in interest these days on the money I put in there for safe keeping and which of course they are also allowed to use to make themselves money?

Has our government heard about this?

The one that’s made up of 47% lawyers and 43% millionaires?

Or is it the other way around?

No matter I guess…Because most of the candidates running for president this election cycle are promising NOT to bail out the big banks should they fail again, like they did in 2008. Do they realize that “in the banks” is where Americans keep their money? (those that have any) And have these lawyers and millionaire candidates ever heard of FDIC insurance, a law that’s been in effect since 1933…whereby the Federal Government (them) promises to insure our bank accounts (us) up to 250,000 dollars. (By the way, that’s 75 dollars of interest per year! Yay!) So if the banks fail…and they don’t get bailed out…we’re all penniless. Literally and figuratively!

Which, by the by, is how the banks ran their scam the first time! They couldn’t lose!

Anyway, I don’t know whether I’m more angry, insulted or depressed by the whole situation…in which the banks seem to know the law all to well and the candidates pretend to know no law at all?!

But it does kinda make you lose interest in more ways than one doesn’t it?

So We Elect a Republican President…and all We Get Is This Lousy Wall?

19 Aug

Do you know that more than half of the funds raised by the Republican candidates for President of the United States so far has come from just 130 families? If we imagine those families to be families of 4 then 520 people or .00000173 of the American population is funding half of the Republican party.

Just about all of the Republican presidential candidates and certainly Donald trump, think that illegal immigration is the number one problem facing the United States today. So much so that probably only a wall will solve the problem and keep the Spanish horde that is draining our economy of its life blood, out…So imagine that a Republican president is elected in 2016. A wall is built. Illegal immigrants are deported…even children born in the USA…until finally the USA is illegal immigrant and bogeyman free.

Once that happens what’s in it for you? Will the Republican President and Congress together, then:

Fully fund The Affordable care Act for all US citizens? NO (they plan to repeal it)

Provide proper Medicare and Medicaid funding? NO (they plan to underfund both programs)

Support and Strengthen the Social Security Trust Fund? NO (they plan to raise retirement age and cut benefits)

Safeguard all US pension funds? NO (they look forward to the continued pilfering of such funds)

Protect, support and strengthen the rights of all US women? NO (they plan to limit a women’s right to choice)

Fund the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to help feed our hungry citizens? NO (they plan to cut SNAP)

Raise the Minimum wage for all US citizens? NO (they plan to limit or do away with minimum wages)

Help for our college students and their ever increasing student loan debt? NO (they plan to cut financial assistance)

Strong Consumer Financial Protections? NO (they plan to role back restrictions on the big banks)

Seek peace in the Middle East? NO (they plan to repeal treaties and increase military spending)

Reform prison sentencing and our prison system of 2.2 million prisoners? NO (they plan on building more prisons)

Protect the environment and seek to reduce greenhouse gasses? NO (they see no need to reduce fossil fuel usage)

Raise taxes on the very wealthiest US citizens to help pay for the wall, the wars and the debt? NO (they plan to cut taxes on the wealthiest US citizens)

So what do we get? Besides another day older and…you know what? …And what is in it for us; the everyday, ordinary, hard working, American citizen? Confederate flags and down home religion? Safety and security in the knowledge that all of the poor, hungry, homeless, indebted or imprisoned souls in the United States are at least 100%, bonafide, certified, Grade A American Citizens?… And a nice big wall to keep us all safe and cozy inside?

And what will those 130 rich American family donors to the Republican party get do you suppose? Anything worth their while? Because make no mistake about it. Everything I’ve mentioned above is in the Republican platform, regardless of which one of their candidates gets elected! They make no bones about it and are not even pretending to make you believe otherwise.

So If the Republicans win and that wall goes up… Please don’t fool yourself.

Because if and when that day comes…It won’t matter which side of that wall you are on.

Cracker box Palace

21 Mar

Our government no longer works. In fact, by its own admission it won’t work. It more resembles a kindergarten class run amok then it does an august governing body of adults. Rather than taking traditional aye or nay votes on questions of the day Congress’ typical response to law and matters of governance nowadays is Nya, Nya, Nya, Nya, Nya!

Case in point: Loretta Lynch is the first African-American woman nominated to be attorney general. Even the Republicans in Congress acknowledge that she’s been a great prosecutor who has prosecuted terrorists and gone after organized crime and public corruption. Her integrity is unimpeachable and by all accounts, she’s a great manager, and even Rudolph Guliani, the avowed Obama-hater, thinks she’s a perfect choice who needs to be approved immediately. Plus, the Republicans in Congress hate the man who is the current Attorney General and want him replaced.

Yet, they have been refusing to take a vote on her nomination for the past 130 days because president Obama nominated her and they don’t like President Obama so, Nya, Nya, Nya, Nya, Nya to him! And unless they get what they want, which is an anti-abortion bill, passed…then nobody gets nothin’ so there!

And this, believe it or not, is how “the most wonderful government ever invented in the history of the world” functions…or rather, dysfunctions. Even your little children at home understand that this behavior is childish and needs adult intervention and supervision. Go ahead and ask them. I’m sure they will agree…and they’re just little kids…not elected adult representatives of a sovereign nation!

And yet there is nothing “We the People” can do about it. And no way for us to reprimand, replace or receive a refund from these juvenile delinquent legislators who refuse to do their work. Some government, huh? If this were an excerpt from a history book you were reading, you’d swear I was writing about 17th century France or some foppish, poofy European kingdom where they all wore monocles and sashes and carried long polished swords with scabbards.

But no, this modern day government is all ours. And I’m ashamed to say, as nutty as a fruitcake. So they say Nero fiddled while Rome burned? Well alas, here we still are, wallflowers… at the dance.

mvschulze

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