Monday, July 24, 2017

Yet Another Attempt to Kill Obamacare: Just Like That Unflushable Turd!

Last week, I posted an appeal to Republican senators from across the pond featuring Boy George crooning in his own inimitable style, his 1982 chart-buster, Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?  (Check out the link in that previous post.)

Well, believe it or not, the very next day, West Virginia's junior senator Shelley Moore-Capito (R), declared that "she didn't come to Washington to hurt people." Sheer coincidence, or is she a fan?  In any event, good for her.  At least two other Republican senators have joined their colleague, stating their opposition to the upcoming, supposedly revised version of the --- uh --- "Better Health Care Act."  (BHCA). Consideration of the bill may be brought to a vote as early as today (Tuesday, July 25th).

Here's the kicker.  They have no idea what the bill contains.  It might include chunks of the House Bill a.k.a.,The American Health Care Act (AHCA) as well as parts of the BHCA.  In any case, according to the Congressional Budget Office, at least 20 million souls would lose their coverage.

Texas Senator and Majority Whip John Cornyn, Mitch McConnell's Senior Bookend,* insists that letting senators know what's in the bill they'll be voting on is "a luxury we don't have." Gotta ram it through before summer recess, y'know.

All of these endlessly --- and mercilessly --- repetitive attempts to scuttle affordable healthcare remind me of one thing:  That angry turd that you can't ever flush down!  It just keeps on defiantly bobbing back at you! 

Well, progressive Democrats have fashioned a much-needed plunger.  It's called  "Medicare for All."  The House bill has been assigned the number 676 (HR 676).  Add ten points to "666" and we'll exorcise Lucifer, once and for all.  This measure now has about 100 sponsors --- and it's growing! The Senate version is SB 1782.

If your member of Congress hasn't signed onto it yet, give 'em a poke!  It's time!

* Here's what I meant by "Senior Bookend."  Whenever McConnell makes any sort of official announcement/proclamation, he's always flanked by the same two senators:  Senior Bookend Cornyn, to his left, and  on his port side, Junior Bookend John Barrasso(R), a solemn-looking, bespectacled non-household name of a senator from Wyoming.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Boy George's Plea to Senate Republicans

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his minions ain't givin' up!  Their determination to eliminate health insurance for millions of our most vulnerable citizens seems to be iron-bound.  Heartlessly, soullessly iron-bound!

Ironically, the Republican crusade to Make America Sick Again --- otherwise known as the Better Health Care Act or Trumpcare --- has been stalled by one senator's absence for a spell, owing to his need for emergency surgery.  Arizona's senior senator, 80-year-old John McCain had a clot removed from a frontal lobe above his left eye, and will need time to recuperate. Having received the finest medical care available, he's recovering nicely. I wish him well.  Maybe, just maybe, he'll undergo an epiphany and discover that he has a moral backbone by casting his ballot to deep-six Trumpcare, this time for keeps.  Just three GOP dissenters will do the trick.  Two have already committed.

Perhaps an appeal from across the pond might work, not just with Senator McCain, but some already-declared fence-sitters as well, such as Louisiana's recently-elected senator, Bill Cassidy.  That's Doctor Bill Cassidy, who co-founded a free clinic in his home state's capitol, Baton Rouge!  Very commendable, Doc.  Now how about that Hippocratic Oath, "First do no harm?" *

Without further ado, here's Boy George coming at ya, with his 1982 chart-buster, Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?  Enjoy! 

* According to a reputable Wikipedia source, the actual Latin translation of the oath reads, "I will utterly reject harm and mischief."

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Runaway Republicans Refusing to Face Constituents

This could well be a portent of things to come.  A few Republican members of Congress seem to be encountering some difficulty facing the residents of the districts that they supposedly represent.

California's Tom McClintock, a supporter of Mister Trump's travel ban largely affecting Muslims, skittered away from a townhall meeting rather than engage his constituents.  Concerned citizens can be kinda scary, I guess.

Here's Mike Coffman, from Colorado's 6th District, fleeing a meeting in Aurora last month. The uncertainty of access to healthcare seemed to be foremost on everyone's minds. It was videoed in all its awkward glory, complete with crime scene tape:  Public Servant In Flight.  Community-minded folks can be frightening!

Finally, just last week, one of my Metro Chicago homedudes, a Republican congressguy named Peter Roskam, abruptly cancelled a meeting with constituents once he found out that a reporter would be present. <gasp>  Mr. Roskam, who represents parts of suburban Kane, DuPage, and northwest Cook Counties, was seen cutting a lordly figure while fleeing a group of folks who wanted to discuss the Affordable Care Act.  Hurriedly exiting the scene, he scattered a trail of chicken feathers in his wake!

Think 2018, ladies and gents!  The Democrats need to flip 24 seats in order to recapture a House majority.  Presuming that they can get their act together,  the districts represented by the three runaways described above --- California's Fourth, Colorado's Sixth, and Illinois' Sixth should be among those ripe for the plucking.  It's a matter of preserving the memories.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Speaker Ryan Is Gonna Trash Medicare. Is He Serious?

Medicare, perhaps the nation's most revered social program, may actually be on the chopping block next year.  In the wake of the election, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Ayn Rand) vowed to wave his magic mallet, releasing just enough pixie dust to make Medicare go poof!

President-elect Donald Trump, seems to be on board with this, although he hasn't yet made any official statements.  Maybe he's still searching for the Kool-Aid that Mr. Speaker had drunken, lamenting aloud,  "How come I didn't get any?"  

It should be noted that during the campaign, The Donald insisted that he wouldn't disturb Medicare, Social Security, or many of the other social programs vital to our survival and well-being as a nation.  Yet he has chosen Congressman Tom Price, one of Speaker Ryan's staunchest allies, as Secretary of Health and Human Services --- a Fellow Preacher of the Gospel of Selfishness as a Public Virtue.

So much for His Royal Orangeness's campaign promises!  As someone who relentlessly insisted that he was an "outsider," he's gone to great lengths to diamond-stud his cabinet with uber-wealthy, corporate insiders.  Consider Betsy DeVos, Trump's choice for Education Secretary, a relentless crusader hell-bent on dismantling public education and disempowering teachers.  She and her husband gave the Trump campaign $9,000,000!  Pay to Play at its ultimate reekiness!

Congressman Ryan and his allies have made a point of declaring that all who are 55 and older will retain their full Social Security benefits, in the event that they're actually empowered to fulfill their wildest wet-dream.   But hey, those older folks have kids and grand-kids, who'd be among those thrown under the bus.   I'd like to believe that many of them would be more than a tad concerned about their progeny.

Perhaps a few congressional Republicans might be sane enough to realize that many of those they represent would be seriously affected by the denial of these benefits.  In any event,  I'm thoroughly convinced that The Donald's gilded veneer is going to wear thin very quickly.  Many of the folks who cast their ballots for him out of desperation and frustration will realize just how severely they got "Trumped."

The burning question is:  Where will they go?  Those of us with humane values have a lotta work to do.  It's gonna be a long slog!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

It's Not Too Early to Start Looking Ahead; Here's to a Progressive Future

Once we've licked our wounds, we should start planning for the 2018 midterms and beyond.  If Trump succeeds in moving forward with parts of his agenda, many of his supporters may well become disillusioned.

Remember, a great number of those who cast their ballots for this president-elect are not vicious haters.  Quite a few supported Bernie Sanders, switching their allegiances to Trump after Clinton's primary victory.  They'll soon realize that The Donald is not their friend, especially once his administration cuts taxes for the wealthy and guts vital social programs.

2018 could provide the perfect opportunity to set the table for progressive programs.  I'm convinced that Elizabeth Warren among other progressive luminaries has a significant political future.  Onward!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Voter Suppression in Wisconsin May Trump Us All

If Wisconsin falls to Trump, that state's draconian voter suppression measures may actually provide enough margin to affect the outcome.  As of 10:30 election night, Clinton still has a chance to recover.  Nothing is certain.

Wisconsin's early April primary should have been considered the canary in the coal mine:  1.1 million declared Republicans vs. 1 million Democrats.  300,000 voters deemed ineligible by the ID laws should also be factored in.  Some among those 300k were ultimately able to obtain their IDs, but not without a concerted effort.

A few months back, GOP Congresscreature Glenn Grothman crowed about voter ID laws allowing his party to win the state.  He may be right.

The whole world is watching, folks!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Curse of the Billy Goat Has Been Broken --- and They Couldn't Have Been a Nicer, More Deserving Bunch of Guys.

It's been a 108-year drought since the Cubs' last World Series triumph.  71 years have elapsed since the Cubs last competed in the Series, falling to the Detroit Tigers.  According to a great bearded legend, their 1945 loss had been widely attributed to a bar owner named William Sianis who attended the fourth game with his pet billy goat in tow.  

As it turns out, goats have a tendency to be stinky; not their fault, that's just what goats do.  As one might well expect, the nasal sensitivities of fans within eyeshot --- and nose-shot --- of Man and Goat were severely compromised.  Hence, Wrigley Field officials prevailed upon them to leave the facility.   As he was being evicted, the enraged Mr. Sianis declared, "Them Cubs, they ain't gonna win no more!"  At that moment, the Curse of the Billy Goat was born.

Well, the Curse is no more!   The Cubs downed the Cleveland Indians in what may have been one of the most suspenseful and skillfully executed series ever.  The beauty of this team goes well beyond its star-studded roster featuring names such as Arrietta, Bryant, Russell, Fowler, Rizzo, Lester, Baez, Zobrist, Ross, and Hendricks --- and I know I left some out.  There isn't one prima donna among them;  and Major League Baseball is full of them!

These guys have a sense of community, which they demonstrated throughout the regular season and into the playoffs.  It has served them well.  They're all nice guys.  Forget Leo Durocher, a terrific player, coach, and manager, but also a notorious jerk.  He was the guy who coined the moth-eaten old adage,  "Nice guys finish last."   Not anymore!

Oh, one more thing!  The Cubs should be commended for not wearing an historically hurtful logo on their caps and jerseys.  I highly doubt that Smokey The Bear is the least bit offended.