People of Faith For Resistance..

There seems to be many opportunities cropping up on this first day of a new administration for resistance to draconian change they intend for our democracy in the upcoming years. I am particularly happy to see Christians in this mode. No, not all Christians are among the 81% of Evangelicals who pushed the current administration in office.  In reality they are a small percentage of that community.

One of those orgs on the forefront of resistance is Sojourners.  Here are some words in a recent email from them.

2017-01-20_10-55-42Today, “T” (my edit)  is sworn in as president of the United States. Many of us in the faith community have deep moral concerns as we enter into this new administration. We cannot just sit, with hope that the president-elect’s words and promises are not to be taken seriously—or that he doesn’t really mean all of his attacks on people for their race or ethnicity, their faith, their gender, their physical abilities, or their identity as Americans.

A better response is resistance to all those things, in defense of vulnerable people in particular, in the hope that such resistance might deter, or obstruct, or defeat such behaviors and policies…

Click on the image to the right to see more words

The GOP plans for a juggernaut of action very quickly to gut many of the social programs now in place including:

  • Affordable healthcare
  • Medicaid for the poor
  • Medicare for senior citizens
  • Social Security for present and future seniors

They say they are privatizing them to make them more efficient but the reality is quite different.  It will take a mammoth effort similar to what happened when they tried to eliminate the House Ethics Overlook.  Concerned citizens  need to stay active to prevent them accomplishing their intent of undoing these  and many other programs.

I am not particularly promoting Sojourners, but they are a good cause, in so much as encouraging you to join the resistance in whatever form you prefer.



A Message from Elizabeth Warren

For this new year my intention in the political arena is to overwhelmingly focus on the issues and programs that are put in jeopardy and on the congress and to ignore for the most part what is happening on in the executive branch. The less I use the “T” word the happier I will be. The battle in 2017 is to try to preserve our democratic (little “d”) values, liberties and accomplishments. 

I recently got an email from Elizabeth Warren and as usual she is compassionate about keeping Donald Trump and the Republicans from dismantling what it means to be an American. Here are some words from that email:

We know what we are fighting for:

  • We will NOT let them gut the rules on Wall Street or weaken the CFPB.
  • We will NOT let them privatize Social Security and Medicare.
  • We will NOT let them completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act.
  • We will NOT let them weaken workers’ rights to good pay, decent benefits and the right to organize for better conditions.
  • We will NOT let them cut taxes for billionaires and giant corporations.
  • We will NOT let them cut investments in education, infrastructure, or medical research.
  • We will NOT let them poison our air and water and destroy our planet.
  • We will NOT let them rip apart families or build Trump’s stupid wall.
  • And we will NOT let them legalize hate and bigotry against African Americans, Latinos, Muslims, immigrants, women, or LGBT Americans.

We will fight them whenever and wherever we need to fight them. We will fight them with more energy, more passion and more determination than ever before because the fights to come are going to decide who we are as a people, and what kind of country we will be.


2016-12-30_10-10-54If only Elizabeth had managed to be the Democratic nominee in 2016 our country would be looking a at a very different future.

I posted a few days ago about the Republican proposal to privatize Medicare and it is a scary one.  Basically they want to give the healthcare providers the ability to charge whatever they want and to put the increased bill totally on the backs of us seniors. I don’t understand how they, primarily Mr. Ryan, thinks they can get away with that. But then again I can’t see why they think the same thing about this whole list of programs as cited above they plan on dismantling .


The Republican plot to devour retirees’ nest eggs…AKA Balanced Billing

Given that all the soon-to-be president said on the campaign trail it is hard for me to determine just what he is for or against.  He has nominated a backer of the “balanced billing” as head of the DHH so I assume he is in favor of putting a major chuck of healthcare expenses on the backs of us seniors.  Here is a story about that:

Perhaps the most monstrous thing about the American medical system — and the bar for that title is high indeed — is predatory billing.

A great many medical providers adjust their prices based on how defenseless the patient is, and bleed the weakest ones for every last red cent, often with preposterously inflated charges for things like aspirin and bandages. A 2015 study looked at the worst price gougers in the country and found 50 hospitals that charged uninsured people roughly 10 times the actual cost of care.

Key to this practice is something called “balance billing,” and it’s why the American Medical Association is strongly supporting Donald Trump’s pick of Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees Medicare. Balance billing is forbidden for Medicare enrollees, but Price wants to allow it — thus allowing doctors and hospitals to devour the nest eggs of thousands of American seniors.

So what is balance billing? It’s the practice of billing the patient for the difference between the sticker price and what insurance will pay. So if a hospital visit costs $1,000, but your insurance will only cover $300, some providers will “balance bill” you for $700….

But allowing balance billing in Medicare is a straight-up evil policy. Republicans will attempt to camouflage it as allowing “free contracts” between patients and doctors or similar nonsense. Don’t believe a word of it, seniors. They want your retirement money.

Source: The Republican plot to devour retirees’ nest eggs

Will Mr. Trump actually back this idea of turning seniors over to the mercy of healthcare providers? I hear stories of the uninsured being billed several times more than the insurance companies pay. To allow people who can’t afford insurance to be gouged in this manner  seems out and out evil to me but that is what some of the folks in the GOP intend to do.

I’m sure they will take advantage of it with a Medicare change also. The Republicans like Mr. Ryan would love to completely eliminate Medicare but they realize that it would be a death sentence to maintaining their political office.

But as I said at the beginning of this post we really don’t know where Mr. Trump will come down on this issue or any other for that matter.  I mainly bring up this topic so that when seniors hear a term called “balanced billing” hidden inside the upcoming Medicare debates they will understand it really means gutting this protection for us and future seniors.  But that has been the agenda for the right wing of the GOP since Medicare’s inception fifty years ago. Unfortunately now could just be the time that they actually do it.


Obstruct, Obstruct, Obstruct…

If we progressives learn anything from the most recent elections it is that obstruction pays off in the end. Democrats should take that lesson to heart during the Trump years. Here is a memorable quote about that followed by my take on the issue:

So what should Democrats do? Take a page from the GOP playbook and obstruct everything.

2016-12-11_08-50-08.pngOne of the most galling things about the complete Republican takeover of American government that we witnessed last month is the way it rewarded the party’s destructive behavior during the Obama years. Not only did voters never punish Republican leaders for pouring sand into the gas tank of representative democracy, they granted them victories in nearly every contested House and Senate race, proving incontrovertibly that voters simply do not care about or understand the ways that Republican leadership subverted longstanding norms of parliamentary procedure….

If Republicans are intent on gutting Medicare, do not under any circumstances compromise to make such a fiasco slightly more palatable. This is the only way for the Democrats to recapture power at a scale significant enough to fundamentally transform the American political system. And when this moment finally presents itself, in 2022 or 2024 or 2028, Democrats must have an extraordinarily radical agenda ready to roll: A massive amnesty. Compulsory voting. The end of plurality-rule elections. A new Voting Rights Act. Sweeping criminal justice reform. Medicare for all. Higher education whose cost is truly nominal. A basic income for all Americans. A Marshall Plan for climate change.

The Democrats must do whatever it takes to recapture power, even if it means adopting tactics that only yesterday they were calling threats to democracy. and to devise a message of social democracy that appeals not just to their coalition.  They must use their time in the minority to slow down and obstruct Trump, to turn the American people against the Republican Party…

Source: It’s time for Democrats to fight dirty

Logical thought seems to have nothing to do with our political systems now if it ever actually did. I am a person driven by logic. In that vain I continue to try to understand how by obstructing everything the Republicans managed to take almost total control of our government processes?  There is no logic to it?

But I am also a pragmatist and what recent events tell me is that opposition to everything pays off in the end with a large chunk of the voting population, or at least enough to totally skew the electoral college.

I hear that Mr. Ryan is chomping at the bit to start his privatization of Medicare and elimination of Medicaid as soon as possible after he totally wipes out Obamacare.  He has publicly stated that he thinks congress can get through all three social programs in the first year of their total control.   I wonder how many of the 81% of the Evangelical which were predominately senior citizens will be enthusiastic about giving up their Medicare for a small voucher on the open market and especially deep cuts to their Social Security?

I kind of believe that they will join the rest of us in backing the Democrats with the help of at least a few Republicans who put principles above party to shut down this  idea by Mr. Ryan and the Rad-Cons and maybe Mr. Trump.  But we really don’t know where Mr. Trump stands on this or any other issue as they never bothered to ask him before they voted him into office.


Part 5 – How Did We Get Here — Democracy Is Not Always Forward…

GetHere Banner  I sometimes naively think that democracy is always moving forward into a better future rather than trying to preserve the status quo or even bring back the past.  Of course that feeling was quickly sapped from me on November 8 when the rural hinterland voters came out in massive numbers for a Trump presidency. It seems that they are just too afraid of what the future holds so want someone who will bring back the good old days and make America Great Again. To me America has always been great so there was no “bringing back” needed but of course2016-11-25_10-20-32.png my neighbors have a different opinion about that.

Having the feeling of being ignored and fearful of a unknowable future is nothing new to our country but it saddens to see it so prominent in the 21st century. I had hoped that we had finally conquered that fear but that just isn’t the case. What can be done to appease the fear of those in rural areas?  That is the major question of our times it seems.

Democracy depends on an informed and active electorate and that just didn’t happen this time around.  It is now known that the minority turnout at this election was the lowest in twenty years and that fact helped lead us to where we are today with a totally unprepared narcissist ready to take over the Oval Office. A narcissist who actually cares very little for anyone except himself. Read more