Department Of Health And Human Services

Donald Trump’s Greatest Crime: Destruction Of Federal Government Agencies, Long Term Damage

Possibly the greatest crime Donald Trump has perpetrated in his 15 months of being President is his destruction of federal agencies.

This is particularly true of the Department of Justice, the State Department, the Interior Department, the Education Department, the Housing and Urban Development Department, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Environmental Protection Agency and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but really all departments in the federal bureaucracy have been affected.

Trump has trashed the FBI and the Justice Department, and Jeff Sessions has been the worst Attorney General in modern history. Trump has worked to destroy the credibility of the Department of Justice, not only in the investigation of his scandals, but also the reversal of so many civil rights policies.

The State Department has so many vacancies in the Foreign Service, and so many able diplomats in the Diplomatic Corps have resigned.

The Interior Department under Ryan Zinke has been a disgrace on the matter of protection and perpetuation of national parks and national monuments.

The Education Department under Betsy DeVos has worked to undermine public education at all levels, and undermined protection of minorities and women under education laws.

The Housing and Urban Development Department under Ben Carson is ignoring the major problems of public housing, and not protecting the rights of tenants.

The Department of Health and Human Services has tried to destroy ObamaCare, but has failed at that, while putting obstacles in the way of those who wish to engage in the program.

The Environmental Protection Agency under Scott Pruitt is a total tragedy, rife with scandal and disgraceful actions against the environment.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may be on its death bed under Mick Mulvaney, an extremely corrupt person, who is also the head of the Office of Management and Budget.

We are in the midst of a great tragedy that will not be undone for decades and one feels helpless as one sees the federal government deteriorating!

Trump Presidency Policy Of Separation Of Immigrant Children From Parents At US Border Reprehensible, A Violation Of Basic Human Rights!

The New York Times has revealed that the Trump Administration has pursued a policy of separation of immigrant children from their parents at the US Border with Mexico, a totally reprehensible act, and a massive violation of human rights.

At least 700 children, with more than 100 under the age of 4, have been taken from adults claiming to be their parents, authorized by the Department of Homeland Security, the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

There is possibly no action taken by the Trump Administration more outrageous and despicable than this, considering that those immigrants that arrive are primarily women and children, escaping gang violence and poverty, and wishing to find safe haven.

They are not terrorists, not criminals, but the experiences they have gone through and are now going through, due to US government policy, will scar the children for the rest of their lives wherever they end up living.

America is losing its reputation as the land of immigrants, where generation after generation, we have seen people escaping similar horrendous situations in their quest for freedom, security, and safety.

It is hard NOT to cry upon learning of this disgraceful action, which is being sued by the American Civil Liberties Union in federal court, hoping to end this clearly Nazi like, Fascist spurred attack on the humanity of vulnerable children and their parents.

For this, more than just about anything else, Donald Trump and his henchmen will be condemned in history, and it should be another of many reasons to remove Donald Trump from office, and hold him and others in his administration legally accountable in court, including indictment, conviction, and imprisonment for crimes against humanity!

Trump Administration Refusal To Make Opioid Crisis A National Emergency An Unconscionable Declaration Of Democide, A Crime Against Humanity!

The Trump Administration has refused to declare the Opioid Crisis a National Emergency, saying it is not necessary.

This is one of the most criminal acts of the Trump Presidency, as about 1,000 people per week are dying from abuse of pain medication, which means we have a September 11 equivalent every three weeks, which also means over 50,000-60,000 people will die in the next year, more than in auto accidents, because of refusal to mobilize resources to fight this epidemic of overdoses and addiction, which is affecting all of the nation, and particularly high rates in New Hampshire, West Virginia, Ohio, Maine, Maryland, and Palm Beach County, Florida, where this blogger lives. High levels of addiction are found in rural areas, and among white working class people, many of whom voted for Donald Trump, but Trump just says one must teach one’s children not to abuse drugs as if a lecture will resolve it, and as more teenagers become victims every week.

Everyone is susceptible to this situation, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has, commendably, brought attention to this crisis, from the time of his Presidential campaign when he spoke about a good friend who died from opioid addiction. It was the most human moment of his failed campaign, but he is still very much involved in trying to promote action on this crisis, which has become one of ethics, and morality.

For Trump to refuse, through his despicable Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, himself a doctor, to address this issue as a national emergency is an unconscionable declaration of democide, a crime against humanity, that should lead to prosecution and imprisonment for Trump, Price, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who instead wants to promote more convictions and imprisonment as punishment for those who are unfortunately addicted to pain medication.

The problem is that opioids are available from overseas nations, including China, via the internet, so it is not just an issue of drugs being brought across the border from Mexico, as is often the assertion we hear from the Trump Administration.

One can wonder if the thought in the Trump Administration is that a good way to get rid of people considered “unproductive” and a burden on society is to let them die, offer no help or assets to deal with the crisis, other than punishment through imprisonment. This may sound crazy to many, but it is clear that Trump has no regard for poor people, elderly people, disabled people, and “unproductive” people, and it would save a large portion of the funding for the “social safety net”.

Republican Split Begins, As Several US Senators Indicate They Are Ready To Fight Trump Cabinet Appointments

It is now clear that Donald Trump will NOT work to avoid Republican party splits, but instead will do everything he can to stir division within the party, and within America, as shown with his horrendous Cabinet appointments.

Democrats MUST fight tooth and nail against many of the Cabinet appointments, including the nominees for Attorney General (Jeff Sessions); Health and Human Services (Tom Price); Labor (Andrew Puzder); Education (Betsy DeVos); and Environmental Protection Agency (Scott Pruitt).

But there are Republicans unhappy over issues of foreign policy, including close association between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson: and the proposed nomination of John Bolton to be Deputy Secretary of State, despite his continued belief that the Iraq War was justified, and the opposition of many top Republicans who despise the former United Nations Ambassador by recess appointment under George W. Bush, who could not be confirmed by the US Senate.

Republican Senators, including Marco Rubio, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Jeff Flake, Rand Paul, Ben Sasse and Susan Collins, and possibly others, could prevent some of these appointees in committee or on the floor, and in league with Democrats, create more Cabinet turmoil and rejections than any modern President, reminding us of the battles some earlier Presidents, including John Tyler and Andrew Johnson, had with Congress over their choices for the Cabinet and the courts.

Also, even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan are calling for a full investigation of Russian hacking of the Democratic Party campaign in the recent election, and many are alarmed by Donald Trump seemingly cozying up to Putin, and Trump’s denial that he believes the evidence of such hacking as concluded by the Central Intelligence Agency, undermining respect and support of the President Elect for the intelligence agencies. And Trump’s refusal to get intelligence briefings regularly and to show mistrust of the Intelligence community, which is so important for the national security of the nation, is very worrisome and alarms many in his own party, as well as the nation at large.

Two Prime Vice Presidential Contenders For Hillary Clinton: Julian Castro And Thomas Perez

IF Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Presidential candidate in 2016, a key factor in helping her to win over any Republican Presidential rival would be selecting a Vice Presidential running mate with good credentials and Latino ancestry.

There are two prime candidates working in President Barack Obama’s cabinet, and either of them would make a great running mate and possible Presidential successor.

The first is Julian Castro, Mexican American and former Mayor of San Antonio, the sixth largest city in America, who is now Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Castro’s twin brother Joaquin is a Texas Congressman, who is often seen as prime material for the US Senate in a race against Senator Ted Cruz in 2018. But Julian Castro, who can speak Spanish, and would be only 42 on Election Day 2016, would be a great candidate to draw widespread Hispanic and Latino support, particularly if Jeb Bush, who can speak fluent Spanish, or Florida Senator Marco Rubio, is the Republican nominee for President.

The second possibility is Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, who speaks fluent Spanish and is of Dominican ancestry, and was part of the administration of Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, and will be 55 on Election Day 2016. Perez worked in the offices of the Justice Department and Department of Health and Human Services for many years before being in the O’Malley government in that state’s Labor Department, and then becoming Obama’s Assistant Attorney General, and then chosen to be Secretary of Labor in 2013.

Either Castro or Perez would be able to appeal for an even larger Hispanic-Latino support of the Democratic Party, already over 70 percent for Barack Obama in 2012!

Complaints Against Government Bureaucracy Directly Related To Loss Of Government Funding As Public Demands Grow!

The American people are told constantly by Republicans and conservatives, and the media willing to report falsehoods rather than truth, that the government bureaucracy is a disgrace, that we are not being served well by those who work in the federal government agencies.

So we have complaints about the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Social Security Administration, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and really, every other government agency, declaring them incompetent, corrupt, tone deaf to public needs.

Are there government bureaucrats in many agencies who are incompetent, corrupt, tone deaf to the public? Absolutely, but that is endemic to “bureaucrats” in every corporation as well in this nation!

The people at the top of any government agency or private corporation are generally arrogant, cocky, only too willing to enrich themselves at the expense of their “bureaucracy”!

There is a need to clean up government agencies of those who have lost the purpose of their employment, to serve the American people with compassion and competence!

But that alone will not solve the problem of government services, as it is the Republicans and conservatives who are ultimately responsible for the problems created over time!

These groups hate government, except where they can benefit from it themselves, and are only too willing to cut government funding and personnel as the population of the nation, and the aging of the population, and the growing economic decline of the middle class and the poor due to the growing wealth of the top two percent, continues to escalate.

If one wants good government services, we must pay for it and expand bureaucracy, not cut it, as we only perpetuate the incompetence and lack of solution of major issues that arise.

Instead of attacking “bureaucracy”, let us recognize its significance and show respect for those, over 95 percent of “bureaucrats”, who do a competent, caring job every day, but never get credit for it, as the headlines dramatize the examples of incompetency and corruption that are exaggerated as being a statement on all “bureaucracy”!

Kathleen Sebelius A True Hero In Promotion Of ObamaCare: History Will Treat Her Well!

Former Kansas Governor and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has had, probably, the most difficult job of anyone working under President Obama, in trying to promote the Affordable Care Act.

She was vilified for the disastrous beginning of ObamaCare last October, but now, despite the rough start, 7.5 million Americans are covered, plus millions more on Medicaid. For this, she is a true hero!

Meanwhile, many Republican Governors have refused to expand Medicaid, and people are dying for lack of accessibility to health care. This is absolutely unconscionable, and one wonders how Rick Scott of Florida, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Rick Perry of Texas, and other despicable GOP Governors can sleep at night!

While treated roughly by Republicans, and elements of the national news media, Sebelius will, in the long run, be well remembered and honored in history, as she is the person most involved in bringing health care to millions, and in so doing, fulfilling the “American Dream.”

She is an honorable lady, who, hopefully, now leaving the cabinet after five years, will have another role to play in public serice!

Let every decent person salute Kathleen Sebelius for her dedication and commitment!

Conservative Republicans Want To Repeal Constitutional Amendments And 20th Century Reforms That Make America A Better Nation!

The Republican Party of the second decade of the 21st century, along with the conservative movement, in all of its ramifications, is out to repeal constitutional amendments and numerous 20th century reforms that make America a better, more modern nation, all in their quest to make the corporations ever more dominant and enrich the top one percent more than already is reality!

When one follows, reads, and watches right wing spokesmen, in and out of the party, they have called for the following repeals:

The 16th Amendment–Federal Income Tax
The 17th Amendment–Direct Popular Election Of US Senators
19th Amendment–Woman Suffrage
Antiquities Act–National Parks, Forests, and Monuments Protection
Food And Drug Administration
Clayton Anti Trust Act
Federal Trade Commission
Federal Reserve Act
Social Security Act
Fair Labor Standards Act
Medicare
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Voting Rights Act of 1965
Department Of Education
Department Of Health And Human Services
Department Of Housing And Urban Development
Department Of Energy
Environmental Protection Agency
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Occupational Safety And Health Administration
US Post Office
Affirmative Action
Abortion Rights
Gay Rights and Gay Marriage
National Public Radio
PBS
Americans With Disabilities Act
Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan
ObamaCare–Affordable Care Act

These and other laws and amendments not mentioned here became law under Presidents of both parties, including

Theodore Roosevelt
William Howard Taft
Woodrow Wilson
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Jimmy Carter
George H. W. Bush
Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Barack Obama

Basically, these right wing groups and the dominant element in the Republican Party in Congress want to repeal everything that is good about America, and bring us back to the 19th century Gilded Age!

America’s Underappreciated Presidents—James K. Polk, Grover Cleveland, William Howard Taft, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush

With Presidents Day celebrated on Monday, this is a good time to reflect on which Presidents are underappreciated for their contributions in the White House.

Five Presidents, four of them having only one term, and three of them soundly defeated for reelection, are often overlooked in an unfair manner.

These five underappreciated Presidents are as follows, chronologically:

James K. Polk (1845-1849), Democrat—-who did not wish a second term in office, died only three months after his term of office, but accomplished more than any President, regarding expansion of the nation, as he negotiated the gaining of the Pacific Northwest with Great Britain, and went to war with Mexico to gain the Southwestern United States. Because of Polk, highly controversial due to his manipulation of conditions setting up war with Mexico, and often criticized as an “imperialist”, we gained more land than any other President, including Thomas Jefferson with his Louisiana Purchase.

Grover Cleveland (1885-1889, 1893-1897), Democrat—-the only two term non consecutive terms President, although winning the popular vote three consecutive times, Cleveland accomplished the passage of the Interstate Commerce Act, promoted civil service reform, and became regarded as a man of strong principles, including refusing to take over Hawaii, after a treaty was negotiated by the previous President, Benjamin Harrison. A rare President on the concept of opposing the addition of territory to the United States, he refused to go to war with Spain over the issue of Cuba in his second term, and opposed the Spanish American War and the Filipino Insurrection intervention under William McKinley, standing out as a leading anti imperialist.

William Howard Taft (1909-1913), Republican—-was unfortunate in coming in between two very charismatic Presidents, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, both of whom would end up ranked in the top ten of all Presidents, in most polls of experts on the Presidency. Taft also was the worst defeated President running for reelection, competing against both TR and Wilson, and ended up third, rather than second in defeat, and winning only 23 percent of the vote, two states, and eight electoral votes. But he deserved better, and did have the distinction of becoming Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in the 1920s, where he was much happier. But Taft actually signed a highly successful regulation of the railroads, the Mann Elkins Act of 1910; won lawsuits causing the breakup of the monopolies of Standard Oil, United States Steel, and International Harvester; and supported two constitutional amendments, the 16th (Federal Income Tax) Amendment, and the 17th (Direct Election of United States Senators) Amendment.

Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Democrat—served one divisive term, defeated for reelection by Ronald Reagan, due to the Iran Hostage Crisis, high inflation and unemployment, and the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan, and faced primary challenges from Ted Kennedy and Jerry Brown. But he accomplished the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt; the Panama Canal Treaty; the promotion of the principle of human rights in foreign policy; the advancement of the environment, making him the third best President on that issue; and creation of three cabinet agencies–Health and Human Services, Education, and Energy. And his post Presidency, now the longest in American history, has been a model for Bill Clinton’s post Presidency, and Carter continues to promote human rights and economic and social reform nationally and world wide, and is often considered the best former President of the United States in American history.

George H. W. Bush (1989-1993), Republican—the second worst defeated President in American history, despite having led the coalition which forced Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, lessening a threat to the Middle East oil supply and the government of Saudi Arabia, in the Persian Gulf War of 1991; being the President under whom the Cold War came to an end in a stable manner in 1991; managing the unification of Germany between 1989 and 1990 in a skillful manner; and promoting the passage of civil rights law for the disabled population of America, a major reform in American history. Bush was always considered a master in the field of foreign policy, and for years after, had an impact on policy making through his significant staff members, who continued to have an impact.

All five Presidents deserve a better coverage and appreciation, despite the fact that each could be roundly criticized for events that would cause them to be overlooked as outstanding Presidents. Presidents Day is an appropriate time to do so!

The Catholic Church, Georgetown University, And Commencement Speaker Kathleen Sebelius

A controversy has arisen over the selection of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as commencement speaker at the prestigious Catholic institution of higher learning, Georgetown University.

Sebelius, who is Catholic, has come out for abortion rights and the health care mandate, which calls for contraception coverage even for religiously based institutions, which challenges the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in America.

The local Church bishops were outraged at her selection, and demanded that the University rescind their invitation, which was promptly rejected by the University leadership, who decided to go ahead with the commencement arrangements.

This is not the first time that Catholic hierarchy has interfered, as they objected when Notre Dame University invited President Obama to give the commencement address three years ago, and Boston College has ignored protests in inviting the widow of Senator Ted Kennedy to its commencement this year.

It is good to see major Catholic universities, such as the above examples, ignore dictates and censorship, and instead promote discussion, debate, and alternative ideas to the rigid views of the Catholic hierarchy, who insist on uniformity, while they cannot control the behavior of their own church leadership, and have been shown to be practicing hypocrisy in their teachings, when compared to their inability to control immoral behavior!

If a Catholic university allows itself to be dictated to in this manner, it loses respect as an institution of higher learning which should be open to diverse views and attitudes, so let us all applaud Georgetown, Notre Dame and Boston College for their open mindedness and tolerance, something not noticed in the Catholic Church’s teachings!