Poverty

The Survival Of America As We Know It Depends On A Massive “Blue Wave” This November!

Donald Trump has thrown down the gauntlet, in informing Congressional Republicans that they should abandon any legislation on immigration until after the “Red Wave” he predicts is coming in the midterm elections of 2018 this November.

God forbid any such “Red Wave”, which would defy history, as the record shows the party in the White House always loses seats in the first midterm election after a President has been inaugurated, with the one major exception being FDR and the Democrats in 1934, but Donald Trump is no FDR!

If people stay home and do not vote, or if people continue to believe the lies of Donald Trump and the Republicans, then we as a nation, not those of us who care, but everyone else, will get what they deserve–a return to the 19th century Gilded Age before federal government played a role in the lives of the American people.

It will mean the end of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, labor laws, environmental legislation, consumer protections. civil rights for minorities, women, gays and lesbians, and the disabled, and the loss of the Bill of Rights.

We will live in a nation controlled by the super wealthy in every sense, and we will be influenced by autocrats in Russia and other totalitarian dictatorships, and we will be threatened by the loss of our traditional foreign allies, and we will face dire poverty after a Great Depression that would make the 1930s depression look like a minor event.

Some reading this might think I am using hyperbole, but seriously, even if one thinks they have heard this before, the reality is as follows: There is no more crucial election for the long term future of our nation than this midterm election.

The Democrats are far from perfect but even many conservative commentators, such as Jennifer Rubin, George Will, David Frum, Bret Stephens, Steve Schmidt, among others, have repudiated the Republican Party and Donald Trump, and warn us of the need to kick the Republicans out of control of both houses of Congress, and many state governorships and legislatures.

Donald Trump is the most dangerous person in American history, and the process to start taking away his destructive influence is NOT to say it is hopeless, and why bother voting?

It is, rather, that if we do not fight for our future, then there is no future!

Donald Trump, Fox News Channel, The Evangelical Right, And The “Caravan”

For nearly three years, since Donald Trump announced his Presidential candidacy on June 16, 2015, he has, every day, demeaned himself by his utterances and actions, more every day.

So has Fox News Channel, becoming a propaganda machine for Donald Trump.

And so has the Evangelical Right, which has demonstrated how much they can distort and manipulate the true teachings of Jesus Christ.

Hypocrisy and corruption and a mean spirit has dominated, but now, hard to believe, these three forces have joined together to lower themselves to an even more disgraceful level.

They have promoted the myth of a “caravan” of about 1200 people who are migrating through Mexico, and it is alleged, are about to “invade” the United States with their evil intent, consisting of intentions of rape, murder, and terrorism.

Who makes up this caravan, in reality?

Large number of young children, their mothers, many elderly people make up the bulk of the group, and they are poor and deprived, escaping violence, bloodshed, and fear for their own safety, wanting a better life!

This is often, historically, the reality of immigrants throughout American history, and also, world history, people who are striving for opportunity, a new life, and to avoid death.

How could ANYONE be against such people, who have done nothing wrong, except to be born and living in nations that are death traps for so many, with so much human suffering, that they wish to find “a promised land”?

This is the story of the Jewish people escaping Egypt; the story of Irish and Italians and Jews and Polish and other parts of Europe escaping to America; of Muslims escaping bloodshed and persecution in the Middle East and Africa in coming to Europe in recent years; of people in Central America migrating northward; and of the constant quest for freedom and opportunity and a chance to live, throughout the history of the world!

This is the “American Dream”, how the ancestors of Donald Trump came to our shores; how the ancestors of Joseph P. Kennedy came to our shores; how the ancestors of all of us came to our shores! America is the nation of all nations!

But now we have a President, a news channel, and a religious group who are rejecting the basic tenets of organized religion, and particularly of Christianity, totally rejecting common decency, common humanity, common compassion, for those who are poor, deprived, and facing persecution and death!

The so called Pro Life movement is a farce, and Fox News has no morals or ethics, and Donald Trump is a disgrace to the Presidency and to human behavior, willing to lie and distort for his own advancement. He has no concern for the American people, and has shown he has no consideration about the damage he is doing daily.

It cannot be too soon to see this cancer excised from the Oval Office!

50 Years Since MLK Assassination, And In Many Ways, Not Much Progress In Race Relations In America

It has been 50 years since the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee.

His death ended the most active and accomplished period of the civil rights movement, which occurred during the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson.

No one ever came forth with the charisma and following of Dr. King, to succeed him.

As we look back a half century, we can say that the African American community saw great advances in education and attainment of the middle class by a growing percentage of their population.

We also saw political gains by the African American community, including what many thought was the most triumphant moment of all–the election of the first African American President, Barack Obama.

But looking back now, one can say that the Obama election brought the truth out of the ugly woodwork–that racism is still very much alive and thriving, and not just in the South, but nationwide.

We see young and middle age African American boys and men, in particular, being victimized by police across the nation at alarming rates, and a large percentage who are not killed being subjected to unequal justice and long periods in prison.

The violence in the cities is over the top, and yet nothing has been done to overcome the danger of growing up in an environment where those who just wish to advance themselves out of poverty are often the victims of people of the same color.

The dream of Dr. King that everyone would be judged by the content of their character, rather than their skin color, has not been fulfilled, and we have a long road toward true racial equality in all areas of life, including economic advancement, which was badly damaged by the Great Recession, more for African Americans than for the working class whites, who are still appealed to by right wingers and Donald Trump to see African Americans as the enemy.

Three Profiles In Courage: John McCain Of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski Of Alaska, Susan Collins Of Maine

It is appropriate to salute three Republican Senators who stopped the destruction of ObamaCare, due to their feeling that despite the shortcomings of the program, that to just repeal it and leave millions of Americans with no health coverage was intolerable.

Senator John McCain of Arizona, a true independent and maverick, has often exasperated many political observers, and this blogger was upset earlier last week when McCain voted to promote votes on various alternatives, including repeal without replacement, but then voted to kill the idea once there was the opportunity to do so.

We now learn that former Vice President Joe Biden, a good friend, and former Senator Joe Lieberman, the Vice Presidential running mate of Al Gore in 2000, contacted McCain and convinced him that this was the right thing to do.

This kind of bipartisanship is precisely what is needed, and is missing from today’s political scence.

The courage of the two women Senators, who could not have alone stopped the Republican plan to destroy ObamaCare, must also be acknowledged, and sadly, some misogyny was utilized against them by the right wing, but Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska showed how principled and decent they were, and deserve great credit.

Both Collins and Murkowksi are tough, and they are not intimidated, with Collins having always been independent oriented, and Murkowski losing the party primary in 2010, running as a write in Independent candidate, and winning over her Republican and Democratic opponents, and then winning in 2016.

The outrage that the Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, at Donald Trump’s orders, threatened Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, the other Alaska Senator, with cuts in funding for Alaska in the Department budget did not intimidate Murkowski, as she postponed committee hearings and votes in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which she heads. She knows how to play Hardball, and Trump has met his match in her, as well as Collins.

Disappointing, however, was the third woman Senator thought united with them, Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, but caving in to pressure from Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, quite shocking since West Virginia has more people on Medicaid and in poverty than almost all states in America.

The 4th Of July In The Trump Era: America Has Lost Its Way!

Today is the 241st anniversary of Independence Day, declared in 1776.

America was a great experiment in being a republic, and over the nearly two and a half centuries since, America ended slavery; opened its arms to scores of immigrants from all over the world; expanded the right to vote to all citizens over time, no matter what race, religion, nationality, or gender they were; promoted a social safety net; and expanded public education to all.

The Constitution was expanded to face modern realities; and both major political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, contributed to the advancement of tolerance and justice and equal opportunity; and the Supreme Court became a body that dealt with expansion of civil liberties and civil rights.

There were many detours along the road to today, but overall, progress was made, and a sense of optimism reigned.

And then, September 11 occurred, and the nation’s politics veered from one viewpoint to another and then to what is now present, a dark view of our nation, its people, and the world.

We live in the Trump era, which is in process of delaying, deleting, and destroying so much progress that has been accomplished in the 20th and early 21st centuries.

We are seeing race, religion, ethnicity and gender being used in an abusive manner to take away basic civil liberties, civil rights, common decency, and a sense of civility.

We are seeing the wealthy becoming the most stratified group in American history, and the middle class, created in the 20th century, destroyed, and the poor being treated in a shabby fashion.

One political party, the Republicans, has become the party of negativism, hatred, prejudice, and pure nastiness, and we have seen the shift of the Supreme Court toward a hard right conservatism that brings back memories of the Gilded Age Supreme Court.

It is as if we are in a time warp, and have reverted to 140 years ago!

So while we celebrate our national holiday, we have a lot to mourn, and it MUST make all of us determined to fight and resist with all our abilities combined, to resolve this crisis in a constitutional manner, with the removal of Donald Trump from the Presidency, as a tyrant and authoritarian figure who has met his match with our Constitutional remedy!

Kentucky: Heavily Poor White State With Two Senators Who Wish To Gut Medicaid And Obamacare, Which Benefits Their Struggling Constituents!

Kentucky is an extremely poor state, especially in the eastern Appalachia counties, heavily poor whites, who have high levels of preexisting health problems, and depend on Medicaid and ObaamCare, and are now scared to death that they will lose their lifeline, and all because of the mean spirit, lack of empathy and compassion, and selfishness, of the Republican Party.

Kentucky has 60 percent of people in Appalachia on disability benefits, and overall one third of its people are dependent on government programs.

The Opioid crisis also affects Kentuckians at very high rates, due to depression over horrible job prospects, and high levels of unemployment, caused to be greater by the Great Recession, provoked by Republicans and their lack of concern about regulation of banks and Wall Street before 2008, and now ready again to make the same mistakes and repeal the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 to prevent such future economic disasters.

And in the midst of this issue of struggling constituents, Kentucky has two Republican Senators who do not give a damn about their own population.

Rand Paul, with his crazy libertarian ideas, wants to destroy ObamaCare and gut Medicaid, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is even more the villain, as he undermines his own state, having utilized racism and misogyny to keep his Senate seat and the power of the Majority Leader, and to destroy everything Barack Obama did, which benefited Kentuckians and the nation.

How much more evil could two men be, but also, how ignorant a population, that they would be manipulated and tricked into supporting the reelection of, arguably, the worst two Senators combined in any state of the Union?

The Total Loss Of Humanity, Compassion, And Decency In The Republican Party Unprecedented In Modern American History!

So here we are, a few days away from a Senate vote on the most atrocious possible bill ever devised on health care!

22 million people will be knocked off health care over the next decade, the vast majority in 2018.

Medicaid will be decimated; the disabled will be repudiated, as if they do not have a right to exist; the elderly in nursing homes will lose Medicaid coverage; many rural hospitals will be shut down; millions upon millions of Americans with preexisting conditions will no longer have health care; prescription medications will no longer be covered at a reasonable rate; the poor in Appalachia, the Rust Belt, and in the cities of America will only have inadequate emergency room care, if the hospital near them stays open.

All the major medical associations have come out against the legislation, which it seems clear, will cause thousands upon thousands of premature deaths of people at all ages and racial and ethnic backgrounds.

And why? So that the top one percent can get a massive tax cut that they do not need, and in most cases, have not asked for!

This is greed and selfishness beyond redemption!

It is a total loss of humanity, compassion, and decency by the Republican Party, unprecedented in modern American history!

There is absolutely no justification for this outrage, and is an attack on life, by a so called “pro life” party, that insists that every fetus must be taken to term and born; but once born, if not healthy or if not wealthy, to hell with you, and you are on your own!

If there is karma, then one can say that every single Republican who votes in favor of this obscene legislation will pay a price in the future as one does not tolerate evil without retribution!

So Senators in the Republican Party, think twice and have a conscience before you sign onto such evil, disgraceful legislation, a true crime against humanity!

Republican Philosophy: Every Fetus Must Be Born, But No Right To Care For Preexisting Conditions, And No Basic Right To Health Care Itself!

The Republican Party is a total disgrace in 2017.

It has allowed itself to become the party of death, not the party of life.

While adopting the extreme right wing position of being totally anti abortion, and subjecting women to the whims of religious extremists, that every fetus must be born, now the GOP has fully adopted the concept that once a fetus is born, that there is no right to care for preexisting conditions, which nearly half of Americans have in their lifetime, and no basic right to health care itself.

The party that freed the slaves, promoted racial equality, and advocated protection of the environment, now has become the party of Christian extremists and hard line Southern Confederate views, repudiating the principles of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt and many decent, principled office holders who were proud of the Republican traditions of the past 150 plus years.

Now, if you are not wealthy, to hell with your health, and if you die, such is life, and it most showed up when former one term Congressman Joe Walsh of Illinois, said he was not interested in having to pay more taxes to support the health care of an infant who had a need for heart surgery to survive.

What has happened to the concept of human decency, compassion, empathy, and concern for others?

What has happened to the idea that we all pay in through our taxes for the betterment of society, and if we do not end up getting back as much as we pay in, it means we have been fortunate enough not to need help from the government on the same scale as others?

What happened to the concept of religious values, whether Christian or Jewish or Muslim or Hindu or whatever, that we are our brother’s keeper?

The Republican Party will be condemned in history for the passage in the House of Representatives yesterday of this reprehensible “tax care for the wealthy” bill, and it will NOT make it through the US Senate.

It was disgusting to see the House Republicans, led by despicable Speaker Paul Ryan, rushing to the Trump White House to celebrate the loss of health care for 24 million Americans, which, were it to become law, would insure tens of thousands of Americans, at the least, will die because they are not wealthy!

The wealthy have more than enough advantages, and do NOT need another tax cut, as it was those under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush which have obliterated much of the middle class, and accelerated the fall of millions into poverty since 1981.

The odds are heavy now that the Democrats will win at least the minimum number of seats, 24, to regain the House of Representatives majority, and even if the US Senate is not regained, it will change the playing field in 2019-2020, including the likelihood of the impeachment of demagogue Donald Trump!

For any decent human being to be a Republican in 2017, shame on you, and one can believe in karma, that you will be repaid appropriately in the next stage of your existence after your death on earth!

Donald Trump Is Not A “Miracle Man”: Disillusionment Among Followers Will Erupt Soon, Before End of 2017!

Donald Trump is guaranteed to alienate many of his followers, once they realize he is NOT a “Miracle Man”, that we are going to end up with many events that no one bargained for, including:

The most corrupt Presidency since Richard Nixon, and possibly surpassing the level and depth of Nixon scandals.

The strong likelihood of a major war, with major commitment of troops, and loss of life closer to Vietnam over a period of years, than to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Manufacturing and Mining jobs will NOT return, as it will be clear that Trump’s pledge to the white uneducated working class will not be fulfilled.

A massive cut is likely in Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Food Stamps, and poverty will rise, and not just among minorities, but among poor whites, sick people, and the elderly.

Environmental damage that will harm the health of all Americans will be likely, the greatest since the disastrous environmental record of Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.

The conditions of labor will get worse, with no concern about minimum wage, sick leave, overtime pay, or basic benefits.

Racism will increase with backing of the Trump Presidency,

Mistreatment of women and of gays and lesbians is insured to multiply, with the support of extreme right wing social conservative Vice President Mike Pence.

The Supreme Court, unless both Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Stephen Breyer stay healthy, will move dramatically to the extreme right, long term damage.

Basic civil liberties and civil rights will go by the wayside, with curbs on freedom of expression, as through speech, press, and assembly.

One can project that over time, a year or so, great disillusionment will set in, and possibly lead to open confrontations with law enforcement authorities, who try to quell public dissent with the approval of an authoritarian President and executive branch, and an unsympathetic Republican party controlled Congress.

Expect a strong reaction to occur, something such as happened under Richard Nixon during his continuation of the Vietnam War nearly 50 years ago.

Empathy Important Trait For Any Political Leader, Particularly A President Of The United States, Missing In The GOP And Donald Trump!

Empathy is one of the most important traits that any political leader needs to govern effectively.

Sadly, the Republican Party and most of its leadership totally lacks empathy, and instead is very harsh and judgmental toward those who are not fortunate enough to be born wealthy.

They fail to have concern for poverty stricken people, blaming them for their own plight.

They fail to have concern for those who are sick and or disabled, and wish to cut benefits, including ObamaCare, which has given millions of Americans their first health care.

They fail to care about the tragedy of veterans who often have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from their experiences fighting in America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the basic stresses of being in the military.

They fail to care about discrimination, racism, nativism, and misogyny, and often encourage rhetoric and actions, which further alienate large sections of population within America.

They allow religion to be utilized in a way to promote hate and division, and look the other way as they endorse hypocrisy.

The candidacy of Donald Trump only emphasizes ever more these terrible traits, as Trump is totally clueless and uncaring about the American people, often insulting, denigrating, demeaning, ridiculing, bullying, and showing total disdain for anyone who dares to challenge his disgraceful behavior and rhetoric.

Instead of taking responsibility for his own shortcomings, Trump lashes out at the news media for exposing his actions and words, thereby attempting to turn the American people against the news media and the concept of Freedom of the Press.

The Republican Party has been complicit in this kind of attack, even before Donald Trump emerged as a significant political force, and they represent a threat to our Bill Of Rights.

The last time this happened, the Federalist Party attack on the Bill of Rights under John Adams, with the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798-1801, resulted in the demise of the party over the next generation.