Friday, June 29, 2018

McConnell is a Clear and Present Danger

At no other time in history has this country had so many self-centered, egocentric, and hypocritical leaders.  There have been one or two scattered about throughout the years, but nothing like today.  My Mama would have said “they’re too big for their britches.”  One particular man is busting out his seams.  He sneers, he is dismissive.  He’s like a mob boss.  His minions do not like him, but they are too afraid to stand up and tell him when he’s wrong.  After all, he can make or break them personally.  This man relishes the fact that he is a villain.  This man is Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell. (Who did you think I was talking about?)

MITCH MCCONNELL is second only to Donald Trump as the chief demolitionist of our country.  The difference is McConnell flies under the radar and operates behind closed doors.  One day, this country may overcome the damage Trump is doing.  As for McConnell, his actions will erase all the progress made in the past one hundred years and it will take nearly a hundred years to repair the damage.  (If we’re lucky).  McConnell is stacking the bench!

WHEN TRUMP was elected, I thought that leaders like McConnell would do what they were elected to do, and that was to preserve and protect our country and constitution, and to serve as a check on a President run amok.  At that time, I was optimistic that even Republican leaders would do the right thing.  I could not have been more wrong.

LET’S TAKE a look at McConnell’s history.  After McConnell divorced, he married Elaine in 1993.   Elaine, now 64, immigrated to this country when she was eight and spoke no English.  On Elaine’s website, she tells the grueling story of she and her family’s journey on a cargo ship from China. Her sister nearly died.  She said the family never gave up on the promise of America.  She was right!  Her family was welcomed to this country, not separated.  Elaine was not put in a cage.  Her parents were not shipped back to China.   Elaine now serves as Secretary of Transportation in Trump’s cabinet—Elaine Chao.

TODAY BOTH, Elaine Chao and her husband, Mitch McConnell have zero sympathy for immigrants.  It’s the attitude I abhor in people: “I’ve got mine, now to hell with you.”  McConnell has blocked sensible immigration policies for years now.  He has done all within his power to punish “Dreamers.” 

ELAINE’S FATHER built a lucrative shipping business and is very wealthy today, thanks to America’s welcoming immigration policy.  McConnell came to the Senate, not as a poor man, but had the wealth one would expect from a man with his background.  Now McConnell is the tenth richest Senator, thanks to his wife, Elaine.  In 2008, financial disclosures revealed Elaine gifted him a tax-exempt money market fund valued between $5 million and $25 million. He is now the 10th richest man in the Senate.  I only mention McConnell’s wealth because it may explain his actions.  McConnell supported Rand Paul in the Presidential election, not Trump.  His wife who has made him a very wealthy man, works closely with Donald Trump. Take note of future photo ops as Chao stares adoringly up at Trump.  McConnell is carrying Trump’s water for himself and his wife.

TRUMP OWES McConnell bigly!  McConnell pulled every trick available to him to block Obama’s rightful appointment of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.  He claimed it was “tradition” that no appointments would be made in an election year.  Lie!  Garland was a consensus nominee that would uphold the Constitution regardless of Party.   Then Trump nominated Gorsuch, clearly biased and bound by his personal ideology.  McConnell could not get Gorsuch confirmed by playing fair and going by the rule that a Supreme Court Nominee must get 60 votes to be confirmed.  So, he changed the long-held rule.  Some would argue that a Supreme Court position is more important than the President’s.  However, now a nominee only has to have a simple majority.  Clearly this rule change is not in the best interest of our country for such an important position.

NOW ONCE again, McConnell is large and in charge of making sure all the progress made in this country during the past one hundred years will surely be erased.  He is running interference for Trump to appoint another right-wing Justice.  Gone will be women’s rights, gay rights, immigration policy, gerrymandering, affirmative action, and on and on.  Remember, these Justices only have to receive a simple majority of the Senate vote.  That is not the same as simple majority of the people who make up our country.  Plus, we cannot vote them out in 4 or 6 years if we don’t like what they are doing. 

MCCONNELL HAS done nothing to protect our country from Russian interference in our elections.  He has refused to pass a bi-partisan bill to protect Robert Mueller’s investigation.  He has refused to pass a bill to protect “Dreamers” and he is silent on the cruel, inhumane treatment of Immigrants.  In my opinion, he and his wife, Elaine Chao, are at the top of the list of hypocrites.  That’s also why I think Mitch McConnell is a clear and present danger to our society.

 MEANWHILE, McConnell grins over his latest coup, toddlers and children are crying for their Mama’s and Daddy’s and sleeping on cold concrete floors.  Meanwhile, five more people are killed by gun violence.  This 4th of July, I feel more like mourning than celebrating.  No matter what you decide to do this 4th, I hope you make a memory.


Monday, June 25, 2018

Trump's War on the Impoverished

If you don’t have a problem with what is going on at the border and you’re not speaking out, then you’re complicit in Trump’s heinous crime against humanity.  Innocent babies and children are being snatched from their parents when all the parents were doing was trying to find a safe place for their family.  They were shipped to all parts of the country and most will never be reunited with their parents.  If reunification was the intention of Trump, a plan would have been in place to carefully track the children and parents.  Or, if Trump gave a tinker about children, they would never had been separated in in the first place. 

WE HAVE no idea the conditions under which these children are living because the media are not allowed in.  My question is why?  If they all have the environment of the shelter the First Lady visited, why not let the American people see all of them?  But you know what?  No matter how well they may be treated, it doesn’t matter to these children.  They want their Mama’s and Daddy’s, not strangers who are not allowed to cuddle and comfort them.  They are terrified.

IF MEN dressed in all grey snatched your dogs from you and shipped them to shelters all across this country, all hell would break loose. Trump says they are “all packs of  dogs” and says they are all killers. You know your dog is sweet and loving. You would be worried sick about your dog; not knowing where they are and the condition of the shelter.  You know your dog won’t eat that cheap food. And, then Trump announces that you are not allowed due process to get your dogs back.  Do dogs deserve more humane treatment than these brown children.

THIS COUNTRY spent 242 years to build a reputation of the world leader in human rights.  In the midst of this horrid humanitarian crisis, Trump pulled out of the United Nations Human Rights Council.  Coming on the heels of Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, the Iranian Deal, and pulling out of the G-7 Agreement, trust in America has taken a big hit. This speaks volumes to the world about the new Trump America.  America’s reputation as a protector of human rights is history.  At the rate Trump is moving, America as a great democracy will soon be history, too.

IF TRUMP is not throttled on this border issue, another humanitarian crisis is brewing.  In 2010, 50,000 Haitians were granted temporary protected status when a devastating earthquake destroyed much of their country.  Since then, their country has also been hit by devastating hurricanes. Their protected status has been revoked and they must leave the United States by mid-2019.  27,000 children have been born in this country and therefore are U.S. citizens.  The parents of those children will be sent back to Haiti.  However, I fully expect any immigration bill passed by Trump and the POT (Party of Trump), will include the end to “anchor babies.”  Haiti is the third nationality to have their protected status terminated in the past three months. The others were Nicaraguans and Sudanese. 

REMEMBER WHEN President Lyndon Johnson declared WAR ON POVERTY and created such programs as Medicaid, Medicare, and food stamps?  Now Trump has declared WAR ON THE IMPOVERISHED.  He has submitted his 2019 Budget.  There are currently 43.1 million Americans living in poverty. The budget includes a trillion dollars in deep cuts to programs for the poor, like Medicaid and food stamps.  Medicaid will be transformed by limiting payments or allowing states to turn it into a block grant program.  This bill also adds work requirements to Medicaid.  The budget bill calls for passing an Obama Care replacement bill.  There will be no subsidies and will NOT include most preexisting conditions.  And senior citizens, don’t think this won’t affect you!  This bill contains the first step to privatizing Medicare.  Seniors can choose to enroll in private plans.

This is only a glimpse into the 2019 budget that will be passed this Fall.  It’s scary!  The poor and elderly are the victims of the tax cuts given to the wealthy.  After all, Trump has to pay for his wall and anything Scott Pruitt decides to buy with our tax dollars.  Oh, and don’t forget that we have to pay for Trump’s rallies.  If Trump wants to prove that he is concerned about the poor working class in this country, he should tweet out a raise to the Federal Minimum Wage.   

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Republican Party Has Gone To "POT"

We’ve had a lot of painful weeks since Trump was sworn in, but last week was perhaps the hardest to endure.  All we could do was sit and watch as Trump loved up on a vile and murderous dictator.  We watched as he patted Kim Jong-Un admiringly on his back.  We observed Trump did not perform his signature power handshake meant to show dominance.  We watched as the US’s Commander in Chief saluted the North Korean General that no doubt carries out the orders to kill their people.  This, coming on the heels of the G-7 Summit, where Trump spat in the face of our closest allies.

ALL WE could do was listen to Trump extolling how talented and funny this dictator was, and how much he liked him.  On the other hand, all we heard were threats and warnings to our neighbor and closest ally, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, all because Trudeau disagreed with Trump’s trade policy.

I HAVE learned that you have to pick through the multitude of lies that Trump tells to find a truth.  He spoke a truth last week.  “When Kim Jong-Un speaks, his people sit at attention.  I want my people to do the same.”  That statement, coupled with the fact Trump is having a big military parade on Veterans Day this year, where he will sit in a reviewing stand and receive salutes from the troops, tells me he wants to be treated like a dictator.  As someone said, Trump suffers from DICTATOR envy.

SPEAKING OF dictators, I hope you know that the entire North Korean Summit was designed by Vladamir Putin.  We know that without consulting with the Pentagon, Trump agreed to stop military training exercises in South Korea.  That has long been the desire of dictator Putin and dictator Chinese President Xi.  Since negotiations between Trump and Kim Jong-Un were held behind closed doors, we don’t know what Trump promised regarding lifting sanctions or other gifts.  The US got nothing from Kim Jong-Un, who got everything from us.  Trump granted him a place on the world stage and legitimized this evil man.  For Kim Jong-Un, he was released from the prison of his country. 

TRUMP IS already touting his summit with Vladamir Putin.  I think it’s fair to say that since Trump has never uttered a derogatory word against this murderous dictator that got him elected, Russia will walk away a big winner with all sanctions being lifted.  A summit with Russia is unwarranted and a joke. 

It seems overnight our country went from being respected in the world as a shining example of democracy, to an autocratic wanna be country.  Trump has alienated the countries that always had our back in favor of countries that will stab us in the back.  This is a very scary situation with no one willing to stop the ruination of our country. 

WE DIDN’T have to wait long to see Trump emulate his dictator buddies, Turkey’s President Erdogan, Kim Jong-Un, Vladamir Putin, and President Xi, soon to be known as the G-5. Separating children from their families is cruel, heartless, evil, and any other adjective you can think of.  This is not America!  Of course, you have heard Trump blaming this abhorrent act on Democrats and stating repeatedly that they can stop these children from being held in prison. You have heard that it is the “rule of law.”    On that I call BS!  It’s just another lie told over and over so you will believe it.  It is not the law!  It is a policy put in place by Trump and Jeff Sessions in May and since, they have imprisoned 2,000 children.  One phone call from Trump to Homeland Security and/or Jeff Sessions would end this nightmare for these children and parents.  Trump is clearly holding these children hostage for his WALL!  He’s so obsessed with his WALL that he is willing to stoop to anything.  The painful, sad thing, there’s not a single Republican willing to speak truth to power.

YES, IT was a bad week and I expect many more like it in the future.  However, there were a couple of good things that happened last week.  One, the demise of the Republican Party.  It is now the Party of Trump.  The acronym is POT; not the kind you smoke, but the kind you sit on.  Republican values are a thing of the past.  It now represents the values of Trump.

TWO, THE Southern Baptists finally came to their senses and cut ties with the Republican Party at their convention last week.  This news had to be a blow to the POT.  The Southern Baptist newly elected leadership is now much younger and they are changing their views on the role of women and confessed their poor treatment in the past.  They are becoming more inclusive, which in itself will bring great change to the Southern Baptists.  Change doesn’t happen over-night, but the Southern Baptists are now headed in the right direction.  They have gotten off the “POT.”  Will you?