Friday, June 30, 2017

Be Sure to Vote in the TBL Independence-Day-Weekend Poll

[Almost] Back to Business As Usual in the GOP/Fox Universe

After yesterday's Twitter misstep by the current resident of the White House, he was attacked from both sides of the aisle for reverting to his true bullying misogynistic personality (with a healthy dollop of his professionally-unexamined female blood obsession). Among the Republicans who attacked the anti-Mika Brzezinski tweets was Ben Sasse of Nebraska who responded, "Please just stop. This isn't normal and it's beneath the dignity of your office."

This morning Senator Sasse was on Donald Trump's favorite show Fox and Friends and called for a change in strategy to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:

A few minutes later, the president (whose own understanding of the mechanics of drafting and passing laws is less than rudimentary) tweeted this:
Looking at the time stamps on those tweets, it looks as though the official presidential statement in tweet form might have come before the Fox broadcast, but a CNN reporter retweeted by Sasse confirms the original sequence:
The sequence, however, is actually immaterial. The real point is that the GOP White House, the GOP Senate, and the GOP television network are all getting back on the same page and are rededicating themselves to working hard to achieve job one, removing health insurance from the poor and middle class in order to give large tax cuts to the very rich. Hooray! The world is back to normal!


HOLD THE PRESSES! While I was writing this, it seems that a certain television addict in the White House switched the channel from Fox News to MSNBC, and got his tweeting back on track.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Michelle Obama already delivered the best response to Trump's misogyny.

So, this morning the following misogynistic blast of twitterrhea oozed through the tiny digits of the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Screen captured on June 29, 2017 at 9:02 AM EDT, because I thought the writer would immediately delete or alter it. I gave him too much credit; it's still up in this form at 2:45 PM.

There have been a number of responses around the web (many of them from my own twitterfingers), but the more I think about it, the more it seems that the best response already came from Michelle Obama a few weeks before the election, on October 13, 2016, in Manchester, New Hampshire. I posted this video on that date, but this great speech needs to be seen again:

The fact is that in this election, we have a candidate for president of the United States who, over the course of his lifetime and the course of this campaign has said things about women that are so shocking, so demeaning, I simply will not repeat anything here today. And last week we saw this candidate actually bragging about sexually assaulting women. And I can’t believe that I’m saying that. A candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women and I have to tell you that I can’t stop thinking about this. It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted. So while I’d love nothing more than to pretend like this isn’t happening and come out here and do my normal campaign speech, it would be dishonest and disingenuous for me to move on to the next thing like this was all just a bad dream. This is not something we can ignore. It’s not something we can sweep under the rug as just another disturbing footnote in a sad election season. Because this was not just a lewd conversation. This wasn’t locker room banter. This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior. And actually bragging about kissing and groping women, using language so obscene that many of us are worried about our children hearing it when we turn on the TV. And to make matters worse, it now seems very clear this isn’t an isolated incident. It’s one of countless examples of how he has treated women his whole life. I have to tell you that I listened to all this. And I feel it so personally. And I’m sure that many of you do too. Particularly the women. The shameful comments about our bodies. The disrespect of our ambitions and intellect. The belief that you can do anything you want to a woman. It is cruel. It's frightening. And the truth is, it hurts. It hurts.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

How the GOP TrumpCare Bill Would Affect Me

There's nothing dramatic to my story, but since the Republican attempt to "repeal & replace" the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will affect every American if it passes, we should probably all share our stories.

I'm one of the lucky ones. I'm not quite as lucky as those the GOP health care bills are written for, those who earn over $250,000 a year who will get tax cuts if the Senate version of "WealthCare" passes. But still, I'm one of the lucky ones. I've never been seriously sick as an adult and I have consistently had health insurance from an employer since 1978. I'm less than four years away from becoming eligible for Medicare, but I may not make it that far in an industry and a corporation that are both undergoing regular job reductions. I've also thought about retiring voluntarily before my 65th birthday, but the only thing that keeps me from doing so is health insurance. Even though I have been a very light user of my health insurance (I've made it through the past forty years with one broken arm, a few stitches, and two 'annual' physicals), I don't feel I could let myself go uninsured. I wouldn't like paying for a private health plan under the ACA to close the gap before Medicare, but I could afford to do so. If I lose my job and the Senate version of TrumpCare (the Orwellian-sounding "Better Care Reconciliation Act") passes, my annual premium would rise from $6,800/year under the ACA to over $20,000/year to give tax breaks to millionaires. At that price, I probably would go without insurance until Medicare kicks in and hope for my health luck to hold out (even though I know that I'd have the first serious illness of my life as soon as I became uninsured). That, in a nutshell, is my undramatic story.

But this isn't a collection of individual stories; it's a national tragedy. Unfortunately, for many Americans it's a devastating story of life and death. For many others its a harrowing matter of personal bankruptcy caused by a single unforeseen accident or illness (an exceptionally American problem). For others, it's a common American story of feeling chained for life to a boring corporate job one hates when one would rather be taking a chance being a writer or artist or freelance plumber or food-truck entrepreneur, all because of our health insurance trap. Why can't the party that claims to love FREEDOM! more than any other value see that a modern (c.1948) government-run single-payer health plan would free companies large and small from acting as insurance agents and free the rest of us from our greatest financial uncertainty and from our dead-end bullshit jobs, freeing us to be more fully ourselves and worrying less about piling up money for that inevitable rainy day? I would have gladly gotten out of the way and given my desk to a young go-getter by now if we had a National Health Service, but US corporations are full of burnt-out pieces of dead wood hanging on for our Aetna or Cigna cards, hoping we never have to use them.

Even though Mitch McConnell had a setback today, keep contacting your Senators and Representatives and tell YOUR story, which is probably more compelling than mine. Let them know that Obamacare isn't perfect but it has insured millions more and greatly reduced medical bankruptcies; TrumpCare in both its House and Senate versions would increase the number of uninsured, increase the number of medical bankruptcies, reinstate lifetime coverage caps, etc. We should always be moving toward universal coverage, not further away.

Monday, June 12, 2017

All Praise to Dear Leader Kim Il Trump From His Inner Circle of Ass-Licking Yes Men and Yes Women! #MAGA! #MAGA!

For a man who claimed that he never would have demanded a pledge of loyalty from his fired FBI chief James Comey, this Cabinet meeting today seems to demonstrate the opposite, namely that nothing is more important to him than public pledges of fealty from his sycophantic underlings.

This has to be seen to be believed:

Only one question remains after watching this, so I posted a quick one-day poll on Twitter to determine the answer:
Senator Schumer's short parody shows how ridiculous this would look if an actual politician... an actual human being... did it:

Friday, June 09, 2017

A 'Total and Complete Vindication!' Poll

While yesterday's James Comey Senate testimony branding the current occupant of the White House a liar was seen by most as a bad day for Donald Trump, at least one person on Twitter took a contrarian view when he awoke at five this morning ... after almost two full days of social-media silence.

Which leads to this morning's @TrueBlueLiberal Twitter Poll question: