Same Healthcare Bill, Different Name — Who to Call

This latest Republican offer to gut healthcare has been called a sneak attack. They intend to push it to vote on September 30, with out discussing its potential effects, but what’s the point of discussing it? In essentials, this is the same bill they keep offering, re-named: “Skinny Repeal,” “American Health Care Act,” “Graham/Cassidy,” “Candy/Gram,”…
Land Shark

“The Graham-Cassidy bill preys on underserved communities … a clear and present danger”~The National Institute for Reproductive Health 

“Graham-Cassidy would devastate the Medicaid program, increase out-of-pocket costs, and weaken or eliminate protections for people living with pre-existing conditions.” ~ American Public Health Association

“It could disrupt access to health care for millions of the more than 70 million Americans” ~Federation of American Hospitals

“This bill harms our must vulnerable patients”~The American Psychiatric Association 

The following institutions are vehemently opposed to the Graham/Cassidy proposal: 

  • American Medical Association
  • The American Psychiatric Association 
  • The American Public Health Association
  • The National Institute for Reproductive Health 
  • Federation of American Hospitals
  • AARP
  • American Academy of Pediatrics, 
  • Association of American Medical Colleges, 
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 
  • and so on…

Don’t let this repetition wear you down. Healthcare is too important. CALL YOUR SENATORS (maybe put them on speed dial.)

  • Sen. Susan Collins, ME: (202) 224-2523
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski, AK: (202) 224-6665
  • Sen. John McCain, AZ: (202) 224-2235
  • Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, WV: (202) 224-6472
  • Sen. Rob Portman, OH: (202) 224-3353
  • Sen. Cory Gardner, CO: (202) 224-5941
  • Sen. Lamar Alexander, TN: (202) 224-4944
  • Sen. Jerry Moran, KS: (202) 224-6521
  • Sen. Tom Cotton, AR: (202) 224-2353
  • Sen. Joni Ernst, IA: (202) 224-3254
  • Sen. Thom Tillis, NC: (202) 224-6342
  • Sen. John Hoeven, ND: (202) 224-2551
  • Sen. John Kennedy, LA: (202) 224-4623
  • Sen. Ron Johnson, WI: (202) 224-5323
  • Sen. Mike Rounds, ND: (202) 224-5842
  • Sen. Jeff Flake, AZ: (202) 224-4521
  • Sen. Dean Heller, NV: (202) 224-6244

<a href=””>Mighty</a&gt;

Donald Trump Goes to the United Nations

Vacillating between two topics today, neither of which is pleasant, reminds me of Republican threats to congress regarding healthcare: “Sign this bill or we stop funding”, aka: “Give me your lunch money or I’ll punch you in the face and take your lunch money.” I hate both choices, but Graham-Cassidy trying to sneak another healthcare repeal through congress on September 30th…will simmer for another day. 

Donald Trump’s speech has made us a laughing stock around the world—yet again, and that merits mention.

Trump owes the United States and the United Nations an apology, but he won’t apologize. I have a suggestion for the UN. You would do well to exclude the U.S. from future meetings until this Trump situation is resolved. The vast majority of Americans will understand the snub, and feel secure in it. 

Donald J Trump, America’s ugly, proudly displayed his stupidity on Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly. There are some things you can’t un-say:

“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself.” Donald J Trump to UN

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly during Trump’s speech to the UN seemed a little distraught. Perhaps he doesn’t think Trump should have access to the nuclear codes either.

Fred Kaplan of Slate Magazine called Trump’s UN speech—

“The most hostile, dangerous, and intellectually confused address by an American president to an international audience.” 

But surely we had some reasonable representation there:

So what Rand Paul tells the UN is that votes should be weighted by wealth. The wealthy should control more than they already do. This is the new American democratic ideology: I’m a billionaire, so I take the loaf, and the rest of you can work hard to scoop up the crumbs. 

Let’s go back to the confusion in chief. We expected something big, did we not? After Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, disclosed his intent to indict Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, after a midnight raid of his home: no knock, locks picked, guns drawn, wife frisked, computer files copied, photos taken of everything including his wardrobe, we expected Trump to react.

Something had to come of the disclosure that Manafort has been under the FBI’s microscope since 2014, (get your calculators out millennials— that’s a long time), and Lordy there are tapes! Tapes between Manafort and Russian operatives discussing the Trump campaign, and Trump is on said tapes. These tapes promise to be far more damaging than the pee pee tapes with Trump and under aged sex workers in Russia. 

So, rest easy, this Trump speech was another attempt at distraction, and we knew it would come. 

— It’s Mueller Time…yes, I know I keep saying that and it hasn’t happened. My bored teenaged son tells me I’ve been saying it for a months, but it only feels like the Iowa part of a cross-country drive in February. 

Mueller has only been on this case since May, (millennials…that’s not a long time.) These things take time. According to insiders, Mueller is “attacking this investigation in the way Feds go after an organized crime syndicate”…at lighting speed. 

Speaking of crime syndicate, like tax evasion took down Al Capone, Mueller’s investigation is, in large part, focusing on financial crimes such as tax evasion and money laundering. 

Mueller’s team is digging as deep as 2011 in their document search. October 15 is the deadline to bring charges against Manafort for his 2011 returns. Maybe that is the reason for Mueller’s lightening pace? Lordy I hope so.
Mueller promised Manafort an indictment. Michael “lock her up” Flynn must be next in line, then Carter Page, and the circle gets smaller— perhaps son in-law Kushner due to his Facebook/Russia manipulations, and Don Jr for the nothing burger— until finally the whole Kleptocracy Klan, all the way up to Pence and Trump, will be wearing stripes.

Incidentally, Trump is using Republican National Committee funds to pay his lawyers, directing more than $230,000 to his attorneys in August alone. Is that that legal?  

Meanwhile, the longer Trump reigns, the more damage he does to the United States standing in the world, and our economy. The New York Times reports a $2.7 billion loss in international tourism revenue in the first few months since Trump took office, and tourism to the U.S. continues to steadily decline. Why would anyone choose to plan a trip to a country as unstable as Trump’s America. “MAGA”

Unprecedent Him Already!!


<a href=””>Crumb</a&gt;

Top 5 Reasons Donald Trump Junior Wants Privacy from the Secret Service

Last night Don Jr announced he’s opting out of Secret Service protection. Hmm… finally something fresh, and new, and not suspicious at all.

Junior says he wants “privacy.” This just as Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller advises Paul Manafort, he will be indicted. Manafort you recall is Trump’s former campaign manager, and one of the attendees at Don Junior’s meeting with a Russian lawyer last June “to get dirt on Hillary,” the “nothing burger” meeting. 

But why should Donny forego the Secret Service? Let’s explore a few possible motivating factors: 

  1. He can’t shred and burn documents with the secret service breathing down his neck.
  2. He is planning a private meeting with his money in the Cayman Islands and then will hightail it to Russia.
  3. The Secret Service runs out of money to protect the POTUS and his family on September 30…that’s the same day the GOP votes, yet again, on an ACA healthcare repeal. Does Don suffer a pre-existing condition? — If so, is he considering a move to Canada where the government cares about their citizens? This theory needs work. 
  4. Kellyanne Conway also announced last night she is opting out of Secret Service protection — She and Junior are running off together…to Bowling Green, where they can cohabitate without the prying eyes of their microwave ovens.
  5. Donny has just seen the new film based on Steven King’s “IT”…and now he’s terrified of the clown in the White House.______________________

<a href=””>Tentative</a&gt;

Spicer on Emmys 

Sean Spicer’s 30 second appearance on last night’s Emmys was the highlight of the show for me. That is not to say it was particularly hilarious, because I thought the Emmys fell flat. I was bored…

Feel free to skip this paragraph of analysis, this is me time. I almost never turn on my television, so none of the people patting each other on the back on “The Emmys” merited my admiration or interest. By virtue of the political nature my blog has taken on of late, (my family is very happy I’ve turned my focus away from them), I’m burnt out on Trump subtleties. I have been a Colbert fan forever, but he has become redundant, as have I…as has Trump. I’m ready to take on new subjects, or even to go back to discussing my children, (now in high school and college), but until Trump is gone I can’t ignore what I see. 

Sean Spicer has been replaced in the White House by Sarah Huckabee Sanders as Press Secretary. Both she and Spicer have had bursts of anger and indignation directed at the press for asking questions they don’t want to answer. 

Sanders is harder to like than Spicer was… and Spicer was hard to like. 

Neither of them present a polished professional visage. For Spicer we can blame poorly chosen and ill-fitted suits and tendency to stutter. For Sanders, the 1980’s style heavy makeup, slouchy posture, lazy southern drawl, and, although she does have a full complement of front teeth, she gives the impression that she is lacking a proper eduction. Sanders, unlike Sean Spicer, is without humor, and humor to me is as good as an IQ test. She could be a Rhodes Scholar like Bill Clinton for all I know, but her frequent inability to form a coherent sentence lends credibility to my observation. The job as Press Secretary may well have desiccated what was once fun loving happy person, but no one is forcing her to be the voice of a liar.

Sean Spicer is bravely making the rounds on shows that highlighted his absurdities in his job, and he is making a valiant attempt to laugh with us. His insecurities are endearing…but maybe not. Spicer recently gave a post Press Secretary interview on Jimmy Kimmel’s show. 

I want to like him. He survived torture, but here is the thing— he was tortured by choice. He didn’t have to defend and attempt to normalize the inexcusable. One example would be his pushing forward an agenda to strip millions of their healthcare.

“Look, your job as Press Secretary is to represent the presidents voice.” ~ Sean Spicer

I see the difficulty in the position. The job of Press Secretary in a Trump White House can not be an easy one if you have a distaste for falsities and alternative facts. The bottom line is Sean Spicer was paid to lie to the American people and when the press made it difficult, which is their job, he along with Trump, set out to de-legitimize them. 

Sean Spicer did not have to prostitue his integrity, he chose to. It’s good that he got out and can laugh at himself, but I am not sympathetic to the hardships he suffered. 

I would not be surprised to see him, possibly alongside Melissa McCarthy, on SNL next season, but I don’t think he’s going to ever fully redeem himself.  


<a href=””>Glorious</a&gt;

Donald Trump is a Misogyistic Bully

‪Good Sunday morning. On this day of worship (more likely he’s golfing) for a man still approved by 73% of white evangelicals, Donald Trump-who believes he is entitled to grab women’s genitalia (aka/sexual assault), thinks this violent gif of him swinging a golf club, hitting Hillary Clinton in the back with the golf ball, in turn knocking her over as she boards an airplane, is appropriate to retweet. Why? Because he is a misogynistic bully, who regularly displays his level of  brain development, which is on par (pun intended) with that of a terrible 2 year old. This is our president— be proud America— our POTUS 45. ‬


<a href=””>Sting</a&gt;

Smirking Pharma Bro Goes to Jail

A story in the LA Times today begins “Inmate No. 87850-053 has no internet service.”
A severe punishment indeed for anyone whose existence is centered around social media. Internet service is air to the particular inmate of whom they speak— smirking “Pharma Bro” 35 year old Martin Shkreli, ex-pharmaceutical CEO, and hedge fund con-man. 

Shkreli, who purchased the rights to sell lifesaving aids drug, Daraprim, had a side job of conning investors with fake hedge fund deals. When his investors came after him for their money, Shkreli made a move that awarded him the prized title of  **Most Reviled Man in America, raising the price of said lifesaving aids drug 5000% from $13.50 to $750.00 per pill in order to pay back the more disgruntled fools their money. 

Odd and wrong that that anyone has the power to raise drug prices at whim, and can do so to such an extent. Shkreli isn’t the first pharma CEO to raise the price of a lifesaving drug. You might remember Mylan Pharmaceutical CEO Heather Bresch raised the price of the épi-pen 400%. 

Why isn’t pricing drugs artificially high a crime in itself? To answer my own question, congress accepts money in the form of “campaign donations” from lobbyists employed by these pharmaceutical companies. Congress in turn allows pharmaceutical companies to price drugs as they like. It paints an ugly picture of those elected officials, and shows their loyalties do not lie with their constituents, but with whom ever offers up the biggest bribe.

This is, in large part, what is wrong with the American healthcare system. Take the CEO’s out of the equation, put caps on profits, in fact make healthcare a non profit enterprise. Without the middleman universal healthcare becomes an affordable endeavor. Medicare would thrive without CEO’s like Shkreli and Bresch overcharging by billions of dollars annually… but that’s another post. 

Shkreli had been released on $5 million bond after his conviction of securities fraud for which he could face a maximum of 20 years in prison. He had been released and was awaiting his sentencing date of January 16, 2018. 

Shortly after his securities fraud conviction, when he was free on bond, Shkreli livestreamed on Facebook, bragging that he’d never see the inside of a prison, but on the outside chance that he did have to do some time, he said— “it would be just a few months at a minimum-security Club Fed. I’ll play basketball and tennis and Xbox and be out on these streets in four months,” 

So why is the smirky guy in jail? 

Despite his lawyers advice keep his social media activity on the down low, the jackass could not help himself. He enjoys a huge following, because he seems to have no filter, but has since been kicked off twitter for trolling female reporters who were covering his trial. 

His bail was revoked however because he recently used Facebook to put out a bounty on Hillary Clinton, offering to “pay $5,000 per hair” to anyone who secured the strands “with follicle” while she is on her book tour.

I think he might be disappointed with his new accommodations. Metropolitan Detention Center is a fortress-like federal prison known for beatings, sexual assaults, a lack of fresh air and sunlight, and sorry Martin, but they offer no outdoor activities… and no Xbox. His housing buddies number 1,800, none of whom currently play tennis or basketball.

A while back, when asked, hypothetically, if he would turn to books for his recreational pleasure if he were to be forced to serve any prison time, Shkreli said he doesn’t read fiction, but might consider reading some philosophy. 

Does MDC even have a library? If so, will the musings of Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle inspire Martin to recreate himself as a thoughtful, ethical, and self aware human being? We can only hope he uses his time, at least four months, well… and let’s also hope he doesn’t drop his soap in the shower. 

**Trump has since reclaimed the title of Most Reviled Man in America.


<a href=””>Recreate</a&gt;