Showing posts with label Paul Ryan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paul Ryan. Show all posts

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Congressional NRA gun pimps with blood on their hands

Wayne LaPierre
Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin and Speaker of the House, has received a total of $171,977 since 1990 from the National Rifle Assn. to vote against any legislation for gun control. What he voted against were laws that could have saved the lives of 17 students and teachers.
Paul Ryan

Monday, November 6, 2017

Trump lies again over middle-class tax savings-Ryan has fuzzy figures

Donald Trump said "the average American family would get a $4,000 raise, which is an outright lie. Speaker Paul Ryan hedged by saying it would save his group $1,182, using median household income ($59,000) when, in fact, the more realistic figure is median family income at $73,000. And there are added caveats like the savings are only good for the first year. Ryan also says thinking of repealing Obamacare's individual mandate in the tax bill, but with the curbing of the GOP's Obamacare repeal, Dems are planning the same strategy to trash the tax bill. What is so scary is that the opaque Paul Ryan believes all the shit he spews, and Trump doesn't know any better. Pathetic!

Trump lies about tax bill, Ryan uses "trumped" up figures...

Let's stick in the repeal of Obamacare's individual mandate...

Dems planning same strategy against tax bill that killed Obamacare repeal...

Monday, April 3, 2017

Paul Ryan continues to pursue his health care nightmare

Paul Ryan
Paul Ryan, the shaky Speaker of the House, says he doesn't want to work with Democrats on health care. This was Donald Trump's idea, predicting Obamacare will soon go down in flames and Democrats will be willing to cooperate. Ryan feels that won't work but only has one more option and that is to unify Republicans. Here were Trump's words in a tweet...
"The Democrats will make a deal with me on healthcare as soon as ObamaCare folds - not long. Do not worry, we are in very good shape!"
Most political experts say this isn't likely to happen. As far as unifying Republicans, this won't happen as long the Freedom Caucus' Mark Meadows is running their show. Trump recently pushed Meadows to the point the latter had to stand his ground in defiance of Donald John who tweeted this recently...
The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!
Doesn't sound like unification talk to me. And here's something else re. all these Donald Trump tweets. Is the new czar of the universe afraid of a press conference where he has to face real people with real questions that ask for real answers? We know Trump's assessment of the press, but wouldn't you consider hiding behind his cell phone tweeting everything a bit cowardly? This runs hand-in-hand with his generous use of Executive orders instead of attempting to get his programs through Congress. Perhaps he just hasn't anything substantive.

Conservatives want to unify the Party again and Paul Ryan apparently believes now that is the only way the GOP will get anything done in this congress. Ryan's predecessor, John Boehner, fought the conservative right the entire time he served as House Speaker with no success. He finally just quit. Does this mean that the separation within the Republican Party is so analytically impossible to unify, that, as long as the GOP is in power, the government will remain in chaos? It looks like this might be the case looking as far back as the George W. Bush administration.

Here's an example of the inability to work together...
"But so far, Republicans haven’t proven that’s in the realm of possibility. Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) told reporters that the moderate Tuesday Group agreed Wednesday that they would not meet or work with Freedom Caucus members. 'If that call comes in, just hang up,' Collins said."
Chris Conover of Forbes says Trump will not repeal and replace Obamacare. Prior to this piece, he had cited partisan opposition and partisan rancor over the debt ceiling coming up soon, and now focuses on the fact that Trump himself is the reason Republicans will fail. Here's how Politico's Tim Alberta put it...
"faced with his first major test, the president failed—on multiple occasions and on many levels."
Sounds to me like a mandate on both the GOP control of Congress and Donald Trump himself. The question is, how long will the American people accept this utter nonsense from our government? DT was the least equipped in health care of all the competitors for the 2016 Republican nomination, remarks Conover. I would add that Donald John is the least equipped to be President of the United States based purely on his moral values and his contentious and freaked out temperament. The Governor's Conference even ridiculed him over his lack of health care knowledge.

It goes without saying that he doesn't even measure up to a novice in his understanding of the needs of U.S. health care. And back several years ago he highly favored the parallel to Obamacare, universal health care. An interview in 1998 with Stone Phillips...
Trump: "[I'm] liberal on health care, we have to take care of people that are sick."
Stone Phillips: "Universal health coverage?"
Trump: "I like universal, we have to take care, there's nothing else. What's the country all about if we're not going to take care of our sick?"
Here's a man who either doesn't know what the hell he's for, or simply says what he thinks the people want to hear in order to keep them loving him. It is no wonder that Paul Ryan has gone his own way to get the passage of a Republican health care plan. The problem here is that everything he has come up with so far is crap, agreed to by both Democrats and the GOP. Here's what New York Times reporter Michael Shear said...
"Mr. Trump — who sold himself as a winner who could turn around a country that 'doesn’t win anymore' — has endured a litany of missteps, controversies, resignations and investigations, all of which have dented his 'I alone can fix it' vow to remake government with businesslike efficiency."
No one believes that malarkey anymore but what is worse, in an additional remark by Shear who points out that the U.S. is in the slowest presidential transition in decades. Translated, that means that the good of our country has been put on the back burner, all because of one man. Unfortunately, he happens to be president.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

GOP now has total control...or does it?

The Rat Pack...Ryan-Trump_McConnell
Donald Trump's future couldn't be shakier after the defeat of Speaker Paul Ryan's American Health Care Act, but even more insecure is Ryan's speakership. He hasn't led this Congress anywhere but in the direction of those issues he favors. But then, this Congress seems only to have the capacity for the perpetuation of hate and opposition to anything Democrat. Trump has made that ideology a priority from the beginning of his campaigning for 2016, right through the inauguration and into the Oval Office. Senate leader Mitch McConnell is absolutely overjoyed.

But what brings McConnell back to earth is Congress' inability to repeal Obamacare. Here's a look at Donald John blowing off about what he would do, which he didn't do...
“We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Trump told the Washington Post after the election. Under Trumpcare, according to Trump, people “can expect to have great health care. It will be in much simplified form. Much less expensive and much better.”
And then trump tweeted after defeat: “ObamaCare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE. Do not worry!” Always the psychopathic windbag, that would never admit he was wrong or that he has been soundly his own Party. This is basically how it has come down over the years, according to Vox...
"This was bolder and brasher than what more establishment-minded Republicans had said over the years. But it was, fundamentally, similar to promises and insinuations made by Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and dozens of other Republicans. It’s not just that the Affordable Care Act was killing jobs and sentencing people to death panels. It’s that Republicans had some much better plan in their back pocket that would give Americans what they want — cheap, comprehensive health insurance that offers them oodles of choice."
Vox is saying that Trump and Republicans are now paying for this great line of bullshit served up by both, even though it helped Republicans win Congress and eventually the White House at the time. But what happens now, when Trump is behind the eight ball and needs to get tax legislation passed? After the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and then enactment of AHCA failed miserably, he will still be dealing with the same Republicans, needing their support even more so since the savings from Obamacare replacement will not be realized. Where will the money come from for reduced taxes?

And there's much more to be done that Donald John promised the poor souls that supported him. As recent as March 15, in Nashville, he was still talking the repeal of Obamacare and chastising judges for blocking his travel bans. And in Louisville, he delivered his populist and nationalist appeal, no doubt crafted by Steve Bannon, to clamp down on illegal immigration and bar terrorists from America. These rallies are designed to garner public support for Trump's programs, but where he should be focusing his efforts is on Congress.

Leading up to the House vote on Obamacare, both Donald Trump and Paul Ryan had promised their own healthcare bill which the Speaker delivered to a very reluctant and disillusioned Congress. The GOP has been pretty well in sync on getting rid of Barack Obama's health care program with Mitch McConnell leading the venomous attack. Here's what conservatives in general thought of the ACA...
" taxes rich people too much, and coddles Americans with excessively generous, excessively subsidized health insurance plans. They want a world of lower taxes on millionaires while millions of Americans put “skin in the game” in the form of higher deductibles and copayments. Exactly the opposite, in other words, of what Republican politicians have been promising."
That last sentence says it all. So much promised but nothing delivered. And with 2018 mid-terms coming, Trump's inability to deliver may well weigh heavily on those Republican districts up for grabs. All of the analysis to date is now outmoded since the healthcare fiasco has shown the weakness in the GOP armor, something that will need vast improvement before any new programs are introduced by the Trump administration. And here are more items on the White House agenda...
"...a $1 trillion investment in roads and other infrastructure and proposed crackdowns on both legal and illegal immigration, will require the support of Democrats, many of whom have been alienated by the highly partisan start to Trump’s tenure."
The one high point Trump had was the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for Scalia's Supreme Court seat which looked to be pretty safe until last Friday...
"Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, may fall short of the votes needed for smooth passage in the Senate next week, potentially dashing Republican hopes for an easy victory after the stinging defeat of the American Health Care Act last week."
The above comment from the Washington Post reflects the turmoil created by Paul Ryan's damaging loss with his healthcare program. But even if Gorsuch misses the 60 votes needed, there's still the "nuclear" option available to Republicans; although a right which would get Gorsuch approved, it hasn't even been tried since 1917. That year, instead, it resulted in reform of the Senate's filibuster rules. Bernie Sanders warned against its use, advice that the GOP should consider since a day will come when Democrats will again control Congress and the White House.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Trump's "The Art of the Deal" shattered by Paul Ryan

In November of 1987, Donald Trump's book, The Art of the Deal, was published and received well by the public. Today on Amazon it is 2,662 overall in books, #2 in biographies and memoirs, #13 in business and money and #22 in biographies and memoirs. That is good, considering the number of books published these days and the reviews are mostly positive. But in the book, he warns his readers "Never seen desperate." Well, he blew that theory during the recent blowout of Ryan’s American Health Care Act proposal. It went down in flames in spite of Donald John's disparaging begging.

The Progressive reports that although Trump pledged not to cut Medicare, Ryan's bill cut it $880 billion from the program, and the Freedom Caucus members wanted to cut much more. Ryan's bill which favors the wealthy and large corporations would...
 "...devastate care for the most vulnerable ACA beneficiaries like the poor, disabled, and elderly. The Ryan plan would produce more deaths by swelling the ranks of the uninsured whose untreated conditions prove fatal."
From as far back as his tax-cutting proposals, to his American Health Care Act, Paul Ryan has been one of the most callous politicians toward the poor and needy of anyone I can remember. I can see why the man gets reelected by looking at the demographics of his 1st District in Wisconsin. Median income over $50,000; 91.1% white; 4.7% black; 5% Hispanic; and 57.7% white collar. Although his last election was close, and the next, well, we'll just see. Here's a stark statistic from the health care industry itself, published in the American Journal of Public Health...
"The Republican plan to replace the ACA would leave 52 million people uninsured in 2026. We know that will lead to many deaths—at least 41,969 and perhaps many times that number."
That isn't just callous. That is cold-blooded greed by Republicans to line the pockets of their constituents. And although the Freedom Caucus had a big hand in defeating the AHCA, Bernie Sanders says "Democrats should take credit for killing a really, really bad piece of legislation." Commenting further "Poll after poll showed that's exactly what the American people did not want." On the other hand, Donald Trump said...
"The best thing we can do, politically speaking, is let Obamacare explode. It is exploding right now," Trump said, adding that the 'losers' in the health care battle were Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer."
And Trump continues to blame the Democrats for the GOP bill's failure, which, of course, is fully agreeable to the Bern. Trump, who refused to blame Ryan for the failure of the American Health Care Act The Guardian said this...
"Speaking afterward in the Oval Office, Trump blamed Democrats for the failure of a bill to repeal the signature achievement of Barack Obama. 'If [Democrats] got together with us, and got us a real healthcare bill, I’d be totally OK with that. The losers are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, because they own Obamacare. They 100% own it,” he said.'"
And then, after the melee was over, Paul Ryan proceeded to blame everything on the fact that the Republicans are now the governing Party, and that "...comes with growing pains and, well, we’re feeling those growing pains today. I will not sugarcoat this: this is a disappointing day for us.” What Ryan isn't saying is what is wrong with the entire U.S. government right at this moment, is the fact that Republicans are the governing Party. It was also what was wrong with the U.S. government in Geo. W. Bush's tenure from 2001 to 2009. A disaster that almost brought the country down.

So apparently Obamacare is okay for the time being but isn't it interesting just how volatile this piece of legislation is and the effect it has on a certain percentage of the public. Just a week after the 2016 election, the Kaiser family Poll came up with these findings...
"One-fourth, or 26 percent, of Americans favor a full repeal of the health care law, while 17 percent say scale it back, according to the Kaiser poll. On the other hand, 30 percent favor expanding the law and another 19 percent want lawmakers to move forward with the law as it is."
The Kaiser report also found that there was a decline in the percentage of Republicans who want the Act repealed, something that must have had an effect on Paul Ryan's withdrawal of his bill. And here's another insight from Vox into how some Republicans really view the Affordable Care Act...
"Republican leaders and conservative intellectuals, for the most part, didn’t really believe nonsense about death panels or that Obama was personally responsible for high-deductible insurance plans. What they fundamentally did not like is that the basic framework of the law is to redistribute money by taxing high-income families and giving insurance subsidies to needy ones. The details matter enormously to everyday people, but the broad principle is enough to make conservatives reject it."
Wasn't aware there were that many intellectuals in the GOP ranks, but this is a real crowd stopper. Anything republican always comes down to just two factors: 1) How it affects the wealthy; 2) How it affects large corporate business. There is no in between for the average American and until average Americans understand this, voting accordingly, this country will continue to be mired in mediocrity. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Is Obamacare invincible?

It looks like it so far. House Speaker and number one cheesehead, Paul Ryan got shot down again, with him and his group looking at the piece of shit they call a healthcare plan. They pulled it from consideration, rocky Ryan stated, or as the greatest of leaders said, “We just pulled it,” with emphasis on the "We." What this means is that The Affordable Care Act continues to reign supreme for now. It was Donald John's ultimatum on Thursday, either pass our bill on Friday or Obamacare stays. This is just another in a long line of failures for both Donald Trump and Paul Ryan. Time to dump em both!

With this defeat, it is uncertain now if T-rump will be able to push through his aggressive agenda of changing how the government works now to his way. This statement from a Republican who planned to vote for the new GOP healthcare plan is a real downer for the Party...
"Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), who planned to vote for the legislation, said that Friday would have been the 'first big vote in the presidency of Donald Trump. I think it’s a statement, not just about him and the administration, but about the Republican Party and where we’re headed.'”
Is Byrne admitting the Party has no idea where it's headed, or is he just another befuddled Republican? I vote for both, but as this all becomes more challenging for the GOP, yet more enticing for Democrats, the country goes to hell. The future will be interesting in illustrating the ability of the United States to withstand the likes of a Donald Trump, measuring its capacity to survive in this environment, and see just how long it will take to awaken a dull and apathetic public. America is a strong country but unconscious, uninformed voters have never put us in this position before.

Paul Ryan ontacted every skeptical voter and "Trump had personally lobbied 120 lawmakers, either in person or on the phone," but all for naught. It went down like the Hindenburg, and not because of Democratic opposition, but due to Republicans that think their Party's attempt at replacing The Affordable Care Act is inadequate. Even Vice President Pence, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price jumped into the foray, but the hard-line House Freedom Caucus thought changes made would “raise serious coverage and cost issues.”

If you look closely at the Washington Post article, and it is a good read, you'll see very little participation by Democrats. As a matter of fact, here's one of the few, “You never intended for there to be a health plan of consequence for this nation,” said Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.)." He added, “What we will have done is helped rich people. And we will not have helped poor people.” Bingo, and I don't think that is really surprising, just the anemic left trying their best to get on record with the facts. It was really Bloomberg that put it all into perspective after Trumpcare was dumped Friday...
"We should pause and realize what a big deal this is. The number one agenda item for years, the one that most House Republicans campaigned on when first elected, and they couldn't manage to even get an initial bill out of the House. Not only that, but it was clear this week that even though most of them were willing to vote for it, practically no one was enthusiastic about what they had produced. It also polled terribly, and conservative health care wonks hated the bill."
Trumpcare RIP.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Republican Congress stopped dead in its Republican?

Trump's latest political mess
I guess the first question is, is Donald Trump a Republican? We know he isn't a Democrat. Or is there some non-party designation for his highness that was put into play by the political establishment when his eminence somehow became President of the United States? The latter we may never know. The former is displayed every day in a White House that seems committed to confusion and chaos. All travel bans have been shot down by the courts, the repeal of Obamacare, engineered by Speaker Ryan, is floundering, the Mexican wall seems to be going nowhere.

And now this headline from the Washington Post re. Donald John's budget released on Thursday: "Capitol Hill Republicans not on board with Trump budget." Here's how WP described it...
“President Trump on Thursday will unveil a budget plan that calls for a sharp increase in military spending and stark cuts across much of the rest of the government including the elimination of dozens of long-standing federal programs that assist the poor, fund scientific research and aid America’s allies abroad.”
Some in Congress have complained that the budget doesn't have enough defense spending, but no one even mentions the fact that there will be drastic cuts to the welfare system. Based on the year 2015, each night 564,708 people were experiencing homelessness. And over 500,000 veterans still wait more than 30 days to see a doctor, in a system rife with incompetence and under funding. If Medicaid is turned over to states, especially those like Arizona, there's no guarantee these people will have adequate coverage, if any at all.

In addition, WP reports there are massive cuts to the arts, scientific research and aid to our allies overseas...
"A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” would increase defense spending by $54 billion and then offset that by stripping money from more than 18 other agencies. Some would be hit particularly hard, with reductions of more than 20 percent at the Agriculture, Labor and State departments and of more than 30 percent at the Environmental Protection Agency."
""It would also propose eliminating future federal support for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Within EPA alone, 50 programs and 3,200 positions would be eliminated."
I don't believe there is anyone out there, I don't care how liberal you are, that will argue with the fact that the government is top heavy and overspends. But there are many on both side of the aisle that question this amount of spending on defense. And we know there are tax cuts for the wealthy on the way, plus, remember all that "pork," those projects in congressional districts that are done for the sole purpose of getting someone reelected. No one talks about this anymore. So, what we are left with is a budget that represents Donald trump's version of Republican ideology.

During the 2016 election, Trump supporters were bellowing the fact that, if an outsider like Donald Trump, a supposedly savvy businessman, took over the White House, he would change things so it would run like a top. Well, here's what the Washington Post had to say...
"Trump was only the latest in a long line of political figures who argued that if someone from outside politics took over the government, he’d whip it into shape with his business savvy and management expertise. The result has been the most chaotic and incompetent White House anyone can remember. As Politico reported Wednesday, 'A culture of paranoia is consuming the Trump administration, with staffers increasingly preoccupied with perceived enemies — inside their own government,' creating 'an environment of fear that has hamstrung the routine functioning of the executive branch.'”
Finally, White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said “You can’t drain the swamp and leave all the people in it.” As a Trump appointed member of the team and a conservative republican, I'll let you decide.

Friday, March 10, 2017

‘World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017’ stinks

While millions risk losing their health insurance, perhaps dying as a result, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), chairman of the powerful Rules Committee, thinks he has the perfect replacement for Obamacare in his POS ‘World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017.’ Sessions thought he would slip his legislation in as a model for what Speaker Paul Ryan  and the rest of the House plan to do. "Instead, Speaker Paul Ryan and his team modeled their initial bill on legislation authored by former
Rep. Tom Price." This is what Price had to say...
"...that that bill as currently written is a “work in progress,” and that future legislative and regulatory fixes will be necessary to address all of the health-care policies that Republicans hope to implement."
But the health care industry doesn't want anything to do with any of it. Seven groups speaking for hospitals, health systems and medical colleges collectively added their “significant concerns,..."
" the growing opposition, focusing on the prospect of sharply lower numbers of insured Americans if the GOP plan becomes law. Separately, the American Medical Association, a powerful lobbying group for physicians, rejected the bill for the same reason."
Based on health care specialists who have analyzed the Republican House bill, millions will lose coverage with Americans in their 50s and 60s as the most likely to not be able to afford the coverage. By 2020 the premium subsidies based on income would be gone, according to the New York Times. The current system would be replaced by tax credits of $2,000 to $4,000 per year, based on age. But this would leave a significant deficit from current coverage plans under Affordable Care Act requirements. Meaning, many would have to give up their health insurance.

Here's a statement from a major health care provider...
The central issue is the tax credits are not going to be sufficient, admits Dr. J. Mario Molina, chief executive of Molina Healthcare who offers coverage through Obamacare marketplaces in California, Florida and several other states. 
One unhappy Trump voter says she thought he would make her health insurance more affordable not more expensive. Under the House Plan, she would get $5,188 less each year than she did under the Affordable Care Act. "I'm scared," she says. Although there are no official figures yet, a report from Standard & Poor's claims that somewhere from 2 million to 4 million people will leave the insurance because, in their 50s and 60s, aren't old enough for Medicare but can't afford the new Republican House Plan. Brookings Institution estimates even higher losses.

With this new round of opposition nationwide, the GOP is finding new resistance at every corner. The health care groups also challenged the proposed changes to Medicaid...
"...warning that they would mean lost coverage and funding cuts for a program charged with caring for vulnerable children, elderly and disabled Americans."
"AMA chief executive James L. Madara, a doctor, wrote a letter to congressional leaders released Wednesday expressing the same sentiment: 'We cannot support the AHCA as drafted because of the expected decline in health insurance coverage and the potential harm it would cause to vulnerable patient populations.'”
How many more of you get the feeling, and this dates back for years, that Republicans don't give a shit about those in need of assistance from others? I'm betting plenty. Yes, there are those who take care of the welfare system but that is limited based on expenditures by welfare recipients. And here are 7 lies about welfare that many people believe are fact. AARP has come out against the GOP bill, and even some conservative advocacy groups like Heritage Action for America, FreedomWorks and the Club for Growth have also rejected it. It's proving a bummer, hands down.

Let's talk the Republican Healthcare Plan...

The Republican Plan will have a huge effect on Alan Lipsky of Arden, N.C. Lipsky is 60, his wife in her 50s, and they would lose $13,664 annually under the new plan. He thinks that Obamacare could be improved on, as do most of the Act's supporters, but at least it's baseline. And the GOP bill is taking this away from him with what's left unaffordable, he says. Bu the healthcare wrecking crew are determined to do it their way...
"House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) expressed confidence the bill would eventually pass, even though some conservative House GOP members have railed against it, complaining it does not undo the ACA aggressively enough."
Also on the chopping block, he financial assistance available to low income people with out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and co-payments. There are some large deductibles under the Affordable Care Act but the cost-sharing reductions that are available are a big protection for low income people that end up with huge medical bills that would otherwise cause financial disaster. The insurance market itself could be in harm's way by the elimination of the individual mandate, hated from the beginning of the ACA, but evntually found to be practical.

In 2016, The Washington Post called Paul Ryan's health care plan, "flimsy." Here's their commentary...
"IT HAS been more than six years since the Affordable Care Act passed and nearly three years since its major provisions began phasing in. During that time, the rate of uninsured Americans has plummeted to a historic low. Also during that time, Republicans have blamed the law for practically every problem with the health-care system, the economy and more. But they have infamously not united behind a credible alternative."
Then Paul Ryan, who should just go back to Wisconsin and stick to making cheese, came out with his version which has ended up, along with Tom Price's version, as what Republicans are going with. But listen to this, two weak points that are pointed out by WP in the 2016 rendition...
The proposal does not say how valuable the credit would be, nor the rate at which it would increase.

The document also does not predict how many people it would cover, nor how much the plan would cost.
Whether these weaknesses were addressed in the latest bill that just cleared the first hurdle in the House and is now being debated in Committee, hasn't been revealed. Ryan, who is beginning to mirror Donald Trump in misinformation, stated "Because of Obamacare, Medicare is going broke." NPR says, "In fact, the opposite appears to be true — Obamacare may actually have extended the life of Medicare."
This year's Medicare Trustees Report says the program would now be able to pay all its bills through 2028, a full 11 years longer than a 2009 forecast — an improvement Medicare's trustees attribute, in part, to changes in Medicare called for in the Affordable Care Act and other economic factors.
What is occurring here, from the top down, is the use of lies and deception from the Republicans to
sell their programs, with healthcare just the latest issue. It rose to popularity in the days of George W. Bush and Karl Rove when prevarication was the norm. It hasn't changed. But apparently Paul Ryan hasn't differed as much as he thought in his bill with Obamacare. Here is what the experts are saying...
"And the irony of the Ryan Medicare plan, say some health policy analysts, is that it would turn the government program into something that looks very much like the structure created for insurance plans sold under the ACA."
"'The way it works is comparable to Obamacare,' says physician and conservative policy analyst Avik Roy, founder of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity." 
There is no way to predict just where and how far the Republicans will take their drive to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, or what they will come up with as a replacement, if they are successful. What we do know is that the American public will not be the beneficiary. It will be the wealthy and big business.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Which side of the nation are you on?

A nation divided
The results of the 2016 election have spawned a huge game of 'Who do you like?' In the cases of the high-profile politicians, nobody's winning, except Barack Obama. In a recent CNN/ORC poll the results were dismal for at least three:
For all Americans 
  • Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, 47% favorable, 35% Unfavorable
  • Hillary Clinton, 40% Favorable, 57% Unfavorable
  • Mitch McConnell, Sen.Majority Leader, 25% Favorable, 39% Unfavorable
Real Clear Politics rates Donald Trump currently, 39.5% Favorable, 56% Unfavorable. All of this is out in left field compared to Barack Obama's rating following his 2008 election, 70% Favorable, 25% Unfavorable. His current, Favorable 56%, Unfavorable 40%. In another Republican comparison, when George W. Bush left office, his Favorable was 27%, Unfavorable 66%. The key is the Dems needed someone like Obama in 2016...think Bernie Sanders.

We just experienced the most obnoxious election in recent history, perhaps ever.
"...more than 8-in-10 Americans say the country is more deeply divided on major issues this year than in the past several years."
"And more than half say they are dissatisfied with the way democracy is working in the US."
But here's hope for Progressives, "...nearly 8-in-10 overall hope to see the GOP-controlled government incorporate some Democratic policies into its agenda." CNN interprets the poll saying
"...'most' say they would like to see President-elect Donald Trump, who won with an Electoral College majority despite trailing in the popular vote nationwide, pursue policies that could draw in new supporters rather than appeal solely to those who backed him during the campaign."
Not sure who CNN's "most" is, but I do not see Progressives wanting new supporters in any Republican form, certainly not the Donald Trump ilk. But the feelings are unanimous that we are a split nation, "...with 85% saying so overall, including 86% of independents, 85% of Republicans and 84% of Democrats." And even though Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, the general public still feels ill about her following the election.

As Progressives, we can only hope that Trump will do the right thing. If not, there is 2008. Unfortunately, thanks to Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democrats/Progressives have been saying that too much in the last few years.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Why enforcing current gun laws hasn't worked

Members of Congress, including some Democrats, answer new gun control legislation with, 'Just enforce the current gun laws.' During Barack Obama's town hall on guns broadcast on CNN last Thursday, he at least partially answered the question. These same members of Congress "...then cut (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) budgets to make it impossible to enforce the law," he said.

An example is my post yesterday connecting new Speaker, Paul Ryan, to "voodoo economics" in his 2014 budget, designed to cut taxes to the bone, eliminating needed programs like those above. Another vivid illustration is the GOP action, initiated and backed by the National Rifle Assn. (NRA) some years ago that refuses to allow the CDC to release figures on gun violence. These valuable statistics would allow the government to prioritize gun laws.

And then while Obama was actually speaking at the CNN town hall on guns, the NRA boneheads, who didn't attend the town hall, tweeted to the President, "If the goal is to save lives, then prosecute criminals." Wayne LaPierre, NRA head, just keeps putting out the same old shit.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Paul Ryan ups John Boehner on untruths

MSNBC says the Beltway "considers Paul Ryan some kind of numbers-wiz policy wonk," even though his 2014 budget that passed the House was considered "voodoo economics." But Steve Benen says, :...his answer yesterday was a reminder that the Wisconsin congressman really doesn’t know what he’s talking about." Benen refers to Ryan's attempt to explain the success of the Obama-era economy.

It's almost like the new Speaker lives in a dream world of his own and, unfortunately,  he is only two heart beats away from the Presidency. Here's Ryan's "gibberish," as Benen refers to it:
1. Paul Ryan opposes the Fed’s recent monetary policies.
2. Paul Ryan believes the Fed’s recent monetary policies are bad for the economy.
3. Asked about positive economic developments, Paul Ryan credits the policies he doesn’t support.
Paul Ryan is obsessed with rewarding the wealthy at the expense of the working class and the needy. Bernie Sanders will remedy that when his Presidency sweeps out the House GOP majority and replaces it with Progressives.  

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Obamacare beats sign-up expectations but GOP Congress wants to repeal

More than 8 million people signed up for coverage via the federal health insurance exchange marketplace as of Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell on MSNBC. She added, "Today, we have more sign-ups, more new enrollees and a younger population than we did last year.” Didn't Pres. Obama caution that we must give the healthcare act time and the young people would begin to participate?

Our new esteemed House Speaker, Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), was quoted at the same time on "Meet the Press," "It’s a law {ACA} that is not working.” So much for improving the new Speaker's intelligence over Boehner and working across the aisle.

If that wasn't enough, yesterday "The House voted almost entirely along party-lines, 240 to 181, to repeal the Affordable Care Act and defund Planned Parenthood." Obama has already said he was going to veto any of this Republican bullshit, which makes it perfectly clear to me what a mockery the GOP is and has been making of the Congress in pursuing their stupid ideology. It's a proven fact that the more the public knows about the ACA, the more they approve of it. 

It is also obvious that much of the original and ongoing disapproval of ACA is due to Republican negative advertising and promotion since its inception in 2010, much of which was and continues to be totally untrue. It's all a matter of whether or not we want to provide coverage for every citizen of the U.S., some who can't afford it, like many of the industrialized countries in the world. Or do we continue to let the covetous, greedy Republican population keep America in the dark ages? 

It's pretty much your decision when you go to the polls in November. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Today's NRA Congressional Gun Whore

Today's NR Congressional Gun Whore is Paul Ryan, (R) Rep. from Wisconsin and current Speaker of the House, who received $2,500 from the NRA.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

NY Daily News hits the target

Pathetic Republican Presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul, plus new House Speaker Paul Ryan, rush to God for help when they should be shutting down the NRA for shootings like San Bernardino, CA and Savannah, GA.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

More persuasions for gun control

Neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney broached the subject of gun control in the October 3, presidential debate.  Gun control advocates across the country took notice and many let their disappointment be known.  One such person was Stephen Barton who was one of the victims in the Aurora, Colo. movie theatre massacre.  Barton, who is from Brooklyn, was hit with 25 shotgun pellets and is suffering nerve damage.  However, Barton says he won’t give up.

Columbine shooters Eric Harris
and Dylan Klebold
Barton remarked it seemed absurd to not mention gun control in the Denver debate considering the short proximity to the Aurora carnage as well as the Columbine school shootings in 1999.  12 were killed in Aurora, 58 wounded.  In Columbine, 13 killed, 21 injured.  Barton places part of the blame for ignoring the gun issue on the debate host, Jim Lehrer, but mostly on the candidates.  You’d think a total of 25 killed and 79 wounded would raise some candidates’ hackles.

It didn’t, and, at least, this could have added some zip to Obama’s hollow performance.  Sorry, Mr. President, it was sorely lacking and some are saying it could put Mitt Romney ahead to stay.  I think not!  Whatever went on in your head that night has thoroughly confused many progressives, but we all know it was not the true Barack Obama.  But the fact remains that both you and Romney refuse to address the enormity of the problems of firearms in the United States.

Aurora and Columbine, and Tucson and Virginia Tech and the host of other major incidents of mass shootings should be enough to put any politician’s stomach in turmoil with it happening in the country he governs or wants to govern.  But not a word from either of you and that is unacceptable.  Maybe not to the gun nuts and the NRA and its leader, wacky Wayne LaPierre, but for the average citizen who values his or her life and that of family and friends.

Excellent video by Thom Hartmann making case for gun control:

And of course there is more.  On the streets of America each day 84 people are killed by guns, 603 weekly and 2,612 monthly, numbers that should drive any civilized government to regulate the source of the problem.  Like Canada and Australia, where steps have been taken to control this kind of individual and mass bloodshed due to firearms.  Recently a Quebec court let stand a law requiring the registration of even long guns along with the current handgun law.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has proposed strictly banning assault weapons and New York lawmakers want broad legislation to limit weapons purchases.  On the other hand Dem. Majority Leader Harry Reid says that body is to busy to debate gun control this year with no promises for next year.  It is simply astonishing to me that our Congress is too busy to do something about the death of 84 innocent victims a day from guns, many illegal.  I guess the question is what will it take?

Doctors have even weighed in on the issue, asking the question, “Is a gun like a virus, a car, tobacco or alcohol?”  They say YES and want to approach gun violence as a social disease.  “What we need, they say, is a public health approach to the problem, like the highway safety measures, product changes and driving laws that slashed deaths from car crashes decades ago, even as the number of vehicles on the road rose,” according to the Associated Press.

VA Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho
Mass shootings don’t seem to be on the rise but the accounting of the number of dead and wounded by police agencies for these incidents aren’t always reported immediately, sometime not for a year.  Emergency medicine professor Dr. Garen Wintemute of the U. of Calif. Davis said, "The greater toll is not from these clusters but from endemic violence, the stuff that occurs every day and doesn't make the headlines.”  Like those 84 deaths reported by the CDC.

And finally, there’s Paul Ryan.  His Vice Presidential candidacy is enough to make any serious gun control advocate throw up.  Actually, any progressive for that matter.  Example: Re. guns, in 1999 he voted against more stringent background checks for people buying at gun shows.  And in 2011 he voted for the bill that, if you have a concealed carry permit in one state, you would be able to carry your weapon concealed in any state.

FLASH: Since the state of Arizona will issue concealed carry permits to just about anyone who wants one, and allow them to carry their weapons anywhere they want to in the state, you will have hundreds of people walking around the U.S. who are not even qualified to own a gun.  Come on…doesn’t common sense demand more sensible gun regulations in America?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The debates may not make a difference but we’ll watch them anyway

BUT FIRST…THERE IS A DRIVE to confront President Obama and Mitt Romney in the Wednesday debate with the question of what they will do about regulating guns following all the recent gun massacres around the country.  In particular, eight of the 12 relatives of those killed by James Holmes in the Aurora, Colo. movie theatre have written to debate moderator Jim Lehrer saying:

“To ignore the problem of gun violence where two of the worst shootings in U.S. history took place - Aurora and Columbine - would not only be noticeable by its absence but would slight the memories of our loved ones killed." 

Obama Romney ready to debate

To coincide with this request and as a forewarning to both candidates, The Mayors Against Illegal Guns, headed up by NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston’s Thomas Menino, are running national TV ads featuring Stephen Barton, one of those wounded in Aurora, asking Obama and Romney how they would reduce gun violence.  MAIG uses high profile events—like a recent Super Bowl ad—and now pre-debate interest to get their point across.

Why we must debate gun control:

So in terms of their importance, the debates are going to be very important to gun control advocates if Lehrer addresses the issue.  It is beyond me why he wouldn’t.  There may be certain parameters set by the candidates, and this may be one they don’t want to discuss, but that too would be a travesty considering the gun mayhem that is taking place in America Today.  I will be releasing my monthly shooting report in a few days that will further confirm the problem.

NJ Gov. Chris christie
BUT WAIT…GOP vice presidential contender Paul Ryan says the debate is not really “critical” for Mitt Romney, at the same time praising Obama’s debating skills, attempting to take the heat off his running mate.  But at the same time, New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie has predicted that the debate will literally turn the race around for Romney, apparently not knowing what Paul Ryan knows.  Like all politics, they turn these critical debates into a game.

Donna Brazile, Dem. strategist, comments that most debates since the 1980s haven’t changed the outcome of the elections.  She does cite one instance where it did make a difference in 1960 when Nixon apparently went through a meltdown which changed the direction of that election.  Nixon refused to debate in 1968 or 1972.  She also mentions the Reagan against Carter comment, “There you go again,” leading up to “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”

Obama Romney put on the gloves
Arch conservative Ann Coulter says that we are going to see an “unfiltered” Mitt Romney, whatever than means.  She adds in support like Christie, that this will make all the difference with Independent voters.  One poll shows it almost even with 47% of Independents for Obama, 45% for Romney.  Halimah Abdullah on CNN feels Obama won’t talk about his record but Mitt Romney will.  GOP pollster Whit Ayres feels it is all about who can fix the economy.

Brazile thinks that whether or not the candidates are good or bad, it can make a difference, but she agrees with Ayres, the conditions in the country right now are on everyone’s mind.  Voters want to hear how Obama and Romney will fix the problem and this could make a difference if the public believes one or the other of the candidates has the right answer.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How I am sure President Obama has the lead in the November election

I am sure of this because two people, one a close relative, the other a close friend, both female, have said they will most likely vote for Obama.  The relative lives in a conservative Midwestern state and attends church regularly.  The friend resides in a far-right conservative Southwestern state and has repeatedly voiced disdain for Barack Obama.  They may not reflect the total pulse of America but they do illustrate how badly the Romney/Ryan ticket is slipping in the polls.

Catholics for Obama - Biden
Well, that’s not all I base my premise on.  A new report conducted September 12-16 was just released by Pew Research that shows the President leads Romney among Catholics by 54% to 39%.  And this is despite the Catholic bishop criticism of Obama.  There are around 78 million Catholics in the U.S. according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) so that breaks down to just over 42 million for Barack Obama, 30.4 million for Romney.

Religion and politics expert John Green thinks this is due to more Hispanic and Black Catholic voters, but also includes gains in white Catholics where Obama is now tied with Romney.  Carrying this further, there are 16.1 million registered black voters and 11 million registered Latino voters.  Catholic voters who numbered 25% of the electorate in the 2008 election have backed the winning candidate in elections dating back to the 1990s.

In April of 2012 the two candidates were tied at 46% overall with non-Hispanic whites 55% for Romney, 38% Obama.  Hispanic Catholics were a solid 70% Obama, 20% Romney.  How Obama gained 8 points in the polls and Romney lost 7 is probably explained in several ways.  First, his selection of Paul Ryan as V.P., another stumble like McCain/Palin in 2008; Ryan determined to dump Medicare; and the fact Romney still has no clear direction on leading the U.S.

Catholics are becoming more diversified and more divisive.  Sister Simone Campbell and other nuns from Iowa led protests in Washington against a “budget that rejects church teachings on solidarity, inequality, choice for the poor and the common good.”  Although the official church doctrine opposes birth control and gay marriage, polls do show than Catholics use birth control in similar rate to non-Catholics and more Catholics favor than oppose gay marriage.

More interesting numbers include the fact that Catholics supported Obama in 2008, George Bush in 2004, and Al Gore in 2000.  Also, Barack Obama beat John McCain by 54% to 45% with Catholics in 2008 but John Kerry lost the Catholic vote in 2004 to GWB, and he was the first Catholic nominee for President since John F. Kennedy.  Go figure.  There has been a steady movement to the right by white Catholics but just the opposite by Hispanics.

And yet another engaging fact.  Both vice presidential nominees are Catholic.  Sitting V.P. Joe Biden is a part of the Vatican II generation.  They believe evangelization and catechism are less important than charity and social activism.  Biden accepts homosexuality and abortion believing it is a natural evolution.  Paul Ryan is firmly against homosexuality and he opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest to the female.  That’s heavy for women to overcome.

What we clearly have is a trend leading toward the Democratic ticket.  My relative and friend (I wonder how many readers have experienced this switch), the Catholics, the blacks and Hispanics, plus the female vote seem to all be favoring President Obama and Vice President Biden.  I know it isn’t a cinch yet and the President will make sure he continues on the same strategic path he has been following during the whole campaign.  Looking forward to the Wed. debate. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Obama’s momentum strengthens his Electoral vote advantage

John King of CNN says that Barack Obama “must make history again.”  He refers, of course, to the President’s huge win over Arizona Senator John McCain in 2008.  He became the first African American president, a fact that continues to bother many closet racists.  He had good ideas on how to take this country out of the mire George W. Bush had led America into, but many of his programs were stymied by a GOP Congress unwilling to support anything he proposed.

Middle cass on the brink
The GOP way
Some got through like his health care plan, the auto bailout and the stimulus programs.  During the whole process, Republicans brought the U.S. economy to the brink of disaster with their refusal to drop the tax breaks for the wealthy enacted under GWB.  And we will no doubt re-experience this log-jam once again in November and December of this year.  The election is November 6, and King says Obama has an easier path to 270 votes than Mitt Romney.

Here are the numbers from 5 Electoral College polls:

  • 270 To Win:            Obama 201   Romney 191
  • New York Times      Obama 237   Romney 206
  • Real Clear Politics   Obama 237   Romney 191
  • USA Today             Obama 196   Romney 191
  • CNN                        Obama 237   Romney 191

If you average these out, Obama comes out with 221.6, Romney 194.

If you add in the more liberal Huff Post poll where Obama is 313 to Romney’s 206, the new average is Obama 267.3, Romney 200.

But there is even more good news for the President.  New CNN battleground polls show high marks for the President compared to his GOP contender from likely voters in three top states:

  • Ohio             Obama 50%            Romney 43%
  • Florida          Obama 49%            Romney 44%
  • Virginia         Obama 49%            Romney 44%

The experts say that Mitt Romney must win Florida and Ohio.  Taking this even further, only 6% of Ohio voters are undecided, 5% for both Florida and Virginia.  That leaves the Romney/Ryan Bobbsey Twins little room in which to wiggle.

Obama's 2008 "Change"
History tells us that no incumbent has ever won the presidency since Franklin D. Roosevelt with unemployment over 8%, but apparently the voting public is saying, wait a minute, we’ve had enough of these radical conservatives and want more of the “change” Barack Obama promised.  The unemployment rate was 8.3% when Obama took office and remained the same as of August.  In Michigan where the auto bailout was felt strongest, Obama leads Romney 47% to 37%.    

And then there is the Hispanic vote which the GOP seems to have lost long ago.  No self-respecting Latino would vote for a party that has denied them their rights for years and continues to put barriers in the way of everything President Obama has tried to do for this group.  It is generally agreed that Barack Obama has not done enough for overall immigration reform but given the chance in a second term, I think this President will come through for Hispanics. 

Obama's Hispanic vote
Obama does hold his own with African-Americans, Latinos and young people, as well as women voters.  He does have problems like Wisconsin and North Carolina, among a few others.  But in my book, Romney signed his doom by selecting Paul Ryan as VP, just like McCain with Sarah Palin.  The latter was obviously unfit to run, but Ryan is equally radical in his politics, especially on the budget.  Even GWB said the budget he presented to him was “irresponsible.”

With Mitt Romney’s flip-flop positions combined with recent foot-in-mouth disease, he just might seal the deal sometime in October.  But Barack Obama has no reason to expect success at this point, only to make hay while the momentum continues.  Barring some catastrophic blunder or event, however, the current momentum could carry the President into November and a well-earned second term.

MR. PRESIDENT: If you look frail, if you talk frail, and if you walk frail, you must be frail...

      ...too frail to lead this country for another four years. I know, we all know, what you are afraid of; the lunatic who could win the ...