Saturday, July 15, 2017

If the Porch Needs Fixing, You Don't Burn the House Down

If the porch needs fixing, you fix the porch. You don’t burn the house down. When it comes to the ACA (ObamaCare), it seems the Republicans want to burn the house down. 
Porch-House-Burn
The ACA needs a few minor fixes--amend it, don't end it. 
The Republican Health Care is an attempt to bring down the The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and pretend that they were not the ones who lit the match. They'll try to claim that it was spontaneous combustion.   

It is like burning the house down because the porch has a few damaged planks. The ACA does have some problems—some inherent in the law itself, but many caused by Republican efforts to stymie the plan in every way they can in order to cause it to fail. (The truth is Republicans oppose all social programs; they will be coming for Medicare and Social Security next.)
A single payer or public option plan would be the best way to fix the problems with health care in America, but the insurance lobby is too powerful. A few minor fixes here and there could help the plan work better. As the Democrats say: “Amend it, don’t end it.”
On May 4, 2017, the GOP House finally passed a "repeal and replace" bill. The Republicans had a little party at the White House laughing and cheering about taking away your healthcare.(Also doing a lot of lying--pre-existing conditions are not protected. The bill is a massive tax cut for the wealthy disguised as a health care bill.)
This celebration made me think of GWB on the deck of an aircraft carrier with a "Mission Accomplished" banner. This Rose Garden party will come back to bite them in the ass.
In the Senate, the bill was  dead on arrival. They did their own bill. It was such a bad bill they couldn't get even Republican support for it. SWon now3 they are coming back with the "new and revised" bill. It does not look likely that they can get it passed, but there will be some powerful arm-twisting going on in smoke-filled rooms. For the time being, the ACA is still the law of the land.
If a "repeal and replace bill ever does get signed into law, the ACA will be burned to the ground.  The Republican "fixes" are designed to cause the ACA to fail. And when it does, there will be no going back.
We should not jump from the frying pan to the fire. The Trump-Ryan plan, cobbled together in a rush and pushed through Congress with the speed of a wild-fire, is not the answer. The Senate plan devised behind closed doors is not the answer. A plan that requires the removal of the “pre-existing condition” exclusion, but does not require the expansion of the risk-pool through universal coverage (the mandate) will force premiums sky-high until eventually the whole system collapses.
Maybe that will be a good thing. With the insurance industry in shambles, America might be able to get a single payer plan, similar to the plans every other Western democracy has. In these nations, health care is less costly and the health outcomes are much better.
I’d like to say, "Let them burn the house down," but I can’t because tens of millions of people will suffer, and many will die, if they do. You can’t play with fire.
© Catherine Giordano 2017
P.S.: Too many people are unaware of all the ways that the ACA is benefiting them. It’s true some people benefit more than others, but everybody benefits in some way. Please read this: How Does the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) Benefit Every American 
TrumpCare turned out to be just a wastebasket fire. It was put out on March 24. Plan B will be worse. It is like the smoldering embers that eventually flare into a raging forest fire. You don't see it coming. TrumpCarePlan B for ObamaCare: Destroy It. 
© 2017 Catherine Giordano

Here's what Bill Maher had to say about the bill passed in the House of Representatives. 






CLICK HERE

The book is divided into three parts. In Part I, Emanuel gives us the history of the American health care system. In Part II, he reports on the efforts to reform the system., In Part III, he tries to predict the future for this bill. (The book was written in 2015.) Some of his predictions were right on, but others missed the mark. Crystal-ball gazing is always hazardous.

Just a note: You can show your support for my posts by using the above link when you purchase this or any other book. I thank you in advance.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

TrumpCare Plan B for ObamaCare: “Explode It”

TrumpCare, ObamaCare, ACA
Trump and Ryan have a Plan B for the ACA: Explode It. 

July 28 Update

This post was written before the House manged to pass a so-called "repeal and replace" bill and Senate took up their own bills to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare).The Senate ignored the House bill and put three different bills of their own to a vote. All of the bills failed to pass. The last one failed by just one vote when three Republicans--John McCain, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski voted no. 

But Republicans have a Plan B. They will subvert the law. despite their oaths to "faithfully execute" the law. Here is what Trump wrote in a tweet: " As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!"

Not much has changed since the first bill failed in the House. What follows is the original post. Please be sure to read the "next steps" section. 

“It was never repeal and place; it was bait and switch.”

Bill Maher, on his HBO show Real Time with Bill Maher summed up the whole Republican, Donald Trump, and Paul Ryan plan for health care with the above quip.

The bill that would have stripped millions of health insurance, the bill that made a mockery of health insurance, may be dead, but the plan to destroy the ACA (ObamaCare) is far from dead. 

Trump Announces the Republican “Repeal and Replace” Bill Has Failed

At 3:31 pm (ET) on Friday, March 24, 2017 Trump called a reporter, Robert Costa from the Washington Post. Trump told him that he had pulled the bill for the Republican “American Health Care Act" (AHCA).There would be no vote in the House of Representatives. The ACA would remain the law of the land.

Trump then video-taped an announcement which was aired on TV. He spoke in his usual rambling style. I was struck by how he repeated over and over that he was going to wait for the ACA to explode. I was laughing at Trump’s poor choice of words. The right word was implode, which means to collapse. I soon realized that Trump was actually using the right word to convey his intentions. He was saying that he wants to explode, blow-up, the ACA.

How Republicans Plan to “Explode” the ACA
Republicans have already been quietly undermining the ACA. As Nichol Kristoff said in a TV interview, they would “step on the oxygen hose.”  

Trump began this in his first week as president. He told every agency to stop all financial outlays that they could within the bounds of the law. They could cut-off funds or delay them, all with the goal of preventing the smooth operation of this program. .

Why are insurance agencies withdrawing from the ACA market? It is because Republicans passed a bill that withdrew the subsidies that were supposed to protect insurance companies from the risk they would incur by the sudden influx of people with pre-existing conditions. These subsidies were supposed to last ten years to allow the market to stabilize as more healthy people entered the pool of insured.

More laws and action to explode the ACA are sure to be coming. The Democrats and the media have failed to keep the American public aware of this.

How Republicans Dodged a Bullet 

Paul Ryan cancelled the vote in the House of Representatives to avoid the humiliation of having it fail, bigly (as Trump would say). According to news reports, about 30 to 40 Republicans were going to vote “No.”  If they held a vote, even more Republicans might have voted against it because they would not want to be on record voting for a failed bill.

Since there is no record of votes, no Republican has to face the voters with an on-the- record vote on this highly unpopular bill. Only 17% of Americans were in favor of this bill. I can’t think of any bill with lower public support.

This bill was put together in a slapdash fashion in just a few weeks. There were no hearings to allow for testimony from stakeholders like insurance companies, doctors and hospitals, and patients. 

As the bill started to look doomed, panic set in--Ryan kept making the bill worse and worse as he tried to appease the Freedom Caucus. (Maher called them “the artist formerly known at the Tea Party.”) However when he appeased the extreme right wing of the Republican Party, he then had to add sweeteners for the more moderate Republicans from swing districts who feared losing their elections in 2018 if they voted for this draconian bill.      

  
HealthCare Services
The 10 Essential Services Insurance Companies Would No Longer Have to Provide If Republicans Succeed in Passing a "Repeal and Replace" Bill.

Trump Tried to Put the Blame on Democrats
In his rambling speech, Trump repeatedly said that no Democrats were willing to vote for the bill. I nearly fell off my couch laughing. 

Here's why the claim is laughabloe.

  • When the ACA was passed, not a single Republican voted for it.
  • The Democrats were never asked to support the bill.
  • The Republicans have a 44 person majority in the House of Representatives. They surely didn’t need votes from Democrats. Even with this large majority they could not get enough votes.

  
Trump and Ryan Lied About the “Death Spiral”
Republicans constantly say that the ACA is in a “death spiral.” This is not true, despite the Republican efforts to kill it.  Ahe ACA is not imploding.

  • There were 12.4 million new sign-ups for 2017.
  • The CBO reports that the program is stable.  
  • Politifacts rates Ryan’s claim about the ACA failing as “mostly false” saying “health care costs have risen more slowly since the law took effect and the law has met its major goal of getting more people insured -- an estimated 20 million. That’s not a failure.”

The Art of No-Deal
Trump is very fond of telling everyone that he is a great deal-maker.  Yet, he failed miserably 

Trump is nothing but a con-man.  I am amazed that the people who supported him could not see this. His ridiculous pie-in-the-sky promises were never backed up with any actual explanation of how he would accomplish them

Just look at the bill that just failed.

  • Trump promised everybody would be covered—this bill would have meant that 24 million people would lose their insurance. 
  • He said his plan would cost much less. This bill would have raised premiums. 
  • He said the plan would be fantastic. This bill would have provided fewer benefits.


Maher said, “Trump is worse than a used-car salesman, because with a used car salesman at least you get a car.” Trump supporters are getting nothing.


  • ·Repeal and Replace: Failed
  •  The Muslim Ban: The courts have blocked it. Twice.
  •  The Wall, Tax Cuts (for the middle class) , and Jobs: We can wait and see, but so far  there is no evidence that he will accomplish any of this.


Trump Con-Man

The failure of Trump’s first bill does not bode well for future success.

Republicans have learned that they can oppose Trump and win. They need have no fear of him or his “mean tweets.”

Democrats have learned that if they stay unified, they can win.  

Next Steps for Democrats
Trump (in the midst of blaming Democrats for his failure) sort of indicated that he was open to working with Democrats. They should call his bluff on this. Come to Trump with a bill that will undo Republican sabotage and fix some of the problems with the ACA.

Democrats should push for a single payer—Medicare-For- Allplan. 

Before there was Obama Care, there was RomneyCare in the state of Massachusetts. It worked so well that it was the model for the ACA. States like New York and California should start their own plan.

You can use a bot to send a fax to senators and representatives. Text the word RESIST to 50409. Follow instructions and a fax will be sent. I tried it. I wanted to fax Marco Rubio, and I did. But I think the same fax went to others. Next time I will write my message in more generic terms. For instance "Stop efforts to destroy ACA" works for both Dems and Republicans. 

***

Do you know how ObamaCare benefits every American?  ObamaCare (ACA) Benefits You Even if You Don't Know It

When Donald Trump took office, he swore "to faithfully uphold  the laws". Now, he hinting that he will subvert them by withholding funds for the subsidies. Read about it here. Donald Trump Dangles 



CLICK HERE

The book is divided into three parts. In Part I, Emanuel gives us the history of the American health care system. In Part II, he reports on the efforts to reform the system., In Part III, he tries to predict the future for this bill. (The book was written in 2015.) Some of his predictions were right on, but others missed the mark. Crystal-ball gazing is always hazardous.

Just a note: You can show your support for my posts by using the above link when you purchase this or any other book. I thank you in advance.


© Catherine Giordano 2017

Monday, February 27, 2017

ObamaCare Benefits You (Even If You Don't Know It)

ObamaCare
Many people are unaware of all the benefits of ObamaCare.
The Affordable Care Act (also known as ACA or ObamaCare) benefits everyone, not just the 20 million people who have bought their insurance on an exchange or the millions who were able to qualify for Medicaid. Its repeal will hurt everyone in one way or another.

It is not a perfect program, but neither was Social Security and Medicare when they first started. The ACA, like these other programs, may need a few tweaks.  

The individual aspects of the ACA are mostly popular. The part people don’t like is the mandate that says everyone must have insurance coverage or pay a fine when they file their income tax return.

Unfortunately, without the mandate, the whole system falls apart. Take away the mandate, and all of their ACA-provided benefits—and they are many—will become untenable.

BENEFITS

Young People Benefit

Young people get to stay on their parent’s insurance until the age of 26 instead of being cut loose when they turn 19. This is a great benefit since many young people are in college and don’t have jobs that would provide insurance.

Medicare Enrollees Benefit

Are you on Medicare? If so, the ACA is providing you with many benefits. he ACA made many changes to Medicare that benefit enrollees.

Dismantling ACA would likely mean higher premiums and higher deductibles or the 57 million senior citizens and disabled Americans enrolled in the program. The typical Medicare beneficiary is paying about $700 less in premiums and cost sharing this year because of slower growth in costs.

The ACA slowed the growth of payment rates to hospitals and other providers. Repealing the ACA would increase Medicare spending by $802 billion over 10 years, according to estimates by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. Obviously, these increased costs would mean higher premiums for enrollees or for taxpayers in general.

People who are on Medicare are also getting lower-cost prescription drugs. Additionally, the “donut hole” in prescription coverage is shrinking and will end by 2020.

The infamous “donut hole” meant that prescription drugs were covered up to a certain amount and then the person had to pay 100% of prescription costs. Since the ACA was enacted .in 2010, more than 11 million people have saved an average of more than $2,100 a person on prescription drugs. The donut hole would return if Obamacare were repealed.

Under the ACA, Medicare enrollees receive free preventative benefits, such as screenings for breast and colorectal cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. This provision would be gone if the ACA was repealed.

Slower Cost Increases

The health reform law has slowed the growth of payment rates to hospitals and other providers.

Of course, there is still some increase in the cost of premiums and co-pays each year. That was happening before the ACA also. The important thing is that the rise in costs has been slowed.

No More “Pre-Existing Condition” Exclusions

Formerly anyone who was sick or who had previously been sick with a serious disease (like cancer or heart disease) would be refused healthcare insurance. Now they must be treated like everyone else

The ACA mandates that insurance companies spend 80% of the money they get from premiums on care. Some people get refund checks from their insurance company for excess payment. This keeps costs down because insurance companies can't spend the money they get from premiums on big bonuses and other wasteful "overhead" costs.


No Annual or Life Time Caps

Previously insurers would only pay up to a certain amount. If you had a very serious disease you could be forced into bankruptcy because you could not pay the high costs of the care needed.

The law also capped the amount of out of pocket expense, Right now after you reach a certain amount in annual expenses, your insurance pays 100%


Free Contraceptives and Medical Tests

Many people are getting free contraceptives, mammograms, colonoscopies and cholesterol tests.

Free contraceptives help keep costs down because pregnancy is expensive.

The free tests help keep medical costs down and save lives because disease can be discovered at an early stage when it is more easily cured.

Women Are Treated Equally

Previously women were charged higher premiums than men. Now women and men pay the same premium.

Older People Are Not Forced to Pay Super-High Premiums

Older people can be asked to pay higher premiums than younger people. However, the amount is capped at three times the cost paid by younger people.

Mental Illness is Treated the Same as Any Other Illness

Previously insurers could refuse to cover mental illness or they would charge higher co-pays. Now all illnesses are treated the same.

Small Businesses Save on Premiums

A small business which provided insurance can no longer be slapped with super-high premiums if their workers are older or sicker.

Also small businesses who could not afford to provide health insurance can now receive subsidies for proving health insurance.

Small businesses can better compete with larger companies for employees because they can offer health insurance.

Small Business Start-Ups

Previously, someone who wanted to leave a corporate job and start his or her own business could not do so because they could not afford to give up the health insurance benefit provided by their employer.

Your Employer Must Provide You with Insurance

The ACA said an employer with 50 or more employees must provide health insurance to its workers. You benefit from the group rate so your premiums are likely lower.

Without the ACA, you might not be able to find affordable insurance on your own, especially if you had a pre-existing condition.

Many of the benefits of ACA, like no annual or lifetime caps on benefits, apply to employer-provided group plans. 

Medicaid Expansion for Low Income People

Before the ACA, for the most part, only low-income children, pregnant women, parents, the disabled, and the elderly could be covered by Medicaid. The health reform law opened up the program to all low-income adults with incomes of up to 138% of the poverty line

Since Medicaid is a state program, states had to opt in. The District of Columbia and 31 states opted into the program. It is very good for the state’s budget because the federal government covered the total cost for the first three years and 90% of costs thereafter.

Subsidies to Low and Moderate Income People

The ACA set up health insurance exchanges to allow Americans to shop for individual policies and created federal subsidies so people with low or moderate incomes could buy policies for less than 10% of their income.

Another set of subsidies limit the deductibles and co-payments for lower-income policyholders.

Higher Income People Also Benefit

If your income is too high to qualify for a subsidy, you still receive all of the other benefits. 

NEGATIVE IMPACTS


Yes, Some People are Negatively Impacted

People who were uninsured may resent being forced to have insurance. If they have a serious illness, they will change their mind in a hurry.

People who had “junk policies” now have to buy policies that meet certain standards, and this policy may cost more than what they had before. If you had one of these junk policies, you thought you were insured, but if you had gotten sick, you would have quickly found out that your out-of-pocket costs would have been very high.

Some employers who were not providing health insurance now have to provide it. 


THE MANDATE


Unfortunately, without the mandate, the whole system falls apart. Take away the mandate, and everyone will lose all of their ACA-provided benefits.

Insurance is often mandated by the government. If you own an automobile you must have auto insurance. If you have a mortgage loan, your bank insists that you have homeowners insurance. Why should heath insurance be different?

Without a mandate, some people might just wait until they got sick to buy insurance.  (Without the premiums from healthy people and with the added costs of more sick people, insurance companies would collapse.)

Young people especially might feel that they don’t need insurance. It is true that they are less likely to get sick than older people, but if they were one of the unlucky ones, they could be forced into bankruptcy. If they were too sick to work, they could be fired and lose their employer-provided insurance.

The mandate helps keep insurance costs and medical costs down. When patients are insured, providers are sure they will be paid. Previously, the losses incurred because of freeloaders had to be made up by charging everyone else more.  

CONCLUSION


I think nearly every American is getting some benefits from the ACA.  I think people are taking these benefits for granted or they are unaware that they are getting them.

Dismantling the ACA would affect the entire economy in a negative way. The health care industry would suffer the most, but the ripple effects would hurt every aspect of the economy.

Republicans offered replacement plans. They can be called “The Twice the Cost, Half the Benefits Plan.” Plus millions will lose their health insurance entirely. Truth is, if there were a better way to do this, someone would have put forth the plan by now.  All that needs to be done is a few fixes to make the ACA work better.

Even some Republicans in Congress don't like these new plans.

Tell Congress: NO REPEAL! NO REPLACE! 

Here is where you can find the phone number for members of Congress. Click this link. 

Call Your Senator: Phone Numbers for Every Office of Every Senator



More Information

Here is some information about how Republicans are sabotaging the ACA to force it into failure. Click the link to read the article.

How Republicans quietly sabotaged Obamacare long before Trump came into office

Democrats had a victory when the TrumpCare bill went down in flames. Now Republicans will attempt to destroy it with Plan B. Trumpcare Plan B for ObamaCare: Destroy It

If you want to know more about the ACA, the best book to read is Reinventing American Health Care: How the Affordable Care Act Will Improve Our Terribly Complex, Blatantly Unjust, Outrageously Expensive, Grossly Inefficient, Error Prone System by Ezekiel Emanuel, an oncologist and bioethicist.  

CLICK HERE

The book is divided into three parts. In Part I, Emanuel gives us the history of the American health care system. In Part II, he reports on the efforts to reform the system., In Part III, he tries to predict the future for this bill. (The book was written in 2015.) Some of his predictions were right on, but others missed the mark. Crystal-ball gazing is always hazardous.   


Just a note: You can show your support for my posts by using the above link when you purchase this or any other book. I thank you in advance.   

© Catherine Giordano 2017

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Trump Colluded with the Russians: What Must Now Be Done

Michael Moore: Trump Colluding with  Russians
Michael Moore: "Trump colluding with the Russians to throw the election to him."

I’m going to quote a post by Michael Moore in full. My only comment is that you must contact your congressperson and demand a special investigator. (Republicans cannot investigate themselves.)  

Trump’s election is the fruit of a poisonous tree and it must not be allowed to stand. This is a Constitutional crisis like no other.   

This is what Michael Moore posted:

“Stunning bombshell right now from the New York Times -- Trump campaign chair, campaign officials and Trump associates made repeated contacts and calls with Russian intelligence during the YEAR leading up to the election.
“It's what we all suspected. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what was going on: TRUMP COLLUDING WITH THE RUSSIANS TO THROW THE ELECTION TO HIM.
“{So this is what I want done NOW:
“1. I and tens of millions of Americans demand that the weak and spineless Democrats bring Congress to a halt until investigative hearings are held and impeachment charges are filed. We don't want to hear you Dems huff and puff and grandstand and take symbolic actions. We demand that you halt all actions being taken by an illegitimately elected government until this matter is resolved.
“2. Attorney General J Beauregard Sessions must immediately appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate these potentially treasonous acts.
“3. So-Called President Trump could save the country a lot of time, money and pain by stepping down tonight.
“4. Somehow, our judicial system has to find a way to make restitution to this country. Pence can't be president as he, too, was elected under this same fraud. The court has to rule either that the President is the winner of the popular vote OR the election must be held over. The Republicans-- the beneficiaries of this treason --cannot be allowed to hold on to the power by default. If it turns out there's a traitor in the White House, the judicial branch must find a fair, peaceful way to un-do and then re-do the election of 2016.”
Source: https://www.facebook.com/mmflint


2/24/17 Update: The Trump administration is improperly trying to interfere with the FBI investigation concerning Trump's collusion with the Russians. The Republicans in Congress are doing everything they can to derail the investigation. Obviously, there is something nefarious going on. If Trump et. al. were innocent, they would want the investigation to proceed to prove his innocence.

Read the dossier prepared by a former British M-6 agent, Christopher Steele, and see why Trump may be colluding with the Russians. CLICK HERE.
Keith Olberman sums up the case for Collusion with the Russians very well.



Plot to Hack America
The Plot to Hack America

Malcom Nance, a globally recognized counter-terrorism expert and Intelligence Community member, publishedThe Plot to Hack America in October 2016 Consequently, he can’t answer about what happened on Election Day, but his research and expertise certainly shows that it is possible that Russia hacked the election. But, perhaps they didn’t need to hack the election itself—they accomplished their goal with Wiki-Leaks.

Devil's Bargain Joshua Green
The Devil's Bargain


Joshua Green is a reporter who was there from the start. Read his compelling inside story of the partnership between Steve Bannon and Donald Trump. It is the key to understanding the rise of the alt-right and the hidden forces behind the greatest upset in American political history. 

Just a note: You can show your support for my posts by using the above link when you purchase this or any other book. I thank you in advance.   


Friday, January 20, 2017

Dear Mr. Trump: You Work for Us Now!


Trump: You Work for Us Now
Dear Mr. Trump: You Work for Us Now 
Dear Mr. Trump:


Congratulations on being elected president. You work for us now!  We, the people, are your boss now.

You are entering your presidency with the lowest approval rating of any president since polling began. Only 32% approve of you. Since 46% of Americans voted for you, that means that a good chuck of your voters are having buyer’s remorse.

Even GWB, who will now be remembered as the second worst president in history, left office with a 33% approval rating. And that was in the midst of two failed wars that he lied us into and an economy on the brink of another Great Depression.

Do you want to continue living in Trump Tower?
Fuhgeddaboudit! You work for us now. And, we, the people, want you to live in the White House because that is where our presidents live.
.
You need to be close to the situation room in case there is an emergency. Plus it is unfair to ask the taxpayers to pay for your protection while living in New York City and for thr people of New York to have to put up with the disruption caused by having a president in residence full-time.  So you will just have to get used to living with a little less gold gilt.

Stop going to your Mar-A-Lago resort every weekend. The taxpayers have to pay for those trips and for secret service to protect Trump Tower, Mar-A-Lago. We don't like it. Pay for your own protection. 

By the way, you do realize that being president is not the kind of job that you can just phone it in, don’t you?
  
Do you want to have your daughter, Ivanka, and son-in-law, Jared in the White house to advise you?
Fuhgeddaboudit! You work for us now. And we, the people, do not like nepotism.

Do you want to have your sons run your business empire while you are president?
Fuhgeddaboudit! You work for us now. And, we, the people, do not like conflicts of interest. It will be impossible for you to act in the national interest if you have one eye on your business interests (or your family’s business interests).i. You must divest now! Your  assets must be placed in a blind trust. The income from the trust will be more than enough to assure your whole family of a comfortable living.

During the campaign, you said that you did not care about your business anymore. Making America great again was more important. Now it is put up or shut up time.

P.S. It is time to release your tax returns so that we, the people, can see exactly where you conflicts of interests are.
  
Do you want to continue to blame others for your mistakes?
Fuhgeddaboudit! You work for us now. And, we, the people, will hold you accountable, even when you are not technically to blame. From now on, everything anyone in your administration does that doesn’t turn out well, you will get the blame. Even if things go wrong that you have absolutely no control over, you will get the blame. And, if there is a terrorist attack in the United States or abroad, you will get the blame.

You were all too happy to place the blame for everything onto President Obama. Now you are the president, and you will get the blame.  

Do you want to pack your cabinet and staff with billionaires and Wall Street insiders?
Fuhgeddaboudit! You work for us now. And, we, the people, will hold you to your promise to “drain the swamp.”  And so far, you appear to be stuffing the swamp to the brim

We, the people, do not want appointments with dodgy ethical backgrounds. During the campaign you kept talking about how corrupt President Obama and Hillary Clinton were. Well you are president now, and it is time to put up or shut up.

Do you still think it is smart not to pay taxes?
Fuhgeddaboudit! You work for us now. And, we, the people want government services to continue. It is easy to rail about government spending when you have no responsibility. But just wait and see what happens when the social security checks are late. (And don’t even think about cutting back. The hounds of hell will seem like toy dogs compared to the hell that will rain down on you.)

You made a lot of promises. Build a wall, beef up the military, infrastructure improvements, jobs for everyone. Those things cost money. How will you pay for them if people don’t pay taxes? Wait, you promised to deliver all the goodies while lowering taxes. This I want to see.  

Do you still want to repeal and replace the ACA (Obamacare)?
 For the first time in American history, fewer than 10% of Americans are uninsured. Obamacare is deeply entrenched now. People like the benefits, no pre-existing conditions, no annual of lifetime caps, kids staying on their parent’s insurance until they are 26, subsidies for people who can’t afford insurance, mean and women treated equally, and a lot more.

So if you repeal the ACA, you had better be SURE that the replacement is ready and it offers the same benefits at lower cost. It is put up or shut up time.  

Do you want to continue attacking people for their race, gender, sexuality, etc?
Fuhgeddaboudit! You work for us now. And, we, the people, do not like hate speech. And we dislike hate actions even more. (Most of us, anyway.)

It is time to zip up your mouth (and your Twitter account) and remember that you are president of ALL Americans now.

If there are hate crimes in this country, the blame will fall on you.  

Do you want to play golf?
Fuhgeddaboudit! You work for us now. And, we, the people, do not like our presidents to be slackers. You were always complaining that President Obama played too much golf. Now you are president and you can start living up to the expectations you placed upon the former president. 

You are playing golf way more than Obama did. Cut it out. We are not paying you to play golf. And stop using meetings supposedly set up to discuss economic policy to boast about your golf prowess. We don't care. 

In short, you are no longer the boss; you are a public servant.
You work for us now. Everything you have done and everything you do now as president will be carefully examined.

You may not accept money from anyone privately; you may not accept gifts; and you may not accept favors that benefit you personally. You may not grope women, (with or without their consent). You must treat everyone fairly regardless of how persona
feelings. Yu must not expect privacy.

You must stop whining.  Although I fear that may be asking too much from you.

We are your boss now. And we will never let you forget it.


Sincerely,


The American People
January 20, 2017 




Devil's Bargain Joshua Green
The Devil's Bargain


Joshua Green is a reporter who was there from the start. Read his compelling inside story of the partnership between Steve Bannon and Donald Trump. It is the key to understanding the rise of the alt-right and the hidden forces behind the greatest upset in American political history. 

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Word-of- the-Year is “Surreal” In Donald Trump’s America

Surreal Statue of Liberty
The word-of-the-year for 2016 is "surreal."
Every year the folks who do the dictionaries choose a “Word of the Year.” For 2017, Merriam-Webster has chosen “surreal” and Oxford Dictionary has chosen “post-truth” It is easy to see that Donald Trump is the reason for those choices.

The dictionary definition of surreal is “marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream.” The word is used to express a reaction to something shocking or surprising; something we don’t want to believe, something that is beyond reality. Merriam-Webster chooses this word because of the high frequency of people looking up the definition of this word.

The Oxford Dictionary looks for a new word that adds significantly to the English language. It looks like they feel we are in a post-truth era. They define “post-truth.” as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”
  
Here are my suggestions for some other words of the year.

Normalize: It is a verb meaning “to make normal.” I don’t think I have ever heard the word used in everyday speech before. Now it is most commonly being used in connection with Donald Trump. He constantly does such outrageous things—you could describe them as both surreal and post-truth—things that are so far out of the bounds of what we consider normal behavior in politics and governance that we need to be careful not to normalize them, that is, to consider them as normal behavior.

Fake-News: It is noun used to represent a news story that looks like a truthful news story and appears to be from a legitimate news organization, but is actually totally untrue, a completely fabricated piece of political propaganda. This also is a term I have never heard before. During the presidential campaign of 2016, fake news was a potent weapon used primarily against Hillary Clinton and liberal causes. Fake-news has become a money-making industry. It is click-bait to conservatives who share it on social media making the creators of these lies very rich when their articles go viral.

The latest twist on fake news is that Republicans are calling real news “fake news.” For instance, data from the Congressional Budget Office was recently called fake news. It is Bizzaro World.

Trump-proof: This term can be used as either a verb or an adjective. It refers to actions taken to preserve the Obama legacy. President Obama is using executive action to create regulations that will be very difficult for Republicans to undo.

Egocentric/Narcissist: These are not new words, but I have rarely heard them used to describe a presidential candidate as often as they were used this year to describe Donald Trump. I believe if Trump was examined by a psychiatrist he would be diagnosed with “personality disorder,” and possible “sociopathic.”

Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear: These are the code names for the hackers Putin used to disrupt the election by hacking the emails of the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta. All the intelligence agencies I the U.S. are positive that the hacking was done at the behest of Putin. Only Donald Trump denies it which leads me to the last word for 2016—useful idiot.

Useful Idiot: The Russians were interfering with the presidential election because Putin evident wanted a “useful idiot as president. Among spies, a useful idiot is a person who betrays his country without even knowing it because he is too stupid to know it.

Now my nomination for the word of the year for 2018: Trumpism. This word is a noun used to describe governmental policies that are reckless and based on ignorance. It will be important not to normalize these surreal and post-truth polices and the fake-news that will be promoting them.


I’ve written this in a light-hearted way, but I am really really scared. People are going to die because we will have a fool for a president. I don't want to live in a surreal world. 


© Catherine Giordano 2017

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