We are back after a short hiatus, in which the team gave the elected officials some time to get better, figure it out, and earn the trust they asked for in November. How did that work out for us? Well, we’re back…
In a Washington, DC establishment–where abject mediocrity would invariably land as a freshening spring breeze–we are faced with a new array of assaults upon the integrity, community, security and prosperity of Americans. Even as the circus sends out clown after clown in the form of spokes-idiots to repeat the President’s lies, the cracks are beginning to show in the Presidential palisade. Here are but a few of the excellent bits of news out of Washington, DC since last we got together, and they are not in any particular order as they all spell bad news for the citizens of the 4th Indiana District, and well, all Americans if not the world at large.
- Who needs healthcare anyway? While he and his family are securely embraced in the complete coverage afforded members of the US House of Representatives, Congressman Rokita campaigned on the premise that no person in his district would lose access to healthcare. What he did in the last 100 or so days is fervently support the failed American Health Care Act which would have removed accessible healthcare from over 300,000 Hoosiers. Thankfully enough members of Congress realized what an absolute dumpster fire the hastily-put-together legislation was and it was yanked before it could be voted down. Here are some of the more alarming attributes of the bill.
- The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office scored the bill, and its revisions, and it removed healthcare from 24,000,000 Americans by the year 2020.
- It removed life-saving health care from hundreds of thousands of women.
- It disenfranchised and dis-included people of alternative lifestyles, genders, and identities
- It increased the National Debt and increased the burden of health care upon the states.
- It offered a bait-and-switch game of increasing the limits on Health Savings Accounts. This is of no value to middle and lowerclass Americans who do not have extra money to save in these accounts.
- It meant that a 66 year old grandmother in West Central Indiana who received $26,000.00 a year in Social Security would need to pay $14,400 per year in healthcare premiums for a high deductible plan that did not cover many common, major ailments.
Does the ACA need some work? It does. Is repealing it without a replacement that makes sense and improves the quality of healthcare a good idea? It is not? It is time for a single payer system that uses less than 6% of its total premiums for administrative costs. It is, and it is called Medicare. Your Anthem plan directs 39% of the premium to administrative costs. The numbers are what they are.
- The President of the United States signed a death warrant for the plant Earth. Yeah, I know, drama much? But in the end we have just watched the most basic protections of our environment signed away. Clean air? Optional. Clean water? Get a filter. Global warming? 2 million scientists must be wrong and Mr. “Art of the Deal” must be right—Climate Change is a myth created by the Chinese… Oh, wait… The President signed the bill saying it would clear the way to massive job growth. Really?! Where? If you recall, Mr. Trump’s record on accurately forecasting jobs is a bit iffy. He told us we’d see 35,000 jobs by pushing through the big pipeline projects—in violation of long standing treaties with the impacted Native American population. In reality, the pipelines top out at 3,000 temporary construction jobs and 35 permanent ones. 35. Not 35,000. With math skills like these one does not have to speculate much as to how Mr. Trump bankrupted 4 of his companies. Just sayin…
- The Tweeter in Chief was feeling the heat of a bad week and openly accused a former US President of “Wire tapping” Trump Tower. Did the President have his head with him on the day he sent those tweets? Members of the DOJ and the National Intelligence communities alike dismissed these accusations as impossible. A President does not have the authority to make such an accusation. Then Faux Fox News comes out with an alternative scheme that it was the British Intelligence services doing the wire-tapping. Does anyone know the color of the sky on their planet? If antagonizing Britain wasn’t enough, the President followed up on the work of his friends at Fox by accosting German Chancellor Merkel with this fake news during their joint press conference.
- The Trump Job Plan is to give White House jobs to his extended family. You would think that the Tweeter in Chief could figure out it looks bad to give unqualified family members senior positions in the national administration. We can agree or disagree between liberals and conservatives, but I’d think we could all get together on “No nepotism in the White House.” Aside from the voluminous conflicts of interest at stake, having his kids working in the White House has been a train wreck from day one. Between Beltway Barbie pitching Ivanka’s products during talk shows to the new Chief Innovation Officer who will make America great again by modeling government after typical Trump businesses—you know, the ones that went bankrupt four times, were sued over 500 times, and failed to pay approved invoices over 1,000 times?
- The most expensive private school voucher ever granted. I tend to believe in leaving the kids alone in these blogs and I will do so here. There is a parental choice being made by the First Lady to stay in New York City so that her 10 year old son may stay in his private school. In the first year of a Trump Presidency, this decision will cost the tax payer in excess of $128,000,000 in Extra Security costs. Sorry, NYC, I do not think the President is picking up the check this week. On a side note, he *is* picking up his paycheck as President, despite promises to not take a salary. He’ll get that back to us later I expect…
- Speaking of Education and Voucher Systems… Come on, folks, you knew I was going there eventually. So we began the Trump Era by hiring a person to lead and manage our Public Education System who has not experienced the public education system as a student, educator, or administrator. Betsy DeVos is a monument to the version of the American Dream than includes being born to wealth, marrying more wealth, and then sticking it to the little guy while not having any professional qualifications at all. Her proposed plans include diverting $57,000,000 from public school districts in Indiana alone. The funds will go to Vouchers that parents living near affluent private schools can re-direct their children into. The 87% of public school students who do not have access to private education will have nearly 60 million fewer dollars in support of teachers, training, programs, and facilities.
- Who needs public approval anyway? As of this week the President’s Job Approval ratings have wandered to around 38% and have been taking a pasting steadily during the first 75 days in office. With only 38% of the Nation believing he is Making America Great Again, that leaves the other 62% waiting for him to Make Amazing Gaffe’s Again. As always, we see Tweets and Press-Briefings that ignore the numbers, call them fake news, and insist everyone in America just loves what is going on. Are there people in America that agree with the President? There are. Are there loads of apologists who turn a blind eye to gaffe after gaffe? There are. We elected one of them to represent the Indiana 4th in Congress. If you watch the Facebook of Representative Todd Rokita, you see and endless series of trips to the Presidential trough to drink the Kool Aid. He praises every single Executive Order (or act of Congress) that takes away education, insurance, healthcare, jobs, and security. These are all items he promised us he would defend. Oops.
- Why Elected Officials should be willing to meet their constituents. There is a lot of noise around the country about Representatives and Senators being unwilling to receive feedback in person from their constituents. It happens here in the 4th as well. When his home town and county invited him to a town hall to hear the needs, concerns, and considerations of his constituents, Mr. Todd Rokita declined to attend and his staff said he did not feel comfortable in such a dangerous atmosphere. Dangerous? Really? Dude, you won with 70% of the vote in your heavily gerrymandered district. Should be mostly smiles and such. You might face a tough question or two, but that is what elected officials are *supposed* to do. It is your job. If you are not going to do your *job* you should return your salary. Can we have it now, please?
- Enough with the wall. The President’s budget—vetted by our excellent Representative Rokita—includes a 1 billion dollar ask for the Wall prototypes on the Border with Mexico. A billion?! For prototypes? The total cost to build, maintain, and support a wall along the border exceeds 40 billion dollars. A wall or fence that extends 6 feet below ground and 30 feet above ground means two things. We will see an increase the sales of 32 foot ladders and drug kingpins will dig their tunnels as always, 8-12 feet below ground. Right under the wall we are expected to pay for because Mexico isn’t having it. Also, the 3.2 Billion a year in corn purchases by Mexico will be redirected to Brazil. I wonder how that will play with Midwest corn farmers.
- The Accounting Firm of Trump, Putin, Flynn and associates. This we have to call a developing story because the developments get crazier by the day.
- Michael Flynn had to resign his post as National Security Advisor when it was revealed he had lied to the Vice President about his inappropriate discussions with the Russian Ambassador about lifting sanctions if Trump won. Now he wants immunity in order to testify before congress because he “has a story to tell.” Anyone but me think there are some folks cringing at the White House? It is worth noting that in 2016 Mr. Flynn commented on immunity for testimony. He said “when you are given immunity, that means you probably committed a crime.”
- Rep Nunes, chair of the House Intelligence committee—and Trump Transition team member—has been end running due process, Congressional etiquette, and the American people by thwarting the investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election cycle. He canceled all meeting and hearing when former Acting Attorney general Yates offered to testify. Please notice she was not asking for immunity either.
- Russian President Putin has characterized any theories of Russian interference as “fictional, illusory, provocations and lies.” In the meantime a long line of 11 Russian operatives have come down with a bad case of death and will be unavailable to speak to the media or testify at any proceedings. Flynn does not need immunity he needs a bodyguard or two.
- A more-effective technique in getting to the bottom of who in the Trump team colluded with the Russians might be to eliminate those who didn’t and round up the rest. We’ll be two years finding out all the nasty stuff that went on. What we have heard so far makes G. Gordon Liddy look smooth. Those of you, who do not know who that guy is, read up on the Nixon Watergate Scandal. That is the guy who did all the dirty work. We are about to find out what the current dirty work was and who did it. The Tweeter in Chief is on a rant as I type this–saying the hearings are unfair witch hunts. Will he be tweeting that at the Impeachment hearings?
That’s all for now folks. Stay safe, stay alert, and for heaven’s sake fact check every wild story you hear. Especially if the president is Tweeting about it.