Sunday, October 08, 2017

25th Amendment Section 4 now

The 25th Amendment of the United States Constitution includes these words in Section 4:

"Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President."

I'm sure mental instability is a valid reason for the Veep and either a majority of the Cabinet or the House to invoke this clause.

Let's use just one example of how President Trump sees reality.

This is what he says happened:


Here's the video:



Compare the two, and see if you don't think the President is suffering from a severe form of self-delusion or cognitive dissonance.

Friday, September 29, 2017

No vote on Healthcare


The GOP threw in the towel this week, so we won't be seeing a vote on Trump's campaign promise to "Repeal and Replace".

I feel kind of bad for the Trumpster. He's floundering badly, and even his strongholds like Alabama are voting against him, with Trump's personally backed candidate getting his ass whipped by a twice-removed judge who believes in biblical literalness.

Not really. I don't feel bad at all for Trump.

I wouldn't piss on that fucker if he was on fire!

This won't be the last shot at repeal. Each Congressional session has some bullshit about reconciliation that allows a simple majority to make major changes to laws that were put in place by a super majority (60 votes) earlier. It's sort of a sore loser loophole that allows hateful Republican shitbags to try to fuck up things at least twice a year.

This isn't done.

I'm guessing it'll NEVER be done.

The battle continues.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Healthcare vote will come down to the wire

Don't let the latest news assure you that the GOP's vindictive "repeal and replace" bill is dead. There's still time for the GOP to bribe or sway a critical "on the fence" vote and give them the necessary 50 votes to provide VP Pence with the tiebreaker and change the way Americans access healthcare for years to come.

The next six days will be critical in how our nation decides to provide protections for their people. Are corporations more valuable than the collective millions of individuals in their grand scheme of things?

The irony of all this is that if the repeal bill passes, the vast majority of GOP voters who supported Trump will immediately or soon after be negatively affected by this law. The very people who supported this misguided bill will lose benefits or be charged so much to cover pre-existing conditions that they'll effective be priced out of insurance coverage.

I've been to Wal-Marts in red states. These people are not in the best physical shape. They are going to need coverage sooner or later for major conditions. And my fear is that they'll only then realize that voting for a party that places billionaire corporation's concerns over them might be a bad idea.

I'm not going to breathe until the noble month of October begins.

Friday, September 22, 2017

McCain pisses off Trump...again!


With just a week left before the reconciliation deadline, today Sen. John McCain publicly stated he will be voting against the latest attempt to repeal the ACA, commonly referred to as Obamacare.

President Trump responded with a Tweet, stating "John McCain is an experienced and honest legislator, and I applaud his decision even though I don't agree with it."

No, of COURSE our Commander-in-Grief didn't say that!

Instead, he publicly blasted McCain's decision at one of Trump's typically masturbatory "campaign" rallies in Alabama today, saying "...that was an unexpected thing. Terrible. Honestly terrible."

Trump then went on to rant about the NFL and their terrible policies designed to help prevent concussions.

Because, we all know this, Donald Trump is an asshole.

The thing that worries me is that there's still an ENTIRE week before the September 30th deadline for Trump's corrupt band of savage misanthropes to scheme another way of stripping people of their healthcare.

That's a lot of time for them to bully, threaten, or bribe any one of the crucial three GOP "No" votes to keep them under 50 votes (with VP Pence, that mama's boy, as the tiebreaker).

I'm not gonna fully breathe until I say "rabbit rabbit rabbit" on October 1st!

(...and now you know why I put that image up there!)

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Trump is still president


Just checking in here.

As of today the tangerine nightmare is still in the White House.

That is, when he's not fucking off to his Florida shit-hole or his overpriced Jersey toxic waste dump.

I hope to look back on this post before the end of this year, and marvel at just how bad it was under his leadership at this moment in time.



Sunday, August 06, 2017

Sunday Night Music Club v.50

Friday night I saw Donald Fagan and the Nightflyers at the Cap Theater in Port Chester NY.

Fagan put together an insanely talented group of musicians to back him, and they were amazing. They played a mix of solo stuff along with some classic Steely Dan songs, and a few memorable covers, such as the Grateful Dead's hit Shakedown Street.

Fagan's 1982 album "The Nightfly" is one of my absolute favorites, and I was thrilled when they opened the show with "Green Flower Street", and later performed "The Nightfly", "I.G.Y." and "New Frontier".

Of course, songs like "Green Earring", "Black Friday", and "Josie" were enthusiastically received, and a high point was the early Dan hit "Dirty Work", sung by the lead guitarist rather than Donald Fagan. I think that's a classy move, to not try and take ownership of a song featuring a towering vocal performance by David Palmer back in an early incarnation of Steely Dan.

Nightfly was clearly the solo album Fagan likes best, as he only played one track each from Kamakiriad and Sunken Condos (Countermoon, a funky tune; and Weather in my Head, not my fave track from the album).

So here may be a rare repeat performance of a track that I think I featured a while ago. I'm not really sure, and I'm not interested in searching for it right now, but anyway, it's still one of my favorite Donald Fagan videos.

From The Nightfly, this is New Frontier:





Saturday, July 29, 2017

Senate gives Trump another YUUUUUGE loss

Last night I watched as late as I could, seeing as how I had to work today, so I missed the final vote by about 1/2 hour.

I woke up this morning expecting to be all rage-filled and angsty, and I deliberately avoided looking at my phone (I pretty much don't ever turn on the TV anymore) until after I poured Joyce & me a cup of coffee.

Imagine my surprise when Joyce said they defeated the bill, as she'd checked her phone while I was downstairs!

This is a GIANT kick in the balls to Donald J. Trump, but that pales in comparison to the importance of preserving the most vital sections of the ACA.

Today John McCain received a lot of deserved accolades. But let's not forget for even one second the 48 Democrats who stood together against this abomination, and the two Republican senators who fought it from DAY ONE, Sens. Collins and Murkowski.

There was a lot of courage on display last night. Along with 49 examples of the very worst that the American political system has barfed up and put in positions of too much power.

The chickens are coming home to roost. 2018 will see the power dynamic in this nation undergo a dramatic shift. And with it, possibly see the death of the hard-line GOP majority.

Friday, June 23, 2017

This bill will do you harm

President Barack Obama just delivered a blistering retort to the Trump efforts to destroy our healthcare protections. In a 1000-word Facebook post, Obama detailed exactly what the Republicans are attempting to do to middle-class Americans, and how it will basically put everyone except the wealthiest Americans at serious risk.

Read this reasoned discussion of the issue, and decide if the Trump plan is what's best for Americans.

------------------------------

Our politics are divided. They have been for a long time. And while I know that division makes it difficult to listen to Americans with whom we disagree, that’s what we need to do today.

I recognize that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has become a core tenet of the Republican Party. Still, I hope that our Senators, many of whom I know well, step back and measure what’s really at stake, and consider that the rationale for action, on health care or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did.

We didn’t fight for the Affordable Care Act for more than a year in the public square for any personal or political gain – we fought for it because we knew it would save lives, prevent financial misery, and ultimately set this country we love on a better, healthier course.

Nor did we fight for it alone. Thousands upon thousands of Americans, including Republicans, threw themselves into that collective effort, not for political reasons, but for intensely personal ones – a sick child, a parent lost to cancer, the memory of medical bills that threatened to derail their dreams.

And you made a difference. For the first time, more than ninety percent of Americans know the security of health insurance. Health care costs, while still rising, have been rising at the slowest pace in fifty years. Women can’t be charged more for their insurance, young adults can stay on their parents’ plan until they turn 26, contraceptive care and preventive care are now free. Paying more, or being denied insurance altogether due to a preexisting condition – we made that a thing of the past.

We did these things together. So many of you made that change possible.

At the same time, I was careful to say again and again that while the Affordable Care Act represented a significant step forward for America, it was not perfect, nor could it be the end of our efforts – and that if Republicans could put together a plan that is demonstrably better than the improvements we made to our health care system, that covers as many people at less cost, I would gladly and publicly support it.

That remains true. So I still hope that there are enough Republicans in Congress who remember that public service is not about sport or notching a political win, that there’s a reason we all chose to serve in the first place, and that hopefully, it’s to make people’s lives better, not worse.

But right now, after eight years, the legislation rushed through the House and the Senate without public hearings or debate would do the opposite. It would raise costs, reduce coverage, roll back protections, and ruin Medicaid as we know it. That’s not my opinion, but rather the conclusion of all objective analyses, from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which found that 23 million Americans would lose insurance, to America’s doctors, nurses, and hospitals on the front lines of our health care system.

The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill. It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else. Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums and higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover the costs, even as their plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care, or expensive prescriptions. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely.

Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm. And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.

I hope our Senators ask themselves – what will happen to the Americans grappling with opioid addiction who suddenly lose their coverage? What will happen to pregnant mothers, children with disabilities, poor adults and seniors who need long-term care once they can no longer count on Medicaid? What will happen if you have a medical emergency when insurance companies are once again allowed to exclude the benefits you need, send you unlimited bills, or set unaffordable deductibles? What impossible choices will working parents be forced to make if their child’s cancer treatment costs them more than their life savings?

To put the American people through that pain – while giving billionaires and corporations a massive tax cut in return – that’s tough to fathom. But it’s what’s at stake right now. So it remains my fervent hope that we step back and try to deliver on what the American people need.

That might take some time and compromise between Democrats and Republicans. But I believe that’s what people want to see. I believe it would demonstrate the kind of leadership that appeals to Americans across party lines. And I believe that it’s possible – if you are willing to make a difference again. If you’re willing to call your members of Congress. If you are willing to visit their offices. If you are willing to speak out, let them and the country know, in very real terms, what this means for you and your family.

After all, this debate has always been about something bigger than politics. It’s about the character of our country – who we are, and who we aspire to be. And that’s always worth fighting for.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Rosa DeLauro lauds selection of Mueller as Special Council


Robert Mueller served as the head of the FBI for several presidents, and he is praised by members of both parties. I'm fine with him being selected as a Special Council by the DOJ to investigate the Trump-Russia links and other issues.

But I'm kind of bothered by the term "Special Council". Shouldn't he be considered a "Special Prosecutor"? Can someone explain to me the legal definitions of both phrases?

In 1973, Archibald Cox was asked to be Special Prosecutor by Elliot Richardson, who was up for Secretary of Defense, and the Democratic Senate pressured him to get Cox to accept the appointment or Richardson wouldn't get SecDef.

Well, we're living in a very different time...one where we don't have an opposition party in charge of either the House or the Senate as we did back in '73. So in response to the growing media outcry over Trump's dubious deals, the Republican-owned DOJ has made this appointment to Mueller.

And he accepted.

It makes we wonder if this was another terrible decision by a president who makes six terrible decisions before breakfast!

Mueller is the kind of guy who will likely be guided by neither politics nor special interests. He'll hopefully seek only the truth.

And this will make the next several months very interesting! There are several ways it will play out.

1) Mueller will investigate all those areas Donald dreads, and will be blocked from getting any cooperation. And it will look terrible for the president.

2) Mueller will find some damning evidence that Donald did indeed break the law. And it will look terrible for the president.

3) Mueller's investigation will bring about serious impeachment talk, and Donald will fire Mueller. And a modern-day Saturday Night Massacre will look fucking TERRIBLE for the president!

So, that's some of what may transpire. We'll see. Anyway, here's my awesome Congresswoman's statement in favor of Mueller's appointment:

DeLauro Statement on Appointment of Robert Mueller as Special Counsel:

WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) today released the following statement regarding the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as Special Counsel to oversee the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“From day one, the Trump Administration has been mired in scandal. The appointment of Robert Mueller as Special Counsel to oversee the investigation into Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. election is a critical step in a long process. Director Mueller has a long history of distinguished service and integrity.

“We still need an independent commission to investigate Russia’s involvement in our electoral processes, to educate the American public on this assault on our democracy, and to work to develop ways to protect our country in the future.”

delauro.house.gov

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday Night Music Club v.49

David Bowie's 1997 song "I'm Afraid Of Americans" has a certain resonance during today's political climate. Much of the world agrees with Bowie on this point, although he was aiming for a more sardonic tone here.

The video, featuring Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails, is full of violent and aggressive symbolism. Bowie and Reznor collaborated on several projects, and I was lucky to see David Bowie and NIN perform together during a late '90s tour. I had a general admission ticket to the venue, but I crafted some fake wristbands from a promotional magazine that roughly matched the color of the bands given to people who could access the floor directly in front of the stage, and it fooled the bouncers enough that I was able to get it. So I got to see Bowie perform some classics from his past from about 20 feet away, along with a few duets with Reznor and NIN.