NO REPRESSION! VOTE! – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Repress


In a few minutes, we are out of here to go vote. I hope that’s what you are doing today, too. No repression in Massachusetts. We aren’t that kind of state. But wherever you are, don’t let them stop you.

Your job is to be a citizen and VOTE. Please vote. Today!

THE ROAD WE ARE ON – Rich Raschall

It’s Not A Great One, by Rich Paschall

Aside from insulting our allies and befriending our enemies, here are just a few of the actions by the current administration. They show that we are actually taking away the things that made America great:

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

This was the promise to help all people through tax cuts, but the truth is it primarily helped corporations and the top one percent of the wealthy. In defense of this, Republicans have argued the faulty theory of “trickle down” economics. That did not work in the 1980’s and it is not working now. Many corporations used the extra money to buy back stock and strengthen their company. Billionaires can donate some of their extra millions to Republican campaigns to help them maintain power.

The 2016 Overtime Rule:

The current administration would not defend the rule. Now low-level managers, making 23,660 dollars or more, can be made to work many extra hours for no extra pay, saving corporations a lot of money.

Pooled tips:

Some restaurants and bars used a “pooled tips” system.  This means all tips go into a pool and are then distributed among workers. busboys, and cooks, for example, might share these tips.  The current administration has taken action to remove any restrictions, allowing employers to pocket the cash.

Ending DACA:

One of the downsides of attempting to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is that it would take away documentation and the protections of young adults brought here as children. This could force them into working “under the table,” that is, illegally.

Companies could then pay them anything.

Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces:

Initially, this sounds like a good thing.  We should not give contracts to companies that do not follow this rule.  The Trump administration, however, has backed the Congressional resolution to block record keeping in this area, making it hard to tell who is playing fair.

The Federal Reserve Board:

The current administration had three appointments to make and two more members have resigned since the beginning of 45’s term.  Appointments by 45 are there to protect Wall Street. The new chair is Jerome Powell, a Wall Street venture capitalist.  “We’re so bad at forecasting productivity, it’s just very hard to know when productivity is going to arrive and in what quantity….”

Well, I guess that is rather honest.

The Supreme Court:

Appointments such a Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh have swung the balance of power to the extreme right. The current administration has sought to politicize the court with these appointments.  In addition to an expected challenge to the Roe v. Wade ruling (1973) allowing abortion, these appointments may, in fact, protect 45 and other Republicans from court challenges for things like tax returns. A challenge to gay marriage may also be coming.

Affordable Care Act:

Despite the promise to “repeal and replace” Obamacare “very, very quickly” the Trump administration has done neither. Instead, they have taken actions to undermine its success.  “I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll just let Obamacare fail.”

To this end they cut the budget last year for the marketing of the Affordable Care Act, apparently hoping people would miss the deadline for enrollment.

ISIS:

There was the campaign promise that ISIS would be defeated in 30 days by a “secret plan” only 45 knew.  Apparently, he is still the only one who knows it.  While ISIS has been driven from their stronghold in Raqqa, Syria, they have not been “wiped out” as 45 claims.

Infrastructure bill:

Promised, but never delivered.

The Wall:

You may recall the promise that we would build a wall and Mexico would pay for it.  While we have repaired a few sections of fence and added some additional fencing, there is no wall and Mexico will never pay for one.

The Paris Agreement:

Almost every climate scientist of note in the entire world agrees that man-made pollution is causing global warming with possibly dire consequences.  Despite this, the current administration has pulled out of this historic agreement that was signed by 195 nations.  The USA joined Nicaragua as the only nations not part of the agreement.

Tweets:

It is hard to quantify just how unpresidential this is.

LGBT:

Not only has 45 refused to sign the traditional Pride Month declaration, but he has also, along with Pence, spoken to the Values Voter Summit, an anti-LGBT group.

Trade War:

Tariffs are, after all, taxes.  By warring on China with tariffs, the administration has cost farmers billions of dollars in sales.  As a result, the taxpayer will have to bail out US farmers to the amount of 12 billion dollars. This will be paid for in part by borrowing money…from China.

If you are an ardent follower of the current occupant of the White House and his party, you probably have not read this far. Just as well. You would likely not believe most of it anyway, despite the overwhelming proof of it.

There are a lot more broken promises and destructive policies that could be listed.  If you have not gotten the point, more examples would be of little value.

Many Americans do not agree with the road we are on.  It is not the great journey that some believed it would be.  The choice is now.  Continue down this path, or vote for change.

Sources include: “Ten actions that hurt workers during Trump’s first year,” Economic Policy Institute, epi.org, January 12, 2018.
“Most millionaires don’t plan to spend their tax savings, CNBC survey finds,” cnbc.com, 27 June 2018.
“DACA alive, barely, a year after Trump ended it,” cnn.com, September 5, 2018.
“Did Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell Just Say That?” forbes.com, September 28, 2018.
“With the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh, Roe v. Wade is likely dead,” Perspective, Carole Joffe, The Washington Post, July 10, 2018.
Trump Drops Key Campaign Promise to ‘Repeal and Replace’,” nbcnews.com, July 18, 2017
“Editorial: Wrong About ISIS,” The Weekly Standard, weeklystandard.com, September 26, 2018.
“Trump Has Now Broken Every One of His Economic Populist Promises,”  Intelligencer, nymag.com, May 11, 2018.
“Trump’s Trade Wars Are Bad. They Could Soon Get a Lot Worse,” foreignpolicy.com, July 25, 2018.
“Dem senator: Trump is borrowing money from China to ‘pay our farmers to not sell their crops to China’,” thehill.com, September 26, 2018.

 

FORGET FEAR. FORGET RAGE. LET’S TALK ABOUT DISGUST – BY TOM CURLEY

Elisabeth Kubler Ross defined the five stages of grief. They are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.

The tragedy that is this current administration and Republicans, in general, have created a completely different five stages of grief.  Shock, Denial, Anger, Rage and finally,

DISGUST.

I never really thought about disgust as an emotion. Usually, you’re only disgusted when you see, smell or eat something really gross.

It first hit me during the Kavanagh hearings.

Remember them? It was a long, time ago. About a month.

I watched pathetic old white Republican Senators sitting behind a woman because they were too cowardly to ask questions to another woman accusing the Supreme Court nominee of sexual harassment.

It was disgusting.

Then the next day this same nominee came out yelling and screaming about how everybody was picking on him. He threatened “payback” for Democrats who asked him mean questions. He treated the female Democratic Senators on the committee with stunning disrespect.

I like beer. I really like beer. Beer beer beer beer beer!

I was disgusted.

Then all the male Republicans on the committee proceeded to scream with phony rage about how this poor man is being treated.

I was beyond disgusted.

Since then, long ago (last month), things have gotten more and more disgusting.

The Fear-Monger-In-Chief has been crisscrossing the country trying to convince his moronic minions that a few thousand desperate refugees — mostly women, and children — fleeing their home countries and walking more than 2000 miles to come to America. Based on the very slim hope of being granted asylum, Trump claims they are really a raging mob of barbarians, criminals, and terrorists coming here to

INVADE AMERICA!

Disgusting.

He also says he can change the Constitution ON HIS OWN. He — alone and without an amendment or even a conversation with Congress — can deny citizenship to children born in the United States if they’re babies he doesn’t like.

No citizenship for you!

Disgusting.

This Idiot-in-Chief and every Republican running are claiming that they are only ones protecting pre-existing conditions for our health care. Even though they’ve all voted to abolish the Affordable Care Act more than 60 times and are planning on doing it again.

Disgusting.

They claim Democrats are trying to abolish Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. If they are elected the entire country will become an apocalyptic dystopian nightmare of crime and violence.

And Zombies!

The Democrats are coming!!!

Disgusting

Racist attacks on African-American candidates that have gone from racial dog whistle code words to obscene robocalls from Nazis who don’t even live in the state in which the candidates are running.

Disgusting

In one week, a white racist, living in a van covered with alt-right pro-Trump memes sends 17 pipe bombs to two living Presidents and other Democratic leaders.

Disgusting.

Then another white racist, who after listening to the President telling crowds that Jews like George Soros is supporting the invading horde of refugees over 800 miles away decides to take an AR-15 and slaughter 11 Jews in a Temple. On Shabbat no less.

And what does the President say? It wasn’t his fault and it wasn’t fair to blame him for it. Then goes to a rally that very night and says the exact same thing!



I could go on, but I’m too disgusted.

I’m writing this on the day before the mid-term elections.  If you’re reading this before the election, use your rage, your disgust.

Go out and vote.

If you’re reading after the election and you didn’t vote?

Disgusting.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

The Senior Issue, by Rich Paschall

Recently a friend of mine commented that if Congress cut Social Security and Medicare, they will see a lot of angry seniors vote them out of office.  Many Republicans promised to do just that before the last election.  If they maintain control of both houses, they almost certainly will do it now.  The problem here is why would seniors wait to see if something bad is going to happen before taking action?

While seniors historically vote in larger percentage than other age groups, there are still many who stay home as if the election does not matter.  Yes, some are physically unable to vote and do not get any help to get to the polls or vote by mail.  Others are victims of political actions attempting to deny them the vote.  But for many, the excuse is the same as other age groups, “My vote doesn’t really matter.”

Of course it matters.  In the coming midterms it matters a lot for seniors and those about to reach retirement age.  The Republican party has targeted what they term “entitlements” as a reason for the deficit and hope to cut back on them.  You may recall, however, this same group of legislatures engineered a massive tax cut that primarily benefited corporations and the one percent, and resulted in a deficit of almost a trillion dollars at this writing.

It is often repeated, but seems to fall on deaf Republican ears, that Social Security and Medicare are not “entitlements.”  These programs are not some sort of hand-out to seniors and the disabled.  We paid into these programs for all our working lives. We didn’t have a choice, either. We have the right expect to receive back the pensions (Social Security) and medical coverage (Medicare) we were promised.

Then along come Republican legislators who have their pensions and medical care secured for their retirement, and now plan to cut yours.  Their campaign promises should not be dismissed lightly.  They are coming after your retirement savings, which they control.

In the federal budget, Social Security, Unemployment and Labor are the largest piece of “mandatory spending.”  Military is the largest piece of “discretionary spending.”  The military spending for 2016 was 36 percent of the global total, or more than the next 8 nations combined.  If you suggest we could cut military spending, Republicans will paint you as un-American.

There is something important to be noted about the Social Security payments.  They are covered by the SS Trust Fund.  The money we have been paying for years goes into a trust to pay out when you retire.

According to Marketwatch, “For the first time since 1982, Social Security has to dip into the trust fund to pay for the program this year.”  If revenue has more than covered payouts for many years, what is the problem, exactly?

No, the feds are not “raiding” or “stealing” from the fund as some suggest.  They did that under Reagan. If there were more money, they’d still be “borrowing” it. Note: Do they not understand the concept that “borrowing” implies returning the money at some point?

It also indicates a lack of budgetary knowledge.  There are ways to make the fund viable well beyond the projected 2034 date currently being given as when Social Security won’t be able to cover 100 percent of payments. But that’s another issue.

The point of concern for seniors now is that the Republican Congress wants to cut payouts now as if Social Security is adding to the deficit, rather than the loss of revenue due to tax breaks for the very rich.

Republican Ronald Reagan told us that Social Security had nothing to do with the deficit, something current Republicans likely do not want to hear.

In 2017, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell from Kentucky, one of the poorest states in the nation, told us that the tax cuts for the wealthy would pay for themselves. Now he says of the increasing deficit “It’s a bipartisan problem: Unwillingness to address the real drivers of the debt by doing anything to adjust those programs to the demographics of America in the future.”  And according to McConnell those “real drivers” are “Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid.”

Really. And all that money we paid in? Where did that go?

In fact, a whole host of leading Republicans have promised to cut these programs as early as next year.  There is no reason to believe that they don’t intend to do it.  If they maintain control of both houses, they can fast-track these ideas and cut the social program virtually every administration since Franklin Roosevelt has vowed to protect … except for this one.

If your thoughts are that they would not dare do such a thing to a large voting block, you had better think again.  They have shown a willingness to serve the one percent at the expense of everyone else, so why would they not cut these programs if they have the votes to do so?  If you are here in the US and are a registered voter, you have a voice in this.

I suggest you use your vote.  You may regret sitting out this one.

In order to try to keep the votes of the many seniors who voted “red” last time out, the Republicans are engaging in scare tactics.  “The Democrats’ plan means that after a life of hard work and sacrifice, seniors would no longer be able to depend on the benefits they were promised,” President Trump recently wrote for USA Today.

The column, however, was filled with “false and unsubstantiated claims” according to NPR.  Of course, that will not matter in Trump country if his followers believe the lies and vote for those who will ultimately cut their benefits.


While I have used this space for social commentary a number of times, I don’t like to give up my Sunday space for a political piece (satire and fiction aside). I thought this was too important to not speak up.

I also didn’t want to make this look like a research paper but I thought it was important to show this was not merely a political rant, but a serious issue for most Americans.

Remember: You may be young now, but you won’t be forever.


Here’s a list of references you can check:

“Dozens of black senior citizens ordered off bus taking them to vote,” October 16, 2018, thehill.com
“Voter-Suppression Tactics in the Age of Trump,” October 29,2018 issue, newyorker.com
“U.S. Budget Deficit Swells to $898 Billion, Topping Forecast,” September 13, 2018, bloomberg.com
“The Top 15 Countries For Military Expenditure In 2016,” Niall McCarthy, forbes.com
“Social Security to tap into trust fund for first time in 36 years,” June 6, 2018, marketwatch.com
“Policy Basics: Understanding the Social Security Trust Funds,” June 29, 2018, Center On Budget and Policy Priorities, cbpp.org
“McConnell eyes cuts to Medicare, Social Security to address deficit,” October 16, 2018, msnbc.com
“GOP Revives Medicare Scare Tactics As Election Nears,” shots, Health News from NPR, npr.org, October 30, 2018.
“Trump’s False Claims On ‘Medicare For All’,” Fact Check, npr.org, October 10, 2018.

Facts Fuel Incentive to Vote Out Trumplanders to Save Our Country – THE SHINBONE STAR

Voting matters. Even though you are one vote, the collective number of people who DON’T vote outnumbers those who do.

Vote.

Bring your friends. There are so many places where there is no vote, no choice. Please, please VOTE.

THE SHINBONE STAR

Who could forget the way smug Republicans acted — including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) — after getting a would-be rapist onto the Supreme Court. Although Graham isn’t up for re-election this cycle, his recent performances should provide incentive to vote against his Republican cohorts.

What evidence, what proof, what hard facts do any of us need to realize our country is not better off nearly two years into the Donald J. Trump era of governance in order to vote out anyone who supports the misguided, self-absorbed person currently occupying our White House?

Just to be clear, there is no tax cut on the horizon for the middle class no matter what Donald says in the next few days. Not only is there no new tax cut, but apparently the one he and his GOP cohorts bragged so loudly about toward the end of last year never materialized for the average…

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DON’T LIE TO ME – BARBRA STREISAND … Marilyn Armstrong

Sobering


A big thank to Melanie at sparksfromacombustiblemind for introducing this song to me. Talk about the right song for the moment …

It’s called “Don’t Lie to Me” …

99 New: Now – REBLOG – Jan Wilburg

I could not have said it better.

Red's Wrap

I have only this to say tonight – after a day of news about people murdered while praying.

Start where you are
Use what you have

Do what you can
–Arthur Ashe

Don’t wait to be asked. Find out where people are needed and go there. Send money to people running for office who believe in equal rights, justice, fairness, and inclusion. Sign up to knock on doors or make phone calls. Go to the march. Make a sign. Hold the sign over your head so people passing in cars will see it.

Do not be afraid. The people who were killed today can’t march, they can’t vote.

We will have to do it for them.

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