Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Who Needs Insurance or Money?

VOX Trump quietly cut legal immigration by up to 65%
This is what immigration restrictionists have been waiting for.

I have to wonder how many of us would be US citizens if Trump had been President in the 1850 to 1900 period?

CNBC rump suspends entry of immigrants who cannot pay for healthcare

This is so ironic given that Republicans do not want to mandate that citizens meet the basic requirement.
"Some immigrants, mostly family members of US citizens or green card holders, can apply for lawful permanent residency abroad and obtain a green card almost immediately. Otherwise, immigrants can come to the US on two types of visas: those for immigrants who intend to settle in the US permanently and eventually obtain a green card, and those that only allow an immigrant to remain in the US temporarily.
In order to get a green card, an immigrant will have to prove to a consular officer that they will obtain health insurance within 30 days of their arrival in the US. If they can’t, they must demonstrate that they will be able to pay for their medical expenses.
The proclamation does not lay out clear procedures for determining whether immigrants meet the proclamation’s requirements — it will be up to individual consular officers charged with evaluating visa applications and the State Department, which is expected to issue internal guidance on it. 
But based on insurance coverage alone, the majority of adults who were granted green cards over the last three years would have been shut out."
So if this is an acceptable position for immigrants...  Why is the GOP against this for US Citizens?

Monday, October 28, 2019

Is Booing POTUS Okay?

VOX Trump was on the receiving end of “lock him up” chants at the World Series

I wonder what Trump was thinking... In his little delusional world he is a popular genius, and yet faced with 10,000+ boos and many chants of "lock him up". How does he process this? Can he even acknowledge that ~50% of Americans dislike or detest him?

Usually I would say it is wrong to boo the POTUS, however I think it is okay with Trump given how negative and critical Trump is of everyone who disagrees with him.
"President Trump on Monday used his first trip to Chicago as president to tear into the city and its leadership, comparing its violence to Afghanistan and blasting officials as inept and disloyal to the U.S."
Especially when Trump is unwilling to work on improving gun control across the country. Which provides a lot of the guns in Chicago.
About six in ten “crime guns” seized by Chicago Police originated from gun shops outside of Illinois, according to a 2017 report issued by the department. Crime guns are defined by law enforcement as those that are “illegally possessed, used, or suspected to be used in furtherance of a crime.”

In about 95 percent of cases, the person found in possession of a crime gun is not the original purchaser of the weapon, the report said.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Yes Men Will Get You Impeached

WE 'I feel bad that I left': John Kelly warned Trump he would be impeached

CNN White House: John Kelly 'was totally unequipped to handle the genius of our great President'

I think I will trust the retired Marine General...  Especially after listening to Trump making up pre 9/11 stories again this morning.
There were so many good comics on the topic, I had to steal 2.

Border Wall Update

WAPO Trump administration has acquired little of the private land in Texas it needs for border barrier

BBC Wall Update

FOX Wall Coverage

It seems that so far Trump has mostly just replaced vehicle barriers with "the wall" which is the easy part since the US government already controlled the land. New "wall" in Texas will be much harder since it requires obtaining the land from private owners.

So should private owners be forced to sell land in the middle of their property to the Federal government for a "wall" they do not want?  Usually the GOP would be against such Federal power plays. Thoughts?

Thursday, October 24, 2019

The Republican Defense?

What to do the President from your party is caught doing something really questionable and likely illegal?

  • This is like questioning who called in the tip that someone was "embezzling" from a company.
  • I mean the initial review has proven without a doubt that the report was correct.
  • Many very experienced and trustworthy civil servants have corroborated that the "embezzling" took place and who was behind it. 
  • So why would we need the Whistle Blower's testimony?
  • Apparently the case must be pretty air tight, since instead of defending the President they decide to interrupt the proceedings.
  • Kind of like Trump's resistance to releasing his tax returns, what crimes has he committed that he is scared to show the people what he and his staff have been doing?
  • What would GOP politicians and voters do if a DEM President refused to be transparent with them?
  • Really? We know a potential crime occurred and you want to avoid hearing the evidence?
The good news is that hopefully the initial investigation will be done by mid-Nov, then the DEMs will be able to start making even more information public

What then will be their defense for:

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Taylor Trump Quid Pro Quo and Lynching

VOX Read: Top State Department official’s testimony outlining Trump’s Ukraine quid pro quo
This is very bad for President Donald Trump.

FOX: Diplomat Bill Taylor testifies Trump used Ukraine aid, White House meeting as leverage for probes

It seems pretty clear that Trump was trying to use tax dollars and a White House visit for personal gain.  Now the question is if the Trump True Believers care?

 And then Trump says something very stupid and inappropriate.

FOX McConnell chides Trump for calling impeachment inquiry a 'lynching'

I mean the committees are investigating now and Trump will have his time to defend himself once it is determined by the House that there is adequate reason to send it to the Senate.  I am sure that the Black people who were lynched had wished they had a small portion of this due process.

Lynch: "to put to death (as by hanging) by mob action without legal approval or permission"

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Should Conversion Therapy be Banned?

Third Hour Everyone, Stop Freaking Out: The Church Is NOT Pro-Conversion Therapy

A FB Friend who happens to be Mormon posted that link.  One of his FB Friends posted the following link in response.  He also wrote what I perceived to be his dissatisfaction with the Mormon Church trying to join the 21st century by becoming a bit more tolerant and protective of minors.

National Task Force for Therapy Equality

So I did a little looking, found and posted these links.  So far no replies.

Utah Conversion Therapy Ban Bill

Apparently the MN Senate blocked MN's CT Ban bill in May...

AP Mormon church opposes Utah LGBTQ ‘conversion therapy’ ban

SPLC NARTH Becomes Main Source for Anti-Gay ‘Junk Science’

And how is this for ironic.

CBS Former conversion therapy leader comes out as gay and apologizes to community

Out Right International

So should Parent(s) who fear that their children are confused about their sexuality be allowed to bring them to a place to receive hetero-normative indoctrination?

Or should the children be protected from this "therapy" that apparently has pretty much no scientific backing?

Personally I can not even imagine being a child who feels LGBT+ and has to face a gauntlet of closed minded parent(s), religious leaders and zealot counselors who work to convince them that everything they are feeling is sinful, wrong, unnatural, etc.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Trump or Warren?

NYT Trump or Warren   Laurie shared this excellent piece by David Brooks.  It will be interesting to see Trump can still win if a lot of Law and Order Republicans put our values ahead of the party line.

 I'll steal it for your convenience...

"This is a memo for the politically homeless. It’s a memo to those of us who could never support Donald Trump but think the Bernie-Squad-Warren Democratic Party is sprinting too far left. It’s a memo built around the following question: If the general election campaign turns out to be Trump vs. Warren, what the heck are we supposed to do?

The first thing we could do, of course, is pray for a miracle. Maybe the Democrats will nominate one of the five B’s or the K: Biden, Buttigieg, Booker, Bennet, Bullock or Klobuchar.

These candidates are pluralists, not purists. They make many voters who disagree with them feel heard and respected. They practice the craft of politics, building majority coalitions to get things done.

If the party nominated one of those six, you really could see the Democrats gather progressives and moderates into an enduring majority coalition as the Republicans recede into old, white, rural obsolescence. You could see movement on a range of issues where large majorities are already stacked on one side: guns, climate change, reducing income inequality, expanding health coverage.

But right now, Elizabeth Warren has the momentum, and so those of us who feel politically homeless may face a stark choice.

For many, supporting Warren is too high a price to pay, even for ousting Trump. “There is no universe where I will ever vote for Donald Trump, and there is no universe where I could ever vote for Elizabeth Warren,” Jennifer Horn, a former chairwoman of the New Hampshire G.O.P., told The Washington Examiner. And you can see why so many people have that reaction.

First, there are Warren’s policies. On trade, she’s a protectionist. Her 10-year, $34 trillion health care plan isn’t paid for. Her student debt cancellation plan is a handout to the upper middle class. Her campaign seems to not acknowledge the inevitable trade-off between economic growth and high spending, high taxes and high regulation.

Second, she’s one of the few Democrats who could actually lose. As Yascha Mounk notes in The Atlantic, Democrats won in 2018 because they won back a lot of nonpartisan suburban office park workers who found moderates they could vote for. When you remind independents of Democratic support for abolishing private health insurance and decriminalizing unauthorized border crossing — two key Warren policies — they become six percentage points less likely to vote for the Democrats. Trump will tell voters: You may despise me, but she’ll destroy the economy.

Third, a Warren presidency would be deeply polarizing and probably unsuccessful. Warren’s policy ideas would make any progressive-moderate coalition impossible. She’d try to govern with her 40 percent partisan base, just as Trump has, which is no way to pass big legislation.

Fourth, there is a wave of insular intolerance coursing through parts of the American left. If given executive power, some progressives may use it to cancel any culture or faith other than their own.

And yet, if it comes to Trump vs. Warren in a general election, the only plausible choice is to support Warren. Over the past month Donald Trump has given us fresh reminders of the unique and exceptional ways he corrupts American life. You’re either part of removing that corruption or you are not. When your nation’s political system is in danger, staying home and not voting is not a responsible option.

Politics is downstream from morality and culture. Warren represents a policy wrong turn, in my view, but policies can be argued about and reversed. Trump represents a much more important and fundamental threat — to the norms, values, standards and soul of this country. "

Last week, Trump all but greenlighted the ethnic cleansing of Kurds without an ounce of remorse. He normalizes dishonesty and valorizes cruelty. His letter to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reminds us yet again that we have a president whose professional competence is at kindergarten level. Once a nation has lost its heart, mind and soul, it is very hard to get these things back.

Furthermore, Trump is an unprecedented threat to democratic institutions. Over the past few years, I’ve thought the progressive fears of incipient American fascism were vastly overblown. But, especially over the past month, Trump has worked overtime to validate those fears and to raise the horrifying specter of what he’ll be like if he is given a second term and is vindicated, unhinged and unwell.

In their book “How Democracies Die,” Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt argue that authoritarians undermine democracy in several ways. They reject the democratic rules of the game, the unwritten norms we rely upon to make the political system work. They deny the legitimacy of their political opponents, using extreme language to deny them standing as co-citizens. They tolerate or even encourage violence, threatening to take legal action against critics in rival parties.

Trump has been guilty of all three sins, and given a second term he will feel free to stomp where up until now he has merely trod.

This election is about whether we can hold together as a functioning nation, across our economic, racial, geographic and ideological divides. In such circumstances, a bad option is better than a suicidal one."

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Fact Check Before Sharing - Please...

Here is a FB post by Drewbie that I think is worth sharing. Though it took me awhile to get to it...
"Every couple of years I find myself advocating for fact checking before hitting that share button on social media. Admittedly, sharing of pretty much anything at all is the main reason I, and so many others I know, have gone away from facebook altogether. I only ever joined so I could share pictures of my kids with far flung family and friends and see their families grow and go on adventures as well.
Now when I scroll through the "news" feed from time to time, I see more than half of the posts are reposts and shares from other sources. Now, a recipe or craft idea can be fun, but really, I'd rather see a picture of you making the recipe or you doing a craft. I don't really care what social media influencers have to say about anything. 
The main driver of this particular post is to rail on the other kind of share / repost; the political stuff. It is exceedingly rare to see a post with a political tilt that presents facts that are true. A 10 second search will show the bias in the information presented and tell you the real story of the often twisted origin of the information being presented. If you feel compelled to hit that share button, please take those 10 seconds to verify the integrity of the information you're about to post. Don't perpetuate the "fake news" from either side of the political divide. 
Continuing to push these false narratives does nothing but drive a deeper wedge between people. It creates a stronger "Us vs Them" mentality which won't help anyone except those that stand to gain from that division. Be better than that. Please.
If you have an opinion, please feel free to post that. Engage in conversation. Ask questions of each other about why you feel the way you do. Get better informed from both sides of the aisle and maybe find common ground with those that seem so diametrically opposed to your thoughts. 
In the meantime, I'm done doing the fact checking for people. If I see something that's not true, I'm just going to flag it as "false news" because facebook has given me the tools to do so. I encourage you all to do the same, or better yet, just stop sharing other people's nonsense and start posting the personal excitement that we all first signed up to this site to see.
Here was my response...
 Oh come now... You should think of all those Far Left and Far Right posts as an opportunity to spread truth and annoy difficult people... :-) 
Of course, this is coming from a guy who made a hobby of doing so regularly with his own blog... The fun of doing it on Facebook is not only do you get to help the poster learn how foolish they have been... You get to share that knowledge with all their likely similarly challenged FB friends. And they can not complain about you "going political" on them since they started the string. 
By the way, I am likely to steal your post for an up coming blog post...
The good news is that he said he likes G2A and agreed to letting me post his wise tirade.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Loving Crazy People

John Pavlovitz The Cult of Trump

This is a very thought provoking piece posted by a liberal FB friend...  Here were our comments:
We’ve all lost someone to this cult. FB Friend 
Very interesting piece. I think Rush Limbaugh and similar started the programming long before Trump. But of course I think folks on the far left suffer from a similar but different cult. It is strange having parents in one and kids in the other. G2A 
I think there is a lot more distance between the “mainstream left” and the “far left” than there is between the “mainstream right” and the “far right.” FB Friend 
Maybe... Not too sure though...  Warren and Sanders seem pretty popular. G2A
And I was being honest about having loved ones in each cult.  Just asking questions or showing facts / data in their ways of thinking triggers them to either clam up, call me names or walk away.

So I just love them the way they are and hope that someday they will come back to their senses... :-)

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Barr Says Secularism is BAD?

CNN Barr slams attacks on religious values, says 'moral upheaval' leading to societal ills

The Hill Barr bemoans 'moral upheaval' that has brought 'suffering and misery'
""The campaign to destroy the traditional moral order has coincided and I believe has brought with it immense suffering and misery. And yet the forces of secularism, ignoring these tragic results, press on with even greater militancy," Barr said." 
"Among the militant secularists are many so-called progressives. But where is the progress?" Barr asked. "Those who defy the creed risk a figurative burning at the stake: social, educational and professional ostracism and exclusion waged through lawsuits and savage social media campaigns."
Now I agree that the war on poverty had some pretty terrible results. It is rarely good to give people something for nothing for a long period of time.  And it is even worse to give them something for doing something that is bad for them, their children and society. (ie more single moms with more babies getting more welfare)

However having Barr preaching moral behavior as he enables a guy who lies, cheats, pays off porn stars, etc seems incredibly hypocritical. I mean is he saying that religious people needing to provide flowers for LGBT events will somehow damage our society?  Women having the right to access and use all birth control methods is somehow bad?

The folks on the Religious Right simply amaze and somewhat disgust me.  They preach morals and religion while resisting helping young children learn, and forcing parent(s) to fulfill their obligations to the kids.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

What about Private Devices being AWFUL?

WAPO Clinton-email critics pull a role reversal as Trump administration draws fire for private phone use

I am always amazed how hypocritical GOP politicians can be...

HP Man Obsessed With Hillary Clinton’s Private Server Hid Documents On A Secret System

Is it okay for GOP politicians to use unsecured devices and to hide their data from us citizens?

Trump will be SO MAD at FOX Now

Fox News Poll: Record support for Trump impeachment
"A new high of 51 percent wants Trump impeached and removed from office, another 4 percent want him impeached but not removed, and 40 percent oppose impeachment altogether. In July, 42 percent favored impeachment and removal, while 5 percent said impeach but don’t remove him, and 45 percent opposed impeachment."
And a FOX update on the Kurdish catastrophe.

What is the Meaning of SEX?

CNBC Supreme Court clashes over meaning of ‘sex’ in LGBT discrimination cases

For a change of pace, we can go back to one of our favorite arguments.

And if you wish to expand discussions, it looks like the balance of SCOTUS will be tested this session

Trump Says NO to Legal Process

NYT White House Declares War on Impeachment Inquiry, Claiming Effort to Undo Trump’s Election

Well if you are certain that the evidence is bad for you, I suppose this is one way to slow things down... Tell the "court" that they do not have the right to see the evidence. :-( 

Here is the actual letter

It seems to me that they are intentionally confusing the roles.  This is an "Impeachment" Inquiry, not the "Impeachment Trial" which would be held in the Senate which the GOP controls.

I have never seen an "INNOCENT GENIUS POLITICIAN" fight so hard to keep his government workings hidden from the citizens.  Of course the Trump True Believers won't even question his motives.

Even though if Obama or Clinton had tried to hide facts and data from Congress like this, they would have been screaming cover up!!!  People are so fascinating and disturbing!!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Minneapolis To Charge Trump Campaign Security Fee

CBS WCCO Trump Administration: Minneapolis Is Trying To Make Campaign Cover Rally Security Costs

I guess I am curious who you think should pay the security cost for Trump's election rallies?

The tax payers or the candidate?

I am more curious also to know if Baby Trump will be in town... :-)

Monday, October 7, 2019

The Tale of the Texts

USA Today A visual timeline of the text messages in the Trump-Ukraine affair

Politico Reading the Text Messages

It is very humorous how the string changes as they learn of the Whistle Blower... :-)

Please remember... Why was Giuliani involved if this was actually about government business?  He is Trump's personal Lawyer... Not a member of the FBI or Justice department...

Trump to Betray Allies, Help ISIS / Iran

AP Trump's Syria withdrawal announcement draws GOP condemnation

Politico 'Disaster in the making': Republicans torch Trump's Syria policy

NBC Trump's backing for Turkey's Syria plan could cause havoc in an unstable region, experts warn

BBC Turkey-Syria border: Kurds bitter as US troops withdraw

FOX Sen. Graham warns Syria withdrawal would be 'big win for ISIS,' compares Trump's strategy to Obama
"Graham said Trump had a valid point about European nations having to do more and carry their weight in the fight against ISIS, but claimed Iran will benefit most from a policy of withdrawal. He also said Trump's proposed strategy will only lead to further destabilization and be to the detriment of the United States.

"When... Obama was told what would happen in Iraq, it did," he said. "And I’m here to say that this is going to lead to the reemergence of ISIS and the biggest winner of all this will be the Iranians and that’s too bad."

Graham also criticized the Trump administration for claiming ISIS is defeated and said there are still thousands of active fighters looking to destroy the West through terrorism.

"ISIS is not defeated," he said. "The biggest lie being told by the administration [is] that ISIS is defeated. The caliphate's destroyed, but there's thousands of fighters over there. And no, the caliphate would not have been destroyed without the Kurds, and I applaud the president for getting the Kurds and the Arabs to do most of the fighting. The casualties destroying the caliphate was very low. We've got less than 1000 troops now in Syria.

"But this impulsive decision by the president has undone all the gains we’ve made, thrown the region into further chaos," Graham continued. "Iran is licking their chops. And if I’m an ISIS fighter I've got a second lease on life. So to those who think ISIS has been defeated you will soon see."

ISIS fighters and other terrorists comprising the more than 10,000 Islamic militants jailed in northeast Syria could launch a mass prison break as U.S. troops withdraw from the region in response to Turkey's impending incursion, Syrian Kurdish fighters warned Monday."

Trump Ordered to Turnover Tax Returns

NYT Trump Taxes: President Ordered to Turn Over Returns to Manhattan D.A.

NM The Many Times Trump has Promised to Release his Taxes

For someone with nothing to hide and a history of demanding that other's release their tax returns, he certainly is resistant to fulfill his campaign promise.

"During the 2012 presidential election, Trump encouraged Mitt Romney to release his tax returns. Romney’s failure to do so until days before the general election has been interpreted as a fatal mistake."

Sunday, October 6, 2019

"We the People," not "Me the President"

The Hill: Powell: 'The Republican party has got to get a grip on itself'

To all the spineless GOP politicians out there, Colin Powell has some wise words for you.

"We got to remember what 
the Constitution started with: 
"We the People," not 
"Me the President,"

On one side we have Mitt Romney who has great character and morals, along with Collins and Sasse who can admit that it is WRONG for the POTUS to ask foreign governments for dirt on his leading opponent.

I mean please remember again, he did not ask them to work with the FBI / Justice Department.  He asked them to work with his personal lawyer...  Who should have NO ROLE in investigating corruption in another country.

Then we have a sleaze like McConnel who says he will work to stop the Impeachment proceedings even though he has not seen the evidence.

Then we have this idiot Graham who is trying to scare whistle blowers into silence, which certainly would be bad for our country.

Do you really want people to stay silent
when they see your politicians breaking
the law or embezzling funds because they 
may be harmed professionally or physically?


Do you want them safe to come forward 
so the questionable actions can be 
reviewed through the systems that
our country holds dear?

If Obama was POTUS, would your answer change?  Maybe that is a personal problem. :-(

NYT How to Sell Your Soul to Trump.

Impeach Process Comic

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Why Are There So Many Homeless in California?

FOX News LA city officials pressuring Newsom to declare state of emergency amid homeless crisis

Now I understand that California has moderate climate where people can sleep outside year round, not like Minnesota. However how can homelessness and poverty be so bad in one of the most Liberal Wealthy states?  Wouldn't they have solved this in their Liberal Utopia?  Thoughts?

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Trump True Believers are UNREAL !!!

USA Today Poll: Only 4 in 10 Republicans think Trump mentioned Biden on Ukraine call even though he acknowledged doing so

The Summarized Transcript as released by Trump Etal
The President: The other thing, There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it... It sounds horrible to me.
What are these 40% of Republicans thinking, or has Trump lobotomized them somehow? :-)

Believe it... Trump said... "I would like you to do us a favor though ..."  It is in the document the White House released.  Now the question is do you support the Rule of Law or Trump?

Trump's Misleading Map

CNN Trump's Misleading Map

I'll never understand Trump's inability to understand that it does matter how popular you are in your head.  If you violate your oath and rules of office, you can get impeached.

He is like the Homecoming King saying that he can not get expelled for bringing a gun to school because he is popular...  Is Trump this disconnected from reality?
Kind of like when he was bragging about his record electoral vote win...  When it was number 46!!!  I mean the only modern President with a lower ratio was Bush in 2000!!!

Besides the first map is how he likely sees the country, where as the other two represent reality.  Since only Citizens / State Votes matter in our system.  That is unless you want some desert running the USA.  Thoughts?

23 Additional Maps

I had to add this comic... :-)