They did it again

Apparently forgetting that there are DACA people in the military who could be sent away to a country they were taken from by their parents and, so , know nothing about, and from the country they grew up in and joined the military to defend, and forgetting most Americans who pay attention have seen repeatedly that as long as troops are good photo ops or can be used as the go to “victim” to justify some harebrained political proposal, but are abandoned the moment they are of no use, losing benefits and programs, the Republicans, with Trump leading the charge, have decided on a tactic of claiming that the other party that wants to do right by the DREAMers must hate the troops.

But no amount of flag pins worn, bunting hung, and loud, but empty, protestations of utter troop support can erase or hide the reality.

As the government shut down, there was an attempt to play the troops against the DREAMERS by calling the DREAMers “illegal aliens” that people want to protect while claiming the troops are being betrayed by having their pay frozen.

Trump tried to do this by tweeting,

“Democrats are holding our Military hostage over their desire to have unchecked illegal immigration. Can’t let that happen!”

and

“A government shutdown will be devastating to our military…something the Dems care very little about!”,

Mitch McConnell, with the appropriate breaking voice verging on tears, told the Democrats as the shutdown they were willing to accept unless DACA was dealt with as it should have been before Trump changed his mind again was approaching,

For America’s men and women in uniform, shutting down the government means delayed pay.” 

But the truth we are not supposed to know or remember, if we once knew it, is that before the shutdown, Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, had proposed a measure to guarantee military families get paid even during it.

As she stated,

“I don’t want one moment to pass with there being any uncertainty of any soldier anywhere in the world that they will be paid for the valiant work they do on behalf of our national security…I ask for immediate consent.”

Mitch McConnell objected to her proposal.

He complained that the Democrats did not like the troops and preferred foreigners to them, and, yet, he is the one who, as the head of the Senate majority, prevented a pro-troop action.

If the proposal was brought up for a vote and passed, the GOP, and Trump, would have lost their manufactured victim tactic.

This is not supporting the troops.

separating his fiction from actual fact

Trump loves branding.

He puts his name on many businesses that eventually fail, makes up nicknames for his opponents with the same fervor of a middle school bully, and gives titles to things like they were products vis-a-vis the “Schumer Shutdown”.

In that last case, and his similar branding, he does that to cover over the actual facts hoping the brand name will work magic.

Take his uninformed view of immigration that he wants to pass on to his base. He uses the term “chain migration” knowing people will assume it is the actual name, and will accept it without any research.

He said it, so that is what it is.

He connects what he calls chain migration to the visa lottery system, and then hopes that his base will think of picking names out of a hat.

Either he is doing this on purpose as it supports his agenda, or he really does not know how the system actually works.

Following the attack in Manhattan last year when Sayfullo Saipov drove a van into a crowd, Trump saw a chance to politicize this to promote his white nationalist tendencies and kept mentioning that he came to the United States on a diversity visa from Uzbekistan.

“The terrorist came into our country through what is called the ‘Diversity Visa Lottery Program,’ a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based. We are fighting hard for Merit Based immigration, no more Democrat Lottery Systems. We must get MUCH tougher (and smarter).”

The reality is that the diversity visa program is a merit-based system.

Trump wants to replace a system with the very system he wants to replace.

Some may be surprised to know that the Diversity Immigrant Visa program was a congressional program begun in 1990, 8 years before Schumer was elected to his present senate seat, in response to lobbying by Irish and Italian Americans who felt their families were facing struggles in immigrating, and it requires recipients to meet a number of merit-based factors, including a certain level of education or comparable work experience.

Countries like India, China, and Mexico are eliminated from the program because they have used up their slots in a span of five years.

The program gives those with no family ties a chance to immigrate to the United States, but even then, out of one million applicants only around one hundred thousand get chosen, and of those only half actually come here after successfully passing the vetting that includes fees for the application, background checks, educational requirements, interviews, health examinations, and a number of additional measures.

You do not win a prize.

This is hardly pulling names out of a hat.

Trump relies on confusion to get support from his base, and his misrepresenting what the visa lottery system actually is is yet another example of that.

Unfortunately for him and those who support this tactic, enough people are informed to not fall for it.

He is like a computer

 

          “Throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart. … I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that!”

It’s sanctioned discrimination and nothing else.

 

It was nineteen-eighty something and as he lay unconscious on the bed, the EMTs entered the apartment and were greeted by his rather distraught significant other who explained that in spite of taking his meds, his systems seemed to be breaking down. He had never been that unresponsive before.

The EMTs set up their equipment and were preparing to treat the patient, but when my friend brought out his prescribed meds, in case that would be of importance, they immediately realized that the person unconscious on the bed was suffering with AIDS, put their equipment away, collapsed the gurney, and left.

The AIDS epidemic was in full swing, and by this time medical personnel, especially EMTs, had been trained well enough to take the necessary precautions, but the ill man had to be taken to the hospital in the back seat of a car, but even then, he was left alone in a side room of the emergency room until they could get around to him. Not having received the emergency care he should have at home, in the ambulance, and in the emergency room, he was dead within hours.

The EMTs had said nothing as they left. They offered no explanation for their decision to leave. They just packed things up, which to those present seemed to be part of their preparation for the care it was assumed they were about to administer.

It was the 80s, so the decision to leave could have been based on their fear of AIDS, their not wanting to deal with Gay people, or their belief that AIDS was a punishment from God, and for religious reasons,chose not to cross the deity.

Regardless, a person died.

For those who have ever called EMTs or brought someone to the Emergency Room for whatever reason, imagine your feelings and horror if someone refused to do their job because they did not like something about the person needing the care, especially if that person is powerless at that moment.

If you go into a career that deals with saving injured people, making sick people well, and keeping people safe, it would appear to be the wrong career choice if you find ways to avoid doing that,

The Trump White House this week has changed the focus of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights (OCR) by having it protect the “religious freedom” of health care providers with the institution of the “Conscience and Religious Freedom Division” (CRFD) whose job will be to ensure providers are allowed to opt out of providing care when they have objections based on personally held religious beliefs.

The obvious victims of this religious preference over civil law are GLBT people, people living with HIV/AIDS, and women who seek to have an abortion, but, considering religions have rejected Black people because their skin color is the Mark of Cain, Jews killed Jesus, Catholics were papists and the church the Whore of Babylon, the Church of England splintered into sects including Puritans and Separatist, the Protestant Reformation split the Catholic Church into many offshoots all of which hated the others and when given the chance persecuted whoever was not in charge at any given time, Special Needs kids are evidence that their parents have sinned, and politics and religion now have fuzzy borders, they are not the only ones who can be left to die or be refused needed care.

The Conscience and Religious Freedom Division will be “responsible for OCR’s national conscience and religious freedom program, including enforcement of and compliance with laws protecting conscience and the free exercise of religion and prohibiting coercion and religious discrimination.”

Religion will be free to exercise various forms of discrimination.

Last spring, Trump appointed the Heritage Foundation’s Roger Severino to serve as the head of Health and Human Service’s civil rights department. Servino was the Director of the DeVos Center of Religion and Civil Society at the Foundation where he spoke against civil rights protections for GLBT people, especially Transgender individuals, and authored a report opposing  the implementation  of those parts of the Affordable Care Act  that prohibited discrimination based on race, color, national origin, age, disability, and sex when it comes to federally funded health programs.

Present at the announcement of this new department were House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy who helped kill a GLBT rights bill in 2016, Vicky Hartzler who led the fight to keep Transgender people out of the military, James Lankford who believes it should be legal to fire GLBT people just for that regardless of their job performance, Everett Piper who made it known that Oklahoma Wesleyan University sought a religious exemption so it could discriminate against Transgender people, and Montse Alvarado, head of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, an anti-GLBT group.

Add this latest move by Trump to his earlier ones:

trying to ban Transgender people from serving in the military, ending protections for Transgender students in school and transgender employees in the workplace, supporting a court case defending firing people for being GLBT, signing an executive order allowing people to discriminate against GLBT people as long as they say it is because of their religion, lashing funding for HIV research and care, and nominating many anti-GLBT prople to positions where they can exercise their prejudices.

He obviously forgets he is the president of all citizens, not just those who voted for him, and has no problem with the idea that some people will be denied basic medical treatment.

He will soon have the blood of the victims of discrimination on his hands.

He says what he doesn’t mean

 

 

After a meeting to present the president with a bipartisan proposal to deal with Immigration and DACA where Senators Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham were blindsided by the president having asked others who have consistently spoken about their objection to immigrants and anyone who could be considered “other”, a meeting that was thought to be intended as a friendly presentation and exchange of ideas on the proposal, Dick Durbin let it be known that President Donald Trump called certain African nations “shithole countries”.

He said a few days later

“To think that the President of the United States would refer to any country on Earth as an S-House country, for goodness’ sakes, what does that say?”

Meanwhile Republican Senator Tom Cotton and David Purdue, two of the surprise  attendees at the meeting at first said they could not recall that language, but then changed that to President not saying “shithole.”

A further rebuttal to Durbin’s claim was offered by a senior GOP source familiar with the matter who claimed that the president had not said “shithole”, but, instead had said “shithouse”, as if that makes it all right.

Obviously, whichever term he used is unacceptable, it didn’t help that the president expressed his opinion that he preferred immigrants from places like Norway over places like Haiti, Central America, and Africa.

As far as the “shithole” reference, Lindsey Graham had pushed back against it use by the president,

“My family was from one of those s-hole countries. They came here with limited training, limited experience. They made a life, they started a business and they gave me a chance. That’s what America is all about.”

The term, while not being denied by many of those bothering to comment on it, has now been rebranded as  merely “strong language, and excused as the language that would be used by people in a bar, which the Oval Office is not.

But to me, the most bizarre attempt to make an excuse for what the president said came from Senator Rand Paul,

He suggested that rewording the offensive terminology and the words used by the president to something more neutral would make the president’s sentiment acceptable.

Let’s take the whole scenario and put different words in there and let’s say, ‘We’d rather have people from economically-prosperous countries than economically-deprived countries.’ Or, ‘We realize that there are more problems in economically-deprived countries, therefore there’s a bigger impetus for them to want to come.’ Then it wouldn’t have been so controversial.
There still might have been some controversy, but it wouldn’t have been so much. What I can say is, is that if you do a poll, and one of the worldwide polling companies did this, and they asked people in 50 countries, ‘Would you like to come to America,’ it’s about 700 million would come next year. We would double our population.

So practically, we’re a great place, and practically, we do have to eliminate. And if you look at where they’d rather come from, if you live in a very, very poor, economically-distressed country, you’re more likely to want to come than if you live in England or Norway.”

In this case, a Trump defender not only explains what he meant to say, but rewrote the dialog to  express something completely different than what the president who knows words, good words, said.

If that is what the president meant, then, why didn’t the president say that?

Why is it Paul’s responsibility, or anyone else’s to pick up after the president.

The GOP has become the guy  with the shovel in the parade who walks behind the elephant.

 

2017; THE BIGLIEST FIRST YEAR: OUR FIRST YEAR UNDER TRUMP

the 18 billion dollar flaw

At a cost of approximately $18 Billion that the American taxpayer will have to fork over for The Wall because Mexico refuses to pay for it in spite of Trump’ promises, it seems those with the plan haven’t noticed that people will be able to fly over it, or go around it in boats as it will terminate at the Pacific on one end and the Gulf of Mexico on the other.

But, still, it will be quite the impressive sight to those who go around it.