Not with a bang, but a whimper

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They were in it for the long haul, even without snacks.

And even, perhaps, if they didn’t get vanilla creamer for their coffee.

They had guns; were willing to die; and encouraged others to bring their guns, and come join them.

But now reality has hit, and not only have the leaders been arrested for the unlawful takeover of public property, but the tweets, Facebook posts,  and videos they frequently sent out made it clear what their intentions were, and they just may come back to haunt them.

The Bundynistas claimed they would stay for years if necessary, and would use their guns if law enforcement tried to arrest them.

They insisted they were willing to fight to the death.

Now that they’ve been captured, they say that was all a mere misunderstanding.

When Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan, and several of the other Malheur occupiers pled for bail when they appeared in court on Friday, Ammon told the judge he had no desire to go back to the Malheur Refuge, and promised he would just go home if the judge granted bail.

“My only desire is to be home with family and take care of my wife and children,” he said.

In spite of all the bravado the public saw over the last few weeks, Bundy’s lawyer, Lissa Casey, told U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie Beckerman that her client never meant to hurt or threaten anyone.

She claimed he  was just trying to “educate” people to the unjust practices of the federal government.

“He is done in Harney County. His message has been sent.”

However the prosecutors had all those YouTube videos and Facebook posts that contradicted the now claimed peaceful purpose.

“As the armed group’s unrepentant leader, he (Ammon Bundy) has consistently and publicly expressed support for an armed occupation that has endangered, and continues to endanger, many people,” the court brief stated.

The prosecutors directed the court’s attention to a video in which Bundy called on people to “come out here and stand.”

“We need you to bring your arms.”

The men who appeared in court with Ammon Bundy were denied bail because, as the judge said, they pose a danger to the community, and she was not all that sure that they would obey the court’s order to return to Oregon for criminal proceedings.

Shawna Cox, the only woman arrested was told that she will be allowed to go home while her case is pending, but only after the armed occupation ended.

Ammon Bundy is now publicly calling for the end of the Malheur occupation:

“This was never meant to be an armed standoff. (Remember his urging anyone who wanted to join them to bring their guns?) Please do not make it about something it wasn’t supposed to be. Go home to your families. To those at the refuge please stand down,“

Now that playing soldier has come to a bad end, David Fry, one of the four occupiers still at the Refuge is said to have asked FBI agents for safe passage from Malheur, but the FBI refused. The armed terrorists refused the offer when made earlier, so it is too late now.

Ammon Bundy’s wife, Lisa Bundy. also pled with the four remaining militants to stand down.

“Guys, I know that you’re probably scared, and I understand that, because I am too. The fight is done there. You educated. That was the goal — to educate, educate, educate.”

But, if the fight is done “there”, will it just be taken up somewhere else?

Apparently so, since she also stated,

“We believe this is where it’s supposed to be at, this is the plan. You have to help us move forward with the plan.”

She also had originally responded to the arrests by declaring,

“Ammon would not have called for the patriots to leave. We have lost a life but we are not backing down. He didn’t spill his life in vain. Hold your ground…ranchers come and stand!”

I would like to add one other thing here that is not so much about the terrorist act of taking over public property and asking people with guns to join with them, but more about how many of these ranchers got their land to begin with.

It is something people seem to forget, or may not know to begin with.

After the United States made the Louisiana Purchase with taxpayer money, it had a lot of unsettled land on its hands that was ripe for settling, and useful in producing needed consumables like cattle, sheep, and produce that needed people to raise and produce them, and it had spent a lot of time, money, and military personnel to clear the land of Native Americans.

All those “Indian Wars” cost money, after all.

Between 1862 and 1934, the federal government granted 1.6 million homesteads and distributed 270,000,000 acres of Western federal land for private ownership. This was a total of 10% of all land in the United States.

A homesteader had to be the head of the household or at least twenty-one years old, and had to live on the designated land, build a home, make improvements, and farm it for a minimum of five years.

The filing fee was $18; $10 to temporarily hold a claim to the land.

The Homestead Act of 1862 gave rise later to large land rushes, such as the Oklahoma Land Runs of the 1880s and 1890s.

Settlers found land and staked their claims.

So basically, the people who got large ranches out West got them for $18 from the federal government while people back East who wanted to own property had to pay fair market value with any costs connected to property purchases.

This explains how Ben Cartwright got to own the Ponderosa.

Some families found ways to increase the size of their initial holding by having children claim abutting land to the original allotment, while others found ways, including fronting for big companies, to screw over the Native Americans who were the victims of the Dawes Commission by taking advantage of their not understanding the laws and ways of the United States.

So, many of the ranchers who complain about the BLM and restrictions on using public land for private use, gloss over the fact that for all intents and purposes they got their land for free, and simply want more without having to pay for it.

Think about that.

They want more for free while you need the down payment, bank approved mortgage, all the closing costs, and the ability to pay for the home and property taxes to buy your property, while they get subsidies that help meet their financial obligations on land their families got generations ago for $18.

This Representative needs to do his research

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CAN YOU PICK THE THINGS THAT ARE SUPPLIED BY THE ADA?

When I was attempting to get Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender students specifically mentioned in school district policies on Bullying, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination so their inclusion would not be left up to the personal, religious, or political opinions of district employees, I was always asked two questions as a form of objection.

The first was, “If we add ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘Gender identity’ to the list of protected classes, where will it end?”.

I would hope there wasn’t an end, as that would mean the district would decide that there were some students for whom Bullying, Harassment, and Discrimination was permissible.

I always thought that the question was ridiculous.

The other question was, “What about the fat kid, the left handed kid, the kid who had eyes of two colors?”

To this I would explain that people had to choose which battles to pursue, so that they would have success in that battle as opposed taking on multiple battles and winning none, and my concern was for the GLBT kids, but I was sure there were those who would advocate for the kids listed in the question.

What arguments they had to not do the right thing could not be based on reason, so they attempted to appeal to guilt. However, I was a person of Boston Irish descent who eventually lived some time in New York, so it was more than obvious that their Heartland attempts at guilt-tripping were amateurish at best.

The person who was the first to ask about the “fat” kid was an assistant superintendent who was himself rather corpulent, so being in a position to write, propose, and promote the acceptance of a school policy, it would seem he could have answered his own concern by being the person to represent and advocate for that kid.

He had explained that when he was in middle school and he was made fun of for being large, he would go home and cry to his mother who, being old world Italian, would seek to ease his pain with food.

His understanding of the needs of GLBT kids came when I asked him how he would have felt, and how he would have dealt with it if, instead of sympathy from his mother, she had thrown him out of the house for good.

In the end, as a compromise, I agreed to the words “or any other reason” being added to the exiting list of protected groups, unless it became obvious that this still allowed for the interpretation of inclusion based on the personal, religious, or political opinions of district employees.

Which it did.

So I insisted on, and eventually got the more inclusive language I had originally been seeking.

At a town hall event this past weekend, Indiana state Representative Woody Burton, a Republican, compared laws protecting GLBT people, which include kids, to protections for serial killers, pedophiles and even “fat white people.”

Claiming sexual orientation was a “behavioral thing’ ,this obviously less than well informed expert on human behavior stated,

“You can’t control it sometimes. I understand that. If someone’s a psychopathic killer, it’s a behavior thing. They can’t help it. OK? Somebody’s a homosexual, maybe it’s a genetic thing. Maybe it’s not. They can’t help it. But it’s still a behavioral thing.
This thing with Subway and Jared is a classic example of what’s the next step.  And you say, oh that will never happen. I’ve got articles on my computer at home from the English newspapers saying that those people can’t help it and they ought to be protected in England.”

He then dismissed protecting GLBT people because they did not deserve to be protected by law because “fat white people” enjoyed no special rights.

“If I pass a law that says transgenders [sic] and homosexuals are covered under the civil rights laws, then does it say anywhere that fat white people are covered? What if I’m overweight? I don’t mean that to be facetious. I’ve been fat all my life and people used to make fun of me when I was a kid. I could probably do something about it, okay? Maybe I can’t. Maybe it’s just my habits. Maybe I got some physical thing. But when I was a kid there were people who discriminated against me because I was fat.”

Now, he is a state representative and a member of the party in control of his state, and he is in a position to help those with whom he identifies if he sees there is a need.

If he sees a lack of protection for “fat” people, why, rather than prevent others from being protected, does he not take the positive step and work on legislation that would address the group to which he belongs.

He does not seem to realize that under many circumstances obese people are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act which says employers have to provide disabled workers with “reasonable accommodations” to help them do their jobs, and makes it illegal for employers to fire workers for being disabled, and the American Medical Association has determined that people with body mass indexes of more than 30 have a disease instead of a medical condition, and are, therefore, covered by the law.

So one would have to ask the Rep. that since obese people, even fat white ones, have protection under the law, why can’t GLBT people have those protections that preserve their rights as American citizens?

And to clarify:

GLBT people having the same rights as others does not make them “special”, just equal, unless as this Representative apparently admits, there are a lot of people who already have special rights, and he just refuses to share them with others.

It’s child abuse plain and simple

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Sally Kern is a state representative from the state of Oklahoma.

She insists that she has made few, if any, decisions in her life, so she bears no responsibility for things she has done because every major move in her life was undertaken because she was directed by God.

I may have mentioned before that she had decided to remain a virgin and preach the Gospel as a missionary, and this very well could have been the last decision she was ever to make because God took over immediately afterward.

According to her own telling of her life story, God subsequently told her she was to get married, and made things easier for her by telling her who the husband was to be. This was before He handed that duty over to that Christian Mingle web site.

She was then told to have children and raise them while her husband preached, and this gave way to God then telling her that since her children were of an age that they could fend for themselves she was to become a teacher and bring Jesus into the classroom and restore God to public schools.

This would explain why her classes in Government took on the attributes of spreading the Gospel and showing how nothing happened in the United States that was not directed by God.

This allowed her to speak against certain people because, well, God told her He did not like them, even the ones that were sitting in her classroom.

She might have liked them, she has said she does not hate Gay people, but it seems God told her not to.

When she hadn’t been as successful in God’s school directive as one would think she would have been since an all-powerful deity had given her the assignment and certainly would have helped her out, He told her to run for the state’s House of Representatives and bring God back state-wide.

But she has a dangerous obsession.

She hates Gay people with a passion that also envelopes Gay youth.

She pushes the perverted idea that being Gay is all about sex, as if she needs to make that assertion so she can think and talk about sex because God no longer wants her to have any.

She tells children that they are going to grow up to be perverts and are no better than animals, and that God hates them.

She did it while she was a teacher.

During adolescence when students are looking for answers to what are to them major questions, her default answer is to tell them that they will burn forever in hell and will be rejected by God and their families if they allow themselves to be who they are.

While Gay people want to love other Gay people, Sally Kern likes to dwell on the fantasy that, no, they want to love animals.

Gay people haven’t told her that. It is what she wants to believe.

And every year in her time as a state Rep, she has attempted to use her position to promote her perverse way of thinking, and has relished the opportunity to speak out loud about her own fantasies about who Gay people are.

She may not want to speak like an audio-porno magazine, but she has to in order to do God’s work. He makes her speak pornographically.

I taught down the hall from her. I never told her a thing about my personal life. Yet, she publicly told people that, while I might be a good teacher, my life-style was repulsive.

My life style, at the time, consisted of getting up in the morning, throwing on some clothes, walking the dog, arriving home to grab a cup of coffee, getting dressed, and going to work.

At the end of the school day I went to teacher staff developments, band practice, Union meetings, district educational committee meetings, or community betterment meetings on different days.

By the time I got home, I would walk my dog, prepare supper for the both of us, correct papers and write lesson plans, and, perhaps, do some artwork. Sometimes I cleaned the house and did laundry.

I ended my day going to bed at a decent hour so I could get up the next day and do it all again.

Once in a while I would date someone the old fashioned way, and on weekends I might go out for a night on the town with friends.

But according to Sally, in her mind anyway, it was perverted sex whenever I wasn’t doing all that other stuff.

Whatever sexually perverse activities she assumed I engaged in came from her imagination, not from my reality.

A year ago she came up with a bill to allow for unregulated conversion therapy, which is a bit of debunked quackery that attempts to make Gay kids straight by promoting a relationship with Jaysis, and relies heavily on induced guilt and self-loathing.

Regardless what is best for the kids, they could have been sent to conversion therapy for any reason a parent might choose even if it was only because of the embarrassment having a Gay child could cause a family, or because of the preacher man saying being Gay is the devil’s work.

Perhaps the kid liked art more than God’s chosen sport, football.

She wanted kids to be the victims of the political or religious beliefs of the uninformed.

Her bill would have made it illegal for those who are trained and work impartially with children, like Child Welfare, the Oklahoma Commission on Youth, the Department of Mental Health, and the Health Department, to voice any objection.

The system of referrals and delivery of services would have been totally unregulated.

There would have been no oversight of services defined as Conversion Therapy, and without inspection and oversight, including the ability to investigate a complaint, children sent to conversion therapy could have been exposed to quackery, snake oil salesmen, religious charlatans, and even child abuse and molestation conveniently passed off as therapeutic techniques.

Thankfully there were enough intelligent people at the state house to kill that bill.

But she is at it again this year.

I read Sally Kern’s latest proposed bill.
“No counselor, therapist, social worker, administrator, teacher
or other individual who provides counseling, guidance or
instructional services for a public school, public school district
or technology center school district may refer a student under the
age of eighteen (18) years to, nor provide the contact information,
business card, brochure or other informational materials of an
individual, organization or entity not employed by or under the
direct control of the school district in which that student is
enrolled if the referral or information provided pertains to human
sexuality without notifying the parents or legal guardians of the
student either by email, personal phone call or text message
at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to making the referral or
providing the information”

This will harm more than GLBT kids, and considering that a very broad definition of “Human Sexuality” can be applied, and will be, if history and experience count for anything, it will most likely be applied to any positive GLBT information and the advertising of GLBT student friendly things like PFLAG, Community events,  anything to do with safe spaces, or sources of information, including pastors of Gay accepting congregations. It could be used to deny GLBT students necessary information not denied equally to religion, even though religion deals with human sexuality in many ways.

Students will be forced into harmful silence as they may fear having whomever they talk to call their parents and outing them, or, worse, avoid asking important questions as they might feel they will be putting whoever the school related adult is in a terrible position and may be responsible for any adverse action taken against that person by school administration.

Even straight students can be put in awkward positions if they want to ask questions to better understand a Gay friend, or discuss their own sexuality and questions  they have about themselves.
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Sally is asking to be able to legally abuse students mentally and emotionally. She wants to scar them for life and be excused for doing it.

This would violate both Oklahoma  City School policies on Bullying, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination, and those of any town in Oklahoma with similar policies, and even the Equal Access Act as Gay/Straight Alliances will be deemed as dealing with human sexuality.

The assumption that GSAs are all about sex exists.

All the old arguments will come up again.

This woman will not be happy until she has gained control over the lives of children, and has forced her beliefs on people by law who otherwise would not accept them.

What she cannot accomplish by preaching her interpretation of the Gospel, that would be bringing people closer to the God of her making, she is attempting to do by legislation.

She wants to legalize child abuse.

She failed in that last year, and wants to try again this one.

A string attached to Christian charity.

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This is a Christian Nation.

Let’s just accept that.

In Flint, Michigan, people were exposed equally to lead in their water, and it would stand to reason that they would all be equally deserving of relief.

Helping them deal with a health problem not of their choosing, but one which was laid on them by those they trusted, by supplying them with clean water would be the Christian thing to do.

But, when it comes to Ted Cruz,  the Uber Christian, only those who oppose abortion will be given water from his charity. So if a living, walking-around kid has parents who are pro-choice, and ask for water, well then, too bad.

No water for you.

And then the government is going to grant relief, but, unlike with the poisoning, there is a catch.

The state is asking for a government issued ID because, as they claim, they want to be able to track where the water filters and other supplies are going.

Most unauthorized immigrants don’t have those IDs.

Immigration attorney Victoria Arteaga told station WIVB,

“I have been to an office where I’ve said I need water. They said, I need a state ID, a valid state ID, and proof that you are a resident of the city of Flint. Before I can give you a filter.”

An unintended consequence of this request (why can’t they be able to present a utility bill?) is that since government officials often ask for IDs as a way of limiting aid or services to legal residents, and also as a way to find out who is undocumented, most Immigrants, legal or otherwise are somewhat reluctant to be asked for an ID.

I was involved in a somewhat parallel situation when, advocating for stated school district protections for GLBT students in a city that is run by Baptists and has a rather 19th Century attitude toward them, and a place where GLBT students face harassment and bullying, I was told that students could have a Gay Straight Alliance, whose purpose is to supply a safe-place on campus, provided I would give the principal the names of two GLB or T students first.

To him this might have seemed a very simple thing to request, but not having experienced what GLBT people did in other places and still do there, he had no idea of the negative consequences of “outing” students in that environment.

Just as outing students as a requirement for a safe and affirming organization could expose them to negative treatment, to those who could suffer from it, a simple request for an ID with which they cannot comply could be a way to screen out unauthorized immigrants or even arrest them for trying to get water they’re supposedly not entitled to.

Michigan has begun explaining that the request for an ID only calls for voluntary compliance, but distribution centers will need to avoid telling those who come for filters and water that they need to show an ID, and the signs that are posted saying an ID is needed need to come down.

With all the political trumpeting during this election cycle when presidential candidates are trying to outdo each other in being the most strict on immigration, deportation, and mile long walls, unauthorized immigrants could very well associate government with immigration enforcement and deportation which will make them wary of contact with government.

This is dangerous in Flint, especially as private charities like Cruz’s put stipulations on aid, and the only other recourse is the government which can deport you if you cannot produce an ID.

 

Dear weathermen

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When I was a kid, it snowed in the winter.

Yep, it did.

The snow would come down, we would shovel it out of the driveway and walkways, and then, over time, it would melt.

Happened that way every time.

The only thing that changed was the amount that accumulated.

Sometimes school was cancelled, with the Humpty Dumpty Day school being the last on the list. If the person on TV or the radio who was reading the cancellation list got to that school, and yours had not been mentioned, you knew you had school.

The depth of the snow varied. Sometimes it was just deep enough to be annoying, while at other times it was deep enough that the snow banks left at the end of the driveway by the snow plows whose operators somehow knew you had just reached the street were taller than the man who lived across the street from us.

And he was tall.

The snow fell, you shoveled it, and life went on. No big deal.

Then the Blizzard of ’78 happened.

Before the snow began falling, the weathermen on the television had been saying that it would be a light dusting; nothing to be concerned about.

Don Kent, an original Boston weatherman, who had moved from radio to television in its early days, and who had been developing a reputation of being rarely correct, was the only one who said the snow would come fast and deep, and would not be the light dusting being predicted.

He was the local Cassandra who, while being ignored, would turn out to be correct, but his reputation had people ignoring him.

Life the day of the storm in ’78 went on as if it would just be a regular snow event.

I was the teachers’ union representative at the school where I taught at the time, and having gone out to my car get something I needed, and seeing how far up on my car’s wheels the snow had accumulated in a very short time, I went to the principal and suggested he consider speaking with the superintendent about a possible early dismissal.

They held to the dusting prediction, and took no action.

By the time school did let out, the snow made it difficult for the buses to get the kids home and for the faculty to drive home. As if to punish him for his bad decision, the storm forced the superintendent to have to stay at a warehouse for a few days since the roads to his home were not going to get plowed for a while.

Soon the Eastern end of the state was brought to a standstill as cars on highways and other major roads were unable to move, stopping traffic and preventing plows from being able to do what plows do.

Had people left school and work earlier in the storm, people would have been safely where they should have been, and the roads would have been clear enough to deal with.

As it was, cars began forming little blockades like on  Parcheesi board, as cars began to stall and the cars behind them couldn’t get by.

A series of unrelated things turned what should have been something that could have been handled into a total mess that led to a three week period where travel was banned so as to leave room on the roads to allow for emergency vehicles and essential services to get done.

Grocery stores could not be reached, and their parking lots could not be plowed anyway because of all the cars stranded in them. Hard to plow roads limited delivery trucks from restocking shelves.

Food became scarce, and towns had to establish ways to ration out essentials like bread and milk to their citizens.

In my town, if you could get to the town hall, you were given a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, and a dozen eggs that were supposed to last until you neighborhood’s turn came up again in a few days. With nothing to do and no way to drive anywhere, your whole day could consist of walking to and from town hall.

Don Kent had been correct, but he had been ignored.

Ever since then, there has not been one normal snow storm.

Well, actually, the storms might be normal, but the reaction of people as a storm approached certainly hasn’t been. Every snow storm is a Snowmegeddn, and the warnings that used to only be given at local news broadcast times now come on every few minutes, it seems, complete with dramatic music, garish graphics, ominous names, and hyperbolic descriptions.

Since 1978, every storm is the storm of the century, the one that will destroy lives and property, wash whole coastal areas out to sea, as if ocean storms do not usually do that, and necessitate the purchase of yet another snow shovel and more bread and milk than anyone will ever need from the time the snow begins falling and stores can be gotten to.

The problem is that as each storm peters out, people become progressively more lax about the dangers of the next one, the one that could actually be the one that people should pay more attention to.

But, if every storm is going to be the worst one ever, the worst becomes normal, and people will become complacent and remain unprepared.

The weathermen need to pull it back a little and only get all end-of-the-world-ish when it is definitely going to be a storm people should be ready for.

In my time in Oklahoma there were certain times of the year that tornadoes were expected. But, too many times the weather people would interrupt regularly scheduled programming to tell people on one side of the state that it was raining way over in the panhandle on the other side in a town that might have a cow, a bison, and someone who lives by himself with his dog because he doesn’t like living near other people.

This was done so often that when it was actually very necessary to prepare for the worst, most people stayed blasé about it all and their houses got blown away with them in them.

Perhaps these prognosticators of rain and snow should realize that theirs is not a dramatic job that has to rake in an audience. I don’t think any weathermen have fan clubs or get Emmies for best weather forecast.

The need to be first to inform has become a competition to say the most about the least before the other guy does.

If every storm is going to be catastrophic; every storm the worst ever; and every storm will cripple the country, then we will not know which one will actually be the one.

And, when the storm ends and Snowmageddon turns out to be just a few inconvenient inches, the one we should actually pay attention to will go ignored, and that is when the catastrophes will happen.

Take it down a notch.  Please.

A president whose country comes in second?

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In explaining himself, Ted Cruz has stated,
“I’m a Christian first, American second, conservative third and Republican fourth…I’ll tell ya, there are a whole lot of people in this country that feel exactly the same way.”

This would mean that when it came to prioritizing his loyalties, if he had to choose between the United States and his religion when it came to his country, his religion would take precedence.

Since he claims that he is the new John F Kennedy, he certainly must remember that when JFK was running for the presidency his being a Catholic concerned people as they feared that his loyalty would go first to Rome, and the pope would have undue influence on what happened in the United States.

How would the majority of this country respond if someone, say a Muslim, were to declare that his/her religion was first with them, and would not only exert undue influence on their decisions, but would be the winner in a conflict.

And as the job of the Commander in Chief is to protect the United States, where would he stand if we were ever in a position to have to defend ourselves against, or get involved in a war with a country that shared his religion?

The president ‘s loyalty should be to the country and its Constitution first.

Not so if it ever becomes President Cruz.

 

 

Ted Cruz, the man of truth

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Here is yet another example of the need to be honest, so important to the Republican Party.

Ted Cruz’s hatred of the Affodable Care Act is only too obvious.

He gave a filibuster on the senate floor to oppose it; speaks against it at every occasion that he can find a way to bring it up; and even misrepresents facts to make it appear to be something other than what it is.

In New Hampshire he recently announced, “I’ll tell you, you know who one of those millions of Americans is who’s lost their health care because of Obamacare? That would be me. I don’t have health care right now.”

Yep, according to Ted his healthcare coverage was ripped right from under him.

Except.

The Cruzes lost the coverage his wife had them covered by when she worked for Goldman-Sachs, because she went on the unpaid leave of absence made necessary by her needing to be there with Ted during his presidential campaign. To make up for the loss of coverage, Ted signed up for health insurance through Obamacare’s state insurance marketplaces.

Because of a Republican-sponsored amendment, federal lawmakers and their staffers are required to enroll in these Obamacare plans if they want to maintain the government contribution to their insurance.

The plan he chose was a PPO plan with BlueCross BlueShield of Texas, but for 2016, BCBS decided to offer only HMO plans on the individual marketplace.

A PPO is a collection of Doctors and hospitals that reach an agreement with an insurance company to provide health services at an agreed upon rate to those covered by the insurance company, while a health maintenance organization (HMO) contracts with health care professionals and facilities to create a “provider network.”

Ted and others with his type of coverage were notified of this decision back in July, and had five months to select a new HMO  or PPO  from another company, or stay with the BCBS HMO.

Ted Cruz, the responsible family man took no action. He just didn’t make a choice.

He first claimed it was because of Obamacare that his family has no coverage, and then clamed that his premiums would now go up 50% when in fact the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) showed that the average Obamacare premium for 2016 plans rose only by about 9% over last year’s rates.

“We’re in the process of finding another policy. I hope by the end of the month we’ll have a policy for our family. But our premiums — we just got a quote, our premiums are going up 50 percent. That’s happening all over the country.”

But, Cruz’s campaign spokesperson, Catherine Frazier, explained after Ted’s statement in New Hampshire that when Cruz’s prior BlueCross BlueShield “preferred provider organization” policy, the PP0 his family had been on, ceased at the end of December, having been notified of that and his need to make a decision by then back in July but doing nothing, the carrier automatically enrolled his family in an HMO plan that kept them covered in January.

So, in spite of what he told people, he and his family have been covered, and have until the end of January to decide to stay with the BCBS HMO, or go with a preferred plan from another company that it was assumed he would have been researching.

He either really thought he was uninsured, which makes him look bad, or thought he could tell a good story that people would buy without question.

According to Frazier, Cruz doesn’t intend to continue his coverage BlueCross BlueShield, and has signed up for a new policy with Humana.

As far as his 50% premium increase, BCBS rates actually went down, and the only reason for any increase is that Cruz finally decided to go with another insurance company, Humana, that had a PPO with higher premium rates.

And, even with the higher premiums he is eligible for a government subsidy that would cover 75% of the cost of his insurance coverage.

So, no, Ted, you did not lose your insurance because of Obamacare.

You never lost it at all.

And, Ted, as far as a premium increase, that, too, cannot be blamed on Obamacare, but on your decision to change your insurance carrier.

This is the man that said one of the most important things for a politician is honesty.

“Telling the truth in Washington, D.C., is a radical act.”

Obviously Ted Cruz is short on radical action.

He actually said it

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When he speaks, Donald Trump never gives any specifics.

The closest he comes to policy statements or actual plans for an agenda is simply stating that something is wrong, it needs to be fixed, and he is the one who will fix it.

He avoids explaining how he would do that.

He also spends a lot of time telling the crowd to whom he is speaking that they are a big crowd, and by how much he leads the other presidential hopefuls.

But he never says anything of substance.

And many times he is just so far out in left field.

This weekend he boasted that support for his presidential campaign is so strong, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”

Yipes.

Is that his assessment of his supporters that they are so mindless and void of principle that they would just blindly follow him, no matter what he did, or said?

His supporters have said that almost nothing he could do would make them change their minds about voting for him.

Shooting someone in cold blood might constitute that “almost” qualifier.

One would hope.

Unintended consequences?

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One of the original purposes for the GOP’s smaller government was to allow it to enter the vaginas of rape victims and women seeking abortions with probes.

Now, the claim for the need for smaller government is so that a person’s genitals can be inspected before a entering a restroom to insure that a Transgender person uses the proper one according to their gender as defined by the GOP.

The claim is that people need to be protected from bathroom predators.

But the fact is that there have been no cases reported of a Transgender person preying on anyone using a restroom, but there have been cases of GOP senators being arrested for soliciting sex in public restrooms.

And before anyone says that this is important to curb non-existent Transgender behavior, and a fine is a good deterrent, remember that you can fit more urinals in a men’s room than toilet stalls in a ladies’, which explains why there is rarely a line at the men’s, and why, at weddings and restaurants, the temptation for women to run into a men’s room to use the often neglected stalls, is subject to the fine if given into.

The suggested fine is $50.

In the past, while men could just run in, do their business, and get right out, all for free, women had to pay a dime to get into a stall.

Now that convenient, quick run into the men’s room at a crowded family event, could help make up for a lot of those lost dimes over the years.

While using Transgender people as the blind, there is an unintended consequence to these new rules, if it is unintended.