Monday, March 27, 2017

Epic FAIL By Trump and GOP To Repeal Obamacare! SAD!

So. The GOP (Gang Of Plunderers) have an overwhelming majority in the House of Representatives, control the Senate, and hold the Presidency, and they couldn't repeal Obamacare (aka the "Affordable Care Act," and "Affordable" it ain't [1]). As a certain president is wont to say of others, "Pathetic!"

Here's how it went down. During the regime of Barack "The Drone Assassin" Obama, the Republicans who control the House passed bills over 60 times repealing Obamacare. (A bill has to pass both chambers of Congress, the House and Senate, and then be signed by the president to become law. If the president vetoes a bill, both chambers of Congress have to pass the bill again by at least a 2/3rds majority in both chambers to override the veto and become law. This rarely happens.)

Now, with their control of both chambers and the presidency, you'd think it would be child's play for the Republicans to have their way at last with the hated Obamacare. They've only spent practically the entirely of the Reign of Obama cursing at Obamacare and vowing to repeal it. It was also one of the main campaign themes of Trump's candidacy (along with deporting immigrants, building a wall on the Mexican border and making Mexico pay for it, tearing up existing trade deals and magically recreating millions of lost industrial jobs. Oh, and "winning." So MUCH "winning!" Indeed, "we’ll have so much winning, you’ll get bored with winning!" Trump bellowed. [2]

But a funny thing happened on the way to the Republicans' Promised Land, the repeal of Obamacare, something they spent the past seven years vowing to do and that Trump made a major theme of his presidential campaign: the Republicans couldn't agree amongst themselves about a replacement law! So they didn't even vote!

Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, (the highest member of the body, who is elected by the House, meaning that the party with the majority picks one of their own party members for the post) had the responsibility to pass the "replacement" for Obamacare, which Trump and various GOP politicians promised, absurdly, would be cheaper than Obamacare, insure more people, and provide better coverage. All lies, as duly exposed by the analysis of the Congressional Budget Office. 

In any event, just hours before a scheduled vote on the bill, Ryan cancelled the vote. He didn't have the votes for it to pass, even though the Republicans hold a large majority in the House. 

"Moderate" Republicans realized that too many of their constituents would be smashed by the Trump-Ryan replacement plan. Fearing for their reelection prospects, they balked.

Another batch of Republicans, the most extreme reactionaries among the GOP House members who clump together in a group and are self-dubbed the "Freedom Caucus," refused to support the Trump-Ryan bill because it wasn't destructive enough

And of course the Democrats were solidly opposed, united in defense of Obama's signature "achievement," a key trope in his "legacy."

Trump, that Supreme Dealmaker and Negotiator Extraordinaire, unleashed his mighty dealmaking superpowers by holding a jawboning session with Republican House members. 

To no avail.

Trump once paid someone to write a book for him, that Trump has ever since pretended to write himself, titled The Art of the Deal. So Trump, the dealmaking artiste, made a messy finger-painting of a deal.

Trump claims that his favorite activity is making deals. I think what he means is he enjoys taking advantage of people and exploiting them and conning them. He's conned investors, bankers, business partners, contractors, and many others. 

Yet on the day the House was to vote on the measure, having done a last headcount of supporters and opponents of the bill, Ryan cancelled the vote to avoid a humiliating defeat.

Trump, never one to admit failure or accept responsibility, much less blame, just walked away with a shrug, declaring that he's moving on to tax "reform."

Nevertheless, the undeniable bottom line is this:

Self-proclaimed World's Greatest Negotiator, Ace Dealmaker Donald J. Trump FAILS!

Maybe he should fire himself.

1]  85% of the people who visited the government website to purchase insurance as they are now required by law to do, under penalty of a fine collected by the IRS if they don't, didn't purchase insurance there. At least one reason was expense. Those plans aren't cheap, and not everyone qualifies for a government subsidy to partially offset the cost.

On the other hand, the expansion of Medicaid, the government insurance program for the poor, helped people in those states not ruled by cruel Republican governors who forbade the expansion in "their" states. (GOP apparatchiks sitting on the Supreme Court as "Justices" allowed this refusal to go along with the law.) Unfortunately Medicaid pays so little to health care providers that most doctors won't accept it, and those on Medicaid have to rely on public hospitals or on clinics with second and third rate doctors. And forget about dentists. Almost none accept it. Only bad dentists accept Medicaid. (I speak from experience.)

2]  Yeah, he said that.

He also said, "We gonna win so much you may even get tired of winning and you'll say please, please It's too much winning! We can't take it anymore!" It's on video. 

See, the U.S. will "start winning again" when he's in charge, he said, ad nauseam, while campaigning, so much winning that  "people are gonna get sick of it." "You're gonna come up, and they're gonna call me up from Texas, 'Mr. Trump, sir, you have thousands and thousands of calls from Texas. They're all your friends. They heard you speak one night. Mr. Trump! They're very upset. President Trump, they're very upset,'" Trump vowed.

He predicted getting "thousands and thousands of calls from Texas" from people upset with him because he'll be "winning" on every issue.

He claimed  people will be saying "'Everything is a win. You're winning on trade. You're winning at the border. You're winning with your military. You're winning on health care.' We're gonna repeal that horrible stuff and replace it." (Umm, or not.) ["Donald Trump goes on epic rant about winning," (CBS News, June 18, 2016.)

He repeated the theme, immediately contradicting himself. "We will have so much winning if I get elected that you may get bored with the winning," Trump said Wednesday. "Believe me, I agree, [he agrees with himself!] you'll never get bored with winning. [Which is it? Bored or not bored?] We never get bored. We are going to turn this country around. We are going to start winning big on trade. Militarily, we're going to build up our military. We're going to have such a strong military that nobody, nobody is going to mess with us. We're not going to have to use it." [Real Clear Politics, September 9, 2015.]

Well, Mr. Trump, no one is tired or bored yet with all your winning, but some people have had more than enough of your bluster and braggadoccio.

Believe me.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

FBI Secret Police Boss Tacitly Admits Trump Wiretap, While Denying It

FBI secret police chief James Comey testified to the House Intelligence Committee on March 20, and disclosed what the U.S. media considers a "bombshell;" namely that the FBI has been running a so-called foreign counterintelligence investigation since July 2016 into possible ties between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia. He also averred that criminal charges could be brought, depending on what was found.

Well, obviously such an investigation would involve monitoring of phones. And since Trump ran his campaign out of his lair in Trump tower, those phones would likely be tapped. And the calls of campaign aides to Trump would capture conversations between him and them.

The U.S. media is absurdly pretending that the likes of Comey would never lie. What nonsense. In fact, the first secret police poohbah who was trotted out publicly to deny Trump's claim of being tapped was known egregious liar James "Pinocchio" Clapper, Obama's former Director of National Intelligence. That U.S. corporate propagandists could pretend Clapper has the slightest credibility shows how cynical and unethical they are.

In any event, ALL of our phones are tapped ALL the time by the NSA, a military agency. The media propagandists want us to believe that if the FBI and NSA bosses deny something, we should absolutely trust them. (Both claimed to be unaware of any taps on Trump.) Secret police agencies are in the business of deception and concealment. Lying is their usual mode. Only a fraction of what they say is ever truthful.

NSA veteran Russ Tice has told us about the NSA's practice of spying on the communications of all the members of the top echelons of U.S. power, including their putative "overseers," the judges of the FISA court and Congresspeople on the intelligence committee. They even spied on an Illinois State Senator who was preparing to run for the U.S. Senate in 2004, a guy by the name of Barack Hussein Obama.

Here are links to Clapper's most notorious lie:

Short version: "James 'Pinocchio' Clapper's biggest whopper."  

Longer excerpt with context: "7 Minutes of Lies & Evasions From DNI James 'Pinocchio' Clapper culminating in his notorious whopper."  

Here is the link to the excerpt from the Tice interview. From there you can go to the full interview. "NSA Whistleblower Russ Tice Describes top NSA domestic targets."  

Monday, March 20, 2017

Rex Tillerson Is The Most Irrelevant Secretary of State Since William Rogers

 Rogers was Nixon's Secretary of State. Kept out of the loop, Nixon ran foreign policy himself with his henchman Henry Kissinger, a sycophantic brownnoser to power. Kissinger was Nixon's National Security Adviser until Rogers was tossed overboard and Kissinger became Sec. of State.

Nixon was a pathological creep who held his cabinet members in contempt.

I don't know if Trump holds Tillerson in contempt. He probably thinks he's better than Rex because he's richer (presumably). Tillerson has been nearly invisible. The top staff positions at State other than Tillerson are vacant. Trump is proposing to slash the State Department's budget by 28%- a huge downgrade.

Tillerson makes pronouncements that disappear almost immediately, like pebbles tossed into a pond.

For some reason, Tillerson refuses to allow the media to accompany him. Either he doesn't want to be observed, or Trump decreed this. On his current trip to Asia, he brought along on his plane just one pseudo-journalist, a propagandist who is designated to function as a shill. Two GOP (Gang Of Plunderers) operatives formed a fake "news" outfit a few weeks ago, and hired this young women with zero journalistic background or experience to pretend to be a reporter. She is the sum total of the "press pool" accompanying Tillerson in Asia.

Tillerson just made an empty threat to go to war with North Korea, employing the usual U.S. gangster lingo, the euphemism "all options are on the table." Except that war with the deranged, nuclear-armed North Korean regime would be an act of insanity. Aside from its nuclear weapons, the North Korean totalitarian cult has 10,000 artillery pieces aimed at Seoul, South Korea, the capital and commercial center of that nation. I don't think the South Koreans would appreciate having it obliterated.

But Tillerson has wasted no time in prnetsh int ip reset c:\resetlog.txt      oving himself truly loathsome. Since the bloodthirsty Rodrigo Duterte became president of the Philippines last June on a platform of murdering "drug dealers an users," over 6,000 mostly poor Filipinos have been murdered in their homes and on the streets by Duterte's hit squads and independent "vigilantes." When pressed on this in Congress, Tillerson refused to condemn or criticize it.

See "Rex Tillerson Sets Off Alarm Bells in the Human-Rights Community," The Nation, January 12, 2017.

"I am NOT irrelevant, DAMN it!"