This just in:  I always vote.  I do this because it’s my right. I do this because, in my mind, it gives me the right to complain.  If I don’t vote, then I have no business whining if someone else gets elected.

In 2018, I expect to vote against the Republican Party.  Here is why…

  1. I think money in politics has ruined our democracy.  Companies and wealthy individuals are actually buying votes…legally.  I saw where the Koch brothers said they would fund the campaigns of Republicans that voted against Trumpcare.  This is buying votes.
  2. I am against Gerrymandering.  This is a blatant attempt to make one vote NOT count as one vote.  Both parties do it but the Republican Party has taken it to new heights.
  3. I am against voter suppression.  The Republican party is the ONLY party that does this in an attempt to keep people from voting that will not vote Republican.
  4. I am pro-legalized abortion.  This does not mean I like abortion.  I don’t think anyone does.  I do know that making abortion illegal will not slow down abortions. It will just make women find more dangerous ways to get out of a situation they created in conjunction with a man.
  5. I like Planned Parenthood because it reduces abortions and provides healthcare to women that would otherwise have to go without.
  6. I like green energy.  I like it because it saves the planet and is creating tens of thousands of new, high paying jobs.  I like us to stay up with the rest of the world when it comes to technology.  We should lead but at the very least…we need to stay in the race.
  7. I don’t like getting rid of environmental protections.  We are not going to return to coal…that ship has sailed.  The impact of getting rid of these protections is pollution without job creation.  Consumers create jobs.  A company’s ability to dump its waste in a river will not create a single job…well maybe one for the guy that drives the truck down to the river.
  8. I think its traitorous for the Republican Party to work hand-in-hand with Trump to stifle all efforts to find out if he colluded with the Russians in the last election.
  9. I believe religion has NO PLACE in government.
  10. I believe in LGBT rights.
  11. I want Universal Health Care.  To be honest, I would pay less money for insurance under Trumpcare because of my income.  However, most Americans would pay more.  This is especially true for the elderly and the poor.  I am a patriot first.   We are a stronger country when we take care of each other.  I want Universal Health Care because there is overwhelming evidence that it is far better than Obamacare, than Trumpcare and far, far better than the Free Market.
  12. I stand against racism.
  13. I believe that if we want nice things, like education, we need to pay for it by taxing ourselves.  I’m not an advocate of waste but taxation is not “taking”.  If the Federal government does not want to do things to help Americans, fine.  Reduce my Federal taxes and raise my taxes in California.  I would pay more in taxes for better education and healthcare and roads.  I don’t want to pay for a wall because it made for a cute campaign bumper sticker.
  14. I think Science is a real thing
  15. I think education is the path to better jobs and global competition.
  16. I think history has lessons to teach us.  I also believe that the past is fixed and not subject to change. (see Trump on a daily basis).
  17. I think NATO is important.
  18. I think diplomacy and statesmanship are as important as tanks.
  19. I think Russia cannot be trusted.
  20. I believe in free trade and that such trade does not happen by accident.
  21. I think that kicking out illegal immigrants only brings back jobs at the absolutely lowest point in our job/income scale.

Now, notice that I didn’t say I would vote Democrat.  I think Pelosi is a dinosaur that needs to be put out to pasture.  I think they are becoming what I detest, a party that clings to the past.  While I liked Obama, I don’t want us to stay in his world.  We need to move forward lest the rest of the world leave us in the dust.

I rarely vote along party lines so I will feel free to cross over if the right candidate catches my eye.

Right now, I’m hoping that a 40 year old Bernie Sanders comes along.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

This just in:  Health insurance is all about math.  If you think its about slogans, then you are a Trump supporter and thus, part of the problem.

Next year…there will be a certain amount of childbirths in the United States.  The healthcare plan we have in place, no matter what that plan is, will not change that number.

So, assuming this is true…let’s take a look at A-la-carte healthcare plans.

This is the basis of the Republican plan…you get to choose what you want to be insured for.

So…as a man, I don’t want to buy pre-natal care.  I don’t want to buy post-natal care.  I don’t buy this and save a ton of money.  The GOP calls this “patient centered” insurance.  I only buy what I need.

Now, as a woman, I still need this type of care…so I have to buy a plan that has this type of coverage.

Isn’t this great?!  People only buy what they need.

However, the birthrate didn’t change.  The amount of cost the insurance companies have will not change.  The amount of money they have to pay out will not change and their profit margin will not change.

What will change is that instead of everyone sharing in the cost of prenatal care, only the women will.  Someone will pay less and someone else will pay more.

This is called a “Zero Sum Game”.

My intent is not to say, “Let’s take care of women.”  I could have chosen something else.

Let’s take a man issue.  If only men have to buy coverage for colon cancer, their costs will go up for this by the same amount that women’s costs go down.

By making everyone by a certain baseline of insurance, we are accomplishing two very important things.  The first is that we now all know what is in our plan.  No more finding out that the small print says, “We will cover broken bones but only if they occur on odd numbered days.”  Secondly, we spread the risk.

If we don’t spread the risk, the elderly will have far, far higher insurance costs compared to the young.  The older you get, the more health problems you will have.

We can do this.  We can shuffle the cost of healthcare to the elderly since they need it the most.  But let’s do that knowingly.  Don’t fall for “patient centered healthcare” slogans because those mean nothing.

The Republican Party is betting that you are not good at math.

Up, up  and away…

Jim

This just in:  As a Superhero, I have access to a Super Computer; one very similar to IBM’s Watson.  I can ask it a question and it will give me the most likely answer. In other words, if there is smoke, it will reach the conclusion that there is something causing that smoke.  I’ve decided to interview it with regards to the Republican Party and Donald Trump.

The following may or may not be a transcript of that interview…

Me:  Why doesn’t Trump want to show his tax returns?

Computer:  Because they would tell you something bad about him; something worse that what is currently being speculated.  Otherwise…he would show them to end the speculation.

Me: Is Trump being blackmailed by the Russians?

Computer: Yes. He has three weaknesses in his personality that are typically used for exploitation by the Russians.  He has frequent money problems and needs to be bailed out.  He has women problems and has been known to hang out with a notorious pedophile.  He is easily manipulated by praise and criticism.

Me: Is this why Trump never says anything bad about Russia?

Computer: Of course.

Me: Why are the Republicans supporting Trump?

Computer: Because to do otherwise would not help them.

Me: What does that mean?

Computer:  Trump is at once, their rubber stamp and their fall guy.  The Republican Party works for big campaign contributors.  The Koch brothers, for example, like big oil and so the GOP needs Trump to take the blame as the Republican Party trashes one enviromental protection after another.  Many wealthy contributors want fewer taxes so the Republicans will manipulate Trump into several actions that cut taxes for the wealth.  The GOP has made a career out of using Obamacare to say what they don’t like about Democrats.  Now that they are in charge, they realize that their bluff has been called.  They need Trump to take the blame for a healthcare plan that is worse than what we are doing now.

Me: Is there another reason the GOP wants to get rid of Obamacare other than “It wasn’t our idea?”

Computer:  Yes.  Their new plan is another tax cut for the rich.  They are being paid by the rich, not to make healthcare better for Americans but to reduce taxes for the rich.

Me:  Why was Jeff Sessions so anxious to support Trump during his campaign?

Computer:  Trump promised to make him the Attorney General.  Trump needed loyalty in that position since it was anticipated that he would come under investigation about his Russian ties.  Sessions would be able to stifle that investigation.  When Sessions stepped aside, Trump was furious.  He’d hired Sessions to protect him (Trump) not get out of the way.

Me:  Is Gerrymandering and Voter Suppression democratic?

Computer:  You don’t need me to tell you that.  Ask any 8 year old.  These two practices are two of the three things that the Republican party does that are in direct conflict with the word “democracy.”

Me:  What is the third?

Computer: The Republican party runs on money from special interests.  They will do whatever it takes to keep unlimited campaign funds coming into their party pockets.

Me:  Why does Trump lie so much?

Computer: For two reasons.  First, he has a sickness that makes it difficult for him to understand the depth of impact his lying has on his and our country’s credibility.  Secondly, he gets away with it.

Me:  Why does he get away with it?

Computer:  About 37% of the American population will watch him shoot a man dead in the street with their own eyes and then believe him when he turns to them and says, “Obama just shot that guy…bigly.”

Me:  Is Trump a traitor?  By that I mean, is he putting his own interests ahead of the entire country’s?  And, is the Republican party equally guilty by knowingly allowing this to happen?

Computer: Yes and Yes.

My computer is starting to overheat so I think I’ll give it a rest for now.  There will be more to come.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

This just in:  Like most of the world, I wonder that a phenomena such as Trump exists.  I’m not sure what is more interesting to me, his actions or the fact that he has actual people following him like puppies.

Then I look at everything whirling around him and think “How can we be tolerating this?”

Perhaps we are not.  Perhaps what is going on is exactly what people want to happen.  Maybe it’s My Perspective that is off.

To check this, I thought I would make a list of things “I just don’t get.”

I don’t get…

  1. Why we worry about Social Security when the solution is to simply lift the payroll cap.  Many don’t know this but after you make a certain amount of money in a year, you no longer pay into Social Security.  Right now the cap is $118,500.  So, once you make that amount, your taxes on the next dollar (and every dollar after than) drop by about 8%.  Not lifting the cap benefits only the wealthy. (Note: Follow the money)
  2. Why are we getting ready to implement a healthcare plan that will ruin the lives of millions of Americans – MILLIONS.  The elderly and the poor will be the most impacted.  Republicans will tell you its because of our debt; that we can’t afford to pay for healthcare.  Then, as they are saying that, they give a 3.5% tax cut to the rich; money saved by cutting services disguised as Repealing Obamacare. (Note: Follow the money)
  3. Why are we cutting social services, arts, the environment, aid to the poor, support the the U.N. and virtually every other service that could be defined as “improving the quality of lives everywhere.”  Republicans will tell you we have to do this so we can increase spending on the military, on homeland security, on a wall and on police forces.  Notice a trend here?  We would rather be afraid than beautiful.  We could pay for this military stuff with taxes but the Republican Party will not raise taxes because they are paid not to. (Follow the money)
  4. The Republican Party shamelessly backs Trump in spite of the fact that Trump is (1) a pathological liar and (2) Trump is clearly incompetent in every area ranging from basic leadership skills to foreign relations, to the economy and healthcare.  I would be hard pressed to find a single trait that he possesses that qualify him to be POTUS.  The back him in spite of daily scandals and so much smoke surrounding his Russian ties that we are at near zero visibility.

Am I alone in these things?

Right now Trump is wagging nuclear weapons at North Korea who is led by a Trump-like figure of their own.

We have turned the fate of the world over to the darkest side of ourselves.

That’s how I see it.  But then again…maybe I’m alone in this.

Up, up and away…

Jim

This just in:  As a disclaimer, I am not referring to what a “Republican” was 10 years ago.  I also want to stress the “just might be” part of this post.  My intent is to not throw a broad net over everyone that identifies as a Republican and attribute the following traits to them all.

So let’s start…

  1. You just might be a Republican if you think white people are superior to non-white people.
  2. You might be a Republican if you think the poor don’t buy healthcare insurance because they want iphones instead.
  3. You just might be a Republican if you think ALL regulations are bad and are stifling growth.
  4. If you think taxation is the same as “taking”, then you just might be a Republican.
  5. If you think tax cuts for the ultra rich are more important that universal healthcare…then you just might be a Republican.
  6. If you think it’s okay for the President of the United States to lie to the American public on a daily basis…you just might be a Republican.
  7. If you think the United States is meant to be a Christian Nation, then you just might be a Republican.
  8. If you don’t believe in science, then you just might be a Republican.
  9. If you don’t understand basic economics, then you just might be a Republican.
  10. You just might be a Republican if you think the poor like being that way so they can get free stuff.
  11. You just might be a Republican if you think undocumented immigrants are a bigger threat to the average American than domestic gun violence.
  12. If you don’t agree that domestically grown terrorists exist and are a much greater threat than immigrant terrorists, then you just might be a Republican.
  13. If you think Putin is a man to be admired, then you just might be a Republican.
  14. If you think that healthcare should be left to the Free Market, then you just might be a Republican.
  15. If you think corruption at the very highest levels of our government is acceptable because “he won the election” then you just might be a Republican.
  16. If you use God to justify your hate….then you just might be a Republican.
  17. If you nod in agreement when a Republican Congressman King tweets ” that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies” then you might be a Republican.
  18. If you believe that Trump will bring back jobs to the United States, then you just might be a Republican.
  19. If you think Trump is honest; that he understands the “average man”; that he will put middle America’s interests ahead of the wealth; that he understands diplomacy; that he understands economics; that he understands negotiations; that he understands healthcare and that he understands the science behind Global Warming, then you just might be a Republican.
  20. If you think we need more nuclear weapons, then you just might be a Republican.
  21. If you think it’s not Trump’s fault that the U.K., the E.U., the U.N. are all turning their backs on the United States, then you just might be a Republican.
  22. You just might be a Republican if you think that the government’s unemployment numbers are only correct when Trump tells you they are correct.
  23. If you think all news that you don’t like is fake news, then you just might be a Republican.
  24. You just might be a Republican if you gobble up fake news like a dog scarfing down bacon bits.
  25. You might be a Republican if you think torture is okay under any circumstance.
  26. If you think Muslims are terrorists, then you just might be a Republican.
  27. If you think any form of racism is acceptable, then you just might be a Republican.
  28. If you support banning immigrants from Muslim countries is a good idea, even when our best intelligence agencies say just the opposite, then you might just be a Republican.
  29. If you think a Free Press is the Enemy of the State, then you just might be a Republican.
  30. If you are okay with Trump and his family profiting from his position as POTUS, then you just might be a Republican.
  31. If you think the Trump/Russian connection is nothing to be concerned about, you just might be a Republican.
  32. If you think Trump is not releasing his tax forms simply because he is being audited, then you just might be a Republican.
  33. If you think the ACA and Obamacare are two different things, then you just might be a Republican.
  34. If you think the United States is worse off after 8 years of Obama, then you just might be a Republican.
  35. You just might be a Republican if you think a $25 Billion wall will fix immigration.
  36. If you don’t care that Trump has said nothing about Russia’s treaty defying release of a new missile system, then you just might be a Republican.
  37. You just might be a Republican if you think environmental protections are bad for our country.
  38. If you think Paul Ryan has the slightest idea of what he is doing with Healthcare, you just might be a Republican.
  39. You just might be a Republican if you think corporations should be able donate infinite money to politicians.
  40. If you think tax cuts will grow our economy you just might be a Republican.
  41. If you think saying “we need to rebuild our infrastructure” is the same thing as actually rebuilding our infrastructure, then you just might be a Republican.
  42. If you think it was okay for the GOP to not let Obama pick a Supreme Court nominee because “he only has a year left in his term” then you just might be a Republican.
  43. If you don’t understand the terms “false equivalency” “cognitive dissonance” and “confirmation bias,” then you just might be a Republican.
  44. I suppose I could go on and on.   Trump and his crew offer up no shortage of things to be appalled about.  The latest being a healthcare plan that does just the opposite of what Trump promised.
  45. If you think you know the will of God and speak/act on his behalf, then you just might be a Republican.
  46. If you think denying people access to birth control will not increase abortions, you might be a Republican.
  47. If you think making abortions illegal will reduce the number of abortions rather than chase women into the alleys to get them done anyway, then you might be a Republican.
  48. If you think private prisons don’t have a vested interest in keeping their prisons full, then you might be a Republican.
  49. If you think green energy creates fewer jobs than fossil fuel industries, then you might be a Republican.
  50. If you think kicking migrant workers out of the United States will create more good paying jobs, then you just might be a Republican.

Up, up and away…

Jim

This just in: Paul Ryan just said that that insurance cannot work if healthy people have to pay more to subsidize the sick.  This, he claims, is why Obamacare is failing.

What he apparently is unaware of is that this is EXACTLY HOW ALL INSURANCE WORKS.

Let’s go through a bit of history…

Before Government intervention

Rates were going up by double digits every year.  People that once had no deductible suddenly found that they now had huge deductibles.  People were denied insurance if they were sick.  Kids had no insurance once they moved out.  Shopping for insurance meant that you had to compare plan A to plan B without understanding the difference between the two.

Along Came RomneyCare

Massachusetts (<- hard word to spell) put in a state-run system that was essentially Obamacare but just for that one state.  It was a huge success; lowering costs and improving coverage.

Obamacare

The Democrats worked on this policy for about 6 months.  Nearly every idea in the plan had been supported by the Republican Party at some point in the previous 10 years.  The Republicans opposed everything as a matter of policy.  It was more important to make Obama look bad than to help the country with the number one economic burden on the public.  Eventually, the plan was implemented.  It had problems at first.  Those were fixed but it still had weaknesses that Obama publicly invited the Republicans to help fix (which they denied).

Romney ran against Obama

The Romney Problem was that he implemented Obamacare in Massachusetts.  How would he campaign against it?  The solution was to say, “It works as a state thing but not as a national thing. States should each have their own policy.”  While this makes no sense, Republican voters ate it up.

ObamaCare impact.

About 30 million more Americans got healthcare coverage.   The rate of the growth of healthcare costs was nearly cut in half.  Still, we pay about twice as much as the rest of the world for healthcare and we are still less healthy and die earlier.  The Republican Party would hold up samples of people whose costs went up.  In nearly every case, someone was paying $50 a month or so for insurance that basically provided aspirin and nothing more.

Repeal and Replace

The Republican Party tried to repeal Obamacare at least 60 times.  Each time saying it was “in a death sprial” or “out of control” or “death panels.”  All of these are easily disproven by someone interested in the truth rather than in what they want to believe.  They always claimed to have a better plan ready to go.

Along came Trump

Trump promise insurance for everyone.  Furthermore, it would be cheaper and far better.  By now it should be clear that Trump is not very bright.  He has made several statements about how bad Obamacare is without stating one single thing about it that he didn’t like.  (He does the same thing with Trade Agreements and International Relations and Economics).  Trump is such a habitual liar we should just leave him out of this discussion.

The Replacement

Paul Ryan is the best the GOP has to offer when it comes to policies.  Paul Ryan is probably a C student, based on his statements about insurance.  The new plan has no “Finally someone fixed that issue” pieces to it.  It essentially gives the top 1% about a $30 Billion to $60 Billion a year tax cut.  Now, if they are paying less, then we should expect less coverage which is exactly what will happen.  Estimates are than 10 million people will lose coverage in the first year alone.  Without the healthy contributing to the sick…health care for the sick and “likely to be sick” (aka elderly) will have to pay more.  You don’t have to buy insurance combined with keeping the pre-existing condition clause means those with insurance will face far higher rates.

In my humble opinion

I want better healthcare.  I realize that my critique of the GOP plan may look a lot like the GOP scare tactics used when Obamacare was implemented.  However, I think that touting your plan as “the better plan” because it has far fewer pages is…amateurish at best.  I know they are cutting hundreds of billions out of this system.  When they do that, you should expect lower coverage.  It’s just math (something the GOP is extremely poor at).  The only reason any Republican would like this plan is that they are being paid to like it.  Big Pharma and the insurance industry are fighting for their very existence.  The fact that the Republican Party is so “bribery receptive” is the only thing keeping them in the game.

I think we need some sort of Universal or Single Payer plan.  A plan where my taxes go up but my healthcare expenses disappear.  In the end, I pay less.  There is one single reason that I like this plan – IT WORKS EVERYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD WHERE THEY USE IT.

Up, up and away…

Jim

This just in:  I finally gave up on trying to save my old blog from “creeping hackerware.”

Over the years, I’d added advertising, then took it out.  I had contact forms and widgets and plugins; all in the name of “keeping up with the internet.”  Nothing ventured – nothing gained.

One thing I did learn is that people like to hack into websites.  I get that.  Some people need to have just a little “bad” in their life to make it worth living.  I think I have some of that myself.  Still, it caused me to eventually wipe the slate clean.  There was just too much damaged and damaging code floating around for me to find it worthwhile to clean up.

This is basically the same blog as before.  Same web address.  Same title.  Same purpose: To keep my head from exploding.

However, by starting over, I scrubbed away all of my past posts.  There are no bells or whistles.  Perhaps I will add a few as time goes by but for now, I just want to get this up and running again.

Tomorrow I will start complaining again.  My first target – Healthcare Reform (a.k.a. The GOP’s childlike attempt to fix something very complicated using Elmer’s Glue).

Up, up and away…

Jim