Tag Archives: healthcare

Difficulty Feeling Bad For John McCain: The Point Of No Return

26 Jul

Yesterday marks a very sad day in the history of the United States, albeit we have had too many sad days since 45 was elected. Yesterday was particularly unconscionable, in that we witnessed 50 senators and the Vice President actively taking steps to take away health insurance for millions of Americans — a new low, even for the GOP. Yes, the Republicans are moving forward on Trumpcare when it does not even exist yet.

Another exceedingly problematic part to this equation is that Senator John McCain (who has been on the wrong side of history for at least the past two decades) showed up to Washington, DC only to vote the wrong way. The irony is more than just heavy, given his recent diagnosis of a brain tumor while he has the best healthcare plan possible in this country, paid by taxpayer dollars. Yes, while McCain and all of Congress don’t have to worry about healthcare, Mr. Maverick voted to take away health insurance for over 20 million Americans. I am having a very difficult time trying to have compassion for the homophobic, misogynistic, racist, John McCain. While he frothed at the mouth about how ridiculous this whole process has been, he nevertheless decided to participate and is part of the ridiculousness and he is a part of the problem. I’m quite nonplussed as to how this is “Making America Great Again,” a quote by 45 that has always felt like coded racist language to me, for “Making America White Again.” McCain’s hypocrisy is emblematic of the hypocrisy that is the Republican party.

It has been difficult to keep up with the blog in the past six months, as I find it more than a little bit depressing to keep up with how destructive 45 and this administration have been. I seem to get at least two or three new stories from the New York Times every day about how 45 has embarrassed the nation yet again. For those that are holding hope that he will be impeached, it is not going to happen, as much as I would love to get rid of this entire administration. The sociopathic duo known as Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are not going to bring 45 up for impeachment. Let us instead take action and prepare for the 2018 midterm election.

For those experiencing great 45 Fatigue ( a new diagnosis that I am introducing and should be in the DSM), I would offer this: finds ways of taking care. For me, I have to cut off any news after an hour. I am also watching a lot of good television. I highly recommend watching Daytime Divas with Vanessa Williams and Tichina Arnold.

Updated July 28, 2017

While McCain eventually voted the right way, why did he not vote earlier NOT to proceed? Why participate in the drama and waste of tax dollars? I also feel the need to underscore that McCain is NOT a hero here. In fact, I want to applaud Senator Lisa Murkowski, rare that I applaud a Republican. Murkowski was threatened by 45 and his administration and she refused the bribes from McConnell.

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Marriage Equality Not the Cure All…

29 Jun

marriage equalityWhile I am absolutely elated and ecstatic about the SCOTUS ruling for both healthcare and marriage equality — for I never thought in my lifetime I would see marriage equality in the United States — I am also reflecting on how complicated the institution of marriage is, with its deep roots of misogyny and racism. I am also grateful that I benefit from marriage and happy that the SCOTUS decision was on the anniversary of Lawrence v. Texas, and US v. Windsor.  

There remain many problems around marriage equality. Marriage equality hardly signals the eradication of homophobia, racism, or misogyny. In twenty-nine states, it is still legal to discriminate against the LGBT community in employment, housing, and education. In fact, fourteen of the states that already offered marriage equality simultaneously refuse to provide these basic protections (Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming). This is a horrible disconnect. In practice it means that a couple who celebrate a happy, significant occasion are in fact opening themselves up to more discrimination, perhaps even the loss of their homes or livelihoods.

I also want to address why the conversation has to address more than just marriage equality. I hope we will devote our collective energy in eradicating white supremacy, in solidarity around trans rights, in supporting undocumented people, and dismantling poverty.

I am also exceedingly sad about the legacy of hate, bigotry, homophobia, and racism that Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Scalia (and Scalia’s minions) are leaving.  Talk about being on the wrong side of history. Scalia is now a parody of himself, with his dissenting commenting, “jiggery pokery.”  Here we have two of the most powerful men in the world, using their power to undermine civil rights. Something to think about as we look at a presidential race in the United States that will be appointing new justices.Demons

While I am happy to celebrate marriage equality, I hope we take a call to action individually and collectively to address all of the intersections of racism, homophobia, misogyny, ableism, and poverty.

Hero of the Week Award: June 29, U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Roberts, Sotomayor, and Kagan

29 Jun

Hero of the Week

This week we celebrate an enormous, surprising decision. With a 5-4 majority, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the main components of the Affordable Care Act. Significantly, they found the individual mandate, bete noir of the Radical Right, to be a reasonable congressional act under the authority to tax. Given the court’s rightward tilt of late, America was stunned. We’re pretty shocked here at TSM, too. Awarding a majority SCOTUS opinion the HWA is not anything we thought would happen any time soon.

This is a major victory not just for President Obama and the Democrats who worked so hard to pass even a mediocre health care bill. It is a victory for all Americans. The ACA, however flawed, is a significant step toward real care for all Americans. Without it, the poorest and the disenfranchised would continue to suffer, sicken, and die. Disproportionate impacts would be felt along racial, gender, and class lines, making it harder  and harder for those with the least to ever succeed. This Constitutionally sound victory — complete with a cease-and-desist order on the current challenges to the ACA — should let us move forward as a nation. We’ll see how the Republicans in Congress (John Boehner was crying so hard he called off his press conference!) try to cock it all up.

It’s fun to speculate why Chief Justice Roberts joined the more liberal justices in this opinion, just as it is important to note that Justice Kennedy has put the final nail in the coffin of his “swing vote” status. Roberts’ reasons don’t really matter, however: he did the right thing. We all owe these five Justices a debt of thanks this week. (For a great guide to the legal aspects of the decision in straightforward layman’s language, the ever excellent Ari Ezra Waldman has an analysis here.)

Performing on the World Stage: Presidential or Pratfall?

7 Jan

Not Again!

As the United States has been absorbed in the absurd circus that is the Republican Presidential hopefuls, the media have taken a very American focus on the candidates: What does it mean for us? There is plenty of talk about taxes, budgets, abortion, and the GOP big three (God, guns, and gays). What gets largely overlooked, other than the occasional reference to Iraq and Afghanistan, is our role as a major nation on the world stage. We know that Mitt Romney is a Mormon flip-flop robot, Newt Gingrich is a serial adulterer with a temper, Ron Paul is a faux Libertarian who can’t be bothered to read a newsletter published under his own name, and Rick Santorum is obsessed with men having sex with men. What we don’t know is how any of these candidates would deal with international politics.

As Americans,  shouldn’t we be also asking how will the President of the United States (leader of the “free” world) interact with other major players and show both diplomacy and leadership?  The US took a colossal hit in our world reputation during the George W. years.  The world took a collective sigh of relief when President Obama took office.

I’m asking people to think about how any of the GOP candidates will work with  Prime Minister Yousaf Gillani, or Prime Minister Wen Jiabao?  We also need to look at the very delicate balance of power and influence of  Erdoğan on the world stage.  The world does not look kindly upon bullies and the GOP have proven through the ad nauseam debates that they are nothing but a bigoted bunch of bullies.  What worries me even more is how many of the GOP candidates even know who the world players are. Can they point them out on a map?

When we look at issues of healthcare and how we treat human beings, we need to be willing to learn from our world neighbors.  Currently, the United States comes in at 12th place on issues such as: Life Expectancy, Adult Literacy, School Enrollment, GDP per capita.  Might we need to look to  Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda for ideas around health care?

While I certainly want our President to be a leader for civil rights here in the United States (pro-reproductive rights for women, pro-marriage equality, work to change the distribution of wealth and power) I also want a President that can show true leadership with a calm and clear head, such as President Obama.  We must avoid the shackles of ignorance and isolationism.

Who Needs Health Care? Are There No Poor Houses?

18 Jun

I want to thank my friend Tom McCollin for inspiring me to write this story and for being such a good human being.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I get very tired of right wingers co-opting language. For example, it truly galls me when I hear the misnomer “pro-life” when the real term should be anti-choice.  More recently, I am exhausted by the media using the term “Obamacare” rather than Healthcare.  I find it absolutely shameful that we have such a high percentage of Americans that do not have access to healthcare, or can be denied healthcare if they are transgender.  I point you to this wonderful and short video about healthcare in Canada. Click here to watch the video.  

We Must Protect the Rich At All Costs (?)

24 Feb

Help Protect The Super Rich

“Hey, all of you jobless and soon to be homeless, can you spare a dime for the wealthiest of the wealthy?” It would seem that when Congress passed the law that protected the super rich from taxes for the next two years, they also sealed the fate for those that are middle class or lower. So is it really any surprise that the gap between rich and poor has widened into a chasm–that we continue to become a country of haves and have nots?  To add insult to injury, the current House of Representatives, controlled by John (He makes me cry) Boehner and his cadre of white cronies continue to introduce legislation that works AGAINST the American people. So much for civil servants. Yes, let’s eliminate social programs, social services, healthcare; let’s do everything in our power to make the poor even poorer. Most of us better get used to eating cat food soon.  When will we see the breaking point? When will we be inspired by the good working class of Wisconsin railing against the rich and health-insured GOP that has now proposed to use physical violence against the working class protesters?  When do we stop thanking the rich for raping us?  See the full article here.

38th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

22 Jan

We Must Stand United to Protect Women's Rights

January 22, 1973 marks a major victory for women in the United States.  The Unites States Supreme Court recognized the right of women to make personal, private medical decisions and control their bodies and their reproductive health, just as men have always been in control of their own bodies.  While I am taking a small spot of time to celebrate this anniversary, I must confess much of my day today will be consumed in battling those that are trying to restrict or repeal Roe v. Wade.

Unfortunately, just two days ago, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) introduced legislation to end insurance coverage of abortion and drastically undermine women’s health.  In fact, Republicans all over the country, in states such as Ohio, Florida, Kansas and many more, are pushing for abortion curbs.  See the full article in the NYT here. This is unacceptable.  Wealthy women will always find a safe way to have an abortion while poor women will be forced to risk their own lives in back alleys.  Even our current Speaker of the House, John (Fake and Bake) Boehner is granting private audiences to right wing extremist Randall Terry.  Terry has been a long supporter of violence against doctors who perform abortions and violence against women.

I also feel compelled here to talk about language and the importance of words.  The term pro-life is just a spin and myth!  It no longer holds meaning because it has been manipulated by right-wing conservatives.  Many people who are pro-choice are equally pro-life; one does not preclude the other.  How ironic that Randall Terry who is vehemently anti-choice  and calls himself “pro-life” advocates killing abortion doctors–that’s an interesting way of preserving life.  Shame on the media for continuing to use the term pro-life, rather than the more accurate anti-choice.  Even the Huffinton Post has used the term pro-life.  Can we please be more honest about the language we use?

Today we celebrate 38 years of a woman’s right to choose and to have control over her own body.  We still have a long way to go to ensure that women in this country retain those rights.

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