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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 02:59 PM
Number of posts: 63,583

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This is what old Deplorables voted for --- large copays while your insurance is gutted

Donald Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan plan to pass a plan to privatize the Medicare system, and they’ll be helped by Republicans in the House and Senate. They will try to use PR terms and call the plan “premium support” but it is really a plan to privatize the system that so many get health care from.

Michael Wynn, a resident of Salem, Oregon, wrote a letter to the editor at the Statesman Journal newspaper describing what will happen to average Americans:

Privatizing means giving seniors vouchers so they can shop for health insurance on the open market. Copays, deductibles, tier 1, 2, 3 medications, in-plan providers versus out-of-plan, etc. are all part of the health insurance jungle.

How do you feel about your parents or grandparents analyzing dozens of complex plans? Many of my patients on Medicare have cognitive impairment. They would not be able to determine what insurance company’s policy was best for them.

Because insurance companies must make a profit, they will charge a senior with high blood pressure, diabetes and a hip that needs to be replaced far more than that senior living on Social Security could possibly pay. Many readers know that a policy for a healthy couple costs between $800-$1,600/month and that’s with a high deductible and anywhere between 20-50 percent copay for hospitalizations. A hip replacement costs around $50,000. How many seniors can afford $10,000-$25,000 cash for that copay?

When some citizens voted Republican, they thought they were going to “take back America.” Instead, Republicans are going to take back millions of Americans’ health care by destroying Medicare.

Michael Wynn


Jerry Brown: "If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite"


Buck Up, Democrats, and Fight Like Republicans

If you’ve been asking yourself “Where are the Democrats?” you’re not alone.

Since the election, top Democrats have been almost absent on the national stage. Rather, they have been involved largely in internecine warfare about how much to work with Mr. Trump. The Hillary Clinton campaign, trying to encourage a peaceful transition, has gone almost completely dark, with her most notable appearances coming in selfies with strangers. Nobody deserves downtime more than Mrs. Clinton, but while she is decompressing, the country is moving toward its biggest electoral mistake in history.


Contrast the Democrats’ do-nothingness to what we know the Republicans would have done. If Mr. Trump had lost the Electoral College while winning the popular vote, an army of Republican lawyers would have descended on the courts and local election officials. The best of the Republican establishment would have been filing lawsuits and infusing every public statement with a clear pronouncement that Donald Trump was the real winner. And they would have started on the morning of Nov. 9, using the rhetoric of patriotism and courage.


Moreover, they didn’t cop to the possibility that their theories might lose or look foolish in retrospect. Take the theory that ultimately succeeded in the Supreme Court. There was no precedent for the idea that the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause required a uniform recount within a state. However, the Republicans pressed that theory and convinced a majority, even though the justices acknowledged that the argument was both unprecedented and not to be used again. It was a win for pure audacity.

Fast forward to 2016, and the Democrats are doing nothing of the sort. Instead, they are leaving the fight to academics and local organizers who seem more horrified by a Trump presidency than Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. The Republicans in 2000 threw everything they could muster against the wall to see if it stuck, with no concern about potential blowback; the Democrats in 2016 are apparently too worried about being called sore losers. Instead of weathering the criticism that comes with fighting an uphill, yet historically important battle, the party is still trying to magic up a plan.

As Monday’s Electoral College vote approaches, Democrats should be fighting tooth and nail. Instead, we are once again left with incontrovertible proof that win or lose, Republicans behave as if they won while Democrats behave as if they lost. What this portends for the next four years is truly terrifying.


Political cartoon by Norwegian artist Bloom


Striking Resemblance's


How the Grinch Stole Christmas.....


Alarming? Tillerson/Exxon have larger holdings in Russia than in the USA

"The reality is there is no alternative energy source known on the planet or available to us today to replace the pervasiveness of fossil fuels in our global economy, in our very quality of life, and I would go beyond that and say our very survival," he thundered.

This practical approach and Mr Tillerson's track record in building a relationship with Russia are key to his appeal to Mr Trump.
Under his guidance, Exxon Mobil has acquired drilling rights to millions of hectares of land in Russia. In fact, the company now has larger holdings in that country than in the US.

When President Vladimir Putin forced a number of foreign corporations to give back control of a huge gas project on Sakhalin Island in 2007, Exxon's holdings remained untouched. A few years later, Mr Tillerson received the Order of Friendship from the Russian leader.


Carter Page Tells Moscow Rex Tillerson is Secretary of State Before Trump Tells America

"Blushing Bride"

"My President Was Black": By Ta-Nehisi Coates

Obama’s victories in 2008 and 2012 were dismissed by some of his critics as merely symbolic for African Americans. But there is nothing “mere” about symbols.


This would not happen again, and everyone knew it. It was not just that there might never be another African American president of the United States. It was the feeling that this particular black family, the Obamas, represented the best of black people, the ultimate credit to the race, incomparable in elegance and bearing. “There are no more,” the comedian Sinbad joked back in 2010. “There are no black men raised in Kansas and Hawaii. That’s the last one. Y’all better treat this one right. The next one gonna be from Cleveland. He gonna wear a perm. Then you gonna see what it’s really like.” Throughout their residency, the Obamas had refrained from showing America “what it’s really like,” and had instead followed the first lady’s motto, “When they go low, we go high.” This was the ideal—black and graceful under fire—saluted that evening. The president was lionized as “our crown jewel.” The first lady was praised as the woman “who put the O in Obama.”


In the week after the election, I was a mess. I had not seen my wife in two weeks. I was on deadline for this article. My son was struggling in school. The house was in disarray. I played Marvin Gaye endlessly—“When you left, you took all of me with you.” Friends began to darkly recall the ghosts of post-Reconstruction. The election of Donald Trump confirmed everything I knew of my country and none of what I could accept. The idea that America would follow its first black president with Donald Trump accorded with its history. I was shocked at my own shock. I had wanted Obama to be right.


By some cosmic coincidence, a week after the election I received a portion of my father’s FBI file. My father had grown up poor in Philadelphia. His father was struck dead on the street. His grandfather was crushed to death in a meatpacking plant. He’d served his country in Vietnam, gotten radicalized there, and joined the Black Panther Party, which brought him to the attention of J. Edgar Hoover. A memo written to the FBI director was “submitted aimed at discrediting WILLIAM PAUL COATES, Acting Captain of the BPP, Baltimore.” The memo proposed that a fake letter be sent to the Panthers’ co-founder Huey P. Newton. The fake letter accused my father of being an informant and concluded, “I want somethin done with this bootlikin facist pig nigger and I want it done now.” The words somethin done need little interpretation. The Panthers were eventually consumed by an internecine war instigated by the FBI, one in which being labeled a police informant was a death sentence.

A few hours after I saw this file, I had my last conversation with the president. I asked him how his optimism was holding up, given Trump’s victory. He confessed to being surprised at the outcome but said that it was tough to “draw a grand theory from it, because there were some very unusual circumstances.” He pointed to both candidates’ high negatives, the media coverage, and a “dispirited” electorate. But he said that his general optimism about the shape of American history remained unchanged. “To be optimistic about the long-term trends of the United States doesn’t mean that everything is going to go in a smooth, direct, straight line,” he said. “It goes forward sometimes, sometimes it goes back, sometimes it goes sideways, sometimes it zigs and zags.”


He counseled vigilance, “because the possibility of abuse by government officials always exists. The issue is not going to be that there are new tools available; the issue is making sure that the incoming administration, like my administration, takes the constraints on how we deal with U.S. citizens and persons seriously.” This answer did not fill me with confidence. The next day, President-Elect Trump offered Lieutenant General Michael Flynn the post of national-security adviser and picked Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama as his nominee for attorney general. Last February, Flynn tweeted, “Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL” and linked to a YouTube video that declared followers of Islam want “80 percent of humanity enslaved or exterminated.” Sessions had once been accused of calling a black lawyer “boy,” claiming that a white lawyer who represented black clients was a disgrace to his race, and joking that he thought the Ku Klux Klan “was okay until I found out they smoked pot.” I felt then that I knew what was coming—more Freddie Grays, more Rekia Boyds, more informants and undercover officers sent to infiltrate mosques.

And I also knew that the man who could not countenance such a thing in his America had been responsible for the only time in my life when I felt, as the first lady had once said, proud of my country, and I knew that it was his very lack of countenance, his incredible faith, his improbable trust in his countrymen, that had made that feeling possible. The feeling was that little black boy touching the president’s hair. It was watching Obama on the campaign trail, always expecting the worst and amazed that the worst never happened. It was how I’d felt seeing Barack and Michelle during the inauguration, the car slow-dragging down Pennsylvania Avenue, the crowd cheering, and then the two of them rising up out of the limo, rising up from fear, smiling, waving, defying despair, defying history, defying gravity.


More, beautiful writing & pics:

Bombshell report from NYT shows that FBI was aware of Russian cyber attack of DNC in September-2015

Bombshell Report Shows FBI Knew About Russia’s DNC Hacking Since 2015
"The low-key approach of the F.B.I. meant that Russian hackers could roam freely through the committee’s network for nearly seven months before top D.N.C. officials were alerted to the attack..."…


Tthe FBI was aware of the Russian cyber attack of the DNC in September of 2015, more than a year before the election.

More from the Times:

When Special Agent Adrian Hawkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation called the Democratic National Committee in September 2015 to pass along some troubling news about its computer network, he was transferred, naturally, to the help desk.

His message was brief, if alarming. At least one computer system belonging to the D.N.C. had been compromised by hackers federal investigators had named “the Dukes,” a cyberespionage team linked to the Russian government.

The New York Times notes that this was the first red flag that the presidential election in the United States was, for the first time ever, being influenced by a foreign government. In this case, it was Russia – a country led by a man, Vladimir Putin, that President-elect Donald Trump has nothing but praise for.

More from the report:

It was the cryptic first sign of a cyberespionage and information-warfare campaign devised to disrupt the 2016 presidential election, the first such attempt by a foreign power in American history. What started as an information-gathering operation, intelligence officials believe, ultimately morphed into an effort to harm one candidate, Hillary Clinton, and tip the election to her opponent, Donald J. Trump.

While Russia’s effort to swing the presidential election toward Trump was bad enough, the lethargic response from the FBI – and the fact that they chose to focus heavily on Hillary Clinton’s emails, instead of foreign involvement in an election – was particularly troubling.

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