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Monday, January 23, 2017

Sean Spicer needs assertiveness training

Spicer's debut- Poitico (by Matthew Nussbaum)- Sean Spicer lacks the guts or integrity to refuse orders to go out and lie. He is a failure in this job on his first full day,” Brian Fallon wrote on Twitter.

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Christians voted for Donald Trump because he claimed to be anti-abortion (I believe he lied when - and even "if" he added "I'm pro-life").  Nevertheless, the same Christian voters never bothered to consider how Donald Trump intended to violate several of the 10 Commandments given to Moses.  Obviously, telling lies didn't disqualify Donald Trump in the self righteous voters' minds.

Now, this is a fine lying mess he's gotten him and the White House into via the newly hired press secretary, Sean Spicer:

WASHINGTON DC- Sean Spicer’s Saturday (January 21) performance — in which the White House press secretary lambasted the media for their inauguration coverage and delivered a number of outright falsehoods on crowd size — elicited puzzlement from some former press secretaries and scorn from others.

“This is called a statement you’re told to make by the President. And you know the President is watching,” George W. Bush’s former press secretary Ari Fleischer wrote on Twitter.

Jay Carney, who was former President Barack Obama’s press secretary from 2011 to 2014, fired back: “Wrong. The President I worked for never told me to lie. Ever. And I doubt Pres. Bush ever told @AriFleischer to lie. Today was not normal.”

Fleischer later wrote that Spicer’s statements did leave him “uncomfortable and concerned,” but suggested that the outrage was disproportionate to the media’s reaction to initially misleading reports about the cause of the attacks on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi in 2012.

Brian Fallon, who was Hillary Clinton’s press secretary on the campaign trail and was widely expected to get the White House post if she won, had his own take.

“Sean Spicer lacks the guts or integrity to refuse orders to go out and lie. He is a failure in this job on his first full day,” Fallon wrote on Twitter.

Spicer strode to the White House briefing room podium Saturday evening and accused the press of “deliberately false reporting.”

In pushback on reporting about the size of inauguration crowds, he made a series of inaccurate statements about Metro ridership numbers, security measures and even the use of grass coverings on the National Mall.

He said photos showing a larger crowd at Obama’s 2009 inauguration were presented in such a way as to downplay the size of the crowd at Trump’s. He declared that “this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period,” but offered no evidence to back up the claim. Considerable evidence indicates that in-person and televised viewing were far higher in 2009.

Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to Trump, told NBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” on Sunday morning that Spicer was offering “alternative facts.”

“Alternative facts are not facts,” Todd responded. “They’re falsehoods.”  
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The Ten Commandments: Exodus 20:1–17, and then at Deuteronomy 5:6–21. Both versions state that God inscribed them on two stone tablets, which he gave to Moses, on Mount Sinai.

Christians voters- any "Trump-grets" yet? 

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Sean Spicer memo explaining "alternative fact" news

This screen shot preserved the memo below after the post was deleted!
The above post was copied from a tumblr feed- Thank You!The editor of the Annual Reviews and producer for Bloomberg news, Anna Rascouët-Paz, posted, and within an hour, deleted this tweet on Trump’s unabashedly fascistic “press” “conference”.

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Women's March where do we go from here?

Women's March in Wisconsin- Rep. Raul Ryan alert!

There are no "alternative facts" about the international power of the Women's Marches! They were astounding in their visual presence and numbers of people who participated.

Nevertheless, in the wake of such acute public awareness about how right wing public policy could be on life support, the Women's Marches, leaders and organizers, must follow up with non-violent recognition to honor those who made the event such overwhelming successes in at least 600 world locations.

Here are some ideas:

1.  Host community recognition ceremonies even using municipal town or city halls to present plaques or certificates of appreciation to officials who protected the marchers.

2.  Create historic markers to enhance public parks or civic gathering locations where women are ceremonial honored- like Louisa May Alcott, Harriett Beecher Stowe, Clara Barton, Marie Curie, Eleanor Roosevelt, Marian Anderson, Christa McAuliffe and so many others including local heroines. Each memorial inscribed with "donated by the heroines of the Women's March January 21, 2017".

3.  Create commemorative posters signed by notable women who attended, like Senator Kirsten Gillibrand or by authors willing to donate their limited edition autographs. 

4.  Compose a documentary about the Women's Marches for broadcast on local television cable TV stations.

5.  Organize a sustained "letters to President Donald Trump" campaign, whereby his White House office receives mail everyday, to support the Women's March movement.  

My sincere hope is for the women who made the international Women's Marches such a brilliant spectrum of hope, following the dismal inauguration of Donald Trump, will continue to shed our enlightenment beyond the point and time when we bonded as one feminist body.

Certainly, the Trump administration looked overly somber during their photo-op "swearing in ceremony" of alt-right staff at the White House, an event staged for TV.  

Did you notice? No smiles were seen in their obedience formation. Therefore, this is the right time for the Women's March to give Americans an opportunity to wake up, before the Trump cult forces all of us to swear blind obedience, or face their interpretation of "alternative fact"- sort of a euphemism for the "final solution".  
Speaker Paul Ryan, are you listening
Senator Mitch McConnell, are you  listening?
Can you hear us? Seriously!

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Donald Trump gone viral- international Women's March

Thank you BuzzFeed for headlining the truth. Donald Trump has ignited an international era of globilized politics. Huge numbers of demonstrators were obvious facts. Although Donald Trump is obsessed with his image and "polls", the fact is, he's gone internationally viral but into a vortex of negativity.
Women's March was overwhelming 
Women's Marches throughout the world, hopefully, helped to wake Trump cultists who systematically dismissed #truth as "alternative facts". The amazing volume of women who supported the marches provided badly needed enlightment, in contrast to the darkness of the Donald Trump darkly and illigitimate inauguration.

Massive Women’s Marches Were Held Across The Globe To Protest Donald Trump

The Women’s March on Washington was one of the largest protests in the city’s history, the Associated Press reported.
*An estimated hundreds of thousands of people turned out at the Women’s March on Washington, DC, and at related marches around the nation and the world — a massive display of protest against President Trump and his comments that have at times disparaged women.

* The crowd in DC was much bigger than the 500,000 expected, DC Homeland Security Director Christopher Geldart told the AP. That means it was one of the largest demonstrations in DC history.

* You can watch a replay of our Live Show of the rally and march at BuzzFeed News’ Facebook page.

* There are a lot more people at the march in Washington, DC, than Trump’s inauguration.

* Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, said, “My pledge to you today is that we stay open.”

* “We believe that sexism, racism, homophobia, and bigotry have no place in this country. Black lives matter. Diversity make our country stronger. We believe that equal means equal,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren said at a rally in Boston.

* Reporting by Ema O’Connor, Mary Ann Georgantopoulos, Ellie Hall, Zoe Tillman, John Stanton, Lissandra Villa Huerta, Nidhi Subbaraman, Bim Adewunmi, Katie Baker, Anne Helen Petersen, Charlie Warzel, Jessica Testa, Jessica Naudziunas, Brittany Berkowitz, and CC Allen in Washington, DC; Sheera Frenkel and Ellen Cushing in Oakland; Brandon Wall, Claudia Koerner and Brianna Sachs in Los Angeles; Tyler Kingkade in Austin, Texas; and Azeen Ghorayshi, Remy Smidt, and Mary Jacob in New York City.

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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Women's March "An Amazing Day" from Marge Kilkelly

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Washington DC "Women's March", January 21, journal account by Marge Kilkelly
So very proud of my many relatives and friends who supported and attended the important international "Women's Marches throughout American cities and the world. Here is a first person account from Maine friend Marg Kilkelly, who kindly gave me permission to share with my blog: 

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Maine friend Marg Kilkelly wore her orange shirt autographed by friends and family who were with her in spirit on the Woman's March in Washington DC on January 21!

Washington DC: Probably too many pictures...but I can't help it (she writes)- Women's March today, January 21, 2017. 

We stayed together, and supported each other-each person being represented in name on my blaze orange TShirt. I was asked several times why were there so many names on my shirt? I simply said they were friends and family who were joining me in spirit because they could not be here in person. 

Each person marched for their own reasons. Some with anger, some with fear and some with a determination to be sure their position on a variety of issues were heard. Since so many of you joined me, I thought I would give you a full look at our day together.

Morning began with my wonderful Church of the Transfiguration providing blessings of well wishes and banana bread. 

Metro was mobbed but orderly, so I'm glad I had my smart card charged and did not have to stand in line...(she said smugly). 

Yes I made a hat complete with whiskers. Met wonderful women on the ride. They were three going together, two social workers and an economic development person...who had been in the Peace Corps in Romania! Great conversations! They offered that I might join them, but I decided to wander on my own at my own pace and we said our goodbyes with well wishes. Arriving at Judiciary Place, with hundreds of others, I headed off to the DC Mall. Now this was the moment of my bad decision making. I stood on a patio near the Canadian Embassy could tell because they have about 200 Canadian flags hanging up....the view was breathtaking and I had a place to sit! I took several pictures of the crowd gathering, caught up with granddaughter to add her to my shirt and checked messages. But could I just take advantage of this perfect position? Well, oh no, not me! Always looking for adventure, I needed to descend the perch and navigate my way across the Mall to 3rd st. That adventure ended about midway where I did get my favorite picture....but got really stuck. As the crowd tightened (and I mean tightened)..people were walking back to where I had started in groups holding hands, weaving in and out around others. 

I decided to join them and headed back towards "Oh Canada".....and, of course, just like trying the shorter line in the grocery store, all was lost. The crowds had filled in every nook and cranny. Kids up in a tree with an enviable view, reported that it was shoulder to shoulder in 3 out of 4 directions and the 4th was the opposite of the March. 

So I decided to hang out and people/sign watch. If I couldn't hear what was being said, I might as well read what other people were thinking.I stood near the fence beside a woman hanging out, as well. Marci and I ended up "foxhole bonding" and spent the rest of the event together. Two women from Seneca NY, joined us for a bit and shared their power bars and news of the outside world. 

Phones were pretty much out of commission most of the day. People all day were kind, gracious, thoughtful and caring. 

The Women's March was a bit discombobulated, because there were too many people for the original route...a good news/bad news story....Marci saved the day, as she knew the streets, and we joined a group headed cross lots to merge with the main group. 

We walked by Archives and its steps packed with people and then....wonder of wonder....we discovered a cache of Porta Potties! No lines, no waiting and fully "tp" stocked! Now, that may seem like a small thing...but it's not. We resumed with the March in a much more relaxed and comfortable fashion and headed towards the Washington Monument. Two groups merged and the music and chanting got louder and actually echoed between buildings and flowed like the "wave" of sound through the crowd. 

Throughout the day, every time I looked around I saw people in every direction. Folks even older than me and
parents with kids walking and infants riding. 

One sign on a carriage said,"I marched before I could walk". 

Diversity was the theme of the day. People from around the world and next door of every ethnic background participated. LGBT or straight was irrelevant-everyone just seemed to be enjoying each other's company and camaraderie. 

Wheel chairs drove the route and folks could be heard offering to assist some who seemed challenged by the walk. 

Even one person who got wedged between the bleachers near the White House and needed to have a hand up to get over the offending narrow spot to get loose. Before you laugh too hard please know that I do have feelings too ;). A flock of birds were seated on their own bleacher-porch rail as we went by. Marci and I continued towards Farragut North and I saw Sharon Treat...first Maine person I had seen. (Guess my decision to hang out and wait-which caused me to meet Marci was actually pretty good!) 

Metro was mobbed, but had extra trains on. I met a group who had driven from Milwaukee - 2 days travel- and Sheila from Silver Spring...we exchange email addresses promise to share pictures and we're back in Glenmont. The Transfiguration folks were there to welcome us back with juice, water, snacks and most importantly smiles, hugs and thanks. An amazing day.


Thanks Marge! 


Media thrives on Donald Trump buffoonery

“What does every kid want for his birthday? A clown!”- Bill Mayer

Honestly, it's not fun to be "funny" anymore about Donald Trump. He now has access to nuclear codes and Russians are "vodka toasting" his failed inauguration event.

Nevertheless, although I wish it weren't the case, the facts clearly show how Donald Trump, when presented in any capacity, is a subject that attracts attention, like garbage attracts rats.
Comic news pundit Bill Mayer "got Trump for his birthday"
Bill Mayer can verify this observation, even though, it doesn't need much fact checking. He's a comedian, writer, producer and political commentator, who asked for "Donald Trump for his birthday". Unfortunately, he described the proverbial cliche of "getting what you wish for". 

The Daily Beast: NEW ERA
Bill Maher Denounces Trump’s ‘Joyless, Ugly, Divisive’ Inauguration- In the first ‘Real Time’ of the Donald Trump presidency, Bill Maher told us how he really felt about the inauguration- by Matt Wilstein

In fact, Bill Maher joked earlier in the week, he got Donald Trump for his birthday. Yes, Friday, January 20th marked both the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States and the Real Time host’s 61st birthday. He wasn't exactly in the mood to celebrate when his show returned to the air for the first time since the week of the 2016 election.

With a new theme song, new opening credits and a brand new stage set, Maher took the spotlight and made one more joke about getting Trump for his birthday. It made sense, he said, because, “What does every kid want for his birthday? A clown!”

“It happened. It really happened,” Maher said. “We Americans have a new leader: Vladimir Putin.” While some Trump fans are calling this election a “reckoning,” Maher agreed, adding, “I reckon we’re all fucked.”

Instead of “raise your right hand,” he joked that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts told Trump to “raise your right pussy-grabber.” And despite promises from the Trump transition team, Maher didn’t find the inauguration “classy” or “uplifting” and “unifying,” but rather, “joyless and ugly and divisive.” 

If there was a theme, he said it was, “Once you go black, you can go back. Mic drop!”

Amid all the “hoopla,” Maher reminded viewers that Trump was inaugurated as the FBI and five other agencies are reportedly probing ties between his campaign and the Kremlin

For the record, Maher said, “I do not believe our new President Donald Trump paid Russian prostitutes to pee on him.” After a pause, he added, “I believe they did it, I just don’t believe he paid them!”

Following a chat about the “predator-in-chief” with “the most gorgeous old lady in the world,” Jane Fonda, Maher welcomed his panel for the night. And on this night, he decided he didn’t need any Trump supporters with him.

Things didn’t really heat up until he brought on his mid-show guest, Keith Olbermann, who has clearly been itching to get back on TV to talk politics. 

Comparing the “inauguration” to a “coup d'état” by a “Russian puppet,” Olbermann urged those who oppose Trump to “fight” everything he does at all costs.

Olbermann confirmed that he agrees with Congressman John Lewis, saying “I am on that page, because he’s not a legitimate president.” And he went even further: “We were invaded,” he said, adding, “just because there’s not blood on the streets” doesn’t change that fact. While Maher was not willing to call Trump a “Russian puppet,” he did say, “He’s acting exactly like a man who they do have a pee tape of.”

Maher also had a message to Bill and Hillary Clinton, who graciously showed up at the inauguration despite everything they’ve been through over the past two years: “Thank you for 30 years of service, and now I never want to see either of you ever again.” He marveled at the fact that the Democratic candidate showed her face in public after Trump and his followers threatened to put her in jail. (MaineWriter: Love Hillary! #I'mstillwithher)

For his final “New Rule” of the night, Maher implored liberals to stop calling Trump voters “idiots and fools” and instead “call them what they are: fucking drug addicts.” Then he said something he never thought he’d have to say: “Kids, don’t do heroin, it’s a gateway to being a Republican.”

(MaineWriter- it's ironically true, I might eventually be writing about +Realdonaldtrump Official from a prison cell in Guantenamo, but wherever I am, there will plenty of people ready to read about this dangerous baffoon.)

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Awful inaugural but worse first Day - learning leadership

A half empty audience on the US Capitol grounds witnessed the oath of office administered to Donald J. Trump, but he nevertheless ignited world wide demonstrations that took place to protest against his inauguration.  In spite of having an opportunity to deliver a unifying inaugural speech, he, instead, gave the world a "dark inaugural", that will be remembered only because it was a terrible speech with bleak messaging. His inauguration was not a happy celebration. Rather, it sent chills of fear around the world.
Alicia Keys performs on the National Mall in Washington DC
Women's marches throughout the world attracted millions of people who were motivated to protest Donald J. Trump's leadership, because he represents a threat to their freedoms.
Women's marches in every major city imaginable, located both in the US and internationally, drew many millions of people and an astounding amount of media coverage, due to the strength of the immense and peaceful demonstrations. Thankfully, almost all the demonstrations were peaceful. 
Jane Fonda and Miley Cyrus at the Women’s March Los Angeles, California
Meanwhile, Sean Spicer, the Donald Trump press secretary, was told to lie about crowd sizes reported at the inauguration- inflating the anemic numbers, while accusing the media about over reporting the throngs of people who participated in the world wide women's demonstrations. 

These ridiculous lies, told on the administration's day one, in spite of the obvious imagery, can't be dismissed. 

"The Big Lie" is how Joseph Goebbels ran the Nazi regime for Adolf Hitler and, apparently, how the Trump media ghoul Steve Bannon (a slob), formerly of the right wing Brietbart News, intends to manage the lies told by Donald Trump.  

Honestly, if Donald Trump gets away with telling lies about "crowd size" then there's no limit to his capacity for spreading fake news about virtually any other subject. 

Evidently, the Donald Trump "spiritual adviser" televangelist Paula White, wasn't on the "payroll clock" when her boss purposefully violated the 9th Commandment, in the Ten given to Moses.

On inauguration day, Donald Trump insulted all the US presidents who came before him, including those who attended the inauguration, because he claimed they didn't do as good a job as he intends to do. This was grossly impolite, to say the least. I'm certain Mary Anne Trump, the man's sainted mother, taught him better manners. Unfortunately, Donald Trump never mentioned her name, as though he never had a mother or a father. Shameful.

Second, Donald Trump did absolutely nothing to bring Americans together, after the divisive election that he created for his own benefit.  He'll fail to make America "anything again" unless the nation unites. Yet, given the enormity of the international women's marches, it certainly appears the country is more divided now, than it was before his electoral college election.

When Trump attended the Commander in Chief inaugural ball in Washington, he thanked the military attendees for voting for him; but he didn't honor them for the enormous sacrifices each military person and their families make every day, to do their jobs. 

Unfortunately, Donald Trump never left campaign mode after being elected- he still talks like he's running for office; he nodded off to sleep during the National Cathedral prayer service on Saturday; he went to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on his first official day, where he blamed the media for his problems with national security, but he's on record for criticizing the CIA, FBI and NSA agencies. 

I'd be willing to bet that the CIA gave Donald Trump the intelligence version of an intelligence orchidectomy, (removal of testicles) on Saturday, the day after his inauguration, because when he left his meeting with agency officials, he went to the foyer of the building and began a high level of squealing, in a much different tone, than he had previously. Whatever Trump heard behind closed doors created a different person who spoke after the meeting.

Donald Trump is an embarrassment, an organizational disaster and will continue to be a divisive leader for the United States and for the world.  

Trump lied when he told Americans they will come first, but immediately cut into two important programs that help middle class working people. First, he curtailed regulatory compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA or "Obamacare"), a terrible executive action; and he prevented the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) from dropping fees associated with mortgages. In other words, getting an FHA mortgage will be more expensive. Both actions harm the middle class who need access to affordable health care and home mortgages.  

Democrats must begin impeachment proceedings immediately, to save our nation and remove Donald Trump from office. Otherwise, even more lies and damage will impact on America's credibility. 
Ghosts of when President Ronald Reagan was reported sleeping at Cabinet Meetings? Trump at National Cathedral

In other words, America is clearly not going to be great again until Donald Trump leaves office. He's a political Frankenstein and an overrated leadership disaster.  Donald Trump's limited capabilities are declining by the hour. It's doubtful he will grow into his presidential role because, at 70 years old and snoozing in the National Cathedral, he's simply too old to change.

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Donald Trump and his dark inaugural

Obviously and tragically, the leadership of Donald J. Trump has now sunk to all time low levels of competence, as his dark inaugural speech left no doubt about his blinded vision for America. After insulting all of the previous 250 years of history and the US presidents who were on the platform seated behind him, he told the half empty seats that it's his goal to start over.  News commentator Dan Rather had a lot to say in his observatons about the bleak Donald Trump campaign rhetoric, a speech that failed as a coherent inaugural message.

Dan Rather Just Went Viral Shredding Trump’s Inauguration Speech- by By Marisa Manfredo
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Dan Rather's commentary on the dark Trump inaugural speech so far received 188,795 shares on Facebook:
Wow, that's more than the number who attended (by choice) his dark inauguration and might even be above the numbers who were in the parade route audience.

Dan Rather, former CBS Evening News anchor, released an elegant, tragic statement about the Donald Trump presidential inauguration that occurred to a half empty audience on January 20th in Washington DC. 

In fact, Rather summed up the collective anxiety that is gripping the majority of Americans as we enter into the great unknown. 

Dan Rather elucidates the reasons why the American people are faced with so much uncertainty heading into a presidency, when normally the incoming president is transparent.

And so it begins.

He wrote: Of the nearly 20 inaugurations I can remember, there has never been one that felt like today. Not even close. Never mind the question of the small size of the crowds, or the boycott by dozens of lawmakers, or even the protest marches slated for tomorrow across the country. Those are plays upon the stage. What is truly unprecedented in my mind is the sheer magnitude of quickening heartbeats in millions of Americans, a majority of our country if the polls are to be believed, that face today buffeted within and without by the simmering ache of dread.

Moreover, Rather went on to say, "I have never seen my country on an inauguration day so divided, so anxious, so fearful, so uncertain of its course."

I have never seen a transition so divisive with cabinet picks so encumbered by serious questions of qualifications and ethics.

I have never seen the specter of a foreign foe cast such a dark shadow over the workings of our democracy.

I have never seen an incoming president so preoccupied with responding to the understandable vagaries of dissent and seemingly unwilling to contend with the full weight and responsibilities of the most powerful job in the world.

I have never seen such a tangled web of conflicting interests.

Despite the pageantry on display at the Capitol today, there is a piercing sense that we are entering a chapter in our nation’s evolving story unlike one ever yet written. To be sure, there are millions of Donald Trump supporters who are euphoric with their candidate’s rise. (It's my clinical observation that they're drinking "Kool-aid"

Other Trump voters, however, expressed reservations, having preferred his bluster to his rival’s perceived shortcomings in the last election, but admitting more and more that they are not sure what kind of man they bestowed the keys to the presidency. The rest of America – the majority of voters – would not be – and indeed not – hesitant in sharing conclusions on the character and fitness (euphemism for "unfitness") of Donald Trump for the office he now holds.

The hope one hears from even some of Donald Trump’s critics is that this moment might change him. 

Perhaps, as he stood there on a grey, drab, January day, reciting the solemn oath of office demanded by our Constitution, as he looked out across what Charles Dickens once called the “city of magnificent intentions”, he would somehow grasp the importance of what he was undertaking. Perhaps he would understand that he must be the president of all the United States, in action as well as in word. Perhaps, but there has already been so much past that is prologue.

There is usually much fanfare around inaugural addresses. They are also usually forgotten – with some notable exceptions. I think today will be remembered, not so much for the rhetoric or the turns of phrase but for the man who delivered them and the era they usher us forth.

Mr. Trump’s delivery was staccato and there was very little eye contact as he seemed to be reading carefully from a teleprompter. His words and tone were angry and defiant. He is still in campaign mode and nary a whiff of a unifying spirit. There was little or nothing of uplift – the rhetoric of Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy, or Reagan. We heard a cavalcade of slogans and one liners, of huge promises to “bring back” an America – whatever that really means to many who look at our history and see progress in our current society.

The speech started with a message of an establishment in Washington earning riches on the back of struggling families across the country. It was an odd note, considering the background of many of his cabinet picks. President Trump painted a very dark picture of the current state of our nation, beset by gangs and drugs and violence, regardless of what the data shows. His words swelled with his economic populism and the nationalism of “America first.” The applause was sparse, and I imagine many more being turned off, even sickened, rather than inspired by what our new President had to say. President Obama looked on with an opaque poker face. One could only imagine what he was thinking.

It bears remembering that one never can predict the arc of a presidency. It is an office that is far too often shaped by circumstance well beyond its occupant’s control. Those challenges, wherever and however they may rise, now will fall on the desk of President Trump. We can only see what will happen. We hope, for the security and sanctity of our Republic, that Mr. Trump will respond to the challenges with circumspection and wisdom. Today’s rhetoric was not reassuring.

Our democracy demands debate and dissent – fierce, sustained, and unflinching when necessary. I sense that tide is rising amongst an opposition eager to toss aside passivity for action. We are already seeing a more emboldened Democratic party than I have witnessed in ages. It is being fueled by a fervent energy bubbling from the grassroots up, rather than the top down.

These are the swirling currents about our ship of state. We now have a new and untested captain. His power is immense, but it is not bestowed from a divinity on high. It is derived, as the saying goes, from the consent of the governed. That means President Trump now works for us – all of us. And if he forgets that, it will be our duty to remind him.

Rather’s final two sentences are a reminder that we need to maintain hope for our great nation’s future and not be beaten down by Trump’s authoritarian rhetoric. Like it or not, Trump is our president and we are not going let him act otherwise. My opinon? Ha! Trump won't change; therefore, the Democrats must work hard to impeach him ASAP!  Mayday!

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Trolls in social media and Trump's MPD

It's my opinion, only my own, that Donald J. Trump can possibly be representing himself as multiple personalities on Twitter. He's capable of it.

Too many evil "Trump trolls" parrot what he says and the way he forms half phrases. In fact, I've blocked several Trump trolls who I suspect might really be him, or else they're talented impersonators.  
Trump trolls could be surrogates representing Donald Trump or even be himself!

How will the Presidential social media security stop Donald Trump from creating alter egos, and aliases on Twitter and other social media platforms? This wasn't a concern for President Obama, who always Tweeted uplifting or intelligent messages. I haven't seen any Donald Trump Tweets (DTTs) where he hasn't obliquely insulted someone, even by omission. Talk about on line bullying?
Paleeeeze! He seems to begin each day with a Twitter insult.

Hopefully, Donald Trump is receiving psychiatric counseling for his multiple mental health issues, including brushes with "multiple personality disorder" or MPD. Jimmy Fallon sure captured the essence of this disorder in the skit where he played Donald Trump as he interviewed himself, in this video clip.

In fact, here's yet another clip on this site where the subject of Donald Trump's mental health is the displayed.

Here are some of my personal observations about Twitter trolls, in general:

1.  They never "ever" form an original opinion to post.
2.  Trolls attack the messenger with slanderous words. They never attack a concept, because they can only understand concrete phrases like "you are ugly" and very much worse stuff.
3.  Trolls reduce their posts to the lowest use of language and typically insert vulgarity.
4.  Trolls hate being blocked, because it takes away their only orgasmic return for creating vitriolic messaging, i.e., they have lost your attention!

In fact, Donald Trump even admitted to calling at least one television show while misrepresenting himself, so there's no telling how many others he's contacted, as a multiple personality.

It's possible, in my opinion, that Donald Trump may have even camouflaged himself as a "right wing black man" on Twitter. Otherwise, if it wasn't Donald Trump, maybe it was "Breitbart-barfcart" Steve Bannon; but it was a misrepresentation, that's for sure. It was in the form of one person who posted racist comments about Dr. Martin Luther King and Congressman John Lewis; but he gave himself the cover of being a Black Man, while doing so. That troll was lying.

Honestly, given the general nature of the weird "Trolls" who post on Twitter, I just don't find that the representation of a Black man denigrating Civil Rights leaders as being possible. Trump trolls just aren't capable of creating even this low level of obtuse thinking. 

Obviously, I can't prove if the multiple personality "Black person",who misrepresented, was Donald Trump or a surrogate like Bannon. Nevertheless, the fact is, when I accused this person of lying, he just raised his ire even more against me and, of course, I blocked him. No way was he a Black man but, of course, I can't say for sure who he was, really. If he was a Black man, his Twitter icon would've helped to prove it; but his photo block was an algebraic figure for "pi"- go figure. No, he wasn't a Black man on Twitter, a man who used a racist cover to hide his bigotry; but surely, he was a white racist bigot.

In fact, Donald Trump's "Twitter trolls" simply don't know how to use Twitter. Typically, the trolls who attack on his behalf never use full sentences or include Twitter types of lingo in their posts. Most telling, they hardly ever have more than a few dozen followers.  Apparently, they just follow one another.

Frankly, Donald Trump's cult following can't read beyond what they hear their leader say, which is then parroted in vulgar rhetoric. 

Regardless of who is trolling for Donald Trump on Twitter, or if he is trolling for himself, there is one universal rule to follow when they reveal their snarly and short sentences rhetoric: "Block them". To those trolls, it's like Coitus interruptus.

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Congressman Tom Price needs coaching to be an ethical public policy director

"Congressman Price repeatedly told senators that his stock purchases were initiated by his broker and that he was unaware of them." (OMG- that's the biggest "pants on fire" lie any physician-Congressman ever told. Believe me folks, physicians know where their money is invested, trust me.)

REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN AND orthopedic surgeon Tom Price, Trump’s nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services, spent as much time his character as he did defending his vision of healthcare for all Americans.
Congressman Tom Price is an investor in health care reaps profits from medical device companies and pharmaceuticals 

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) told the Senate Health Committee that he would protect vulnerable Americans if he is confirmed as President-elect Donald Trump’s Health and Human Services secretary. (But, he was blinking visibly when confronted by Senator Elizabeth Warren about how he would deliver Trump's promise not to cut Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security.)

But the six-term congressman did not detail how he would fulfill that pledge, including how he would replace the Affordable Care Act and how he would preserve coverage for the more than 100 million Americans who rely on Medicare, Medicaid and the healthcare law, commonly called Obamacare. Price has worked for years to roll back all three.

During a testy four-hour hearing on Capitol Hill — which also featured several heated exchanges about Price’s ethics — Price also repeatedly dodged questions from Democrats seeking assurance that he would preserve basic protections required by law.

Among other things, Obamacare bans lifetime limits on coverage, requires that health plans offer basic benefits such as substance abuse treatment and mandates that plans allow parents to keep their children on their insurance until they are 26.

“My constituents are coming up to me with tears in their eyes wondering what the future holds for their healthcare,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the senior Democrat on the Health Committee, told Price.

Price, whom Trump has said is helping develop the new administration’s proposed Obamacare replacement, repeatedly assured lawmakers that Americans would be able to get the health insurance they want.

“It's absolutely imperative that individuals that have health coverage be able to keep health coverage and move hopefully to greater choices and opportunities for them,” Price told the committee.

At one point, he even said he hopes the Obamacare replacement will cover more people than the current law.

Obamacare has helped more than 20 million previously uninsured Americans gain coverage in the last three years. Repealing it would immediately result in 18 million people losing coverage, according to a new analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Price has been among the law’s most ardent critics and has pushed budget plans that would cut trillions of dollars from Medicare and Medicaid.

Like Trump, Price offered no indication how it will be possible to cover more people, preserve consumer protections and make health insurance cheaper all at the same time.

He appeared to support Trump’s repeated assurance that major changes for Medicare are not under consideration.

In the past, Price has been a strong proponent of increasing the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67 and shifting more costs to patients by converting Medicare into a voucher system that would give beneficiaries a limited amount of money to shop for private health plans.

However, Price refused to say Wednesday whether he would back efforts to expand the government's authority to negotiate lower prices from drug makers, despite Trump’s recent calls to do so. Price made only a general commitment to help make drugs prices more “reasonable.”  (Makes no sense, because Canadians benefit from negotiated drug prices while Americans must pay retail. Dear Republicans, when Canadians get a discount on the same drugs Americans pay retail prices for- duh? We're subsidizing lower Canadian pharmaceutical prices.)

Trump once made the cost of pharmaceuticals a central part of his campaign healthcare pitch. And at his first news conference last week, the president-elect said drug makers were “getting away with murder.” (Again, Trump lied- pants on fire!)

“We’re the largest buyer of drugs in the world, and yet we don’t bid properly,” Trump said. “And we’re going to start bidding and we’re going to save billions of dollars over a period of time.”

Republicans have long opposed allowing Medicare to use its market power to negotiate lower prices for seniors.

And the pharmaceutical industry, which also opposes price negotiation, has protected its interests by lavishing political contributions on members of Congress. Price himself has received tens of thousands of dollars from drug makers and has also invested heavily in industry stocks, records show.

Those ties featured prominently in Wednesday’s hearing, as Democrats pounded Price for repeatedly trading stocks in healthcare companies that were affected by his work in Congress.

As the hearing grew increasingly tense, several lawmakers reiterated calls for an independent investigation of Price for pushing legislation that increased the value of several stocks shortly after he bought them.

These Republicans hate Obamacare, but aren't ready to give it up just yet »

“This whole administration is starting to look like a bit of a get-rich-quick scheme," Sen. Christopher S. Murphy (D-Conn.) told Price, linking the congressman’s stock trading to Trump's refusal to divest his business holdings.

Last year, Price bought up to $15,000 worth of stock in medical device maker Zimmer Biomet just a week before introducing legislation that would have delayed a new regulation that threatened the company’s bottom line, according to CNN.

Also last year, Price invested as much as $90,000 in six drug makers shortly before leading a legislative effort to derail an Obama administration proposal to control Medicare spending on cancer drugs, Time magazine reported.

All six companies make cancer drugs that could have been affected by the regulation. And they all benefited when Price’s effort was successful.

Price repeatedly told senators that his stock purchases were initiated by his broker and that he was unaware of them.

This whole administration is starting to look like a bit of a get-rich-quick scheme," Sen. Christopher S. Murphy (D-Conn.) told Price, linking the congressman’s stock trading to Trump's refusal to divest his business holdings.

Last year, Price bought up to $15,000 worth of stock in medical device maker Zimmer Biomet just a week before introducing legislation that would have delayed a new regulation that threatened the company’s bottom line, according to CNN.

Also last year, Price invested as much as $90,000 in six drug makers shortly before leading a legislative effort to derail an Obama administration proposal to control Medicare spending on cancer drugs, Time magazine reported.

All six companies make cancer drugs that could have been affected by the regulation. And they all benefited when Price’s effort was successful.

Price repeatedly told senators that his stock purchases were initiated by his broker and that he was unaware of them.

“I am offended by the insinuation,” he told Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) after she outlined his extensive work to derail a proposed regulation, even after he had been notified that his broker had bought stock in one of the healthcare companies that stood to benefit.

Several Democratic senators incredulously asked why Price had not directed his broker to avoid investing in companies that would be affected by his work. Price said he complied with congressional ethics rules.

In one of the oddest exchanges of the day, Price refused to acknowledge that human activity is responsible for climate change, despite widespread scientific consensus that this is the case.

“The climate is obviously changing,” Price told Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I). “The question from a scientific standpoint is what effect does human behavior and human activity have on that, and what we can do to mitigate that,” Price said. “And I believe that's a question that needs to be studied and evaluated.”

A growing number of public health and physician groups are raising concerns about climate change’s impact on people’s health.

And at almost the same time as Price’s hearing, Trump’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged to another Senate committee that human activity is, in fact, changing the climate.

(I'm distressed, disappointed and dismayed about Congressman Tom Price as Health and Human Services nominee. He's a physician before he's a public servant, a surgeon before he's a health policy director and he's obviously more interested in his investments than providing ethical leadership for the frail, elderly and needy American citizens.)

Perhaps Tom Price can advertise: "Ethics life coach needed."

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Not politically correct anymore- Rep. John Lewis

Paul Krugman explains why Rep. John Lewis labeled Donald Trump an illitimately elected president.  Nevertheless, it's the Republicans, led by Donald Trump, who must get accustomed to politically incorrect language. In other words, the truth hurts; but Donald Trump doesn't understand the word. Maybe "pravda" makes more sense to him meaning "truth" in Russian.

"With All Due Disrespect"-by Paul Krugman in The New York Times

As a young man, Congressman John Lewis, who represents most of Atlanta, literally put his life on the line in pursuit of justice. 

As a key civil rights leader, Congressman Lewis endured multiple beatings. Most famously, he led the demonstration that came to be known as Bloody Sunday, suffering a fractured skull at the hands of state troopers. Public outrage over that day’s violence helped lead to the enactment of the Voting Rights Act.
Right wing extremists don't like when the abandonment of political correctness is blown up their asses, as in (rightly) accusing Donald Trump of being an illegitimate president.

Now, Mr. Lewis says that he won’t attend the inauguration of Donald Trump, whom he regards as an illegitimate president.

As you might expect, this statement provoked a hysterical, slanderous reaction from the president-elect – who, of course, got his start in national politics by repeatedly, falsely questioning President Obama’s right to hold office. 

Nevertheless, Mr. Trump — who has never sacrificed anything or taken a risk to help others — seems to have a special animus toward genuine heroes. 

Maybe he prefers demonstrators who don’t get beaten?

But let’s not talk about Mr. Trump’s ravings. Instead, let’s ask whether Mr. Lewis was right to say what he said. Is it O.K., morally and politically, to declare the man about to move into the White House illegitimate?

Yes, it is. In fact, it’s an act of patriotism. (Our US Constitution deliberately gave all Americans the right to dissent.)

By any reasonable standard, the 2016 election was deeply tainted. It wasn’t just the effects of Russian intervention on Mr. Trump’s behalf; Hillary Clinton would almost surely have won if the F.B.I. hadn’t conveyed the false impression that it had damaging new information about her, just days before the vote. 

This was grotesque, delegitimizing malfeasance, especially in contrast with the agency’s refusal to discuss the Russia connection.

Was there even more to it? Did the Trump campaign actively coordinate with a foreign power? Did a cabal within the F.B.I. deliberately slow-walk investigations into that possibility? Are the lurid (salacious) tales about adventures in Moscow true? We don’t know, although Mr. Trump’s creepy obsequiousness to Vladimir Putin makes it hard to dismiss these allegations. Even given what we do know, however, no previous U.S. president-elect has had less right to the title. So why shouldn’t we question his legitimacy?

And talking frankly about how Mr. Trump gained power isn’t just about truth-telling. It may also help to limit that power.

It would be one thing if the incoming commander in chief showed any hint of humility, of realizing that his duty to the nation requires showing some respect for the strong majority of Americans who voted against him despite Russian meddling and the F.B.I.’s disinformation dump. But he hasn’t and won’t.

Instead, he’s lashing out at and threatening anyone and everyone who criticizes him, while refusing even to admit that he lost the popular vote. And he’s surrounding himself with people who share his contempt for everything that is best in America. What we’re looking at, all too obviously, is an American kakistocracy — rule by the worst.

What can restrain this rule? Well, Congress still has a lot of power to rein the president in. And it would be nice to imagine that there are enough public-spirited legislators to play that role. In particular, just three Republican senators with consciences could do a lot to protect American values.

But Congress will be much more likely to stand up to a rogue, would-be authoritarian executive if its members realize that they will face a political price if they act as his enablers.

What this means is that Mr. Trump must not be treated with personal deference simply because of the position he has managed to seize. He must not be granted the use of the White House as a bully pulpit. He must not be allowed to cloak himself in the majesty of office. Given what we know about this guy’s character, it’s all too clear that granting him unearned respect will just empower him to behave badly.

And reminding people how he got where he is will be an important tool in preventing him from gaining respect he doesn’t deserve. Remember, saying that the election was tainted isn’t a smear or a wild conspiracy theory; it’s simply the truth.

Now, anyone questioning Mr. Trump’s legitimacy will be accused of being unpatriotic — because that’s what people on the right always say about anyone who criticizes a Republican president. (Strangely, they don’t say this about attacks on Democratic presidents.) But patriotism means standing up for your country’s values, not pledging personal allegiance to Dear Leader.

No, we shouldn’t get into the habit of delegitimizing election results we don’t like. But this time really is exceptional, and needs to be treated that way.

So let’s be thankful that John Lewis had the courage to speak out. It was the patriotic, heroic thing to do. And America needs that kind of heroism, now more than ever.

(What I like most about the moral bravery of Rep. John Lewis is how he took the Right Wing Extremists contempt for the use of "political correctness" and blew it right back up their asses!)

Read my blog, The Conscience of a Liberal, and follow me on Twitter, @PaulKrugman.

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Planned Parenthood - women Senators protect women's health care

“This is saying that Planned Parenthood is going to be treated differently from other health care providers when it comes to Medicaid,” Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said. “I think that’s wrong.”

Planned parenthood provides health care for women. It's that simple! Although right wing "Right to Life" groups accuse the non-profit agency of providing abortions, the fact is, the health care provided to women far and away exceeds any other of the agency's priorities. Thankfully, Senator Susan Collins R-Me, understands the important role Planned Parenthood serves to protect women's health.

Sen. Collins bucks GOP efforts to end Planned Parenthood funding- Reported in the Bangor Daily News  (BDN), by Kelsey Snell of the Washington Post
Senator Susan Collins R-Maine understands how Planned Parenthood provides women with health care

A fierce battle over the future of reproductive rights is underway in Washington as congressional Republicans made the first move last week to slash funding for Planned Parenthood.

In starting to roll back the Affordable Care Act, the GOP is also planning to target the country’s largest women’s health-care provider. Planned Parenthood could lose millions in dollars of reimbursements from Medicaid and other funding as soon as this spring, if the repeal effort advances.

President-elect Donald J. Trump’s pick to head the Health and Human Services department, Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Price, is likely to be an ally — his ACA replacement bill prevents federal funds from going to health care plans that cover abortions. A courtesy hearing on his nomination is set to start Wednesday before the Senate Health, Education and Labor Committee.

Planned Parenthood has responded by organizing a massive public outreach campaign aimed at convincing Congress that voters support the nonprofit group. Women’s rights groups have descended on the Capitol, and Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards is in the midst of a TV blitz. Two weeks ago, abortion rights advocates attempted to deliver more than 70,000 petitions to the office of House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wisconsin.

Many of those activists worry that the Republican Congress — helped by Trump — will seize on blanket control of Washington to further restrict and ban some abortion procedures, or even seek to reverse Roe v. Wade, the 40-year-old Supreme Court decision that legalized the procedure.

“Right now we are trying to do everything possible to fight back against these attempts and talk to members of Congress,” Raegan McDonald-Mosley, Planned Parenthood chief medical officer, said in an interview. “We will continue to be around, but if we are unable to serve that million-plus people, our organization will certainly look different.”

Capitol Hill Republicans have given abortion rights supporters cause for alarm. They have long unsuccessfully targeted Planned Parenthood, arguing that no abortion provider should receive federal funding — next week, they intend to vote on a measure to ban such funding with exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.

Although previous GOP efforts to defund the group ended in a veto by President Barack Obama, Republicans are hopeful that Trump will support such language. Many Republicans were deeply disturbed by undercover video released last year that some viewed as showing Planned Parenthood officials talking about selling fetal tissue.

“We don’t want to effectively commit taxpayer money to an organization providing abortions,” Ryan said at a recent CNN town hall. (Speaker Ryan knows better than to label Planned Parenthood as an abortion provider, because women who have a medical need  to choose for an abortion pay for it, without tax dollars.)

Democrats insist that federal law already prevents public money from paying for abortions and argue that Planned Parenthood provides broad health services — from birth control to screening for sexually transmitted diseases to preventive care like mammograms.

Democrats acknowledge that with no check from the president, congressional Republicans may succeed in using special budget procedures to slash funding for the group by as much as 50 percent.

“This has been an easy vote for a lot of Republicans to say they’re going to take a political vote. But this time it’s real bullets,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, the No. 3 Senate Democrat.

“They will have people in their home states, in their communities, who don’t get access,” Murray said in a recent interview. “They will see Planned Parenthood clinics cut down and the world will go very dark for a lot of people.”

Planned Parenthood estimates that half of the 2.5 million patients who visit its clinics each year are insured through Medicaid. Of those patients, about 10 percent are men, and 75 percent meet the federal definition of low or moderate income, McDonald-Mosley said.

Abortion rights supporters worry attacks on Planned Parenthood could be the first volley in a broader strategy. Unlike the ACA, which Ryan and other leaders have said will remain while a replacement plan is phased in, a measure targeting Planned Parenthood is expected to take effect as soon as the repeal bill passes — potentially ending access to services within months for more than a million women.

Some moderate Republicans worry the push could make it look as though the GOP is unfairly and aggressively singling out one health group that mainly serves women.

“This is saying that Planned Parenthood is going to be treated differently from other health care providers when it comes to Medicaid,” Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said. “I think that’s wrong.”
Image result for murkowski
Lisa Ann Murkowski R- Alaska

Collins and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said this week they would consider opposing any bill that cuts funding for the group. But they declined to commit to voting against the ACA repeal measure because the bill has not yet been written.

“That is certainly something I would have to take into consideration,” Murkowski said, referring to voting against the entire repeal bill to protect Planned Parenthood.

House Republicans plan to base their attempt to cut the group’s funding on a 2015 measure to block Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid reimbursements for a year. Obama vetoed that measure when it passed as part of a broader attempt to repeal the ACA. But now, Trump is eager to repeal and replace Obamacare.

“We’re not going to allow and we’re not going to fund, as long as you have the abortion going on at Planned Parenthood,” Trump said in a speech last March.

Trump has at other times praised the organization for doing good work,

“I would look at the good aspects of it, and I would also look because I’m sure they do some things properly and good for women,” Trump said on CNN in August. “The abortion aspect of Planned Parenthood should absolutely not be funded.”

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-New York, said that pushing forward on plans to cut Medicaid dollars for the organization will only make it harder for Ryan to make sure ACA repeal legislation has enough Senate votes.

“The American people are 60 to 65 percent against defunding,” Schumer said of Planned Parenthood. “All of the ideological baggage makes his job harder.”

Public opinion on abortions has been mixed in recent years, but a majority of voters have consistently backed funding for Planned Parenthood.

Last year, a poll conducted by Politico and Harvard University found that 58 percent of voters thought the organization should receive federal funding, including 48 percent of Trump voters.

Republicans already tested the waters on Planned Parenthood in the 2015 bill that served as a dress rehearsal for the ACA fight. At the time, Democrats asked the Senate parliamentarian to rule that a section clearly aimed at ending the group’s funding couldn’t be included in the final bill.

The parliamentarian ultimately decided that section was allowed under Senate rules. Democrats plan to renew their fight again this year.

Republican leaders are relying on a special quirk in Senate rules to repeal the ACA and potentially defund Planned Parenthood without the threat of a blockade by Senate Democrats. That quirk could allow such language to be passed with a simply majority or 51 votes — the GOP has 52 senators.

But those rules are limited to measures related to taxes and spending and those with an impact on the long-term debt and deficit. Democrats argued in 2015 the Planned Parenthood measure had more to do with politics than with the budget, according to senior Democratic aides, who declined to speak on the record so as not to disclose private deliberations with the parliamentarian.

They also contended there is a serious long-term cost to denying low-income women access to preventive services such as birth control.

The 2015 language was carefully written so as not to target Planned Parenthood by name. Instead, the Democratic aides said, the measure aimed to deny Medicaid reimbursements and other funds to essential community nonprofits that provide abortions — a definition that applies almost exclusively to Planned Parenthood.

The funding cuts were also limited to one year. Republicans argued for pausing payments to Planned Parenthood while Congress investigated accusations that some clinics mishandled the tissue of aborted fetuses.

Democrats, however, said the one-year limit had far more to do with the independent Congressional Budget Office’s estimate that cutting birth-control services would eventually cost the government $130 million over 10 years. The costs would come from an increase in the number of unplanned pregnancies and children who would eventually need coverage through Medicaid.

Ryan has said other community health groups will help fill any gap left by Planned Parenthood. But the group maintains it is the only provider for many women across the country.

Murkowski said in an interview that Planned Parenthood is the only entity in Alaska that screens for sexually transmitted diseases for low-income individuals — including for men.

“I respect the fact that there are those who feel very strongly about not having federal dollars directed to abortion services, and I have said that that is something I am consistent and in alignment with,” Murkowski said. “But I also recognize that Planned Parenthood does so much more than abortions.”

Thankfully, Republican women have a say in protecting how Planned Parenthood is subject to budget cuts, just because it serves poor women.  Obviously, women of means will find their health care, including access to reproductive procedures, without the need for Planned Parenthood. 

Thank you Senators Murkowski and Collins.

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