Tuesday, February 28, 2017

An epidemic of ignorance

Maybe if the president knew more about the challenge of providing healthcare to an entire nation than those 17% of folks who didn't even know that the ACA and Obamacare were the same thing, he wouldn't have been so surprised.

It's too bad that ignorance can't be cured by doctors.  Then maybe people wouldn't have to, you know, read.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

My first time :)

Yep, and I'm 68.  :)

Until this afternoon, I'd never stood on a sidewalk on a busy street and asked passersby to sign a petition.

[A word of advice:  Mechanical pencils work better than ballpoint pens in cold weather.]

The Food and Water Watch petition in question asks Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer to resist plans to cut the budget for environmental protection.

My best line:  "Keep lead out of your kid's drinking water--sign the petition!"

My next task:  Learn to say that in Spanish.

Mantenga el plomo fuera del agua potable de su hijo--firma la petición!

Sigh.  It's faster in English.  Oh, well.

Link party--here are my most recent posts:

~ The Oroville Dam emergency--tragedy and metaphor

~ Pruitt, or contempt for the courts

~ A Jewish approach to tough times:  Get to work!

~ Show me the money

~ Deconstruction:  I said it here first

Friday, February 24, 2017

Deconstruction: I said it here first

President Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, calls "regulatory reform" "the deconstruction of the administrative state."

I beat him by almost a month.

But let's be clear:  "regulation" can also be another word for "protection."  As in environmental and/or consumer and/or civil-rights protection.

Bannon Admits Trump's Cabinet Nominees Were Selected To Destroy Their Agencies.

"When EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] responds to a massive toxic waste spill or a Deepwater Horizon explosion, or simply tells a coal company that it can’t pollute the surrounding air and water with its carcinogens, it is taking on a task on behalf of all Americans, not just the locals who happen to be affected.  When the Department of Health and Human Services administers a nationwide program of medical care for the elderly, it is responding to the needs of all Americans, not just the well-off.

The nature of “Federal” agencies is just that—to preserve uniformity throughout the country so that (in theory at least) no single state or locality is treated with preference over others. The hundreds of thousands of people who work for these agencies are there because of their expertise and their dedication. They are not politicians.  They are not “elected." But they do work for all of us.

Bannon knows that there is no realistic substitute for these Federal agencies. When Bannon talks about dismantling the "Administrative state,” what he's really talking about is allowing corporations and industry the absolute right to do whatever they want, whenever and wherever they want, regardless of its harmful impact on American citizens."

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Show me the money

Trump is also adamant about building the Great Wall Against Mexico, even though the "estimated cost would be at least $15 billion, according to the analysts, and possibly as much as $25 billion."

Spending increases coupled with tax reductions?  Are they serious?

Sigh.  Been there, blogged that.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Jewish approach to tough times: Get to work!

In Pirkei Avot (Verses ["Ethics"] of the Fathers), Chapter 2, Verse 16, Rabbi Tarfon tells us

לֹא עָלֶיךָ הַמְּלָאכָה לִגְמֹר, וְלֹא אַתָּה בֶן חוֹרִין לִבָּטֵל מִמֶּנָּה"

Lo Alecha ha-m'lachah ligmor, v'lo atah ben chorin l'hibatel mimenah.

It is not your responsibility to finish the work, but neither are you free to desist from it."

That's a good approach to take to the challenges posed by President Trump and his administration (not necessarily the same thing).

Certainly, those of us unhappy with some Trump and/or Trump Administration policies aren't going to win every battle, but that doesn't excuse us from trying.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a Town Hall to attend--and I'd love to have some company.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Pruitt, or contempt for the courts

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Oroville Dam emergency--tragedy and metaphor

The U.S. is falling apart, both physically and politically.

Now, roughly 200,000 Californians are temporarily homeless, and, for those whose places of employment are located south of the Oroville Dam, jobless as well.

In terms of both our physical and our political infrastructures, the United States is woefully unprepared to deal with dangerous situations.
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