From Russia, With Love

Despite the failure of Trump’s Healthcare bill Russia-gate is this week’s hot story. Today Trump Senior Advisor and son- in-law Jared Kushner, was questioned about meetings with the Russian Sergey I. Kislyak, who has ties with Putin. Kushner also met with high roller Russian bank executive Sergey N. Gorkov, the chief of Vnesheconombank, which the United States placed on its sanctions list after President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia annexed Crimea and began meddling in Ukraine. The Senate is also questioning other members of Trump’s administration for the meetings while Trump was campaigning for President. Here are the major players involved in this Russia-gate saga. 

The Russian interference in the election was disturbing enough, but to know that Putin has his hands up our president’s ass and is using him as a puppet, should be alarming to everyone! What is most disturbing is the fact that American’s and other politicians from the left and right are calling for an independent investigation, yet we are still dealing with a Republican investigation headed by Devin Nunes, also known as the “Trump Whisperer” by White House staffers who claim Nunes is up at the White House “all the time.” Republicans are more concerned with protecting the party rather than working for the American people’s interest, and this will cost them both the House and Senate in 2018. Despite what Trump says it won’t be because of the failure of the heath care bill that does it. It will be because people are fatigued by the obvious dishonesty and crookedness of the Donald Trump administration.

Texas Teen Admits Rape Hoax

Talbot admitted that she lied about rape.

A Denison Texas teen admitted to making a false rape claim.  Eighteen-year-old Breana Talbott entered a Denison police station, bloodied, bruised and wearing only a bra, underwear and a tee shirt. She claimed she was raped by three black men. Talbott was reported missing by her fiance after her car was found abandoned in a park. After an intense investigation the teen admitted to lying about the rape.

Till was beaten and thrown into a river.

This story reminds me of the Emmett Till case. Till was a 14 year old  black kid from Chicago who went to Money, Mississippi during summer vacation to visit family. Till went to a local grocery store and made the fatal error of speaking to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, the married proprietor of the grocery store. Several nights later, Bryant’s husband Roy and his half-brother J. W. Milam went armed to Till’s great-uncle’s house and abducted the boy. They took him away and beat and mutilated him before fatally shooting him and sinking his body in the Tallahatchie River. Three days later, Till’s body was discovered and retrieved from the river. Roy Bryant and Milam were acquitted by an all white jury after just one hour of deliberation. Till’s body was returned to Chicago for burial. Till’s mother, Mamie Elizabeth Till-Mobley, refused to have a closed casket funeral because she wanted the world to see what the men had done to her son. The Till case played a defining role in the civil rights movement.

Carolyn Bryant Donham admits she lied about Till.

Just two weeks ago Carolyn Bryant now well into her 80’s, admitted that it was all a lie. Carolyn Bryant Donham, spoke to Timothy B. Tyson, a Duke University professor — possibly the only interview she has given to a historian or journalist since shortly after the episode — who has written a book, “The Blood of Emmett Till,” to be published next week. Bryant- Donham expressed sorrow for her role in Till’s death and said, “Nothing Emmett did deserved what happened to him.”

In the Talbott case we can be thankful that she didn’t accuse three random black men of a false crime like in the case of Emmett Till, but it serves as a reminder that certain regions of America haven’t resolved and evolved the issue of race.

 

Health Care Bill on the Hill

The Donald and Paul Ryan shake hands on a bad deal.

Today marks the health care showdown on Capital Hill and it ain’t looking too good for “The Donald.” Trump/ Ryan Care, or whatever you want to call this crappy deal, is not good for the American people. Last night a new amendment was added to the bill to appease the Freedom Caucus that would reduce maternity care, drug rehabilitation care, care for the elderly and defunds Planned Parenthood. Why don’t we just shoot Santa while we’re at it?

The Trump/Ryan Care bill isn’t a complete bill. Apparently it has three parts! According to Paul Ryan’s own words “parts two and three will be introduced later on because if it was put in the bill now it wouldn’t pass.”  This is an issue for both moderate republicans and democrats because they believe parts two and three are the better parts of this bill, but fear it will never be introduced and once again the American people will become victims of bad legislation. This bill is being ramrodded towards legislation, and I don’t understand what’s the rush? The Congressional Budget office said that 24 million people will lose their healthcare, and this bill will not reduce the budget as much as Trump says it will. Don’t we owe it to ourselves to slow down, take a breath and create a bill that is a viable solution for everyone?

The solution to the health care crisis seems simple to me, it’s Universal Health Care. One of the issues of the Trump/Ryan Care bill with hard-line Conservatives is the expansion of Medicaid coverage. Because the President’s mouth cashed promises that his ass can’t back up, he said, “Everyone will have health insurance and it’s going to be terrific, you’re gonna love it.” That simply isn’t possible unless we have Universal Health Care.

Universal Health Care makes sense and it cuts government bloat by ridding Medicare, Medicaid and what ever shit program the GOP will pass today. With a Universal Health Care we fund only one program and not three.  Also, Universal Health Care forces prescription drug companies to reduce drug costs through negotiation and not the “free market.”  No more will the Martin Shkrelis of the world reign over the people who need vital medication to survive. The same applies to cost of medical care. By cutting costs and shutting down redundant programs that’s how a budget gets balanced!

My prediction is this bill will pass, unfortunately, because the Republican’s handed their balls over in a Dixie cup to Trump the day he won the presidency. What they’ve forgotten is the American people still have their’s and we ain’t handing them over.

Cries Unheard from Syria

 

Aleppo was the largest economy in Syria before the war.

I’m a true documentary junkie and I want to share with you one that is a “must see.” Cries From Syria, a Sundance Film Festival winner, is the harrowing tale of the Syrian civil war and the endless suffering the people have had to endure for more than seven years with no end in sight

I didn’t  know why the Syrian people were revolting against Bashar Al Assad’s regime. I suppose I am like most Americans, shielded from the rest of the world’s problems, but this documentary forced me to understand what is happening and how external forces have made it worse for the Syrian people.

While watching Cries for Syria it forced me to think about what would I do if the same atrocities were to happen here in America, gassing citizens with chemical weapons or randomly shooting cannons through houses and tanks invading my city? If I fought back against the tyranny of my government would they call me a terrorist? What I learned from this documentary is that Americans are being lied to by the government and media. They have us so scared of Muslims, and because of our willful ignorance we not only buy but embrace what they sell to us every day. This documentary should serve as a warning to us that this situation could easily happen if we allow politicians to erode our rights, our freedom of speech and our right to peaceful assembly.

RIP Chuck Barris

Chuck Barris has died at age 90. Barris was the producer and host of The Gong Show.   The show is best remembered for its absurdist humor and style, often awarding participants ridiculous and worthless prizes.

Here is a clip from The Gong Show.

Defensive Healthcare

Paul Ryan wants America to embrace the new healthcare act.

Good morning my loyal inhalers. Sorry I have been off the grid lately. I’ve started a new job, you know how grueling the training can be, but I’m back.

Wow, what a wild 60 days it has been in the Trump administration, Russiagate, wiretapping, lies and Paul Manafort, it’s like a reality show in the White House. But today it’s all about the American Healthcare Act, also known as “Ryan Care” because you know Trump makes other people do his homework. The healthcare issue has taken center stage in the last two weeks as GOP’ers scramble to come up with a viable alternative to Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Although they’ve had seven years to think of a new healthcare strategy, Washington insiders have indicated that Trump’s American Healthcare act is DOA before it even lands on the House floor for a vote.

One problem with the new bill is that its success is predicated on the capitalistic idea that an open marketplace will generate competition and therefore make insurance more “accessible.” I keep hearing the word “accessible.” Accessibility and affordability are not the same thing. I have access to any Mercedes dealership in the world but it doesn’t mean I can afford their products. It was affordability that was the problem with the ACA because it didn’t offer enough choice.

I have to admit to you that I’m a democratic socialist, and I believe Americans don’t get enough in return for the taxes we pay. We are the only western country that doesn’t have universal healthcare in place. Yet, Trump is asking from us a  $54 billion increase in military spending? Half of our budget is already dedicated to defense, and I have a real problem with that! We were warned by President Eisenhower against investing in the military industrial complex and because we failed to heed this warning our economic prosperity is dependent on war and the suffering of others, usually against people in poor countries. So I ask you, do you really want to invest your money in the killing machine,  or would you like to have healthcare for you and your family? Death, or life? You choose.

Real Leaks, Fake News

According to Donald Trump, he said at the impromptu news conference, “The leaks are real, the news is fake.” This quote will probably go down in history as one of the best presidential quotes ever. “The Donald” says he never talked to Russians or ordered any of his top-level advisers to talk to the Russians, however we are learning that is an “alternative fact.”

More important is even conservative commentators on Fox News are pointing out the instability of this president, and his ability to lie at a drop of a dime. According to White House insiders Trump is constantly watching conservative channels that generally favor him. But that is changing.

Check out this video from Shepard Smith from Fox News.

 

 

It’s About Jobs

Big tech companies take advantage of the American worker by hiring consultants.

Big tech companies take advantage of the American worker by hiring consultants.

President Trump has landed in Charleston, SC to visit the Boeing plant. I suspect he will make promises to the people about how he’s going to bring jobs back to the country. Employment is at a low of 3.9 percent, which is pretty good compared to what we endured during the Bush Administration.

Trump talks about jobs moving overseas , but no one is talking about the “real” employment landscape, the one not affecting the blue collar worker, but the one that is directly affecting white collar workers. In the Bay Area “consulting” or “gigging” is the new thing. “Bigly” companies like Google, Facebook and Apple are taking advantage of workers by hiring them as consultants to work a short term of a few months with no benefits. But the company can extend the term up to two years and the worker still gets nothing. So even though the statistics say unemployment is low, there are a lot of people who are under-employed. Also, companies don’t have to move overseas to cost American jobs. Many high-tech companies move essential departments like advertising and customer service, to countries in India and the Philipines. What’s more insulting is the company often requires the employee to train the replacement or they will not be entitled to a severance! This is criminal, but no one is talking about this.

The reality is the employment landscape has changed and not for the better, and until the American worker stands up and demands their rights by forming unions, protesting and boycotting these companies and their products the job climate will only continue to get worse.

Message to the People

Trump says he will not concede

Trump says the fake news is unfair

Right now President Trump is conducting a a press conference, or in his case under-speech, on TV. I believe I’m watching a president implode. His ranting at the press, alternative facts and blaming is just amazing!

Trump says the media is unfair, and is portraying his administration as “chaotic.”Just yesterday on CNN Republican Senator John McCain stated, “There is no leadership in this administration. It’s total chaos.”

The New York Times released an article yesterday about out General Flynn’s conversations with the Russians and how he lied to Vice President Pence. But what’s important in the article is what did Trump know and how long did he know it? The article claims Trump knew about Flynn’s Russian scandal three weeks ago. Trump has been in office for 24 days.

To deflect attention from Russia-gate, Trump blames the Obama Administration for the “mess he inherited” and fake news. He also blames Hillary, who has been amazingly silent in regards to Trump’s continues attacks on her.  He continues to say that his administration his running like a well-oiled machine despite the firing of General Flynn, the Muslim Ban, Kellyanne Conway’s ethics violation and retailers dumping Ivanka’s over-priced duds made in China.

Russia-gate should be at the pinnacle of America’s concern. The idea that a foreign government or entity, can influence and change the direction of our democracy. Russia-gate also forces Americans to question the current election process specifically the electoral college.

 

No rules

the_joker_no_rules_by_ernesthumble-d6lqn4i

Friends, it’s so good to be back with you. I couldn’t stay away, there’s just too much to talk about and that we need to talk about.

The Pot Papers is a place we can speak freely. This is a space where we can come together and “get real” without all the hate and division that social media causes. I only require five rules when commenting:

 

  1. Treat people with dignity and respect.
  2. You can debate a person comments and or ideas, but remember there’s a person behind that computer screen.
  3.  Go ahead and cuss, I don’t give a shit.
  4. I never delete comments from my readers, but remember if you said it you have to live with it.
  5. Have fun, meet people and share ideas. That’s the point of The Pot Papers!

So sit back, grab a bong and enjoy the show.