Tag Archives: Republicans

“Trumpcare” – NOT in style!!!😱😱😱

But first …

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REPUBLICANS SUSCEPTIBLE TO “OVERPROMISING” POLS

By Steven R. Maher

“If you’re going to live a good life, you’ve got to live within your income.” – President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Treasury Secretary George Humphrey

“Through his time in office, he [Humphrey] insisted that the government do just that. He fought profligate spending, irritating liberals and imprudent tax cuts, to the annoyance of conservatives.” – From “Eisenhower: The White House Years,” by Jim Newton.

Recently, I was watching a talk show and heard one Republican pundit say that Trump “overpromised” on health insurance during his candidacy for the Presidency.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald J. Trump repeatedly promised that his replacement for Obamacare (some call it “Trumpcare”) would allow everyone to choose their own doctor and medical plan; would cost less money; increase benefits and make available universal coverage to all Americans.

How was such a miracle to be accomplished?

Basically, through the miracle of the marketplace. Trump vowed he would make insurance rates go down and make health insurance benefits go up by increasing competition of insurance companies by allowing insurers to sell their policies across state lines.

“Believe me,” Trump would say after promising how much better a program than Obamacare, Trumpcare would be.

Trump later backed off from these pledges, saying health care was more “complicated” than he had anticipated.

Susceptible to this?

Why did so many of Trump’s supporters believe this?

I’m beginning to believe that Republican voters are particularly susceptible to demagogic appeals. We saw this with “Supply Side” economics. Under this highfalutin theory, Congress could cut taxes, increase military spending and balance the budget – all at the same time. Try doing this with your personal life. You will find yourself in bankruptcy court. Granted, you will live high off the hog, eating caviar, filet mignon and lobster to your heart’s content – right up to the point where you run out of credit cards and the bondholders decide to cut you off.

Unfortunately – or rather fortunately, given who is in the White House – there is no Chapter 11 under which nations can default on their debt.

Someday the United States will have to balance its budget. Better that we do it now ourselves, rather than wait until America’s creditors force us to do it.

Republicans used to be the party of fiscal rectitude, wearing the old green shade accounting hats as they counted beans. They threw away those sensibilities when they adopted the fraud known as “Supply Side” economics. Now they are throwing the baby out with the bathwater with Trumpcare.

The Republicans won’t be the party of common-sense economics, like Dwight Eisenhower, until they give up “supply side” economics and “Trumpcare.”

Congressman Jim McGovern Pledges to Fight GOP Repeal of Affordable Care Act

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From Jim’s office:

Today Congressman Jim McGovern, a senior House Democrat, led debate for Democrats against S.Con.Res. 3, the Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Resolution, the House Republican bill to begin the process of repealing of the Affordable Care Act.

“For nearly seven years my Republican friends have railed against the Affordable Care Act. Their well-funded allies have spent billions of dollars distorting the ACA and lying to the American people about what it actually does. And for nearly seven years, there has not been a single comprehensive health care bill brought to the floor by Republicans as a replacement for the Affordable Care Act. Not one!

“We have voted over 60 times to repeal the ACA on the House Floor. I’d be the first to admit the ACA is not perfect. We want to work in a bipartisan way to strengthen it, to make it better. But my colleagues don’t want to do that. They are determined to just vote for an outright repeal and that is going to hurt countless people in this country.”

“The Donald Trumps of the world certainly don’t have to worry about health care if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. If someone in their family gets really sick – they’ll just sell some stocks or close down another American factory, or not pay their workers – as our President-elect has been known to do on many, many occasions.

“As someone who represents Massachusetts, this is especially personal because Medicaid is one of the best tools we have in the fight against opioid addiction, providing real care for the addiction and the underlying conditions that drive the opioid epidemic in our communities. Repealing Medicaid expansion under the ACA would rip coverage away from an estimated 1.6 million newly insured individuals with substance use disorders.

In Congressman McGovern’s closing remarks, he spoke directly to Republicans, “It is a cruel thing to do to take away people’s health care. We believe that health care ought to be a right, I know you don’t. We believe health care protections ought to be in law, you believe they ought to be up to the insurance companies. But this is a lousy thing to do. We’re gonna fight you on this. This is a fight worth having. Protecting people’s health care is something we should all be dedicated to and we’re going to fight you on this.”

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Full Text of Congressman McGovern’s Floor Speech:

“For nearly seven years my Republican friends have railed against the Affordable Care Act. Their well-funded allies have spent billions of dollars distorting the ACA and lying to the American people about what it actually does. And for nearly seven years, there has not been a single comprehensive health care bill brought to the floor by Republicans as a replacement for the Affordable Care Act. Not one!

“We have voted over 60 times to repeal the ACA on the House Floor! I’d be the first to admit the ACA is not perfect. But rather than work together to tweak it, to make it better, all we get from them are repeal bills, repeal bills, repeal bills. And let me again point out – not once, not once was a replacement bill offered.

“Not only do Republicans not have a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act and protect access to health care for more than 20 million Americans who gained coverage, they can’t even agree on a timeline for when they’ll pass their replacement.

· President-elect Trump says repeal and replace will be done on the same day and he wants it to happen now.

· Rep. Steve Scalise said Republicans will replace the ACA over the course of the next few months.

· Sen. John Thune said it could take two or three years for the replacement to be implemented.

· Rep. Chris Collins said Republicans have six months to work out the replacement plan.

· Sen. Mitch McConnell refused to even give a timeline, just saying it would happen.

“While Republicans fight for each other over timelines, I think it’s appropriate to ask: If they did have a replacement, what would that replacement be?

“And what, specifically, would they replace the ACA with?

“Well, President-elect Donald Trump has the answer! When asked what we should replace Obamacare with he said, and I quote, “Something terrific.” When pressed for details and more specificity, he said “Something that people will really, really, really like.”

“You can’t make this stuff up! It would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic.

“It’s tragic because what Republicans are trying to do is take health care protections away from millions and millions of families.

“No one in Congress has to worry about health care if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. And the Donald Trumps of the world certainly don’t have to worry about health care if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. If someone in their family gets really sick – they’ll just sell some stocks or close down another American factory, or not pay their workers – as our President-elect has been known to do on many, many occasions.

“But for millions of Americans it will be a different story. Repealing the ACA would mean over 30 million Americans would lose coverage, including nearly 4 million children; more than 52 million individuals with pre-existing conditions could have coverage rescinded or see their premiums dramatically increased; millions of young adults would be unable to stay on their parents’ plans until they are 26; over 14 million individuals enrolled in Medicaid under the expansion would lose coverage; and nearly 140 million individuals with private insurance would lose access to preventive services without co-pays or deductibles.

“And millions of seniors would see their prescription drug prices increase because it would re-open the so-called doughnut hole that the ACA has begun to close.

“Republicans want to slash Medicaid, a health care program that does a lot of good and enables mothers to work their way out of poverty by providing affordable coverage for their children.

“And as someone who represents Massachusetts, this is especially personal because Medicaid is one of the best tools we have in the fight against opioid addiction, providing real care for the addiction and the underlying conditions that drive the opioid epidemic in our communities. Repealing Medicaid expansion under the ACA would rip coverage away from an estimated 1.6 million newly insured individuals with substance use disorders.

“That’s what’s at stake – and that’s what my Republican colleagues are so happy, so giddy, and so excited to do. It is sad. It is pathetic.

“But – they’re moving forward anyway – with no replacement in sight. I suppose they can roll out their oldies but goodies – like health savings accounts or their other healthcare prescription – take two tax breaks and call me in the morning.

“But that doesn’t do it.

“We have a complicated health care system, no doubt. I wish it were simpler. That’s why I’ve always favored a single-payer system and that is why I favor a public option.

“But the problem with our system before Obamacare was that it left all the decisions up to the insurance companies. Do you remember the days when insurance companies could charge women more for health insurance because they said “being a woman was a pre-existing condition?”

“They can’t do that anymore. Why? Not because of my Republican friends. They can’t do it anymore because we passed the ACA.

“It is a cruel thing to do to take away people’s health care. I will say to my Republican colleagues that they need to know that we will fight you every step of the way on this. There are some battles on behalf of the American people that are worth having and worth fighting and this is one of them, making sure that their health care protections remain intact. I came to Congress to help people, not make their lives more miserable.”

“This is a sad day because what we are doing here by voting for this budget is setting in motion a process to deny millions of people health care protections. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to do that.

Is the Affordable Care Act perfect? No. We’re the first to admit that and we want to work in a bipartisan way to strengthen it, to make it better. But my colleagues don’t want to do that. They are determined to just vote for an outright repeal and that is going to hurt countless people in this country. People who have benefitted from no pre-existing conditions. People who have benefitted by being able to keep their kids on their insurance until they are 26. Senior citizens who have benefitted from closing the doughnut hole. I could go on and on and on. All of that is about to be eliminated.

We’re told that there will be a replacement. Someday. Somehow. For six years, over six years, you have been talking about the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and replacement and you haven’t brought one bill to the floor. Not one.

“Now, we believe that health care ought to be a right, I know you don’t. We believe health care protections ought to be in law, you believe they ought to be up to the insurance companies. But this is a lousy thing to do. And as I said in my opening statement, we’re gonna fight you on this. This is a fight worth having. Protecting people’s health care is something we should all be dedicated to and we’re going to fight you on this.”

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pic: R.T.

Peter Stefan of Graham, Putnam and Mahoney Funeral Home in Main South often helps seniors pay for their prescription meds. Our system is broken! Americans deserve single-payer health care! An expanded version of Medicare is the ticket to a healthier U.S.A! – R. Tirella

Drained swamp turns up Republican slugs

By Steven R. Maher

When Republican president-elect Donald Trump began “draining the swamp” this week, out popped a few bottom-dwelling Republican gastropods (“gastropods” are slugs which live under rocks and are indigenous to many swamp lands).

It may be highly symbolic, in that Trump will likely be confronting Republican Congressman during what promises to be a rambunctious first term. Parties which control Congress tend be involved in the worst scandals, since they have more power.

Congress, both the Senate and House of Representatives, reconvened Monday January 4, 2017, for the 115th session. A group of Republican Representatives then met secretly to disembowel the independent Office of Congressional Ethics and place it under lawmakers’ control.

Trump, upon finding out about this, took to Twitter the next day: “With all that Congress has to work on, do they really have to make the weakening of the Independent Ethics Watchdog, as unfair as it may be, their number one act and priority.”

Like a pack of running dogs, these cowardly Congressional Republicans called another secret meeting to rescind their vote on the ethics office.

All it took was one Trump Tweet.

Maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea if Trump kept his Tweeter account after all.

From Honest Abe to Tricky Dick

The Grand Old Party, to give the Republicans official party name, has metastasized from being the party of Abraham “Honest Abe” Lincoln to the party of Richard M. “Tricky Dick” Nixon.

Abraham Lincoln in 1864 warned: “Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”

Today this would be called “income inequality”; Lincoln sounds here like Bernie Sanders.

All Americans should be glad that Trump stopped Congressional Republicans from destroying an independent Congressional watchdog. The swamp Trump wants to drain has members of both parties amidst the sludge.

If Trump truly drains the Washington swamp, he is likely to face a backlash from his fellow Republicans, now in the majority and therefore extremely vulnerable to being suborned by lobbyists offering bribes, graft and gratuities for services rendered.

You be the judge

By Jack Hoffman

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I was planning on writing my column for Rose on pass codes/words, but something else got my fancy up. Before I continue, I have just one question about pass codes/words: With all this hacking that’s going on … how the hell do they get into all these files, if they don’t know the pass code?

I’ll await a good response from some geek out there.

Now for what’s important:

I confess when this presidential nominating process began I was cheering for Donald Trump, before the oddsmakers didn’t give him a shot. I wanted him to win so he could bury the Republicans for the next 10 years — maybe longer!

And that’s what scares the hell out of the Repugs who refuse to back him.

I saw a bumper sticker on a parked car that read “I just don’t trust the government.” So I pasted a note on his car, saying: “I suggest you give back your Medicare and Social Security.” With an attachment that read: “It’s your government, too.”

Just this week the war of words has really picked up. It seems everyone or just a few are a little pissed off at their government.

Why?

And who is a racist and a bigot and some other choice words?

Let me turn to the Oxford Dictionary to define “bigot”: “A person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.”

Sound familiar?…hello, Donald Trump!

After my wee bit of being pissed off, I received the following from a political pal of mine in Florida: It’s titled “Why you should vote Republican.”

Ok, let’s see why:

We’ve blocked every Obama move. We kept another liberal out of the Supreme Court, country be damned;

we cut taxes for the wealthy;

gerrymandered and suppressed the minority vote in every district we could;

repealed “Obamacare” 51 times at a cost of more than $54 million to taxpayers;

we shut down the government, wasting another $21 billion;

we didn’t pass a single jobs bill.

We blocked immigration reform, background checks, minimum wage and equal pay for women;

made women’s choice much harder to exercise;

cut off unemployment benefits, and even filibustered the Veterans Benefits bill.

Most important, we got many states to put in voter IDs so we can keep minorities at a minimum. Of course, there are no real statistics that there is any real voter fraud. Oh! that damn Federal Court is ruling against those IDs!

And we only worked 97 days this year!

Oh, and we want your vote!

Right.

And we are in need of your money!

I’m saving my pass codes column for when I simmer down…

Comments? Email Jack at jack5225@verizon.net

I’m back!

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Watch out, Worcester, Hillary and Trump – Hoffman’s in town, with plenty of commentary in the back seat!

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Yes!!! pics:R.T.

By Jack Hoffman

First, I want to thank those who cheered me up on just about every new medical problem I incurred. Secondly, I want to thank Rose, who got me off my lazy ass. I wish her all the best on her paper’s fifteenth anniversary.

Has it been that long, Rose?

[Yes, Jack!]

I wanted to come up with a column about something you haven’t read or seen during the past couple of weeks: A discussion or promise to do something about the high cost of a college education.

Yes, Bernie did, and later on Hillary got the Bern. It seems the pundits don’t see anything exciting about college costs, so they flashed more of Trump’s meandering slop.

And yet we belabored through drug commercials you can barely follow. Except watching cute ladies and circe type girls selling another batch of Cialis erection highs.

Followed by the legal ads for having a problem with the drugs that were just being sold.

As many of you know, I spend my summers on the Cape trying to score some loose change and a having a puff or two learning what the summer flock of the young folks have to say about America. One of my pleasures … or shall I say experiencing my loquacious mouth running wild, call it just another manic episode…

Our conversations usually run the gamut – from politics, up to and including college costs. When we get into the latter all the European kids are not just shocked but find U.S. college costs incomprehensible. Especially, when you throw out costs like $50,000 to $65,000.

So here are the facts – you can take them to study hall! One only out of four students from four different countries said he had pay $1,000 for this year for college. The other costs ranged from $00!! to $500. If you get excellent grades in Europe, the cost is 0.

According to the Pell Institute Study of Opportunity in Higher Education, TICAS The non-profit Institute on Higher Education, there is today 42 million Americans bearing a $1.3 trillion indebtness from college loans!!!!!

The real story is that student debt is a $140 billion year industry that got the go get ’em permission from Congress.

Along with the collection orders equal to the IRS.

In other words, they can attach your pay, repo your car and put a lean on your home.

Just a footnote – ask your primary care doctor, if he/she is young, Just what his/her debt is. Mine owes $400,000!!! Is it any wonder very few kids are not going into medicine? As many of you already know, these debts are the subject of family arguments and even more.

So you want to read more and get sick? Read this month’s Consumer Reports. The piece is titled “I kind of Ruined My Life By Going to College.”

One last thought: the interest rate today is 8% – 9% on these loans. Just think of this: the government and the debt collectors are making loads of $!

I’m here and got lots more to say if I can stay out of hospitals…

Comments, questions, compaints? Email Jack at JackH5225@verizon.net

Steve M.’s columns – always in style!

InCity Book Review

Too Dumb to Fail

By Matt K. Lewis

Reviewed by Steven R. Maher

This book, “Too Dumb to Fail,” subtitled “How the GOP Betrayed the Reagan Revolution to Win Elections (and How It Can Reclaim its Conservative Roots),” displays the Republican establishment’s mindset as presumptive nominee Donald Trump gears up for the general election. The book’s major flaws are it ignores the catastrophic Presidency of George W. Bush as the main reason for the Republican party’s current predicament, excludes how the party’s business elites deindustrialized America in pursuit of profit (giving rise to Trump), and how “supply side” economics drowned the country in red ink.

Published in January 2016, five months ago as this review is being written, the book’s title is derived from Andrew Ross Sorkin’s “Too Big to Fail,” about the financial crisis of 2008.

Supply Side economics

Ronald Reagan emerges as the hero of this narrative. Lewis paints a picture of Reagan that some will find unrecognizable. Under Lewis’ narrative, Reagan was an intellectual, deeply read in history and economics, who cleverly concealed his in-depth knowledge of political issues behind an “everyman” facade. He even cites a Saturday Night Live skit portraying Reagan in this fashion.

Lewis credits the late Congressman and NFL star quarterback Jack Kemp with converting Reagan to “supply side economics.” Under this theory, tax cuts pay for themselves, spurring economic activity and broadening the tax base. “Previously, Reagan, like the entire GOP, had been a ‘green eyeshade party’ – pessimistic bean counters worried about deficits and balanced budgets,” writes Lewis. In practice, under Reagan and George W. Bush, supply side economics led to trillions of dollars in deficits and the income inequalities which has shrunk the middle class and given rise to Donald Trump’s economic populist candidacy.

It is notable that two Presidents who put balancing budgets above tax cuts for the wealthy, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Bill Clinton, had economic booms during their second terms. Americans were much better off with the ‘green eyeshade party’ running the country than the supply side crowd.

If Reagan is the hero of the story, writes Lewis: “[T]here are villains such as Donald Trump, Ann Coulter, Scam-PACs [political action committees set up to defraud donors], and others who are (in my view) moving us in the wrong direction.”

The Vultures

In his analysis of how the GOP went wrong, Lewis saw the Republicans making the South their political stronghold by appealing to the racist inclinations of white Southerners as the start of the decline. He leaves out, of course, Reagan’s announcement of his 1980 Presidential candidacy in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where three civil rights workers were brutally murdered in 1964 by the Ku Klux Klan. In a chapter entitled “The Vultures,” he goes over how the GOP “made the mistake of building up, or reflexively defending” hucksters such as “Joe the Plumber,” who tried to monetize his 15 minutes of fame questioning candidate Barack Obama; George Zimmerman, who shot to death the teenage African-American Trayvon Martin; and Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who was glamorized by the GOP for refusing to pay the federal government over grazing rights, until Bundy made several racist remarks about African-Americans.

America’s changing demographics appear to trouble the author of “Too Dumb to Fail” most. He writes that the natural adherents of the Republican Party, white male voters, are rapidly decreasing as a percentage of the over-all electorate. He writes that Republican Presidential candidates should be trying to expand their party base by appealing to Latinos and African-Americans. Donald Trump’s negative ratings among these two groups is currently in the stratosphere, hovering above 80%. Short of resurrecting Martin Luther King or Cesar Chavez to be his running mate, Trump’s practice of attacking minority voters is likely to doom his White House ambitions.

Lewis ends his book by urging readers to get involved in Republican politics as bit players, self-educating themselves the way Reagan did, and support the billionaire Koch brothers (yes, those Koch brothers), who have pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into Republican campaigns at all levels, and received afterwards legislation favorable to their financial interests.

This just in! InCity Times ace political writer Steve Maher is back!

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Woo-hoo!!!

DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS SHOULD ABANDON CAUCUSES, SUPERDELEGATES, UNPLEDGED DELEGATES AND CLOSED PRIMARIES

By Steven R. Maher

Sometimes one gets the impression that America democracy is dissolving before our eyes as the rank and file rebel against the party elites through the candidacies of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

Part of what voters are rebelling against are the rules set up by these elites to preserve their own privileges and the huge amount of money flooding into the political process because of the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United. Together these two toxins are poisoning the American people’s belief in the Democratic process.

The antidote to these poisons is uniquely American – let the voters decide, not the super-delegates,unpledged delegates, or the party bosses.

Caucuses

The first thing each party should do is abolish caucuses, replacing them with primary elections where party voters choose the candidates. The caucus process embraces a fundamentally un-American concept that everyone knows what candidate you voted for. Unlike a primary, voters can’t go into a voting booth and in privacy select the candidate of their choice. They have to go “caucus” in the corner of the meeting hall for their candidates, where their choices are known to all. This is a situation which lends itself to retaliation and boycotts in which individuals can be targeted for reprisals for supporting a particular candidate.

Caucusing imposes what I call an “availability tax” on working business persons or single parent mothers. If you’re a small entrepreneur (Republican) trying to get a business up and running, taking three or four hours out of the day to caucus means foregoing business opportunities. Likewise, a single working parent (Democrat) trying to support several small children on a minimum wage job (or two jobs) may have to cut back on food, the electricity or some other vital expense to pay for a baby sitter to watch their children while Mom caucuses.

The caucus system is an expensive privilege for many, not a right.

For the two reasons cited above, both parties should replace caucuses with a primary election where voters can walk in, cast a ballot, and leave with the knowledge that their input, anonymously made, counts.

Superdelegates

In 1972 the Democrats had one of the worst electoral defeats in history when Richard M. Nixon defeated George McGovern in every state but Massachusetts. After this, the party created “superdelegates.” Wikipedia defines ‘superdelegates’ this way: “These Democratic Party superdelegates include distinguished party leaders, and elected officials, including all Democratic members of the House and Senate and sitting Democratic governors. Other superdelegates are chosen during the primary season. Democratic superdelegates are free to support any candidate for the nomination.” The same website put the number of superdelegates at 719.

Superdelegates were created to prevent another George McGovern from winning the nomination. It seems tailor made to block Bernie Sanders. It reeks of the rancid belief that the people can’t be trusted to make their own choices, and the party bosses should in some exigent circumstance select the nominee against the will of their own party. Selecting the candidate with the most votes is the American way.

Unpledged delegates

The Republicans don’t directly make members of the party’s political establishment “superdelegates” the way the Democrats do. But they do allow their state organizations considerable leeway in creating electoral processes that are favorable to party patricians, and in the case what I call “mini-conventions,” which almost totally disenfranchise the lower party ranks.

Depending on the website you wish to cite, there are 168 unpledged delegates (Politico) or 457 (Mother Jones). “The only people who get unpledged status are each state’s three Republican National Committee members,” says Wikipedia. “This means that unpledged delegates are only 168 of the total number of delegates. However, unpledged delegates do not have the freedom to vote for whichever candidate they please. The RNC ruled in 2015 that the unpledged delegates must vote for the candidate that their state voted for; the unpledged RNC members will be bound in the same manner as the state’s at-large delegates, unless the state elects their delegates on the primary ballot, then all three RNC members will be allocated to the statewide winner.”

The Mother Jones figure seems to include those states, like Pennsylvania, which elected 57 delegates unpledged to any candidate. Some of the Pennsylvania unpledged delegates, to their credit, said in advance they would vote for Trump if a majority of their constituents did. Others stated they would not vote for Trump under any circumstances, regardless of how the majority of the people voted.

Particularly insidious are the “mini-conventions” like that in Wyoming, where Ted Cruz won 14 out of 14 delegates. In these shams, voters go to precinct meetings, where delegates are elected to a county convention. At the county convention, delegates are chosen for the state convention, where delegates are for the national convention are picked. This is what Trump has accurately described as a “rigged process.”

Closed primaries

Closed primaries are those where only someone who has been a party member for six months or more are allowed to vote. In Massachusetts, Independents can take either a Republican or Democratic ballot, and revert back to being an independent after they vote.

This writer understands why some party members would prefer that the party nominee espouses their party’s basic liberal or conservative brand. A good example of this can be illustrated by the reference to the two second-tier parties in Massachusetts, the Libertarians and the Green Party.
Libertarians advocate shrinking the size of government and reducing governmental interference in Americans’ private lives. How would Libertarians feel if thousands of left-wing Democrats voted in a Libertarian primary for a Libertarian nominee who wanted to double size of government and insert government totally into the private lives of all Americans? Probably the same way the Democratic Party establishment felt about large numbers of independents entering the Democratic primary to vote for Bernie Sanders.

The Green Party is at its heart an environmentalist party. How would the Greens feel if thousands of right wing Republicans entered the Green Party to pick a nominee who favored fracking and land strip mining? Probably the same way the Republican establishment felt about thousands of independents flooding their primary to support Trump.

The two party system has served America well. To preserve this system, the two major parties need to have the elasticity to absorb elements such as those supporting Trump or Sanders. The closed primaries should be abandoned. Otherwise, as John F. Kennedy warned in his inaugural address: “Those who make peaceful evolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.”

Morning in America

Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama

By Michael Moore, filmmaker

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Congratulations everyone!!

This country has truly changed, and I believe there will be no going back. Hate lost yesterday. That is amazing in and of itself. And all the women who were elected last night! A total rebuke of Neanderthal attitudes.

Now the real work begins. Millions of us – the majority – must come together to insist that President Obama and the Democrats stand up and fight for the things we sent them there to do. Mr. President, do not listen to the pundits who today call for you to “compromise.” No. You already tried that. It didn’t work. You can compromise later if you need to, but please, no more beginning by compromising. And if the Republican House doesn’t want to play ball, do a massive end run around them with one executive order after another – just like they have done and will do if given the chance again.

We have to have Obama’s back. As he is blocked and attacked by the Right, we need to be there with him. We are the majority. Let’s act like it.

And please Mr. President, make the banks and Wall Street pay. You’re the boss, not them. Lead the fight to get money out of politics – the spending on this election is shameful and dangerous. Don’t wait til 2014 to bring the troops home – bring ’em home now. Stop the drone strikes on civilians. End the senseless war on drugs. Act like a pit bull when it comes to climate change – ignore the nuts, and fix this now. Take the profit motive out of things that any civilized country would say, “this is for the common good.” Make higher education affordable for everyone and don’t send 22-year-olds out into the world already in massive debt. Order a moratorium on home foreclosures and evictions. Enact economic policy that will create good-paying jobs and spend the money that’s needed to do that. Make your second term one for the history books.

Finally, thanks must be given to the Occupy movement who, a year ago, set the tone of this election year by getting everyone to talk about the 1% vs. 99%. It inspired Obama and his campaign to realize that there was a huge popular sentiment against what the wealthy have done to the country and there was something wrong if just 400 rich guys owned more than 160 million Americans combined (all those moochers and bums). This led to Romney’s “47%” remarks and THAT was the beginning of the end of his campaign. Thank you Mother Jones forreleasing that secret tape, and thank you to the minimum wage worker who placed a camera on the serving buffet next to the candle. This morning’s headline in the Washington Post says it all: “At Romney headquarters, the defeat of the 1 percent.” Thank you Sandra Fluke for enduring the insults hurled at you and then becoming an important grassroots leader against the war on women. Thank you Todd Akin for…well, for just being you. Thank you CEOs of Chrysler and GM for coming out forcefully against the Republican(!) candidate, saying he lived in “some parallel universe” when he lied about Jeep. Thank you Governor Christie for your new bromance with Obama. You know, you really didn’t have to!

And you, Mother Nature, with all your horrific damage, death and destruction you caused last week, you became, ironically, the undoing of a Party that didn’t believe in you or your climate changing powers.

Perhaps they’ll believe now.

Once again, thanks to all of you who brought a nonvoter to the polls. In a last minute effort to get Obama an extra million votes he wasn’t counting on, I enjoyed talking and texting with your loved ones and friends yesterday who weren’t going to vote – but then changed their minds after a little nudge and some TLC (“Damn! Michael Moore? I’m getting in to car right now to go vote.”).

To my fellow Americans, I think you’ll agree: it was nice to wake up this morning in the United States of America.

 

“President Romney” – How to prevent these two words from ever being spoken

By Michael Moore, filmmaker

In two months we Americans will go to the polls once again to decide who the president will be for the next four years. We will not be allowed to vote on those who wield the true power in this country. On November 6th we will not vote for the chairman of ExxonMobil or JPMorgan Chase or Citibank or the Premier of China. That day will come, but not this year.

Now, I know there are a goodly number of you out there who believe there’s not a snowball’s chance in Kenya that Barack Obama will not be re-elected to the White House. And why would you believe otherwise? After the incredible Democratic convention this week, with the best rock-em-sock-em speeches I’ve heard from a Democrat’s mouth since … since, I don’t know when. You can’t help but not have a contact high after this past week if you are of the sort who believes in economic justice, peace, and a five-dollar latte. Right now, with the buzz on, you are sitting there thinking that your fellow Americans will turn out in massive numbers, either because they want to continue the Obama era or because they’re scared shitless of the barbarians at the gate – or both.

You’re convinced that the Republicans have blown it with all their talk of the lady parts they want to control even though we now know that they have no idea where those parts are, what they are, or how they work.

Yes, it certainly looks like the voters will reject this obscenely wealthy man called Romney — Romney of Michigan/Massachusetts/New Hampshire/Utah/Zurich/Grand Cayman — this man who will not explain exactly how all his wealth was obtained, where he keeps it, or how much taxes he pays on it. He wants to turn the clock back to the ’50s – the 1850s – and he refuses to offer any specific plan about what he’ll do about anything. He wants to run the country like a corporation but he can’t even control one 82-year-old actor on his own convention stage, a Hollywood legend who, in the matter of ten and a half minutes went from Good (walking onto the stage) to Bad (talking to a chair) and then to Ugly (the chair started … swearing?). It was better than the best cat-flushing-the-toilet video on YouTube and it was a gift to all of us who know that Romney is doomed come November.

Or is he?

Last week, I said on the HuffPost Live webcast that we had all better start practicing how to say “President Romney” because, living in Michigan, I can tell you that there’s trouble here on the two peninsulas and it’s not just because Romney is a native son or that we like to watch kids from Cranbrook chase down gay kids and chop their hair off. One recent poll here showed Romney leading Obama by four points! How can that be? Didn’t Obama save Detroit?

No, he didn’t. He saved General Motors and Chrysler. “Detroit” (and Flint and Pontiac and Saginaw) are not defined by the global corporations who suck our towns dry and then split town to make more money elsewhere (except, of course, they continued to design and built crap cars, so eventually they didn’t make the money at all). These cities in Michigan are about the people who live here, and in the process of “saving Detroit,” Mr. Obama had to fire thousands of these people, and reduce the benefits and pensions of those who were left. There’s a lot of pissed off people in Michigan (and Wisconsin and Ohio), people who weren’t saved even though the corporation was. I’m just stating a fact, and those of you who don’t live here should know this.

The other problem facing us this election (spoiler alert – angry white guys may want to stop reading right now) … is race. We all fear there’s probably a good 40% of the country who simply do not want a black man in the Oval Office. In fact, in 2008, Obama lost the white vote. He lost every white age group except young people (18-29). And yet he still won by 10 million votes! The optimistic secret the Obama people know is that only about 70% of the voters in November will be white. So if he can win just 35-40% of them, and then get a massive majority of people of color, he can win re-election.

There is no question in my mind that Obama is more popular than Romney and if everyone could vote from their couch like they do for American Idol, Obama would win hands down. As I have said before, we live in a liberal country. The majority of Americans (who do not call themselves “liberal”) now support most of the liberal agenda – they’re for gay marriage, they’re pro-choice, they’re anti-war, they believe there’s global warming, and they hate Wall Street for what it has done to them and their neighbors.

The Republicans know this: that we, the majority, will have sex when we want and with whom we want, will read and watch whatever we want when we want, will use marijuana if we want and if we don’t want to then we certainly don’t want our friends who do to be throw into prison. We are sick and tired of being poisoned, by chemicals or propaganda, we think the Palestinians have been given a raw deal and we want our friggin’ jobs back!

The Christian Right (and their Wall Street funders) know this all too well – America has turned, and there’s no going back to not loving someone because of the color of their skin or expecting women to cede control of their bodies to a bunch of Neanderthals. So, what’s a Rightie to do now that we’ve turned the joint into Sodom and G? They have to suppress the vote! They have to stop as many liberals from voting as possible. So they’ve passed many voter suppression laws to make it hard for the poor, the minorities, the disabled and students to vote.

They honestly believe they call pull this off – and they just may. The only “positive” thing about this is that their need to have such laws in order to win the election is an admission on the part of the Republicans that they know the U.S. Is a liberal country and that the only way they can now win now is to cheat. Trust me, if they believed that America was a right-wing country they’d be passing laws making it so easy to vote you could do it in the checkout line at Walmart.

But the voting on November 6th will not take place at Walmart or on any potato’s couch. It can only happen by going to a polling place – and, not to state the obvious, the side that gets the most people physically out to the polls that day, wins. We know the Republicans are spending tens of millions of dollars to make sure this very thing happens.

They have built a colossal get-out-the-vote machine for election day, and the sheer force of their tsunami of hate stands ready to overwhelm us like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Those of us in the Midwest got a taste of it in 2008. Traditionally Democratic states – all of which voted for Obama – saw our state legislatures and governor seats hijacked by this well-oiled machine. We didn’t know what hit us, but these new Republicans wasted no time in dismantling some of the very basic thing we hold dear. Wisconsin fought back – but even that huge grassroots uprising was not enough to stop the governor bought and paid for by the Koch brothers. It was a wake up call, for sure – but have we really woken up?

It’s been a great week in Charlotte, and I’m getting ready now to watch Barack Obama give his speech. It’s OK for us to take a couple days to high-five each other, but I cannot stress enough to you that unless you and I are doing something every day for the next 60 days to get people out to vote, then there is a chance we will all be saying “President Romney” come January. Don’t think it can’t happen. Hate, sad to say, at least in America these days, is a far greater motivator than love and feelin’ groovy.

For those of us who believe that the history of the Democrats and the Republicans is to do the bidding of the 1% (Obama’s #1 private contributor in ’08 were the people at Goldman Sachs), and that while the Dems are a kinder/gentler bunch, they are also just as quick to want to take us to war and sell us out to the corporate interests (and, yes, Obamacare is a $$ gift to the insurance companies; only a single-payer system will stop that), this election is a bit of a bitter pill. We were hugely disappointed when President Obama didn’t charge out of the gate after his inauguration and undo the damage that had been done (as FDR did in his first hundred days) – and only when Wall Street stopped writing him the big campaign checks this past year did he get his mojo back and start fighting the fight that needs to be fought.

He’s a good and decent person (when he’s not sending in drones to kill Pakistani civilians or prosecuting government whistleblowers), and his election four years ago was a high point of such emotional intensity I just couldn’t get over how hopeful I was that this country had changed and we had found our moral footing. Reality set in a few weeks later when he put Tim Geithner and Larry Summers in charge of economic policy and then he changed his mind about closing Gitmo.

OK, so people like me, just once in our lifetime, would like to get our way all the time! Is that too much to ask? Of course, there is a different question that is in the air now — shall we give the country back to the crowd who gave the country to the 1%? I think not. So let’s join in with our liberal majority and be fierce and relentless in these next two months. Let’s spend this time educating people what we mean when we say things like “single-payer” and “Blackwater.” Politics and the fate of the nation (and the world – sorry, world) are on the front burner and those of us who want to wrestle control of our society out of the hands of the few can take healthy advantage of these coming weeks.

Don’t sit it out. Don’t try to convince anyone Obama has magically transformed us – just tell them four years is simply not enough time to undo all the hurt caused by biggest economic crash since the Great Depression and the biggest military blunder/lie in our history.

I’m going to go with my optimistic side here (sorry, cynics, you know I love you) and imagine a Second Term Obama (and a Democratically-controlled Congress) who will go after all the good that our people deserve and put the power of our democracy back in our hands. There’s good reason why the Right is terrified of a Second Term Obama because that is exactly what they think he’ll do: the real Obama will appear and take us down the road to social justice and tolerance and a leveling of the economic playing field. For once, I’d like to say I agree with the Right – and I sincerely hope their worst nightmare does come true.

Want a good laugh?

By Jack Hoffman

You must admit one thing: This Republican nominating process has got to be the biggest joke of the century. Maybe it’s just the clowns? You know the old saying: Falling into a pile of shit and coming up with roses. It used to be that the Democrats didn’t know their right shoe from their left. And yet they elected the best presidents of the century. But the Dems are back with a leader that in time may be one of the greats. The big joke is the Repugs throwing their not-so-smart politics in the air, completely missing the wall in front of their faces and having it all fall into one big pile of elephant dung.

So the Republicans can’t talk issues and when they fail, they resort to social issues that I thought were settled 30 years ago. Don’t you just love listening to the biggest advocates of downsizing and sending work abroad stand up and with a straight face discuss jobs-jobs-jobs. Especially Mitt Romney talking about the jobs we need after his company, Bain Capital, made extra benefits by sending jobs packing and hiring folks at roughly $8 an hour. Benefits (for Mitt) meaning lots of money for Mitt. I’ll bet the Dems are still adding up all the jobs that Bain sent packing.

In case you missed MSNBC on a not such a big deal Super-Tuesday, filmmaker Michael Moore was being interviewed by TV host Rachel Maddow. “So, Micheal Moore, what about the controversial contraception issue? The black hole that Rush Limbaugh has so conviently put himself and his Republican cohorts into.

Michael Moore: “I just heard that 33 sponsors have just pulled out.” “Pulled out!!!”

If you don’t get the joke, go into another room and read it again.

Several months ago I wrote my reasons for why Mitt couldn’t make it. Two important reasons: He is a Massachusetts blue blood who has country club written all over him. He doesn’t no tidily watt about what’s “on the street.” Real life for real people (hence all those Romney gaffes we keep getting) This may be good for the Worcester Country Club gangs in the South who still are trying to keep not only blacks, but also Jews from their clubs. Second and most important: Romney is a Mormon. And if you spent any time in the South with all those born again wackaroos you know Mitt is not going anywhere. How this guy made it so big in business is beyond me. And let’s not forget he left MA with a 27% favorable rating.

Sure Romney balanced the state budget! It’s in the constitution! He didn’t raise taxes – he just upped the fees for almost anything and everything. Could his business success in the Olympics be attributed to the cool billion $$$ from that nasty government of ours he loves to criticize? The truth is the Mormons used their political might for that money.

And just when you thought Romney was going to win the fickle finger trophy along comes Santorum and his tribe of ____ (don’t make me.) like a 1 1/2 mile closure he is going to keep me laughing. That wasn’t until Santorum – “the messenger of God” – got into the race and started to tell us about the baby—I already told that one. OK, here it is again. Santorum and his wife a neonatal nurse at the t ime had a preemie baby that died within two hours of being delivered. The Mrs. and Mr. took the dead baby home so that the rest of the family could see what ma ma was carrying around.

One last thought: Remember, George W. Bush got to be President of the United States! So don’t take anything for granted. The Repugs already have 40% of the vote!

My computer is failing, so I’ll just quit while I’m ahead … .