Voters, citizens who can walk and chew gum at the same time; who can keep one eye on domestic issues, their local economy, state of their roads, their healthcare, education and one eye on the Russia investigation, understand what it means if even a fraction of the things speculated are true for the future of our country’s very existence not just events in theirs or their children’s lifetime.
Over the last 2 years since the 2016 election it has been a scramble to understand Trump voters, his very election giving rise to questions of how much we should understand their points of view, reasons behind their vote versus chastise and call them out for clearly unwise choices with stark consequences, news commentary programs adding conservative panelists, anchors, featuring a greater frequency of conservative guests attempting to balance things out and give that section of the country a national voice. Has left us a nation grappling with how pollsters, pundits, prognosticators got it so wrong, how they misread the country so drastically; trying to fathom how we 8 years ago elected the first black president and in one election cycle seemed to have regressed several decades in public thinking on race, social responsibility, reclassification of illicit drugs based on research evidence and proof formerly controlled substances thought to be wholly bad combined with other therapies can be used in a clinical/hospital, psychiatric appointment setting facilitating better long lasting treatments of everything from pain to debilitating psychological disorders, reverting to a unproductive 1950’s-esque approach to all of the above and more besides. Spawning books like Hillbilly Elegy explaining the dignity and changing economics, mindset of that demographic, but at some point the question has to be asked if the focus has been on the wrong group, the wrong political ideology and its impact on the country; many have written off ardent Trump supporters often seen at rallies, viewed in video news footage supporting our 45th president in a cultish fashion choosing to target, try and reach people less interested in the man, the personality hoping to positively alter the thinking of 2016 Trump voters who voted for change, who believed him when he said he would protect Medicare and social security, get us out of our middle eastern foreign wars counting on their vote shifting when they see he’s done none of those things. But should our eyes and criticism be on those labeled progressives, a subset of the democratic party looking to transform it or perhaps form a 3rd party toward a more social issue platform; building on momentum from Bernie Sander’s candidacy and popular policies he introduced to fix healthcare permanently while insuring every American, joining onto the fight for $15 movement effort establishing that as the minimum wage in select cities and states saying he would so do nationally, efforts toward removing large corporate money from politics unto a constitutional convention leading to a constitutional amendment forever banning the practice, plans to address the big banks essentially breaking them up calling too big to fail thus too big to exist, reversals for NAFTA, CAFTA and abandoning TPP in the name of keeping American jobs in America. Local politicians who have pledged not to take corporate super PAC dollars, who support Medicare for all (the Bernie Sanders plan to expand popular Medicare to every man, woman and child), who advocate for free in state college to tackle the student debt crisis heading into the future, an increasing number who are behind #abolish ICE based on their role in detaining children at the southern U.S. border separating them from their parents, who are against cuts to current social security and Medicare, social programs like food stamps, who want public banks to help the termed ‘unbanked’ persons who cannot meet the requirements of large baking institutions to open a basic, simple checking account piggy backing off of a senator proposed bill to essentially merge said banks with small town U.S. post offices rescuing the latter and providing options of the former to the most vulnerable, underserved persons and communities. Criminal justice reforms, Sanders’ bill to end the cash bail system holding people in sometimes years of incarceration for no other reason than they are awaiting trial and can’t bond out, by extension can’t adequately participate in their own defense because they can’t get out of jail, find higher quality legal representation, lose the job and income source they had if not for their arrest alone, their inability to show up for work; phenomenon also happening with exorbitant fines and court fees. Joining existing momentum to restore voting rights to non-violent felons spotlighted in Florida as officials have tried repeatedly and been blocked; carrying positive benefits for the nation particularly when thinking along the lines of restorative justice and how many of those ‘felons’ were black or brown, had the book thrown at them as much because of their race as their offense, were poor relying on an over worked public defender who didn’t seek to adjust the charges more commiserate to their client’s alleged crime(s), how many are non-violent drug offenses deemed felony grade due to our established ludicrous war on drugs. Feeding right into the progressive support to legalize marijuana on a state by state basis, a push toward galvanizing federal legalization; hints the Sanders bill earlier this year to remove marijuana from the controlled substances act recognizing it does not belong with so called schedule 1 drugs, i.e. heroine, but would also withhold federal monies from states continuing harsh sentences for drug crimes lacking any element of violence as well as seek to expunge prior records for marijuana both where legalized, once deemed felony level or incongruent with advocated decriminalization. America, not limited to democrats, needs an electorate that can keep justifiable focus on their personal issues affected by politicians, by Washington jobs, the amount in their paycheck, their wages and pay minimal attention to the Russia investigation what it means for our democracy if Trump really did have to cheat to get in, and by cheat we mean had the help of a foreign power’s machinations to win, the sobering reality of what it means if Russia, an adversary did help him, is still manipulating us through social media or administration policy, anything in between; what cozying up to Vladimir Putin translates to on a global stage, the right way versus wrong way to normalize and stabilize country relations with Russia both nations acting like the global players they are. America’s voting populous needs to understand the importance of his not divesting from his businesses, knowledge foreign leaders are staying at the Trump tower Washington D.C. to curry favor with him in light of what happened to U.S. legal resident in self-imposed exile Saudi dissident, Washington Post journalist Jamal Kashoggi at the hands of Saudi royals who didn’t like his outspoken criticism reportedly having him integrated, killed then dismembered in the Turkish consulate when he went to retrieve a marriage document in order to marry his fiancé; president Trump reluctant to punish the Saudis, look too heavily into it because of billions in weapons sales from us to them. Something he boldly told reports when questioned, deals he may or may not benefit from and we don’t know about because we additionally haven’t seen his tax returns to know where his business investments lie. You may agree with his rhetoric calling the press the enemy of the people, agree when he calls unfavorable news coverage dishonest, fake, refers to newspapers as follows the ‘failing New York Times;’ yet question, will you be so supportive of that view when it’s you being targeted because you told a news outlet you no longer wish to vote for Trump, weren’t you the same people calling out the press for ridiculing and mocking you because you did support him— why it matters. Our United States needs citizens who understand important norms president Trump is breaking while in the Whitehouse, emoluments and taking foreign money, things of value, self-enrichment only one, and what it means for our bedrock institutions, what it means for the rule of law when he name calls the FBI, the justice department and the man he appointed there, when he disparages a judge in his Trump university case because he has a Latino name completely divorced from his was born in the U.S., hails out of Indiana; what it means for diplomacy, our strategic international alliances (think those countries who helped us after 9/11, expressing condolences, joining with our troops in the Arab world to rout terrorists before they can reach us) and when we might desperately need them again someday. The great experiment, shining city on a hill demands politically participating voters to functional members of society who comprehend it matters we have an accused serial sexual assaulter, rapist, attempted rapist and admitted groper in the Whitehouse directly because of what just transpired regarding the Supreme Court; president Trump nominated someone just like him to the highest court’s lifetime appointment credibly accused of sex assault in high school, traumatizing a fellow female classmate with indecent exposure to the point of forcing her to touch his genitalia to get it out of her face in college, who possibly as late as 1998 in his 30’s and working on a high profile case was witnessed shoving a woman up against the side of a building in a sexually aggressive manner outside a bar after drinking. People who can tie that to what it means, what happens as the high court potentially seeks to overturn Roe V. Wade translating to if your mother, aunt, sister, wife, best friend is ever a victim of sex assault, not only does she stand to endure the horrible treatment, character assassination, possible death and related threats, if dealing with a person in power, visited upon Christine Blasey Ford should she dare come forward and see her perpetrator punished, it means no abortion for the child fathered by her/your abuser, reinforcement of hardline stances on the morning after pill, when administered soon enough negates the need for an abortion, facts lost on those hiding behind religion to control women’s bodies. Are you a married couple, sexually active with a girlfriend, one of the 1in 4 to 1 in 6 women/couples whose pregnancy ends in miscarriage, couples/women struggling with infertility, pregnancies lost in the quest to have a family; based on his highlighted judicial record in the lower court what makes you think he won’t uphold states and counties bills become law requiring women to report miscarriages within 24 hours, arm twist doctors into performing examinations to ensure the woman had no part in facilitating a so called self-abortion? Won’t uphold laws charging women with feticide because they had less than a healthy baby, had a miscarriage, gave birth to a stillborn, as opposed to actively did anything to harm their unborn child, read the case of Purvi Patel, in Indiana circa 2016, the case out of Wisconsin 2017 and get back to us; under what day dream do you think Bet Kavanaugh won’t uphold the rights of the pharmacist who harassed a woman given medication to complete her miscarriage at home rather than in a hospital setting precisely because this had happened multiple times and the grief associated with it, won’t identically uphold the rights of a different pharmacist who harassed a trans person getting their transitional hormone medication, because that’s just weird, unnatural, citing godly religious freedom and associated acts passed in states across the country? Agree with those stances, imagine you’re getting your teen’s birth control to manage their acne and getting a lecture about putting them on the pill when you only came for medication, many drugs are used for multiple treatments you’re getting it for one reason and a religious minded pharmacist doesn’t believe you when you say it’s for something else, as if you should be forced to tell them. Everyone mutually hates the tax man, the IRS, are irritated either by the large amount we owe or the measly refund received at the end of the year so Trump supporters televised feelings when asked at a rally about reports Trump’s father amassed his fortune through nefarious venues, probable outright fraud marking up costs of supplies and repairs to his buildings, creating 240 some odd means to give his children gobs of money making Donald Trump a millionaire before his age reached double digits is mildly surprising; surprise doubled when you account for further details he and later his son funneled that through more barely legal, blatantly illegal avenues and all to avoid paying taxes on it, specifically estate taxes only applying to millionaires. Speaking of millionaires, newly uncovered documents and information exposes Donald Trump’s narrative related to him being a self-made billionaire who turned what he calls a small loan (of a million dollars) into massive prosperity are totally false; public record once you pull the right thread shows, polar opposite, Trump was given multiple millions of dollars adjusted to today’s money pretty much an inheritance over the whole of his life on top of the regular bailouts of his mishandled/bad business ventures from his dad, extreme measures encompassing buying of millions in poker/gabling chips then walking out of the casino with them, a flagrantly illegal practice. Things that should jar them don’t, shrugging their shoulders wistful their daddy didn’t leave then that kind of money apparently independent he made his fortune taking government loans to build what amounted to public housing then marked up the prices of things like boilers; regardless they are required to pay their taxes, will incur drastic penalties, late fees, face jail time for non-payment, if we ordinary people had engaged in the activities of Fred Trump, later the Trump children, Donald and his sister a court judge, we would be put on trial, jailed, other celebrities ( just ask Wesley Snipes) have gone to jail for their tax evasion. They should be asking what makes him so special, above the laws they must follow; paralleling the tax cuts Trump voters are beginning to understand were only for the rich, the elite, the 1% taking from the government coffers providing programs to desperate people who don’t have any more boot straps to pull themselves up by. America must have persons who can connect what it means for their wallet when he insults other countries unto trade wars, it will filter down to the rest of us as he escalates things with China absent doing anything about their consistent currency manipulation or recurrent theft of U.S. intellectual property, how things they buy regularly, standard household products prices will go up economically feuding the way he is; if you are a farmer you are already learning this the hard way, work for or know anyone who works for Harley Davidson, are you employed by Ford, you’re getting smacked with the realities of what happens when he goads other countries into retaliatory tariffs complete with a side of tax cuts done the wrong way. Our country needs the people independent their political affiliation who don’t need their hands held, don’t need national candidates to show up in their state/city to ‘show they care’ in order to deign to vote for them, when using 2016 as a template, guidebook voters were presented with a choice between the sane candidate and not, the competent candidate who understands the complexities and the office they are running for and not, failing to discern that distinction; rational people doubtlessly incredulous to watch Michael Moore’s characterization of why more people in Flint, the state of Michigan didn’t vote, didn’t make a choice at the top of their ballot for president and vice president. Dually incensed by his solution of not just running the right candidate, the candidate that made sense, but running a candidate people can get enthusiastic, excited about; though what’s exciting and fosters enthusiasm to get out and vote about repeated phone calls asking how you plan to vote, candidates/hopefuls forever knocking on your door, petitioning to place yard signs, this blog doesn’t know. America needs an electorate that cares as much about themselves as they expect their chosen, elected leaders to by voting in their own self-interests, and no we’re not talking about what an author at Salon, Chauncey Devega, speculated in post-2016 analysis interviewing book writer Tom Nichols putting our collective strange election choice and current predicament this way: “Americans looked up from their i-phones and said where’s my money,” elaborating they are getting their ideas about poor and deprived from HGTV they’re watching on a 40 inch television wondering why they don’t have granite countertops when ordinary looking people on TV do concurrently living in a 1 floor 2-3 bedroom, 1 bath 1950’s style home amazed at what people consider deprived, Trump able to tap into that. Characterization assuming elements plainly not in evidence firstly that a majority of Americans have or want an i-phone or smart phone, that they exclusively represent status symbols not a tool to replace the now non-existent payphone, store or otherwise courtesy phone, GPS tools replaced the paper map, other direction seeking options, a good portion doled out by employers to their employees as part of doing their job more efficiently, the mobile, constant contact necessitated by many jobs today, branching out to larger society and the odd looks you get if people can’t always get ahold of you. Their mentioning smart phones implying that again the majority of those voting for Trump were the younger/digital native generation not the overwhelming reality it’s the older/baby boomer generation, who did so in part as a huge middle finger to younger persons they view as lazy; ignoring completely the whole market of smartphones for the seniors among our population housing bigger buttons, simplistic designs, connections to services like Life Alert, other elder assistance programs to render aide at home or on the go. Attitude, perception resurfacing when discussing the double edged sword that is the internet asserting people have information at their fingertips but not the context to understand it; similar to opening remarks people look around and things seem to happen by magic in the later 20th and 21st century, given example look at pilots, flying a plane average persons thinking how hard is that? Explanation for why working class individuals despise experts and expertise, view lawyers as shysters and doctors are quacks discounting entirely the people who ascribe to this mindset are older, gray headed, statistically susceptible to cognitive decline, confusion; younger, prime of life to middle age individuals don’t think as described, even the young man who stole a plane, flying it around the small airport had the clearances for the job where he was employed working on or near those aircraft, had some novice skill noting the minimal damage done to surrounding areas or the plane until his final act which was always for him to use the aircraft to commit suicide. Writer and interviewer both oblivious starting with frankly who the hell is watching HDTV among Trump voters e.g. is able to afford cable versus the Fox news weekly Sunday show available on free over the air TV; compartmentalizing those paying for basic cable to have over the air previously no cost channels because non-cable boosted signals are too weak in several areas post the 2009 digital transition, a year into the great recession it might be added. Oblivious to the fact most Trump voters, specifically older ones, don’t own a computer, if they do, don’t have home internet because they can’t afford it (sidebar to Joe Scarborough here is why they don’t investigate knowable facts calling president Trump out on his lies, at least know he’s lying via ‘looking it up on the google machine,’ they don’t have one, the internet to do what you suggest or the skill to use if it they did have it); rural areas one of the top broadband blackout spaces, never mind wireless dead zones, rural areas where what sparse internet is available is very costly, Trump voters/supporters living in towns small enough they may not have a public library to conduct said personal research, most no fee public internet hubs restricting persons to 1 hour daily time limits. Meaning to the extent a sizeable percentage of Trump voters were duped by Russian bots and misinformation campaigns they were things they heard second hand from friends, things mentioned on their choice of media Fox news; where they do have regular contract with the internet, social media it was a headline, snippet seen while connecting with their grandchildren on Facebook, twitter, Instagram. Instead of the evils of technology and a disdain for knowledge issuing from experts mindset among older folks there are the economic realities; lawyers are shysters due to their high prices and unusually publicized poor performance, i.e. the bad rap of public defenders, doctors are quacks because once more they cost huge amounts of money, keep changing their advice helped along by the media and findings of the latest research study that contradicts the last one on the health effects of beer, benefits of exercise, being slightly over or under weight, adjusted numbers for everything from BMI (body mass index) to what constitutes high blood pressure, you get the picture and generally misunderstand particularly their older patients. Economics reverberating in more than the HDTV phenomenon, rather it’s when you worked hard all your life and you can’t hold onto that home, your slice of the American dream, looking for 2nd and 3rd jobs you can’t find, already have and you’re struggling for basics; raising a larger, blended family, those 3 bedrooms get awful small and 1 bathroom oy vey. You’re getting older, it’s not one level, the bathroom is upstairs and you have to worry about falling just to go to the toilet, your house actually was built in the 1950’s, hasn’t been renovated in decades and now in your supposed to be golden years is in such disrepair it’s barely livable, oh and the TV was found, a gift while seeing people on it living what appear to be normal lives with granite counter tops; on top of the racism, the fear of losing social status/privilege downplayed in the piece in favor of blaming trump voters’ voting habits on the narcissism engendered by modern technology. However the self-interests we intend to discuss are instead, borrowing from the end of the author’s last piece, if we want no more termed ‘fly over country,’ if we want smaller cities, towns, municipalities not to be overlooked then we have to stop worshiping communities where consisting of a store, stoplight and, built by law, school is the feature not the bug, not housing a McDonald’s, even a Target and having outlawed billboards is meant to be a selling point to woo millennials of all people. Small communities must top being economic one trick ponies wholly and utterly dependent on a lone industry be it coal, the steel plant, the textile mill or the Maytag factory that when it shuts down leaves the town hollowed out, its youth running for the nearest road leading out without looking back; such towns are going to have to learn where their local chamber of commerce is and what it does, stop expecting presidents and presidential candidates to solve problems you more adequately understand anyway, stop telling candidates genuinely interested in helping you you’d rather be doing coal when offered the promise of job training, tearing up and getting emotional you had to retrain in middle age or that the steel plant was converted to a recycling center when you are long since retired. Trump leaning voters must bring themselves around to concluding it matters if you were one of the millions impacted by Maria, Florence, the newest hurricane Michael only to find out he syphoned money from disaster aid to cage children at the border, as a to date ineffective, deterrent to asylum seekers he conflates with illegal immigrants, where keeping the old policy in place would have processed their claim and either sent them back or granted them asylum with aid allocated to handle that at far less the cost of semi-permanent detention; his larger picture immigration policy was supposed to keep jobs and job opportunities in America, tangible end result being key industries can’t find the immigrant workers they need to make their businesses function, Americans self-preservationist enough to avoid such physically unsafe and long term detrimental to their health jobs, and even if they found an influx of interested Americans who need the money they lack the skill to see us through crab season, merely one example. It matters when it’s your child being taken away because your state will not legalize pot for medicinal use at least, you’re forced to buy it illegally having the devastated seizers resume when he’s removed from your home; contrast that family’s outcome with the California little girl who just won a court case saying yes she can have her cannabis based oil form seizer preventing medication at school to take as needed allowing her to remain in the educational system continuing to learn and thrive. Do you live in a state highly affected by opioids; hold that up to attorney general Jeff Sessions revived war on drugs, chiefly marijuana, while democrats, progressives and Bernie Sanders are crafting bills attempting to punish pharmaceutical companies who flooded states, parts of states with thousands of pills greater than the populations living there; such volume they couldn’t possibly consume them if every man, woman and child were on a prescription. If you ever want your local roads fixed, you want to see bigger wages, higher quality jobs and job opportunities, healthcare to be a settled issue, something you can count on without worry, want education for your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, your neighborhood’s, children society’s children to improve, prepare them for the jobs and world of tomorrow you’re going to have to do the opposite of what you’ve been doing, chose the opposite of your instinct, vote the opposite of what you perhaps have been for years, vote the opposite of what you always until now believed was in your self-interest.
All the above issues laid bare, progressive policies may not be the answer, despite their popularity among the American citizenry and inarguable good they would do for the nation and its people, particularly the marginalized and forgotten, there are significant problems, unanswered questions and should be uncertainty concerning select bullet points on that list; take Medicare for all and the assumption it will solve the nation’s healthcare woes, first it is a pipe dream to think you can get every adult 18-to just under 65 on it in the projected 4 years, children enrolled from birth right along with birth certificate and social security card issuance upon implementation and a concentrated effort to get those 12 months to 18 years enrolled quickly. Even if you rule out college age kids on their parents insurance until 26 (by the way with the progressive plan will that continue?) or benefiting from targeted drives at their high schools collegiate, trade school institutions that’s a lot of Americans to enroll in a program; and, judging by the confusion surrounding Obamacare it will reasonably stretch to a decade. But that is a relatively insignificant logistical problem compared to other larger hurdles and unknowns; for example, compounding the parenthesized question about children on their parent’s insurance to 26, with Medicare for all given to every U.S. citizen, U.S. resident what happens to those on and income qualifying for standard Medicaid, what happens to persons in states who expanded Medicaid elevating the income requirements to cover those who make too much to qualify for traditional Medicaid but not enough to afford employer insurance or an Obamacare marketplace plan? More important, what happens in those states who baldly refused to expand Medicaid, won’t you just have enrolled people into a program they can’t use because they can afford no part of it; forget the scenario of Jimmy Kimmel’s little boy not born to Jimmy Kimmel, who has the funds to cover the costs of repeated heart surgeries it will take to correct his profound birth defect, unlike minimum wage workers averaging $15,000 a year, most Americans making $30,000 or less believe, unclear what would happen to such a family when the 20% usually left to the Medicare insured to pay is well into the millions and way over their heads. We know what the prescription drug doughnut hole is, though rumored to close in 2019; do we honestly think there isn’t/won’t be a doughnut hole between standard Medicare and catastrophic coverage for a child like the above scenario, those battling cancer, requiring organ transplant and isn’t that the origin of lifetime insurance caps? Referencing the fears about Obamacare, that it would overwhelm the healthcare system, the Obamacare framework might collapse with sheer volume of use and knowing the Sanders model would expand Medicare for all to enfold vision and dental, hearing aids on top of standard medical, will there still remain no lifetime caps as with some private insurance and no collapse of a hitherto stable for decades system despite adding some of the most expensive facets of healthcare; a hard to believe claim considering the inevitable influx of persons needing extensive dental procedures, eye exams, glasses and contacts never having had access before, their teeth, gums and vision being worse for the lack of or incompetent care compiled together with persons who haven’t had access to primary, standard healthcare uncovering and treating chronic disease. Another unknown, options for persons needing dentures, partials and other dentistry post or in lieu of extractions, will they be able to take advantage of the latest technology, procedures meant to preserve teeth, even the most expensive ones if that’s what their dentist/oral surgeon deems best for them; especially considering that under standard Medicare, their reasoning for not covering them, is a full set of dentures is deemed cosmetic, no apparent thoughts on how a toothless person is supposed to eat, maintain a healthy diet? Let’s also look at existing Medicare itself reading the titles below alone tells you of millions and billions in fraud, waste and abuse not recouped from/by the program both given links exposed last year, video presented only going back 2 years, never mind it remains a recurring theme; logic dictates then if you expand the program untouched or adding costly elements it will inevitably also expands fraud, waste and abuse right along with it. Medicaid dentists already holding a reputation for doing unnecessary procedures on usually children for the money; following the biggest positive point for a Medicare for all program, though it comes with a billions of dollars price tag, it costs literally billions less than leaving the existing for profit, private insurance companies system operating calculations over a 10 year period, which is fine, but say so and it still amounts to untold dollars in waste. Another serious question to put to ourselves is do we want to jump on the bandwagon of what the rest of the world is doing, as Sanders and fellow progressives are constantly holding up the Scandinavian countries’ socialism mocking the very idea of American exceptionalism if we haven’t yet adopted demonstrated practices making the lives of citizens better; forget the giant population disparities, except Finland, Sweden and the neighboring nations are experiencing their own far right movements against such policies, forget Europe too, who has a lot of the same programs already implemented for decades, has seen far right movements crop up willing to give social services, Italy’s version of food stamps or a food pantry, to anyone who isn’t an immigrant. Scrutinizing nations more like ourselves Britain’s national health service a humming wonder of nationalized healthcare until you look at the story of Adam Payne and his mother encountering ethnic discrimination and an unwillingness to help the profoundly disabled despite larger public housing programs, total citizen healthcare exc.; Adam’s mother who fought for years so her bind, autistic, feeding tube dependent, cerebral palsy suffering son having had recent back surgery, rods put in place to correct severe scoliosis, could get the construction renovations to his public housing home via lifts, hoists, ramps to offset his medical condition on top of her being Muslim and his western sounding name causing nurses to look for a Caucasian person when seeking nonverbal Adam’s mom, who long before stopped wearing the traditional headscarf, but we should follow in their footsteps? Problems truthfully beginning for her the moment her son was born offering no specialist help, being given a public housing home right away that wouldn’t grow with Adam and his needs though he was by then 4 and it was a fight to get the placement, handed 2 planks of wood when asking for ramps for her back door, promised renovations and refurbishments that never materialized without first long, protracted legal battles, ultimately won yes, but hardly an example to be proud of; parents of disabled children here reading Adam’s story would doubtlessly be pinching themselves questioning where is this again, yet they shouldn’t if single payer, socialized medicine is so good. Story published February 2018 with many details and logistics to iron out about how to adjust Adam’s home for him, months before he will be able to go home, away from the hospital he’d already spent 2 plus months in away from his parents; latest data now in the fall of 2018 is the U.K.’s infant mortality rate is increasing with no readily seen cause even with the country wide healthcare system, campaign for more intensive prenatal care suggested. Europe’s measles outbreak is a forewarning for the U.S. if we keep allowing our vaccination rates to fall as they did, Canada sought to send anti-vaxxer parents back to school on the subject but the worst of anti- vaccination fear seems to be in France, not here causing once eradicated diseases to rear their ugly heads. Britain not alone in their shoddy treatment of people with disabilities I was a member of a now disbanded website sharing all kinds of life experiences from people around the globe including a wheelchair bound woman in Australia lamenting the public accessibility they don’t have, routinely wearing adult diapers not due to paralysis, incontinence, bladder or bowel issues rather lack of in home care/assistance to take her to the toilet; persistently remaining, the vast misconception westernized nations apart from ourselves collectively have their acts more together answer the question for yourself readers, does it look like they do? Returning American healthcare, Medicare for all has been advertised as expanding existing Medicare with added vision and dental, needing hearing aids for adults to every citizen but is that what will get past congress, the supreme court remembering their justification for upholding the individual mandate backbone of Obamacare was naming it, perceiving it a tax; brought up because our northern border neighbor Canada, mimicking Europe, has national healthcare lacking one key component— prescription drug coverage. Can we not see congress, a still republican controlled senate offering to democrats/the predicted influx of progressives post the midterms ok you want Medicare for all, then we can no longer cover prescription drugs. A final note on Nordic countries, Iceland not only do they permit whaling in the 21st century and we aren’t talking indigenous native tribes using every part of what they kill to make clothing, tools, jewelry in addition to consuming it as food/protein but others, their healthcare and social attitude towards certain conditions is a throwback to a half a century ago practices we got rid of 20-30 odd years ago already gone on too long; the former making headlines for efforts to eliminate Downs Syndrome the developmental delay marked by district facial features, a thicker tongue than average, sometimes heart and other organ defects, and varying degrees of cognitive deficits. However it isn’t through cutting edge research identifying what causes the chromosomal abnormality, to screen couples for genetic and other factors that lead to greater occurrences of the disorder, care initiatives for child bearing age women, health advice for women with a probability of getting pregnant, trying to get pregnant supplanting that with doctors advising parents whose child is identified in utero as having Downs Syndrome to abort, Icelandic society possessing few programs for Downs sufferers, Downs children to maximize their potential, Downs adults to live independently or in an assisted living community/group home situation, but we should copy their approach to healthcare? And these are just the serious obstacles regarding healthcare, one issue from both the progressive angle and what fellow westernized countries are doing for their citizens supposedly better than we are for our own; added instances are the U.K., EU approaches to their economy, the global economy, while our languishing infrastructure and dilapidated towns are a result of priority neglect, progressives would say endless wars accompanied by a bloated military budget Europe’s problems facilitating Britain’s Brexit are the consequences of years long austerity shown brilliantly in a labor party anti-austerity ad from their own star leftist Jeremy Corbyn; responses to Greece’s debt crisis, debt troubles in Spain contributing to a rise in far right sentiment and ideals laid out above while here in America our economy may not be the best, yes people are struggling, yes president Trump and republican/conservative policies will make it worse, shove us headlong into a crash but we had a decade of stability because we chose stimulus and they didn’t. Narrowing back to American election topics, again Sanders and his free college program understandably appeals to millennials, gen Zers currently paying off massive student loan debt not yet finished with the undergraduate studies or about to amass such debt getting educated unto a functional middle class career; missing the tiny detail that it only applies to in state public institutions so even if you are good enough academically to get into Harvard, Yale, other known top notch schools after high school, unless you won the financial birth lottery of being born to wealthy parents, are among the scant, shrinking few qualifying then obtaining a scholarship you won’t be able to attend, even under the Bernie plan to reduce and eliminate student debt long term. Too, excited citizens ignore the inherent unfairness in free college for everyone instead of saying, similar to comments on Warren Buffet’s prescription drugs, no we won’t pay for his so we can pay for the average non-millionaire/non-billionaire persons lifesaving, life preserving, quality of life ensuring medications; fundamental concept the likes of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Mark Cubin, Donald Trump can pay for their own children’s college, post-secondary education while taxpayer and federal government initiatives pay for everyone else’s. Apart from being good enough for a famous institution, left out of this glorious program too are people who must go out of the state from where they presently live to attend a school offering a degree in the thing they wish to make their career out of; and before thinking it’s the right’s characterization encompassing Peruvian bongo drums, lesbian dance theory, Beyoncé or The Beatles, which are classes almost exclusively at derided liberal arts colleges, not majors, when I was doing career exploration before college at the turn of the 21st century I looked into architecture only to discover to become fully qualified I would have to continue schooling or take certification tests in a neighboring state to actually be able to work, become an employable architect. While in college in the early 2000’s I knew students, fellow classmates who were getting forensic science degrees then planning to head out of state for continued schooling or internships unto certifications in their field, knew at least one who stayed in her electrical processing plant job despite her degree because moving wasn’t an option; think also about degrees in marine biology, if you are in a landlocked state you’re going to have to at some point go somewhere with marine life and the aforementioned conditions highlight no one should be forced to abandon a viable career for money, lack of it to complete their education, what the Sanders program was outlined to prevent. Unanswered once more, how far would a free college structure go when calculating the schooling requirements for people who must continue beyond a 4 year degree to obtain their career, undergraduate programs during the modern era seen as the new high school diploma doctors, lawyers, the reality to teach at the college level mandates at least a master’s degree, most holding PhD’s, the understandable increased schooling we want for our pre-k to 12 educators, the child development and early childhood education degrees necessitated in high quality daycare parents demand. Masters and PhD level requirements for social work, counseling and psychology, psychiatry at a time when we desperately need more of those trained persons to help our aging baby boomers in their golden years, in schools to combat mental illness unto early diagnosis bettering the outcomes for young people, preventing school shootings and other problems, drastically underserved minority, poor communities without mental health services suffering under budget cuts; nationwide, long waitlists for children and adults, some in crisis, that increase the likelihood of mandatory going out of state for education, multiplied exponentially if you come from small rural areas, the flyover country talked about in paragraph 1. I’ve discussed repeatedly the things I found out belatedly about my own major necessitating going out of town, if not out of state, to make it viable thanks to my hometown housing the country’s most prestigious journalism school, the limited options for the overflow of those students, students obtaining English degrees toward the same/slightly different but related goals when it came time for the obligatory internship, in part why my career has never gone past an obscure blog essentially volunteering for no money. Continuing with the plan’s breakdown, free in state college enacted at X date does nothing to help people paying off massive debts for schooling already completed, those with 1to 3 years of schooling behind them, the debt accumulated absent student loan forgiveness, a way to clear giant debt you can’t feasibly pay throughout your lifetime via bankruptcy, the vehicle for every other type of debt. Circling back to the employment, employer angle, it does nothing to answer how other countries who have free public universities and private, paid higher ed. institutions prevented employers from only selecting job candidates from private, tuition based institutions because they believe them to have the greater quality potential workers, they carry more prestige and by extension at least perceived elevated competence; paramount for us because there is a good chance that’s exactly what employers will do should Sanders get his wish in the near future just creating a whole new set of problems and no better prospects upon obtaining collegiate degrees, certifications, increased financial stability flowing out from that education or job security after mentioned post high school education— big oops. Intertwined among bills to change consumer financial responsibility for college, the path to solid jobs citizenry overjoyed, practically salivating at the mere idea of one more Sanders brainchild: a government jobs guarantee; never mind similar to the limitations of free college and how employers are likely to respond to it, aside from the existing negative connotations assumed around productivity and job performance ‘lacking considerably when you can’t be fired’ it still doesn’t solve the problem with secondary education totally apart from affordability. As stated in previous pieces including the author’s last, the so called skills gap largely caused by employers who want pre-k though 12 ed., colleges, trade schools to bring them ready made workers totally contrary to engaging in the most rudimentary job training failing to comprehend they have such an abysmal pool of workers due to this overarching and continuous self-inflicted wound. Neither plan proposal changing business mindsets to engineer post-secondary programs in partnership with their local college and trade institutions tailored to the skills required, adequately recognize skillsets potentially housed, garnered in an applicant’s job history that would fit them well into the position or correct the basic misunderstanding stubbornly sticking to employer entities that post-secondary/college education can be substituted for employer given job training specifics, not a readiness for said training in a broad felid like social work, can be traded for the barest minimum tutorial on how you do things in your particular workplace. Worse Sanders’ guarantee hinges on a government sponsored job training program under broad categories infrastructure, care giving, the environment, to name a handful; big red flag, the federal government does a terrible job at putting said funds into the correct local hands to render the desired results on any functional level. Prime demonstration of this situation vocational rehabilitation, every sizable city has a chapter, office for them, they receive federal grant dollars to operate in helping those with disabilities obtain education and employment often paired with state entities also helping those with disabilities, criminal backgrounds or at risk youth in the same fashion access education and employment; frequent readers over the years have heard me chronical my own disappointing experience with federal voc rehab and local job placement/training for individuals battling barriers like disability. Reaching beyond myself and my personal experience are the people who can’t get voc rehab help because their disability is poorly documented, the circumstance VR (as it’s termed for short) is very good at allocating money to college degrees, vocational training programs, even equipment to facilitate independent living and employment functionality for the profoundly disabled who need wheelchairs, assistive communication devices, hearing aids; outside of that their outcomes dwindle when the best thing they could come up with for a person with a business degree was working at a neighboring town’s casino, when clients ask for printed materials ensuring they will do the rest toward their ‘unconventional’ career goal and the answer is an angry no, when staff don’t know how to do hands on research and discussion with local entities about career fields they are unfamiliar with. Mirroring local job placement and training programs offered catering to persons with disabilities, other hurdles or not, in 2012 my local VR stopped sending people to the available clerical program lacking vital teaching of skills and software for job tasks like appointment scheduling, the 1 month long internship at a local commiserate business alongside 5 months of training was not getting people hired. Taking what we know about the outline of Sanders’ guarantee, from the word go couching available government job training into only select areas is bluntly a recipe for impending disaster too as functional aptitude testing identifying where people might do best is nonexistent as well; it inevitably leaves people out who may be desperate for help and have no other options for training fueling resentment, lack of political participation, voting to opt out of local implementations lock step with what many states did with Obamacare asserting states’ rights, looking at a composite of the supreme court, who doesn’t think they’ll win, lastly pushing citizens into voting for the opposing party. Even the paid family/sick leave policies they would prefer to see nationalized do nothing to prevent so called work martyrs, workers who feel they can’t take provided days on either occasion because there’s no one to competently take their place, legitimate concern, if not fear, when you do return to work post illness you won’t be able to find your desk for the work piled on it, hardly unjustifiable fear they won’t have a job to go back to, their employer will quickly find an unrelated believable reason to fire you. We must change work cultures and attitudes away from a perverted version of the protestant work ethic before implementing any of these policies and expecting them to be effective, change blog author has detailed not best done by arm twisting businesses with new laws; a cultural change almost needing to come from workers themselves who boldly refuse to work for bosses who act like they came out of The Devil Wears Prada, refuse to work in places baring people from bathroom breaks, the poultry plant leaving workers losing fingernails, having hand muscle and joint problems, things Bernie Sanders, the forefront progressive isn’t talking about. Doubling down on the fight for $15 movement, Amazon recently achieved positive headlines after a string of criticisms on working conditions and wages at the E-commerce company’s warehouses and other workspaces for the perceived progressive, benevolent silicon valley type move of raising their hourly wages for all workers to at least $15 an hour; reportedly pressured by a Bernie Sanders bill known as the stop Bezos act designed to force giant multi-million/multi-billion dollar companies to reimburse the government for every dollar their workers use in social programs, food stamps and Medicaid to name but 2. Since Jeff Bezos, who last year made $40 billon, is paying his workers near poverty wages as low as the national minimum wage stymied at $7.25 an hour causing them to qualify for Medicaid to garner health insurance, food stamps to buy food while the CEO is amassing personal wealth dollar amounts average citizens can’t fathom so, if this is going to be his business model he’s going to pay back the government in taxes. Unfortunately for senator Sanders’ perfect intentions, it almost immediately backfired harming the workers he sought to help as Bezos swiftly retaliated by removing bonuses from workers, some in the thousands of dollars, putting them in a worse financial situation than before their pay rise; the senator coming off what is seen as a victory is pressuring McDonald’s to do virtually the same thing. And while it is unlikely to have the same outcome effect because there are no bonuses in play at the average hourly worker level, there is the distinct possibility workers will be paid $15 an hour and see their hours cut keeping them financially where they are or worsening their financial straits. Imagine the unforeseen is what transpires with his outlined bill hoping to become law on a national level ending right to work through those states who have adopted it, making it easier for workers to unionize; maybe that’s why advertised bold plans such as the stop Bezos act never made it into law to date because smart people, perhaps smarter than Bernie Sanders for all his intelligence about what benefits the working person, knew what business’ reaction would be, knew the lurch it would leave workers in. Purely politically progressives pledge to not take any corporate PAC money has been shown to be largely ineffective when not discussing first time office holders under the organization title justice democrats, wolf pack whereas current office holders simply found another way to amass donations and no, not from an accumulation of small contributions from millions of ordinary Americans. Honestly speaking only of the ones taking small dollar donations today, this election cycle do we seriously think they will able to match Beto O’Rourke’s 38 million dollars in one quarter 4 or 6 years from now when he’s up for reelection assuming he wins, Audrey Denney’s 1 million when neither of these people have gotten as far as they had hoped to on the people’s agenda, ultimately disappoint them because of that; can we not fathom the small dollar donations like candidates won’t get in the future if their progressive candidate doesn’t win, like all progressive good ideas on the surface there’s always another side to the story.
Now contrast that with so called status quo, milquetoast democratic approaches, there was the problem solvers caucus who had a 5 point plan to shore up Obamacare 1. Keep the cost sharing reduction payments going to states president Trump threatened to stop, 2. Setting up a dedicated stability fund for states to help residents afford their premiums, 3. Exempt small businesses from the employer mandate by raising the minimum number employees to 500 before they must provide insurance keeping tiny and microbusiness from choking on the cost 4. Repealing the medical device tax on items i.e. pacemakers and 5.Uniforming guidelines and tech aspects so health insurance can be sold across state lines; addressing virtually every problem with Obamacare going forward without scrapping it entirely or starting from scratch. To say nothing of the singular thing driving up premiums for the healthcare marketplace giving people/families sticker shock, creating other massive issues was the constant/repeated threats in 2017, 2018 to repeal and replace Obamacare that fast became simply repeal alone, slashes to budgets meant to advertise Obamacare sign up periods and steps to enroll as well as allocations to staff, local helpers and assistants to guide people through the aforementioned sign up process. Not to mention Trump’s executive order rollback of the individual mandate commonly known as the glue holding Obamacare together and keeping any leash on prices. Better thing to do perhaps than Medicare for all raising the feared specter of socialism, or on the way there, is to institute the proper regulation we should already have for vital services; we wouldn’t need Medicare for all if we had proper regulation to prevent instances that result in surprise costs to the healthcare insured and serve to do further injury or illness to them, their families by providing lesser quality medical assistance, put needless walls between the poorest, most medically needy and care. Because you are a health insurance company existing to provide cost coverage when a person is sick, gets injured in an accident and to cover regular screenings, primary care to stave off chronic disease, prevent spread of contagious illness flu, bronchitis, TB, hepatitis, specific contagions hitting children, the elderly exc., you cannot deny coverage to persons with preexisting conditions particularly those often termed lifestyle illnesses from too much stress, too many cheeseburgers, lack of exercise or because the applicant (say a child with cancer, necessitating an organ transplant, neurological disease) will require lots of care throughout the whole of their lifetime. Because you are an health insurance company and that’s the fundamental way insurance works, you cannot charge higher costs on such persons just listed nor kick off a person from their insurance they have paid for the moment they get sick, receive a chronic or life threatening diagnosis. Because you are an ambulance service transporting injured people to medical care, hospitals, responding to medical emergencies you can’t price gouge, none of this $3,000 for the woman who got her leg caught between the subway car and platform just to get to the hospital for treatment; because you are a hospital small, county, the only one in your community doesn’t give you the right to pad your bills and mark up prices to insurance companies to keep yourself afloat, randomly pull prices out of thin air because the heart attack patient who came to you was out of their network (didn’t we do away with that HMO hell after so many eye popping cases, ridiculous expectations someone having a heart attack or in a major accident phone their doctor before getting immediate help from the nearest hospital/doctor, emergency service in the ‘90’s?) Private ambulance companies should be able to charge no more than the standard going rate for ambulance service locally, hospitals rural or otherwise, dealing with in network patients and out should be able to charge no more than the local, state going rates for procedures, equipment, testing exc.; this includes on-call ‘ologists’ brought in by ER staff anesthetizing patients who need surgery or other procedures necessitating they be under monitored sedation, to rule out severe injury to areas like the eyes after an accident, accidents and emergencies that don’t keep office hours. Dido the difference between urgent care facilities and ‘free standing emergency centers’ only seems to be exorbitant costs not care, the latter costing much more unbeknownst to consumers; they at minimum possess an obligation to alert care seekers they are not urgent care and their cost differential, in the event of an emergency where they are forced to provide stabilization only charge, be allocated insurance money commiserate with standard going rates for whatever you did before transferring person X to a full hospital. Because you are a prescription drug company providing many times lifesaving, life sustaining medicine you cannot suddenly hike your prices hundreds to thousands of percent, not just dollars, for no substantial reason beside profits, think EpiPen, pharma bro Martin Shkreli and the cancer drug he made millions if not billions off of, syphoned from people who merely wanted to live, skyrocketing costs of some insulin creating struggles for type 1 diabetic kids and their families, one college age young man who died for want of being able to afford his needed type of insulin. We have untold thousands, perhaps millions absent health insurance, not getting needed care because states refused to utilize the part of Obamacare expanding Medicaid sans proving their state programs, existing insurance structure could cover the same amount or more uninsured people, something that should never been left to A happen and B continue; only a few examples, in that context Medicare for all seems like the easy, lazy way out. Of greater help or in addition to, perhaps as a transitional step to whole country free college, free in state college would be to implement proposals first drafted by president Obama insisting tuition cost be tied to inflation so it can rise no higher than projected inflation rates for a given year, alternatively proving tuition hikes are going toward new, in demand degree programs, professors to teach them, equipment and facilities to enrich educational opportunities at your institution, and no not a giant Olympic pool or football stadium; if those proofs don’t come, you reimburse effected students for the increase. In the meantime between a hopeful president Sanders and starting free college programs following suggestions given to ease the student debt crisis, boost their opportunity for success: scholarship and aid packages that include not only textbooks and supplies (many don’t) but meal plans for the college cafeteria so poorer students don’t have to worry about how they will afford learning and eat simultaneously, choosing between washing their laundry in pay to use campus washers and dryers and food, addressing their struggle to find housing while continuing to attend class particularly those obtaining advanced degrees, perusing medicine, law exc. Reigning in for profit colleges known for taking perspective students’ money and handing them worthless pieces of paper, leaving them holding huge debt they can’t pay back without the job prospects they were promised would be on the other side, lying to degree seekers interested in criminal justice who possess a police record saying they can go into aspects of the field they have no legal chance of achieving. Confronting the existing debt crisis, people who already possess staggering student loan debt significantly holding them back, simple basics like allowing education debt holders to adjudicate that debt through normal bankruptcy mirroring what they would do with their credit cards; versus the current system stating it’s the singular kind of debt you can’t eliminate, negotiate or clear from your credit score impacting whether or not you can buy a house, what quality of apartment you can rent and where, whether or not you can be hired for select jobs because they view debt as a distraction. Pivoting back to highlights in the introduction about Americans looking up from their i-phones and asking where’s my money, housing in general creating adjacent problems as demand goes up and supply dwindles renters find themselves priced out by investors foreign and domestic, banging their heads against landlords who seem to pull prices out of a nebulous ether no one can understand, once more begging for regulation; because you are providing a vital need, shelter there are rules about what you can charge for a basic, non-high end dwelling, the idea standard features in homes and apartments found today i.e. dishwashers, garbage disposals, central air, lesser advertised but sometimes missing from older buildings washer and dryer hookups, additional electrical outlets above and beyond the 1940’s mandated specifications (how about getting those updated to the 21st century, common building practices as to the number of outlets in new builds, requiring renovations add the average current standard number of outlets wired into existing structures) are not ‘amenities’ for which you can charge loads more money per month rather competitive/comparable to dwellings nationwide, locally, where whole home Wi-Fi has been built in to attract younger tenets to a complex, an area limiting the mark up in rent. How about truly enforcing the laws governing landlords, preventing slumlord, tenement type conditions, disrepair, roach infestations, shoddy building work from the outset; nor should you need a rental résumé to be seriously considered for an apartment or rental house not in a gang/violence dominated area, to prove you’re a worthy tenant beyond proof of employment/income, demand for first/last month’s rent, deposit, usually equivalent to 1 month’s rent, no one should be advising renters seeking a roof over their heads to treat it like a job interview in dressing nice, building owners admitting privately they don’t rent to people driving ‘old clunkers,’ children and pets shouldn’t be immediate non-starters, the former totally illegal and precipitated by the national problem of lead removal property owners don’t want to do for the love of the money it supposedly costs. Rental application fees, gone unless you are seeking high end living space similar to a Trump Tower penthouse; landlords shouldn’t be allowed to raise rents 3 or more times in a year without rhyme or reason especially, if at all, California or not a burned out, fire damaged home shouldn’t be selling for nearly 1 million dollars, a dump needing thousands in repair selling for a cool million 230, meaning limits on foreign and domestic buying for the sole purpose of the buyers owning residential real-estate makes them money, propriety given to people who are looking to live in the home not just tack it on to their investment portfolio. Oh and those 40 inch TVs work like every replacement you have to make from coffee pot, to toaster to yes your TV, last year I had to buy a smart version with automatic links to online services like Hulu, Netflix I neither had nor wanted accounts for, when finally riding my living room of old analog, just to get one small enough to fit my existing shelf, as not to have to buy another one of those too or an entertainment center my small apartment can’t sensibly accommodate; makers had discontinued the 22” I bought in ’09, discontinued the smaller 13”PC monitor ones and it was a chore finding anything under a 32” that had legs looking too easily breakable for the price tag over the one piece base I knew was sturdy. Being a person with a disability who maneuvers around their apartment grasping furniture and in regular contact with a best friend whose small children are in my house at least twice a year for Christmas and respective birthdays I needed the stability; landing on a 24” that works beautify able to bypass the smart features I don’t need, but the cost would have been several dollars less had I been permitted to buy a plain HDTV in the size I desired, more inconvenienced when purchasing a companion DVD player and finding I wouldn’t get much upscaling of picture quality because the new one only went to 720 pixels versus the comparable price one I had from ’09 (in a different room) going to 1080 pixels. Mr. Nichols ignorant 32 and 40 inch are the most prevalent and popularly sold sizes of television, 40 perhaps more abundant in select areas or stores; maybe he should take to reading Salon, the people who interviewed him particularly the one about the welfare mom with the Coach purse who became dependent on assistance after having a complicated pregnancy, being kicked off college healthcare for getting pregnant in grad school though she had a fiancé by then if she wasn’t already married to her husband at the time, was at least 22 to 23 years of age and the purse in question was a gift from her father who got her plus her 2 sisters the ‘it’ gift of the year hints the designer handbag she used for her father’s sake not her own ‘expensive tastes,’ but blog and author digress. Lesser version of the Adam Payne story, my local public housing area has spent the last 5 years renovating units originally constructed in the 1950’s and 60’s minus those dryer hookups mentioned a moment ago, including enhancing and adding ADA accessibility features, wider hall and doorways, toilet and shower bars in the bathroom, a built in shower bench and handheld showerhead, kitchen and bathroom sinks you can easily roll a wheelchair under, outdoor ramps with handrails and added wheelchair curb cutouts. Problem, sans the city authority to rezone which would permit tearing down and rebuilding from scratch (or the grant funding to do so for that matter) widening floor space meant removing 2 storage closets and shrinking the bedroom closet substantially hampering where you put things in places where tenants are constantly chastised for clutter; one person moving in had to have an additional grab bar added on the wall next to the shower so they, any old lady in a walker, old man with a cane, person with a bad hip could safely get out of the shower if using the shower bench or bypassing it to get out if standing, had to ask for a soap dish to be put in because not only wasn’t there one, the shower module used had no shelf/space to place shampoo, conditioner, body wash if not bar soap, loofah if you use one, specialized shower brushes, sponges for those with skin conditions. And why are you making them that way to sell at all; alterations anyone looking at it can see needed doing but the city and state signed off on it meeting the appropriate requirements. Dedicating space to wider hall and doorways, a specified turn radius for rooms meant to accommodate wheelchair use’s poor planning stands out most egregiously in the bathroom; where if a person was in a wheelchair or scooter they either would have sufficient storage deficits for bath towels, hand towels, washrags, despite the seemingly large 3 paneled mirror at the sink doubling as a several shelf medicine cabinet the shelves are shallow and not enough for someone who takes a lot of meds, uses a lot of medical creams, bandages, you name it, nebulizer dependent asthmatics, standard toiletries, a spare tube of toothpaste, container of deodorant plus a large package of female sanitary products or, detract from given space with a cabinet, plastic storage containers, roller carts sitting around making maneuvering a chair difficult. Harkening back to what little Adam’s mom said about her struggles for an accessible home to raise her son, everybody thinks they know how to tell you how to live your life, if it fits this it fits everyone, not so. Part of the reason minimum wage workers can’t afford a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment in any of the 50 states is due to the housing phenomenon above, also explaining the droves of persons seeking to get into public housing, low income housing, a housing voucher program, all derided by republicans, so called upstanding, hardworking people who believe you lazy or deficient if you need any such thing; but, progressives stop at that statistic and switch to talking an awful lot about a living wage, less so about wage theft and almost none at all about sneaky uses of technology aiding in that theft and other public ills on a level they don’t even grasp. Algorithms automatic rounding, automatic clock in clock out systems not calibrated to register time a worker clocks in early or stays late to complete wok, example used a nurse seeing to patients and their families and, recurring situation rearing its ugly head, outdated legal rules written well before computers took up an entire room forget when they could fit in the palm of your hand; rounding permitted precisely because they used to calculate wages by hand, legal rules that don’t know what to do with automatic break deductions leaving courts’ hands tied, several grappling with what does and doesn’t constitute overtime from answering e-mails to the papers we bring home from the office. Suggested maybe we don’t need a higher minimum wage just to give people the billions taken from them annually by employers who have no incentive to change their self-indulgent practices. Expounding on the work ethic segment in the previous paragraph enforce laws on hiring, working conditions, employers shouldn’t be able to look at your work history claim you’ll get bored with the job due to what your last one was using it as an excuse not to hire you, they shouldn’t be investigating the cleanliness of your car while you await an interview, they shouldn’t use your credit score and debt as evidence not to hire you because they find it a distraction, detriment to productivity, job descriptions should be realistic not a jumbled catchall someone vomited into print and listings should be for currently open jobs, not a let’s see what’s out there exercise. Working conditions should be safe, clean commiserate with the type of work, equipment employees are expected to use should be functional and in good repair; wholly separate from worker safeguards rolled back by the Trump administration they’re not, haven’t been for years. Employers finding clever ways to circumvent OSHA rules, having injured workers come in and watch training videos so they aren’t technically missing work days, coal mines with a laundry list of violations allowed to continue operating, the deep water horizon oil rig explosion cut off from the environmental toll, the secondary human cost of people who lost livelihoods, got sick thanks to coastal damage what about the people who died, were injured because of a lack of plans if the rigged leaked, government approved delays in submitting those plans just 2 instances of catastrophic consequences stemming from not following established law. Transitioning seamlessly into the endless circular debate surrounding social security and its solvency, on top of the 3 easy fixes outlined in the link below to shore up it and Medicare permanently raising the taxable income limit, allowing the government to negotiate down the price of prescription drugs, allowing more young immigrants to come here work, pay taxes, pay into the programs offsetting the cost disparity generated by us living longer and less young persons to take their place, A- stop pilfering the funds to pay for other things then hiding your actions from the American public congress, then not giving it back to boot. B- want less people on disability or to need less immigrants willing to take undesirable/dirty jobs, tell Mike Rowe to shut up about making work cool again and begin a government initiative to properly mechanize fruit and vegetable picking removing the undue stress off the human body unto preventing musculoskeletal maladies, muscle and joint disease caused by overwork, do this for all labor intensive, disgusting jobs that involve fouls smells, harsh chemicals, being covered in off-putting fluids that don’t involve medicine where human interaction and a bedside manner are needed. Those poultry workers a paragraph ago should have the proper machination to avoid joint damage, the unsanitary reality of losing fingernails on the job as much or more than their employer being called out about bathroom breaks. C-want less people taking early retirement at 62 functional results based job training and retraining, cracking down on age discrimination going well beyond senior citizens to avoiding child bearing years, to seeing anyone over 40 as too old for specific industries. Connected to retirement, pensions merging banks and post offices would represent a boon to small rural areas but going back to the introduction and comments on flyover country, is keeping tiny rural areas afloat a good idea or integrating them into slightly larger communities; further said approach does nothing to put reasonable restrictions on big known national banks so more people can open accounts and keep their money in a safe banking institution as opposed to relying on pay day lenders, their mattress or an old shoe box to hold their money. Wall Street’s decade old cash, the housing bubble boom and bust scores haven’t recovered from yet and won’t in their lifetime was caused, as brilliantly pointed out in a well done progressive first time officer runners campaign ad, because America has forgone post-depression era regulations, safeguards meant to keep something like the 1929 or 2008 crash from ever happening again; reinstate them, remove buying and selling of the adjustable rate mortgage on the market, truthfully discontinuing it from use period. If you’re looking to rescue the post office from bankruptcy unto shutting down entirely it isn’t to blame a lack of physical mail, things going to e-mail, e-cards, paperless campaigns leading to online bank statements, billing notices, life, home and renters insurance documents; it’s to stop expecting them to fund their pension plan for workers 75 years out when 40 would do, probably 20 actions keeping them in the black partnered in delivering packages from entities like Amazon as opposed to president Trump blaming them for a problem they didn’t cause. In the wake of Harvey, Maria, Florence, Michael, flooding ravaging Texas, parts of Florida seeing sunny day flooding thanks to polar glaciers melting, impacts of climate change new breed leftists do highlight much environmental regulation, regulation gutted by the Trump administration in favor of big corporations who love their corner cutting usually involving dumping toxic chemicals into waterways, pumping pollutants into the air, why because it’s cheaper; less do they deeply talk about what Rachel Maddow discovered in the midst of Harvey several things happening in Texas over the years was due to the sheer lack of regulations you’d expect to be in any sizable city or small town. An explosion in West taking out a nursing home, 3 schools and an apartment complex because there were no zoning laws, in another instance not only aren’t there basic fire codes for buildings but a law making it illegal to create such codes, information brought to national attention regarding changes to laws about who can view reports of the dangerous chemicals housed in a number of chemical plants near residential areas, and when we say who we mean residents to even local media; as fears grew about chemical leaks from flood/hurricane damaged plants, neutralizing agents on hand for some chemical facilities not used. Due respect to states’ rights but how is it possible they are allowed to create laws endangering their citizens and defy common sense; MSNBC’s Chis Hayes talked at the same time about the federal government essentially racket that constitutes flood insurance repeatedly doling out money to people to rebuild in active flood plains on the opposite end a Salon.com article revealing relators selling homes holding no legal obligation to alert potential buyers the property they are interested in lies directly in a flood plain. While off shore oil drilling rigs mist be close to land, must go where oil us impacting costal residents, there is no earthy reason for all those chemical plants to be right next to all that water, sneaky suspicion they came to Texas directly aware of the lax laws; let’s stop that on a federal level, reengineer states’ rights to prevent anymore Wests. If you are going to build in a flood plain build with the proper precautions retaining walls and retention basins, actions that don’t mean taking the full advice of the Dutch eliminating single family homes, praising the construction of skyscraper level, densely populated Manhattan as a thing to emulate for the fire hazard potential alone; noting one final time the reason children like Adam Payne have so many struggles in Europe is because of their instance on building homes and apartments with many stairs to get to the one level living area, excessive stairs to enter apartments or homes that are one level. There were structures surviving the devastation of hurricane Michael essentially flatting Mexico beach Florida the difference, ones surviving were cutting edge builds designed to withstand hurricanes based on the most up to date information; every building should be so constructed or not be there. Red tide wouldn’t be devastating Florida’s beaches, killing marine life and zapping the state’s tourism dollars, blue green algae creating toxicity in its lakes if there where regulations not to dump nutrient over rich industrial farm water runoff into waterways ocean or fresh; reminiscent of a point the author made in another article about accepting individual American’s need to take various medications for psychological disorders, medical issues and so on arguing an article about the sewer water run off housing things like anti-depressants making fish depressed and changing their reproductive habits shouldn’t happen because it should be filtered before entering any natural water way, lake, river, ocean, tributary. Same here filter out the algae causing nutrients, are their more neutralizing agents like the ones not used in Texas, in Flint that can render harmful ingredients inert, can a similar process be used too with byproducts from coal mines, other industrial waste; where is the government research to find those things, to develop processes to get rid of harmful substances replacing bad procedures putting coal ash and other negative elements in ground water? Abolish ICE slow down, dismantle the part of ICE being inhumane at the border sure, the section of ICE cracking down in cities ultimately sweeping up people who did nothing wrong because they were in the neighborhood and ‘looked like an illegal immigrant,’ making people afraid to call police, report crime or testify in court against their domestic abuser, what they saw a criminal do because ICE is lying in wait with detention/deportation orders, absolutely but keep the part of ICE tackling international organized crime and human trafficking, limit deportation orders to violent criminals, major drug traffickers. Redundancy upon redundancy we don’t need to abolish ICE because we do need immigration enforcement just give them better guidelines; remembering it was the rescinding of Obama era rules plus new outlines for which potential illegal immigrants to target that lead to the current situation, the Trump administration’s choice to change immigrant/asylum seeker processes putting children in cages. And if not ICE then who will arrest/deport illegal immigrant criminals, the few there are who are violent and dangerous to the American public, if considering creating a different agency who does the aforementioned in the meantime; the devil is always in the details whether you are talking republican, democrat or progressive ideas.
Next addressing the other elephant in the room critiques of how democrats have chosen to pick up the pieces after 2016, the fact they don’t appear to possess a coherent, long term strategy to win, according to progressives too focused on Russia, whining they lost because of Russia (guess we’ll just ignore the slew of indictments issuing out of the Robert Mueller investigation against Russian intelligence agents, 3 Russian companies or the Russian person behind social media profiles, posts and groups targeting the 2018 election and caught in the act) not because they ignored the working class, the rustbelt, had no policies attractive to the poorest most struggling Americans. Quoting from Michael Moore a second time the fact Hillary Clinton didn’t go to Michigan, how long it took her to go to Wisconsin, democrats as opposed to progressives who have/had no policies attractive to young people versus easy to understand one sentence breakdowns that mean something to the people listening, attending your rally, stand to impact their lives for the positive; even now ‘establishment democrats’ trying to save their bacon, as the saying goes, merely announcing their support for initiatives popularized by Bernie Sanders the easily slogan transferable platform Medicare for all, free college, supporting the fight for $15 pushing for a national $15 minimum wage, not creating anything new or so progressives would have you believe. Dovetailing into a second common refrain of progressive commentators which is to attack democratic campaign slogans; scathing about a better deal: better skills, better jobs, better wages, though the one who excoriated that said in a different segment Huston’s flooding proved why we needed a new New Deal. No gainsaying to be had with the substance of his argument in the latter case talking about a depression era drainage system there overwhelmed by hurricane Harvey, but the former as a campaign banner when a fellow progressive guessed the better deal phrasing was a democratic party spin play on Trump always touting his making deals, you really want that association; to say nothing of using such an ancient 1930’s, 1940’s reference talking mainly to his fellow young voters who probably have no idea what he’s talking about or Johnson’s great society programs either, less because our education system is so bad and more because they won’t give credence to something so ancient, seen as too old to be relevant. Speaking to older middle age workers, working age young people forging careers, seeking solid jobs in the rust belt, coal country why wouldn’t better skills, better jobs, better wages appeal to them out of a job post the closure of a plant, factory or mine, college too far out of reach for children of the isolated working poor, working poor persons/families who are fortunate enough to possess a job but who’ve seen their wages stagnate, particularly ones who voted for Obama previously? A more conservative bent program at MSNBC said For the People as a democratic rallying cry is a generic nonstarter, the question is why after 2 years of a president who has been shouting nothing else but me, me, me, from his inauguration or during presidency rally crowd size, to made up numbers by which he falsely claims he won the popular vote, his constant bragging referencing his intelligence, the ‘natural instinct he has for science,’ because he has an uncle who is a scientist (so please explain the climate science denial) to the big beautiful deals he’s negotiated/signed. Mentioned MSNBC guest stated it was all about the message, why should we give a crap about messaging in the context in which pundits, news show anchors, commentators have put it; short answer, we shouldn’t, we shouldn’t care what a candidate can fit into 30 seconds, if it fits on a hat, who cares that non-progressive democrats didn’t have a message or, lowering the bar into negative double digits, not merely negative digits, it was ‘3 minutes long, too long, placating and in the middle of nowhere’? Everyone should care that we elect people who know what they are doing, have a functional understanding of how government works/related to the office they hold, we need to worry about getting overly excited for what we think progressives can achieve and contemplate extensively what happens when they get to congress, whatever office and realize they are only 1, 2, 5 and everyone else has different view. Never satisfied Kulinski did it again, harped on the subject of messaging bashing a bill by Elizabeth Warren the anti-corruption and public integrity act aimed at regulating money in politics through removing the revolving door, people who used to work on Wall Street who serve in presidential administrations, congressional aides on the local level then go back to Wall Street regularly jumping back and forth, ending self-dealing via government agency heads, politicians who are allowed to own individual stocks in say pharmaceutical or medical device companies then running health and human services, rendering votes on healthcare, preventing presidents from owning outside businesses while holding office not merely as tradition but enforceable law along with mandatory release of your tax returns if running for federal office, tightening the definition of lobbyist if you are getting paid to influence public officials on behalf of an entity then you must register as a lobbyist no exceptions, then tax lobbyists putting dollars back into the agency so it can do its assigned job, developing a single agency that oversees ethics throughout the whole federal government instead of the piecemeal system we have now. But contrary Kulinski didn’t like any of that, no not on the substance oh no, laser focusing on the name telling his audience how “it could have gotten more legs,” meaning public attention thus support to see it passed, had she called it, appropriately, the drain the swamp bill. Shrugging off it’s the Whitehouse, the American federal/national government not a book published by Random House, a commercial for pizza, trying to convince you to buy X brand of batteries, the Energizer Bunny is cute, but forgive us for expecting more from national leaders and lawmakers; he needn’t have worried as Chris Mathews’ Hardball wasted no time dubbing it just that giving everyone what they wanted. Related to messaging is the ‘horrible’ issues democrats supposedly floated as key components to their 218 midterm campaign, example thinking the economy is too good to run on economic issues; hold it, A-notice Mr. Kulinski read from a newspaper headline essentially espousing the paper, the reporter’s interpretation, if not opinion, on what democrats were thinking when it was written, B- he and they directly said the worry was Trump winning the messaging war on the economy, not necessarily meaning the things he says about it are true, the economy has improved. However for ordinary people who are benefiting from niche aspects of the Trump economy, if you are a regular, not a rich, citizen who has seen a slight wage increase at the very bottom where you are or plainly feel more positive about the economy, are satisfied with it, his actions regarding it 1- you probably voted for him to begin with and 2- aren’t going to immediately listen even to the progressive argument on the economy anyway. Wholly separate from, despite all their bringing up of stagnating wages, the fact that half of America makes $30,000 a year or less, they don’t have a plan to help those stagnating wages apart from the fight for $15 effecting only minimum wages, doing nothing for persons elsewhere along the employment food chain between minimum wage jobs and medium sized business/corporation owner, fat cat CEO, so how are they better than the other politicians again? Dido his (Kulinski’s) evisceration of their ‘idea to run on gas prices,’ gas prices do matter when they start to rise higher than the public is used to paying, when it starts making it more difficult to commute to and from work, run your errands and buy your groceries, when it starts cutting school weeks to 4 days across the country due to the unaffordability of running busses the full 5 days, the very fact linked segment below was published to his YouTube channel literally Memorial Day 2018 also provides insight into why democrats were talking about it, as people start go on vacation, travel, seen as the unofficial start of summer when children start to get out of school for summer break freeing families to make such plans; working class people who want to go 2 hours from their home taking their children to see the grandparents theirs or their spouse’s mom and dad who couldn’t do that because of the documented spike in gas prices—oh, context is everything. Because the president can alliterate and rhyme doesn’t equate to sound policy, thinking or strategy, because it fits well on a poster, billboard, banner, yard sign or button, hat, t-shirt, can easily remembered, spouted relentlessly in 30 second spots doesn’t make it remotely feasible; because Bernie Sanders can do the same thing better than standard run of the mill democrats doesn’t mean he can make it happen either or the end results will be what he planned, reread paragraph 2 for already transpiring proof. Imagine future Bernie being confronted by a disillusioned college kid good enough, wanted by Harvard but the free college stopped at in state— awkward, only one instance of trouble coming down the pike if progressives get what they want; they won’t want everything they’re going to get. A commentator on a YouTube posted segment of the MSNBC show Morning Joe offered a different view, that democrats don’t need a message, why, the people are setting the message telling their elected leaders locally and nationally what they care about, think; when they held the women’s march a day after president Trump’s inauguration, when they held a march for science earth day 2017, when protesters converged on airports chanting refugees are welcome here in response to several iterations of the travel ban specifically targeting Muslims, people who converged on their local representatives offices, held die in’s to let their feelings on repealing Obamacare be known, the march for our lives organized by the students of parkland Florida after surviving a school shooting calling BS on do nothing talking points, advocating for commonsense gun control now insisting they might not be alive for later, more importantly those from all walks of life who joined them. The teacher’s strike and those who supported them in their fight for decent pay and proper allocations of resources for students and support staff, mothers and not who when they learned about the family separation policy at America’s southern border, caging people seeking asylum, not sparing little children showing up to protest, qualified persons mimicking reaction to the Muslim ban offering pro bono legal services, other ordinary citizens contributing to GoFundMe pages generating bail money for detained migrant parents to bond out of detention, still others creating caravans to get migrant parents reunited so they could at least be near, see their children before court dates, final decisions on their cases. Women, people concerned about their sisters, aunts, cousins, wives and daughters who when they heard Brett Kavanaugh was Trump’s nominee to the supreme court to fill the vacancy by the equally announced retirement of justice Anthony Kennedy their default was protest and not to give up despite all the upheaval, uncertainty until word came down he had been confirmed. Greater support for the theory the people are controlling the message on the democratic not singularly the progressive side is that derogatorily named ‘establishment democrats’ were willing to sign on to most popular progressive items from 2016, the list ticked off in the opening sentences of this paragraph. Interesting everyone, independent media too seeming to adopt the stance, ‘framing’ they never stop bringing up when skewering democrats for conceding conservative points, it’s odd the people not politicians should be the ones to set the agenda in an election cycle simultaneously encouraging ordinary people to run for office, encouraging people to protest, call their congresspersons, occupy the office of their congress person. Another facet of the so called democratic messaging problem is of course the Kavanaugh hearing after sexual assault allegations against him dating back to high school and congressional reluctance to so much as background check the claims, hear more than a lone victim out when at minimum one other had credibly come forward, public pressure forcing a sham process hearing but a hearing none the less. Nearly foaming at the mouth complaint of progressives, democrats politically played the situation wrong by only talking about the sexual assault allegations against him from the moment they were brought forth until blocking efforts failed and he was confirmed ignoring his judicial record, the very distinct probability he would be the 5th vote on the court to overturn Roe V. Wade contrary to what a sizable majority of the American populous wants, has an expansive view of presidential powers saying they shouldn’t face impeachment while in office due to it detracting from his job as president, not highlighting evidence he perjured himself in his original confirmation hearing about documents he received pertaining to a scandal surrounding a judge he clerked for, lied in pervious confirmation hearings to lower judgeship appointments about it and other issues, wholly and apart from the blatant potential lies he told during the allegation hearing reaching well beyond 1980’s teen slag. Disappointingly like progressive/independent media’s constant chorusing of what the mainstream media didn’t cover, doesn’t ever cover barely digging research turns up they did maximum 2 days later than their commentary, democrats opposed to Kavanaugh preceding the sexual assault issue raised continued concerns about documents being withheld from them from his time in a former Whitehouse to get a truer feel for his decision making, did morning show and cable news show rounds to talk about his being out of step with the current court’s views, his judicial record on abortion, the wait out the clock game he tried to play with one migrant girl detained here who had arranged everything for her abortion blocked by government officials hoping to push her past the time limit to get a legal abortion, speculating his views on impeachment is why the president chose him. Knowing both he and special counsel Mueller share the institutionalist theory you cannot indict a sitting president meaning impeachment is the only option and how he sees that; conversations they never stopped having until the conformation was over, the other glaring complications associated with Kavanaugh tacked on to whatever revelations were being discussed pertaining to the sex assault allegations. Second hearing handing them a whole new topic they ran with Kavanaugh’s displayed temperament, how it made him unfit for the supreme court’s lifetime appointment from nakedly patrician blaming of the Clinton’s for the ‘conspiracy theory’ accusations against him inappropriate for a supposed to be impartial judge, to the way he alternated between yelling and crying while answering questions, belligerently confrontational when answering at least one senator’s question about his drinking directly related to what the victim says happened to her. Temperament excluding how evasive he was in answering the questions he would answer, setting aside the ones he just didn’t, temperament excluding the lying under oath nature of the boy scout he tried to paint himself out to be but witnesses said to news reporters he definitely wasn’t, the calendars of parties, ‘social events’ he went to making him look more guilty not less; senator, congressional names like Chis Coons, Chris Murphy, Richard Blumenthal, Dick Durbin and yes hated Chuck Schumer, names like Mazie Hirono, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand and yes hated Dianne Feinstein. Dianne Feinstein who said of his temperament “This was not someone who reflected an impartial temperament or the fairness and even-handedness one would see in a judge…This was someone who was aggressive and belligerent. I have never seen someone who wants to be elevated to the highest court in our country behave in that manner;” so much for it being only about potential sex assault. At the same time progressives across the board praising the ads of first time want to be office holders both on the things they say throwing out the civility rule books for campaigns, calling out opponents for their voting records, their stance on policy, legislation they’ve authored, lies they’ve told about those things; and, more to what they talk about doing for their voters with a side of personal stories/backgrounds that appeal to say those voters who voted for Obama in ‘08 and/or ‘12 but switched to Trump in 2016. Whether it’s Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s working class roots and struggles, sacrifices her parents made to send her to a better school or veteran Richard Ojeda who did tours in the middle east only to come home and find children in America who have it worse, have less than children there did, to the inspirational story of native Hawaiian Kaniela Ing; teetering on delusional people will somehow forget it’s a political ad treated with more disdain than commercials. Commercials since the proliferation of the mute button that have been tuned out, advertisers a couple of decades ago began raising the volume on commercials because they knew people go to the bathroom, raided the fridge, today ads political or product face the hurdle of those who aren’t watching TV on a set, watching tradition air or cable, dubbed cord cutters; ads posted in other places are subject to ad blockers for computers/tablets, mobile phones especially those with lower internet speeds who want site content not ads for anything, political candidates least of all, limiting who will see it. Granted the videos are good, music video level good but it’s hardly enough to get people fed up by politics or at their limit with ads that bash the other candidate (no matter how right and hard hitting Mr. Ojeda is) to pay attention; alternatively people who are keeping track, like what they see don’t live in the districts or even states of ‘the most exciting candidate,’ don’t have a progressive, justice democrat running in their district, maybe not in their state. And finally their complaint none of their ‘pathetic’ attempts at messaging answer the critical question what are you for, it doesn’t tell people what you are for; independent that’s Kyle Kulinski’s repeated line and when eviscerating the better deal slogan said they wouldn’t need to find supposed to be pithy ways to prove to voters they are for them through slogans if they had the right policies to show voters they were indeed on their side politically. Forgoing the flagrant exception sometimes it is what you are against that tells the bigger story, hard fact it’s not that they (democrats) are against Trump it’s why they are against Trump and why they refuse to let go of Russia, Russia, Russia; because, back when progressives a-la Kyle Kulinski and Jimmy Dore were saying corporate/establishment democrats had ‘jumped the shark’ on the subject, took to calling it ‘the democrats Benghazi’ regardless of whether candidate turned president Trump, his campaign colluded with Russia, any power foreign or domestic to underhandedly win an election they were well aware back then of our election vulnerability. Calling for steps to shore up our election system only having an inkling of the social media fake account misinformation campaign; were aware of attempts to hack specific states election information, successful infiltration into voter rolls with the capability to tamper with things like addresses, changing letters and numbers, last names, though there is no evidence Russians or other entities did so. State by state election systems known to be vulnerable to hacking, when an 11 year old can get into a mock website and change state votes after what we think happened in 206, the evidence we now understand, that’s a huge problem; that he was able to do it in 10 minutes a threat to our very democracy, faith in the integrity of our elections. Early on worried about what the Trump administration wasn’t doing to prevent such hacks, interference in the future, the $120 million dollars built into the budget to curb, fight cyber-attacks he to this day refuses to use, waiting until a week and a half ago to launch a program aimed at curbing Russian meddling in the midterms less than 2 weeks before election day, well into early voting; they were holding their breath hoping something like Helsinki wouldn’t happen but almost certain it was coming, and who was right? Kulinski who framed that eye popping public interaction between president Trump and president Putin as solely centered around his Trump’s ego, we hope he’s right, we hope there is the extent of it, but the real question is what if it isn’t, not what if it is? Shoved into the background the 50 plus percent of Americans for whom being against Trump is not the bug but the feature, people who are against Trump because of how he treats women, minorities, the disabled, his bigoted policies lessening rights for LGBT persons, trying to ban them from the military, snatching away guidelines for education institutions in the wake of bathroom bills, supporting religious freedom laws passed in select states, redefining gender at the federal level to strip away protections for transgender individuals, who are against family separation, putting kids in cages not to be lost the dollars spent on permanent detention versus the older asylum process, who don’t like the debasement and disrespect they believe he brings to the office of president, want a better example for their fellow Americans and their kids. Here the lines are far from hard to read between if you are not for 32 million people losing their healthcare thanks to the eventually thwarted repeal you are obviously for people, the maximum number of people having healthcare, tweaking Obamacare until everyone has healthcare; isn’t that a good thing for your constituents? Democrats aren’t the ones audaciously lying to voters saying they are for covering people with preexisting conditions concurrently participating in a lawsuit to gut it from the remaining elements of the affordable care act, hold voting records showing just how many times they voted for repeal, legislation that would remove the preexisting conditions stipulations from the act. Democratic states are overwhelmingly the ones who expanded Medicaid, who allowed legalization of medical or recreational marijuana on their ballot, are leaders in fight for $15 states, hold the most sanctuary cities translating into businesses who rely on immigrants can get the workers they need, local police aren’t spending dollars housing, feeding, clothing, and providing medical care to jailed illegal citizens waiting eons for the government to pick them up solely because they are undocumented. If you are for leaving workplace regulations intact, maintaining things as they are then you are not for regulation rollbacks that make jobs more dangerous and unhealthy, if you are for the, yes there’s that horrible word again status quo, then you are not for gutting environmental regulations clogging our air, dirtying our water and putting our food supplies at risk. If you are speaking out against the Muslim ban, the travel ban then you must want immigrants to freely come here by legal means on visas, as residents unless there is a credible reason to believe their country or them a threat, if you are advocating against snap decisions to pull out of the Paris climate accord, the Iran deal exc. then you must believe they serve some good to America, the larger interconnected world we belong to. As a point of fact rather than taking dollars away from other vital government programs, treating women, children and migrant persons inhumanely, democrats had plans for comprehensive immigration reform developing a pathway to citizenship for long term illegals here for decades rejected by who, republicans; then in 2018 based on the president’s, turned out ever shifting word, democrats tried to get a deal on DACA the program for dreamers young illegals brought here as children, rejected again by the president. Challenging Michael Moore’s latest read on things, if Flint residents were so disheartened their greatest recourse was to vote, vote everything on their ballot enfolding their ‘lesser of 2 evils’ choice for leader of the free world; even president Obama addressed this saying you can’t opt out because there isn’t a candidate you’re particularly enthusiastic about this isn’t Coachella, at another point telling a crowd don’t boo, vote. And maybe if you can’t be bothered to vote, not to be confused with difficulties in voting, trying to choose between voting and going to work at the job you desperately need, the inability to stand in a line for hours because you need to go to work, pick up children from daycare, then perhaps you don’t deserve politicians who listen, pay attention to your issues. If you can’t listen long enough to get through a 3 minute detailed message outlining what a political candidate has as a plan to help you, one of the people in his or her district, voting constituency then maybe you don’t deserve higher caliber political candidates; if the only thing you can deign to respond to is a well-crafted 30 second spot, a banner, a slogan on a hat maybe you are the problem, your enthusiasm is lagging not that of potential candidates. This isn’t the late 90’s movie Bulworth, this isn’t a reality show is as much a message for progressives as it is for our former TV star now president, the republicans lined up behind him and the supporters who follow him as if he were a rock star; on one hand you have comedian and social commentator Bill Maher begging democrats not to run a celebrity Oprah (whose expressed a revulsion to the idea), telling viewers of his show Real Time there is a need for stability and Ariana Grande doesn’t effectively communicate that no matter how well she can sing and get people to follow her on social media contrasted to Michel Moore (some might be tempted to give him a pass because filmmaking is his business but he always called them documentaries meant to be informative and send a message, as blog and author once called them docudrama, heavy on the drama light on the documenting anything apart from people’s skewed reaction to stimuli) telling people at the Flint town hall recently the democratic solution to Trump was to find a celebrity of their own. Perhaps try something else: instead of voting celebrity, voting who are you excited, enthusiastic about, vote sanity; oddly, the most effective messaging may come from republican party turncoats who fled the GOP within the last 2 years urging us to collectively understand 2 things, if you don’t like this, are unhappy with the direction the country is going, know republicans are in charge and vote democrat not exclusively justice democrat, new office holder to be democrat, young democrat, progressive platform/Bernie democrat, just democrat.
By that same token, establishment and status quo need to be returned to their original meanings and stop being used as political buzz words for bad; somehow forgotten to scoffing-ly dismissed is status quo also stands for the parts of government that work seemingly automatically: making sure veterans benefits, social security checks go out, active military and thousands of government workers get paid, except in the event of a usually well publicized shutdown. Making sure federal monies allocated to social programs like food stamps, WIC-women, infants and children, TANF, temporary aide to needy families, federal daycare subsidies, federal Obamacare payouts get to the states as per design. Paying the nations bills so we don’t default on loans, see our credit rating downgraded as it has been in the past, ensuring federal prosecutions of crimes continue uninterrupted, federal FBI investigations/cases continue, bank monitoring and appropriate licenses are issued, taxes are collected and accurately. Consistent reporting tells us, the public, important things like what the department of energy actually does; among several things maintaining and keeping in good working order, not a health or safety threat to us, the citizenry, our nuclear arsenal, monitoring our nuclear power plants and other nuclear sites again to prevent threats to the public. The department of commerce monitoring our economic growth, stimulating economic growth which many hurting Americans could all use, the department of agriculture along with the FDA seeing to our food safety, monitoring the quality of beef, pork, fish, fruits and vegetables; it may not be perfect but can you picture the United States, food safety without them calculating the number of food recalls announced, what would happen if they weren’t there? Or the department of labor and workplace safety standards, hourly wage standards again, along with raising the minimum wage coupled with the regulation to prevent hour cutting, bonus slashing correctly calculate wages workers are owed; and, can you, readers, imagine how much wage theft, what a mess wages or working conditions would be if they didn’t exist? HUD offering affordable non-discrimination housing, affordable housing for veterans, the disabled, senior citizens, increasing homeownership, helping ordinary Americans to achieve a cornerstone of the American dream; there are plenty of things to criticize about these government agencies, all government agencies but can we fathom America’s function being as good as it is, always could be worse, without them? Providing a cautionary tale against politicians who stand on a political platform vowing to eliminate whole government agencies plainly without a clue as to their true function whether it’s the census or other data collection that decides where sparse government funding goes, tracking climate data to coordinate our responses to natural disasters, effecting regulations on building codes so your home and business survives the next hurricane, tornado, flood. Contrast those critical tasks with Carley Fiorina, flash in the pan 2016 presidential candidate who wanted a 3 page tax code guessed to be roughly what the average working person could understand or Ted Cruz, also running in 2106, who wanted your tax return to fit on a postcard; imagine instead staffing IRS public access phone lines with enough knowledgeable people to answer citizens questions as they try to obey the law and pay their taxes due. Imagine staffing and budget allocations so the designated IRS division can go after white collar tax fraud, evasion and abuse recouping dollars the federal government can use to help average citizens improve their lives, improve the roads we drive on, the public water systems, pipes going into our homes, stabilize and upgrade electrical grids and a thousand and one other things we rightfully expect of our government; opposite of what the Trump administration has done slashing budgets to compensate for tax cuts for the rich. It’s the constant disconnect between the government we think we have and the government we actually do, people who think the FDA tests potential drugs going onto the market, and definitively they should, rather than simply perusing the provided research on the drug in question deciding whether it was thorough enough to approve the drug and under what guidelines; it’s what I witnessed at the DMV over the summer there to renew my state I.D., on top of people making multiple trips to gather needed documents, a person who couldn’t get a state I.D. for want of a utility bill or something in their name plus a local address to put the young man in their system, another person who bought in a lease agreement to the apartment they’d just moved to, was the woman who had purchased a car in Ohio planned to drive it in the state she lived in 3-5 states away, came into the DMV only to be told the workers could not help her because they had no jurisdiction, control over Ohio’s rules on cars, directing the elderly woman online to complete the paperwork. Never mind she probably bought it there because it was cheaper; one highlight of the centralized government for select services we don’t have, blog/author talking before about the larger problem president Obama’s birth certificate exposed in a lack of uniformity in documents, all birth certificates of all types having the same information. One of the things Trump’s presidency should illuminate for us by this point spelled out by Barney Frank early on is the difference between governance and non-governance, the government however ‘badly’ involved in healthcare, infrastructure, the environment is a lot better than government taking its hands off, the lone Trump administration infrastructure plan privatizing it which costs more, provides less and has a proven track record of only lining private contractor pockets. Establishment can very easily be substituted for stability not freaking out fellow westernized world leaders, fellow nuclear powers by the erratic things you say and take back minutes, hours, days later pretending you didn’t say them; stability in not picking fights with your country’s sometimes 100 yearlong allies, making Canada feel like it’s all alone on the world stage, irritating Germany and diminishing your country’s standing in the world by the embarrassing things you say that make you, and by extension, your people look stupid, willfully uneducated and a laughing stock. On the other hand not cozy up to dictators, authoritarians, proto-fascists, people, foreign leaders the antithesis of what your country stood for every day of its existence until you came into office ultimately making it less free, less positively open to the world around it, more bigoted, racist, homophobic. Establishment and status quo can also readily be assumed synonymous with experience, proven methods of doing certain tasks, garnering X desired results, case in point almost exactly a year ago president Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency but requested no funds from the federal government be routed to the crisis versus declaring it a national emergency fast tracking government funds to the crisis automatically, vilified Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, literally demonized Hillary Clinton would know that, and on the off chance the first two didn’t they would know who to ask and heed their advice, things Trump can’t or won’t do; to that end why would we, the public, be interested in hiring anymore political novices wasn’t 2 years enough? It was one thing to promise to upend government, but it was with the understanding that even an anarchist president would take a metaphorical sledgehammer to congress’ gridlock predictably with your excellent negotiating skills Mr. president, not run a wrecking ball through everything replacing it with nothing, slightly different variations of what was there before; people won’t fall forever for NAFTA 2.0. And no, experience doesn’t automatically mean the swamp, which agreed needs draining but not to be replaced with another caliber of don’t know what I’m doing, sometimes it means simply having held a lower government office, having participated in a political campaign as a candidate before, having enough political knowledge of say the house and senate to understand how things get done; better than promising a middle income tax cut before election day no congress in session to pass the bill even if it could be written up, which takes weeks and more than he, president Trump had when making the announcement. The progressive left can’t be a place of shunning experience, expertise and knowledge either, Trump supporters, conservatives aren’t the only ones who need to hear strong words on voting in their own self-interest, voting in the country’s larger, long term interests; remembering it isn’t current democrats’ age young people, progressives had a problem with but their policies flocking to a 72 year old Bernie Sanders like bees to honey, problem is most of the stated gripes with their policies are fabricated misinformation or non-implementation of pipedreams on par with the Alex Jones level conspiracies about Hillary Clinton smelling like sulfur means she’s a demon or her affinity for matching moo-moos with aide Huma Abedin meant she was a lesbian, as if the latter should matter. Bringing readers back to the progressive criticism of ‘corporate, establishment’ democrats’ poor messaging, people had no problem coming to the conclusion totally on their own they should sign up for Obamacare while it still existed, correctly determined the status quo of Obamacare was not perfect but it was better than nothing, better than anything newly minted president Trump had managed to come up with in the close to a year he’d been in office; the healthcare program seeing growing enrollment numbers despite twin efforts to repeal and cuts to marketing notifying the public of enrollment periods. Trump’s political base largely understands the promised tax cuts are for the rich, the 1% the 1 10th of 1%, the elites able to read the size of their paychecks, why republicans stopped running their campaign on them, farmers impacted by the Trump started trade war can find their own interests well enough to vote for the local democrat on the ballot in 2018 just look at Tennessee; so, why do progressives require an excessive amount of hand holding to comprehend what they need to about current office holding democrats who passed a stimulus bill pulling us out of a recession, gave us better healthcare than we’ve had to date in Obamacare, democrats and president Obama who had a grand bargain to address the national debt that then house speaker John Boehner walked away from, democrats who authored the dream act helping illegal immigrant children brought here through no fault of their own, who pushed for comprehensive immigration reform making sense of a complicated immigration system, for people trying to come here legally, president Obama who crafted a new asylum seeking process to curb the flow of unaccompanied minors, border tent cities, democrats as well as progressives who push for marijuana legalization, democratic local governors too, also behind decriminalization, Corey Booker teaming up with Rand Paul, any of this ringing a bell Dore, Uygur, Kulinski, need this blog go on? Trump supporters and progressive both digest this, Hillary Clinton for all the largely hyperbolic fear she would get us into another war wouldn’t have been caught dead playing chicken with Kin Jung Un taunting my button is bigger than your button talking about mechanisms that control your country’s stockpile of weapons, let alone doing it live in real time from the Whitehouse over twitter, wouldn’t have had to be told no you can’t tweet statements about the removal of U.S. troops and their families off the peninsula as that signals a seriousness about military action, not the least of which because she already knows that; no one would be writing a book now or 4 to 8 years from now saying she stated f-ing kill ‘em when referring to Syria’s Assad, had she and her team chosen to bomb Syria in response to their latest civilian chemical weapons attack it would have been done effectively to hurt, immobilize, temporarily hinder the enemy, not simply look good on TV, crafted to be able to point and say see we’re doing something. Hillary Clinton wouldn’t be silent on the fate of Jamal Kashoggi and if the arms deal had to go through would at bare minimum exude the class not to say directly to press essentially we won’t properly handle the golf state because they’re giving us tones of money for weapons killing children on school field trips in neighboring Yemen; blog agreeing with the David Pakman stance we have backed ourselves into this economic corner and until we can get out of it we’re stuck. Built in congressional blocks on arms sales used for just such a purpose as when we think they might be turned against civilians democrats kept firmly attached their entire time in office; only removed with the Trump administration, shoring up the stark contours of how detrimental his administration is compared to wholesale naming all American foreign policy of the last 2 decades bankrupt, talked about in the previous piece. A Clinton presidency wouldn’t posit invading Venezuela for no apparent reason apart from we don’t like who’s in charge there, there wouldn’t be serious concerns about privatizing the war in Afghanistan through failed, corrupt, civilian killing Backwater founder Eric Prince or any other mercenary-esque armies; we wouldn’t be in trade wars with half a dozen countries, China wouldn’t have needed to impose retaliatory tariffs and her administration might have been able to do something about their currency manipulation and U.S. property theft, TPP would have gone forward, easing at least one farmer’s fears about where he would sell his goods, leaving things at the dreaded status quo would minimally not be making them any worse, precisely what president Trump has done. A second Clinton administration wouldn’t be marked by Americans getting press updates about Russians who had business at the Whitehouse via Russian TV, journalists and media because the Whitehouse doesn’t keep an accurate daily schedule or allow American press into events with the foreign nation, wouldn’t have thrown out American press when meeting with the Russian ambassador in the oval office then spilled secret intelligence gained from our ally Israel. Collusion aside, ‘getting Trump for trying to underhandedly win the election,’ aside Hillary Clinton would have tasked lawmakers and appropriate persons to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election to better understand it and explain it to the public, would have minimally used the $120 million alluded to toward stopping their cyber intrusion from Russia, China, North Korea or anyone else, would have mobilized efforts to guard our election system against infiltration, malfunction, machines in Texas changing votes of straight ticket ballots right now, toward keeping the faith in the integrity of our elections; not spending untold federal dollars on a frivolous voter fraud commission disbanded at the beginning of this year after finding a total of 30 people over a number of years and elections committing anything like voter fraud, all of them republicans and none of the illegal immigrants apart from one confused woman asked if she wanted to register, when found voting was deported by the Trump administration, far from the 3-5 million illegal votes/voters he speculated as a way to explain Hillary Clinton’s winning the popular vote. Helsinki and many of the Trump administrations encounters with Vladimir Putin would not take place, take place without translators as not to give him that level of legitimacy on the world stage, legitimacy he has not earned not least of which because of his invasion and annexation of Crimea, his election meddling, real fears in the smaller Baltic states he will try the former again with them. It’s an identical scenario with North Korea, yes talking is better than 2 nuclear powers lobbing bombs at each other and destroying the world, but let us remember it was Trump’s taunting bringing us to that brink; still world leaders, past presidents avoid such meetings because the North Koreans are never serious about keeping their end of negotiated bargains, trick the United States and others into giving them humanitarian aid increases, sanctions relief and go right back to their nuclear program or whatever provocative move got the world’s attention this week, month, year. Staffing would have been competent so that no one was holding a national security briefing of the Japanese prime minister at an open outdoor table, other guests all around while on a summit at Mar-A-Lago, conducted by cellphone light because it’s dark and the president doesn’t want to go inside. Competent workers meaning the person charged with carrying the nuclear football, the necessary nuclear codes always following the president not taking selfies with guests, posting them on Facebook bragging about what he was carrying, a chief of staff getting into a scuffle with the Chinese over that same nuclear football, later in a scuffle at the Whitehouse the secret service had to break apart. Functional staffing so that hurricane responses helped save as many lives as possible instead of vital food left rotting on a tarmac somewhere and she never would have lobbed paper towels at devastated people grappling Maria in Porto Rico as if she were playing basketball, crowing about how unlike Katrina it was due to the low death toll later revise to be significantly worse, reports of mirroring incompetence pertaining to storms Florence and Michael. Again reverberating the idea, in the Kashoggi story, what would happen with a fully staffed state department capable of doing its job efficiently and correctly because enough qualified people were present; what would an ambassador to the gulf state and other diplomatic pressure yield correctly leveraging the modernization the ruling royal family wants to present to the greater western world? She wouldn’t be caging children and their families at the border, if there had been an increase in detentions there for whatever reason it wouldn’t have taken DNA tests to match children with their parents and tricking people who don’t speak or read the language into signing documents giving away their rights to either their kids, their right to petition for asylum or both; one upping that, imagine if there had been a Clinton presidency, we’d have gotten a deal on DACA, the program for dreamers to live and work in the United States, imagine there might not be a caravan of thousands of migrants marching for the U.S. border fleeing violence, murder, abuse, drugs if there had been appointed ambassadors to those countries working on shoring up their stability so their citizens can stay there. In light of what took place in Pittsburgh just days ago imagine how different things would be if we could look to Mrs. Clinton as our commander in chief, if she were giving the condolence public address after 11 Jewish persons were gunned down in a synagogue, worth asking is would it have happened at all without the climate condoning hateful rhetoric, hate speech fostered by president Trump. Imagine just past that if a Clinton 45 presidency had appointed the needed special envoy to oversee the Bush 43 created Global Anti-Semitism Review Act put into law in 2004 to track anti-Semitism across the globe and how countries, societies respond to it; if Pittsburgh had happened regardless who was president, under a different political climate, what could that envoy tell us about what happened there, what’s happening around the world, the palpable rise in anti-Semitism seen, what insights could they, their work provide to stopping it, the violence and carnage that comes on its heels? Addressing vacancies in the current Whitehouse, staffing troubles publically known apart from positions simply left vacant madam President Clinton’s administration wouldn’t be getting her ambassador choices from Mar-A-Lago, the Clinton foundation or any organization she associated herself with; nor her government agency staffing shortlists, unlike president Trump who turned over control of the VA (veteran’s affairs) to 3 Mar-A-Lago members and has an tentative ambassador to South Africa who lied about her credentials and lives up to the stereotypes about blonds. Despite perceived general hatred of Hillary Clinton much higher caliber persons, known political operatives and persons primed for positions in government would have been ready and willing to flock to a Mrs. Clinton presidency versus people from the beginning who saw the Trump presidency as too disorganized, too many fringe, crazy persons intentionally given access to the president and as time wore on, information came out, later still turnover became a story/problem people began to see the Trump administration was professionally radioactive, people’s professional reputations didn’t survive employment in the Trump presidency dwindling worker pools for needed positions even further. Speaking briefly about the Clinton Foundation we were worried about it why, her e-mails we were worried about them, why; versus foreign leaders staying at Trump’s DC hotel to curry favor with him, people following him around his golf courses when present whispering who knows what in his ears about policy, about issue topics, responses to current events effecting the presidency when what we should have been worried about was the unsecured i-phone president Trump refuses to give up allowing the Chinese to listen in on calls to friends he regularly talks to, possibly putting policy and deal making ideas in their heads to pass to him. But who was a threat to national security, lock who up again; yes quoting Bill Maher for what seems like the bazillionth time, both are bad one, is worse, of course he was contrasting #metoo cases of rape, harassment, assault and Aziz Ansari as a bad date but the concept still stands. Perhaps Hillary Clinton should not have done what she did with her server but as this blog has covered considering what was available at the state department during her tenure, given the advice she was handed by the previous secretary of state, proven in e-mails he tried to disavow, about keeping your privacy in the office your holding, there was little choice; and, she was at least trying to keep things secure, had people monitoring for intrusions, taking steps to prevent them, things the president isn’t willing to do with the government issued secure devices he’s been given to use. Lastly on the subject, at the end of the day the Clinton server scandal was a nothing burger exposing government department technology problems where Trump’s personal i-phone use is spilling national secrets to adversaries. Hillary Clinton wouldn’t have hired mirrors of Scott Pruitt, Ryan Zinke, Ben Carson, Kirstjen Nielsen who are former Wall Street cronies with stock in the things their respective agencies are meant to regulate, thinking their government office and its resources are their personal piggy bank/all access pass to expensive vacations, easy, no cost trips home, a government issued American Express black card to buy exorbitantly priced dining sets, office doors, interior decorating, sound proof booths and the endless stack of things Trump’s appointed staff find to blow taxpayer money on; at least government funded seemingly frivolous research has the potential to accidentally turn up something useful now or in the future. Wouldn’t have slow walked Obama era regulations to reimburse the victims of for profit colleges as Betsy DeVos has, wouldn’t have changed college campus guidelines on sexual assault period forget in light of the #metoo movement, sought to privatize our public schools virtually dismantling functioning schools getting positive test score, graduation and matriculation to college rates when public feeling is we have too few of those currently heightened all the more by circumstances revealed by the teacher’s strike, or hired an education secretary willing to do so. President Clinton 45 wouldn’t task the justice department to do away with affirmative action, wouldn’t have them attacking marijuana like it’s the 1970’s instead turning her efforts toward opioids rather than it taking nearly 2 years for legislation to minimally combat the problem killing staggering numbers of people daily as it has in the Trump administration. Hillary Clinton and her presidency that will now never be would have left so many things alone because they are the parts of the government that function, the parts better left alone because trying to improve them would only break them, probably in part where the old saying comes from; you know the one about if it aint broke don’t fix it. ‘Establishment,’ status quo democrats up for election and reelection in the 2018 midterms would likely so the same on many if not all counts, tell us again establishment and status quo is bad, it would seem after 2 years of president tweet in chief, chaos in chief, my button is bigger than your button in chief, flatter me and I’ll go along with whatever you want in chief, upend everything in chief we could use some status quo and establishment in the form of stability.
As a voter the problem for me isn’t what if progressives win, I wish them all the best and if they succeed all will benefit not the least myself; but, I want people in office who know what they are doing, justifiable hesitation with local moms running for local office and would be first time office holders is do they know enough about the office they are running for, how it fits into the larger scheme of state or national government to craft and communicate policies to voters they can actually achieve? My fear is what happens if they win, go to their respective offices on the local or national level and realize they are 1 leftist progressive politician among a slew of republicans, ‘corporate democrats’ unable to fulfill their promises to voters, generate them fast enough and the pendulum swings the other way causing now excited voters to be disillusioned thus to vote ‘establishment democrat,’ republican or abstain from voting altogether by the proceeding election cycle? Will the progressive seal on Medicare for all spell reverting back to forget an Obamacare system but a pre-Obamacare like system setting us up for another 150 years before getting functional universal healthcare in this country, and before I get rah, rah about Medicare for all I want my critical questions from paragraph 2 answered to my satisfaction. Having watched that all important 20% Medicare insured persons are saddled with nearly break my grandmother, watching her 5 kids, my aunts and uncles, scramble to manage her hospital bills, watching her push back against signing up for Medicaid because the home her husband had paid off before he died would have to be put in one of their names along with the money left her by her deceased brother placed toward home repair, retirement living expenses she couldn’t any other way afford including Christmas presents for her greatgrandchildren until her stoke in the mid ‘90’s, and to be paired with her small life insurance policy covering end of life expenses when the time came because no one looked into it far enough to know how old her house was, how little/non-existent equity was in it causing it not to count as assets under Medicaid rules; that would come 10 years, a broken hip and hip replacement later when there was no longer a choice and prepaid burial plans were more known, accepted and used. I can wrap my head around the concept that if medical debt is the leading cause of bankruptcy then in addition to regulating hospital costs, ER specialists cost, equipment and procedures according to state/area prices, on the way to Medicare for all if nothing else, legally forcing hospitals to negotiate medical debts with patients, just double checking their bills for error, double billings and mistakes so the burden isn’t on the patient to do it; again in light of those things Medicare for all seems like the lazy, easy way out to this voter. Voting citizen I am I don’t want Medicare for all, universal healthcare to end up like the plan to bring broadband internet to places that didn’t have it untold thousands or millions spent on the wrong equipment filling a big back room somewhere; I don’t want the end result to be the fallout from the digital transition people shunting themselves over to bare minimum basic cable to get channels once always free, just to get news and weather before the tornado lands on their house, added incentive to cable companies to monopolize DVR stagnating the technology’s growth and marketing their own exclusive devices unlike in South Korea where they have Blu-Ray recorders, sidebar why not fix those 2 blunders for the sake of better informed constituents if for no other reason. I was fortunate enough to have my collegiate education paid for by vocational rehabilitation not leaving me with unimaginable student loan debt and can imagine how betrayed I would feel, graduating students today must feel when never garnering a degree field or middle class job for want of what I wasn’t told by those meant to guide students added with the saddle of insurmountable debt you can’t alleviate. Therefore I cannot help but ask of instituting a free in state college plan will it delay even further us putting sensible mechanisms in place to stem the student debt crisis, further hamper efforts to treat education debt like other far less responsible debts? To that end I will vote for the candidate willing to address all of the student debt crisis from broadening free college to students accepted to top notch schools if their parents aren’t in the millionaire plus class, work toward changing the law to treat education debt like any other processed through bankruptcy, to cover career long educational pursuits for doctors, lawyers, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, teachers and the like. I will vote only for the candidate who understands raising the minimum wage must be done in tandem with other regulation to prevent hour cutting, bonus removal and other things that ultimately hurt workers down the line using the same caution approaching progressive plans to end right to work, ease forming unions unto better hourly pay that may not materialize unless done very carefully with all variables considered; but, will unquestionably vote for the local initiative to raise my state’s minimum wage incrementally over the next 5 years. Being a voter looking around my community, seeing national reports on roads, the condition of hollowed out and forgotten communities I can accurately conclude we don’t need a variation on Chinese bullet trains that ultimately kill thousands when they crash at such high rates of speed to prevent flyover country, (let Elon Musk try his underground rail if he likes as research and development of future transportation) we need flyover country to be attractive places to visit, live and work for all Americans, but what would be fabulous is fixing our subways and commuter trains after years of neglect, better public transit in every city and state, paratransit services in every city and state for seniors and disabled persons to get around their community; to those ends locally I will be voting for a ballot initiative to devote funds toward my local roads, police, legalizing medical cannabis in my state because those are the choices before me that I agree with this round. Alert, aware, politically engaged person I am I understand the higher taxes Trump warns people against voting for democrats because of while firing them up at his rallies are for the rich people aimed at making them pay their fair share and helping the very ordinary people he’s talking to; and, in return for those higher taxes on the wealthiest, persons making less will receive lower cost healthcare, initiatives toward better roads, when the time comes you will get the social security and Medicare you paid into. I understand, so why can’t you, the increased regulation he speaks of is to keep your jobs safe, keep our air and water clean particularly important as air pollution is being called the new tobacco killing 600,000 kids a year, linked to higher rates of asthma, respiratory illness and distress, inforce rules keeping you, the public safe when it comes to highway construction, guardrails, faulty airbags and so on. That top down government control he was disparaging is, as stated, exactly what’s needed at my local DMV, needed in birth certificate/other official document uniformity, the top down government control that told insurance companies under Obamacare they must cover preexisting conditions, there is now a list of essential services all insurance companies must cover including facets of mental health and addiction recovery services; top down government that runs Medicare and Medicaid services nationally as smoothly as it’s run, top down government control needed to universalize, interconnect the national, local and regional background check systems unto making sure violent, criminal, unstable persons don’t get guns, guns they could use to attack your children, your family, top down government control that would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, legalize medical cannabis for your ailments, your children’s ailments so you don’t go to jail trying to care for yourself or your child. Top down government control needed when you’re a flood victim trying to use your flood insurance, the lagging process distributing recovery funds after hurricane Katrina in spite of the aforementioned control; on a lighter note, top down government control pushing the FAA to standardize plane seat and leg room size and length so that you aren’t so uncomfortable when you have to fly for work, want to fly for vacation, so when you fly and you are a heavier person, you’ll be less likely to be charged for 2 seats. I can distinguish between open borders, what he and republicans say democrats want, and allowing desperate people fleeing crime and violence in their home country, fleeing for their very lives, the lives of their children their legal right, under our own laws, to present themselves at the border and request asylum, have their reasons heard and their case processed through a court and a decision rendered; what that caravan conservatives have been freaking out and scaremongering the American people is all about, oh and most do get sent back assuming they make it through multiple borders to get here. To say nothing of as a nation of 300 plus million even if they all were accepted who doesn’t realistically think we could handle a few thousand migrants enfolded into our ranks, getting jobs, sending their children to school and pre-school, renting apartments, working toward buying homes, contributing to their community’s economy by buying good in it, when that thinking is based on fact, compassion and decency not racism, tribalism and to quote a famous preacher a lot of isms that should be was-isms. Thinking citizen I am I can differentiate between slogan level labeling and reality, that angry mobs aren’t the same as angry constituents/citizens confronting politicians in a restaurant many of whom refuse to hold town halls, answer calls or make appointments to meet persons they serve; I can follow those citizen who wanted their elected officials to see them, their child/member of their family in person to provide a visual of how their policies, their votes on policies effect actual persons, I personally agree with citizen sentiment that if migrant parents/children can’t eat in peace together due to the president’s policies then neither should they. I understand angry mobs aren’t identical to women confronting a congressman in an elevator, running beside them as they walk to their car, specific location prior to the Kavanaugh hearing begging to be heard, begging for their elected officials, elected persons responsible for that decision to grasp the impact of sexual assault on women and girls, the effect of putting a Kavanaugh on the court for women and girls’ control over their own bodies on whether or not they get an abortion or not; note the woman who confronted Jeff Flake was sobbing and asking what he was doing, passionate not exclusively angry, as if women looking out for their daughters, sisters, nieces don’t have a right and justification to be angry, that they don’t have to right to confront their officials in a non-violent, however loud, way minus making any threats, a topic not relevant to the actions they took to impress their view onto politicians. I get the ‘angry mobs,’ someone who threw Mitch McConnell’s food on a sidewalk, stood outside a politicians home chanting something about policies they’ve supported or shouting questions as they got into their vehicle is not equivalent to the bombs last week sent to major political figures, political donors, 2 studios/offices of CNN; the former being at most jerk, more akin to activist, the other dangerous and criminal. Thus I am voting for establishment democrats who have an established record of getting something done and not for the simple sake of waving it before the American people to look busy, I am voting for establishment democrats because I believe they will implement the transitional polices, policies unto the progressive agenda in a way that they won’t be dissolved in the next election cycle, be turned on by the people by the next election cycle because it didn’t work as the very authors thought it would, because they weren’t enacted fast enough. I believe the criminal justice reforms put forth by the likes of Cory Booker and Rand Paul are the best choice right now because it is the most likely be accepted by both the public and lower court judges, to get past the supreme court and make it into law to help juvenile felons not be shoved in solitary confinement, be at least 18 years old before being charged criminally as an adult, automatic sealing of juvenile records, allowing non-violent drug offenders access to social services like food stamps and TANF, which is for their family including children not singularly them, is an aspect of restorative justice for those felons convicted so more due to their race than their crime, helps them be the present parents, especially fathers we denigrate particularly people of color for not being. I am I voter and I like the progressive detested democratic party half measures for the above reasons as opposed to the progressive desire for jump in with both feet, whole hog legislation meant to accomplish everything immediately and all at once Because despite my employment woes I have never lost a job opportunity to an illegal immigrant, believe in comprehensive immigration reform and the dream act to solve immigration permanently not only am I not worried about the caravan months away from the U.S. border, know the troops scheduled to be sent to the border is a political stunt to put republicans on the ballot in 4 days, I am voting establishment democrat. And I’m not the only one, my friend is voting for the sitting democrat for senate because their opponent is one of those who is party to a lawsuit seeking to strip Obamacare of the protections for persons/families with preexisting conditions; which would include all 5 of her children born with asthma and diagnosed between birth and 2 years old, another who additionally is one of the one in 45 boys regularly diagnosed with autism, a third also has been with severe ADHD mandating medication, who would get lesser or no healthcare thanks to a politicians planned actions. Her husband who is diabetic, has high blood pressure, high cholesterol, fights to get medications he needs to live well who would again get lesser care than the spotty care he already gets if republicans on the ballot get their way. My friend who was turned off by Kavanaugh’s views on abortion because she believes in a woman’s right to choose all the more so because of her past of molestation, domestic abuse and attempted rape by a roommate’s boyfriend, shaking her head once the assault allegations surfaced that he actually got confirmed. I am voting for establishment democrats for the love of the future country that I want for my friend’s children since I have none of my own and no plans to have any, a country where though I and others don’t believe in homosexuality I do believe that LGBT persons shouldn’t be barred from housing, healthcare, employment, military service, societal engagement of their choice because of who they love; let alone be harassed at school, beaten up, thrown, out of their homes, shoved into conversion therapy sessions, subjected to violence, be killed because of who they love. The future country I want where people have better opportunities for jobs and education than I had, why it is at the core of everything I write. I’m voting for a country going forward where healthcare in whatever form is improved for those who need it most, where women who want an abortion and medically need one can get it, doctors aren’t afraid to perform a medical procedure due to laws and red tape surrounding it, a country where a woman will hopefully never face an exam to prove a ‘natural’ miscarriage versus a ‘self-abortion,’ be charged with feticide because they gave birth to a stillborn or had other complications causing their baby to die. America being the country where a trans person can go to the pharmacy and get their hormonal transition medication sans intrusive questions asked scenes made by religious minded persons who believe themselves empowered to judge others; dido women picking up the morning after pill, other birth control for the treatment, management of whatever condition as if they were picking up antibiotics no judgment found. I am voting for an America where police reform is a reality and back and brown people’s biggest fear needn’t be the cops unless they’ve done something wrong, where black and brown people no longer have to worry about getting shot by police for being ‘big and scary’ in a new neighborhood, walking home at night, shot by fear driven white people knocking on a door for help, because said white person didn’t like the music coming from your car or you walking home from a party, white people no longer call police on black persons for going about their mundane, daily lives, using a hotel, apartment, community pool, canvasing for a politician or while being a first time candidate convincing others to vote for you; to do that I am voting establishment democrat so the likes of Cory Book are around to continue their work and if he isn’t there is another to take his place in the fight. I am voting establishment democrat as opposed to solid progressive less because as presented there isn’t a progressive running in every state/district and more because it is a vote for stability, a vote for sanity, a vote for established norms and ways of doing things producing functional/tangible results. One slogan I can agree with, if there must be one comes from a Bill Maher New Rules segment; let’s get America back to normal.