A sundry assortment of whoa woe!

This last week the sundry assortment has been full of news that gives me pause to wonder in whoa. And woe in wonder. Shaking my head.

The very same day I was preparing to make the case that Senator Al Franken would make a great choice for President in 2020, Leeann Tweeden reported behavior on his part that is unbecoming a Senator, a President, any grown man.  And since it’s been quite a week, I’ll start my sundry assortment of whoa woe there.

Woe. Senator Al Franken

On vacation this summer I read Al Franken, Giant of the Senate and I was struck that he is a decent man who takes his work as a US Senator very seriously. I like Al Franken.  I was ready for him to run in 2020 because he’d be President af AF. O-kay-ay. That was immature. My bad.

But I was just about to make a case for Senator Franken for POTUS — he’s from the center of the country and not the coasts, populist, great education, entertainment industry experience, hard worker, blah, blah, blah — when, while drinking a fancy mocha latte chatting with my neighbors, Leeann Tweeden came forward with her account of his creepiness on a 2006 USO tour and my little balloon deflated like it had seen a giant dick in the sky a Navy training maneuver.

What to make of this? Saturday, November 18, 2017, Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update with Colin Jost and Michael Che, the same bold show that features Kate McKinnon giving Cicely Strong’s right breast a little squeeze during abduction sketches and has featured all manner of outrageous behaviors  including Al Franken as Stuart Smalley over the last 40+ years, noted that “it [the photo of Franken] looks bad” because it “is bad.” Al Franken was 55. Yes, it looks staged, but one of the participants was sleeping and had given zero (0) consent.  Really Al? Really?

I believe Ms. Tweeden. I believe her account. Mr. Franken forcibly kissed and groped her and he didn’t realize he crossed lines.

And I believe him too. What!?

I believe Mr. Franken because Navy pilots flying planes worth millions on technical maneuvers, use their technical skills to draw a giant sky penis. A naughty prank. And Naughty Al the headlining comedian on a 2006 USO tour was caught misbehaving badly. The culture needs to change. His is a perfect example of incidents that do not seem so bad when you are the perp but are indelible for the target, the victim, the innocent tired woman sleeping …

But women have had enough. Or is it time to change that statement to read: ‘women we have had enough’? The incident was 11 years ago and in the interim, Senator Franken appears to be an ally of women. His written apology to Ms. Tweeden seems genuinely contrite.

And we need individual male commitment to change. Does Senator Franken need to resign as punishment for crimes and misdemeanors committed when a comedian? Where do we allow for change? When do we forgive mistakes? Does an MO that includes serial sexual harassment and assault trump one reported incident? Do we hang Al high because we need to start somewhere and with him, we can?

I watch this with hope however misplaced that his career survives, sadness and woe.

Woe. Museum of the Bible

Woe. The half-billion dollar, that’s ~$500Million USD, Museum of the Bible opened up in Washington, D.C. this last week and I threw up in my mouth a little. There are many brands and flavors of Christianity and this one, this building sports the Hobby Lobby version.

And I’m horrified that there are Christians who do not think separation of church and state is important, who think that the state and their religion should be one and the same all the rest of us Christian Muslims Hindus Buddhists atheists everyone not us sinners be damned.

But then as a fan of Gutenberg and the small press, who reads anymore really?

And it might interest you to know that the grand opening gala for The Museum of the Bible was held at the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C. No surprise here. It is 1.2 miles from the Trump Hotel — an 8-minute drive by car, or an approximately 24-minute walk.

‘Surrounded by Bibles, Mahon said “I just hope this place can stay open.’ “¹

I just hope this democracy does too.

Whoa! Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif) & Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D- NY)

And woe unto Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, III sitting in a hot seat.

First up, and addressing the current state of the union, Karen Bass questioned Jefferson B.S, III, the Attorney General of the United States (AGOTUS) on a recent FBI report on black activists promoting or using violence against police officers.  Read about it and watch it here, (The Root), read the full FBI report here (HuffPost).  (Full disclosure: I watched the questioning. I skimmed the FBI report.)

TL; DR? TL;DW? The report referenced black identity extremist groups that are now defunct; incidents against police cited – while making national news headlines — were carried out by individuals who were not members of a black identity extremist group; and most telling, there is no similar report ordered or existing for white identity extremist groups and this is where Karen Bass’ questioning reminding Sessions of the existence of the alt-right and Klu Klux Klan as active white identity extremist groups was so telling.  You could see it right on the tip of Sessions’ tongue. Really. It was like watching a frog realize the water in the pan is boiling …

Second, and addressing past testimony the AGOTUS gave when he was a Senator pushing for the impeachment of Bill Clinton, was Representative Hakeem Jefferies, 8th congressional district of New York. Rep. Jefferies circled Jefferson B.S., III like a python, questioning Jeff B.S. with statements he made while prosecuting a case of a police officer who used “didn’t recall” and how that righteousness justified the prosecution of President Clinton. And then the python started squeezing. Jefferies brought up Jeff BS, III’s own use of the words “don’t recall” 36X at his confirmation hearing, 20X during the current questioning, and “don’t recall” as potentially perjurious. Watch here.

TL;DW? “The attorney general of the United States of America should not be held to a different standard than the young police officer whose life you ruined by prosecuting him for perjury,” Jeffries concluded as his time expired.  (That whole sentence is a link to a ThinkProgress article. IMO, worth the read.)

And why is Sessions still AGOTUS a-perjurin’ and a-sittin’ in the hot seat? Oh. Right. White Lies, I and White Lies, II.

Woe. Whoa! Trump and the GOP Elephants

When I heard that Trump was lifting the ban on importing elephant parts as trophies from hunting abroad, I thought might be a signal to the GOP that game on! We can import better elephant parts than you. And woe.

But then whoa! There was much outrage on both sides of the political isle, it is reported that Precedense Trump isn’t a fan of big-game hunting, and well this was a spot of good news, yes?

Or no.

As always, it’s complicated.

Whoa! Obamacare enrollment ahead of last year.

Whoa! In spite of the reduction in funding for advertising the ACA Open Enrollment period going on RIGHT NOW, sign up here if you need to …

Enrollment is up 45% from last year.  Whoa!

Whoa! 400 sign an open letter on the GOP tax plan.

400 wealthy citizens signed an open letter to the GOP saying ‘you don’t need to cut our taxes.’

Whoa! So many questions, so many comments, so many thoughts.

Does trickle-down economics not work?

Is it possible for the 400 wealthy to trickle down on their own? Do they not trickle because they don’t know how? don’t know where? Do we need taxes to force them to trickle down? Do they lack imagination when it comes to spending for the social good?

And “trickle on down George Soros!” sounds like a game show.

There is so much to unpack here. Macro economics of taxes meets the “micro”-economics of wealthy households meets the “macro”-economics of some of those wealthy households can’t make a macro move without moving markets. Billionaires need to be careful.

And philanthropy. Where does that fit? Philanthropy is good but does not always benefit the “common good.”

Hmmm, economics. It’s complicated. More. Later.


¹Ortiz, Erik. “Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., opens with celebration amid cynicism”. NBC News. 18 November 2017 7:00 AM. Web. 19 November 2017.

PSA: Nov. 1 – December 15, 2017 HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment

Public Service Announcement (PSA)

The Open Enrollment period for health insurance for 2018 is

November 1 – December 15, 2017

Sign up at HealthCare.gov. 


August 31, 2017 – The Trump administration cut the advertising budget for outreach to voters eligible for an Affordable Care Act health plan (Obamacare).  Trump has stated he wants Obamacare to implode and fail from lack of participation. (‘Let Obamacare Fail’, nytimes.com) Continue reading

Bravo! Dr. Willie Parker! Bravo!

After the Democratic Party announced that they “will not withhold financial support for candidates who oppose abortion rights” yesterday, today is a great day to cheer for Dr. Willie Parker! Dr. Parker brings kindness, compassion, empathy, expertise and years of experience to the morally difficult and emotionally charged subject of abortion.

  • As a black man, he calls hogwash on the argument that abortion is equivalent to black genocide.
  • As a righteous man — and I do not mean self-righteous, I mean righteous — good, virtuous, upstanding, decent — he is claiming or reclaiming the moral high ground that a woman — a fully formed, autonomous life —  has a body that is all her own. A woman is not merely a host body whose independence is tossed aside if she happens to be pregnant.
  • And of most significance is that Dr. Parker is an evangelical Christian with an interpretation and a conclusion on abortion rooted in the very same Bible as other “Bible-believing Christians”. His Bible requires him to treat his patients with a Christlike compassion and empathy.  He has struggled with what it means to deny women abortions and he has reached the conclusion, from the story of the Good Samaritan no less, that as a Christian he is required to help his patients.

And so today, I cheer this good man who presents an educated, moral, complete, and kind argument in contrast to, and in answer to the hyperbole and misdirection employed by those who would deny a woman the right to her own body.


For more information, I’ve included a link to an interview with Dr. Parker and a link to purchase his book Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice:

Interview: Dr. Willie Parker on Why Abortion Rights Are a Moral Imperative, Especially for Christians (Hat Tip: Jezebel)

Web-site: Dr. Willie Parker

 

Jeff Sessions: White Lies, Part II

I read and watched segments of the testimony of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, III to the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday, (June 13, 2017). What I learned:

  • Jeff Sessions is still the poster child for White Lies. 
    • Viva definition White Lies: “a harmful, non-trivial word construction expertly formed and delivered such as to avoid hurting one’s own political aspirations.
  • Although Jeff Sessions looks like a Keebler elf, we should stop this comparison. It is a disservice to the goodness and sweetness of Keebler and their elves.  A Jeff B.S. III cookie would be doughy-white, bitter, and fall apart at the slightest pressure.
  • Obama was given all kinds of flack for being non-Presidential when he wore a white suit.  I can’t help but think that Jeff Sessions’ white suit comes with a hood. Just sayin’.
  • The crazed element of the GOP is not serious about governing, ethics, truth.
  • Jeff Sessions is not serious about the office and his duties as Attorney General. After agreeing to testify, Sessions did not bring any personal artifacts to spark his memory, to offer as proof. By way of comparison, Comey’s notes as FBI Director were copious.
  • Gaslighting par excellence.  Sessions’ testimony yesterday was a distraction from the really serious healthcare bill going through the Senate. While we were all focused on the little guy testifying by not testifying in the spot light in ring #1, we missed the Flying Wallendas removing the net under cover of dark in the center ring. Eh, that’s an unfair comparison too.  The Wallendas were true artists and athletes. But the imagery stands, there will be no net.

And I like to make predictions so far into the future that it doesn’t matter to me whether I’m right or wrong.  But on March 3, 2017 I predicted that the penalty for Jeff B.S. III White Lying under oath would be that he would still be Attorney General in a month; 103 days later, I’m still right, he’s still there!

I wish I had been wrong.

That time it’s good to be no one …

Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their analysis of the savings of Trumpcare (AHCA) over Obamacare (ACA) covering the next 10 years.  $337 Billion,  or an average savings of 33.7 billion dollars a year!

And no one will lose their insurance, but by ‘no one’, we mean ‘some one’.  In fact, the CBO estimates 24 million ‘some ones’ lose their health insurance in 10 years.

By 2026, the annual savings to the republic will be $1404/uninsured some one.

And the important things we can do with those AHCA savings?  Military spending is slated to go up 10% or about $54B/year.  That’s 1.6 times the annual savings of the AHCA. The wall at our southern border? $21.6B over 3.5 years    With all the savings from the AHCA, we could build 5.4 walls in 3.5 years! Whoa. Let’s not go too wild.  Priorities.

Affordable healthcare:affordable healthcare insurance?  These are not priorities.  So it may interest you to know that a Google of  ‘2016 average funeral costs’ turns up $7K to $10K. Maybe we can get a group rate …