Leslie Cook

Archive for 2017|Yearly archive page

Time for Californians to Take a Stand!

In Healthcare, In My Opinion..., Politics, Trump Apocalypse on May 5, 2017 at 1:09 pm

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As Californians, we always moan that we can’t effect change because we live in a blue state. Well, yesterday, the seven remaining Republican Representatives from the great state of California voted to accept a health care bill that will undermine the health and well-being of Californians. We CAN do something about that. Please consider voting these seven Republicans out of office the next time they come up for election (June and November 2018). They obviously are not serving their constituency. They were in such a hurry to pass their healthcare bill that they didn’t bother to find out what their proposed bill would cost to taxpayers. They don’t seem to care that their new bill will remove millions of needy people from the healthcare rolls. It’s time to fight back.

Here are the name and districts:

Jeff Denham – California 10th District

David Valadao – California 21st District

Steve Knight – California 25th District

Ed Royce – California 39th District

Mimi Walters – California 45th District

Dana Rohrbacher – California 48th District

Darrell Issa – California 49th District

If you are a Republican, you should be ashamed of your representatives. If you are a Democrat,  please get out and vote to remove these self-serving politicians out of office. We need representatives that care more about their constituents than they do about voting the party line.

Remember, these representatives are up for election in June and November 2018. Rise up and vote them out of office!

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A Little Advice for “45”

In Uncategorized on March 4, 2017 at 1:39 pm

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It’s March. 45 has been in office for over a month now. He even addressed Congress this week, which apparently went over very well with the press. He was actually accused of being “Presidential.” I didn’t watch for the first time in 20 years, mostly because I didn’t want to spend an hour crying and yelling at the TV. In the long run, nothing that he said in his speech will make a difference. After all, he’s not known for remember what he said yesterday.

What else happened in the Executive branch this week? 45’s Attorney General was caught lying to the Congress during his confirmation hearing. Or as 45’s spokespeople would say…he just forgot stuff. Because of this, and to divert attention from calls for his resignation, Sessions recused himself from any investigations into Russian meddling into the 2016 elections. Thanks Jeff!

45 also accused his Generals for problems with his “successful” commando raid in Yemen in January. Apparently he had no control over the situation. Or no one told him things were happening. Or maybe his excuse was that the Generals have taken control. Who knows. We do know that the buck does not stop with him, it gets thrown back at the closest target. Not his fault. Ever!

Today, to cap off the week, 45 decided that the previous administration tapped his phones. Not sure why that came up other than to distract us from whatever horrible thing he as planned for today.

So at the end of this eventful week, I thought I’d throw out a little advice for 45. Just a few things off the top of my head that may make next week go a little more smoothly.

  1. Spend more time governing and learning about stuff. If you spent as much time accusing people of of doing things to you (fake news) or discussing people that you really should care about at this point in your career (can you say Hillary), maybe your administration would run better.  How about maybe spending more than 5 minutes in your security briefings?
  2. Stop Twittering, eat better, and get more sleep. Given your paranoid statements over the past few weeks, you might want to put down the phone, eat a salad every once in a while and get 8 hours of sleep. It will do us all good.
  3. When you open your mouth, try telling the truth at least 50% of the time. This would be an improvement over your 25% truth records of late.
  4. To go along with #3, try reading a newspaper that isn’t Breitbart. Your hometown paper, New York Times, is very good. I read it myself. Or the Washington Post has excellent coverage too!  They found out about your Attorney General this week. Oh, and maybe watch something other than Fox News. CSPAN is informative, if you don’t like the other major stations.
  5. Do a better job vetting your staff. So far, you’re not doing a great job.

 

 

Week 4

In In My Opinion..., Politics, Random Thoughts, Trump Apocalypse on February 16, 2017 at 10:55 am

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This is the 4th week of  45’s administration and here’s where we stand:

  • Andrew Puzder withdrew from his nomination as Secretary of Labor because of growing Republican concern over his past employment of an undocumented housekeeper. Also of concern are his business practices and personal problems including possible domestic abuse.
  • Michael Flynn, White House National Security Adviser resigns due to alleged conversations with the Russian ambassador in December about sanctions against Russia. 45 and his staff knew about this issue for 2 weeks. Pence learned about it a few days ago.
  • 45 conducted an impromptu national security meeting in the open air at Mar-a-Lago in front of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a room full of diners.
  • 45 executed a raid on Yemen. The result? 1 American soldier dead, 26 civilians dead, target not obtained.
  • 45 sends the country into turmoil over his Executive Order concerning immigration. The consensus is that it was badly written and not well executed. Immigration was not briefed. Congress was not briefed. The reason? He didn’t want to give the bad guys a heads-up. The result? Chaos.
  • A Russian spy ship is sitting in international waters off of the coast of Connecticut.
  • Russia deploys a new cruise missile that American officials say violate a landmark arms control treaty. The response from 45’s administration? Silence.
  • North Korea test-fires a ballistic missile that travels 320 miles from North Pyongan Province to the Sea of Japan.
  • Leaks out of the White House and the executive branch of our government are at an all-time high.

I could go on. I suppose 45 is using a new business technique to manage his government. I suspect that he’s in over his head and doesn’t know what to do about it. It feels like we’re watching a slow-speed train heading for a brick wall and the conductor is looking down trying to figure out what wine goes with his nachos.

Republicans were worried that Hillary wouldn’t be able to handle the office of President without drama. I wonder how they’re feeling now?

 

America First!

In Uncategorized on January 29, 2017 at 9:58 am

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Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

Emma Lazarus

I memorized these words in grade school. To me, these words are more than just a poem engraved on the Statue of Liberty. These words always stood for American values. It’s what I thought the United States stood for. We were founded by refugees who all came together to make a better place. We’ve sometimes lost our way, but, in our hearts, this is what America stood for.

On Friday, that optimism was murdered by 45*. On Friday, 45 signed an executive order that bars citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US for at least the next 90 days. This order also suspends our US refugee program for four months and bans Syrian refugees.  This action threw our immigration process into chaos.

45’s executive order states “The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred…or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.” If only this ban were applicable to those who hold higher office.

45’s actions may or may not comply with the laws of the land, however, they do violate the spirit of this country. We seem to have once again given in to fear and hatred. The writers of this executive action have forgotten that their ancestors were not from here. They were immigrants from troubled countries that needed help or were looking for a better life. The US opened its doors to them.

I’m not saying that we should not have a vetting process. Of course we should. But to say “No, we don’t want you” to people just because they hold a particular religious view is wrong. Are we, as Americans, going to jump into our holes, grab our guns and say “Go Away” to people in need of freedom and justice? Is this what we now stand for?

It’s only been a week since 45 took office and he’s determined to fulfill all of the promises he made to his fans.Build that wall! Get rid of Muslims and Mexicans! Dismantle Obamacare! Make America First!  After the election, I kept hearing calls to give the man a chance. To that I said “No.” In the words of the great Maya Angelou, “When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.” 45 has been showing us who he is for 40 years. He wasn’t going to miraculously change the minute he took the oath of office. I was correct. He hasn’t changed. If anything, he’s more of who he is. Scared, hateful, and full of anger.

As Americans, we need to decide what we believe. Do we really believe that we should shut our doors to the poor and huddled masses? Should we lock up the innocent? Should we ignore those in need?  I know what my answer to these questions are. Do you?

 

*45 stands for the 45 President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

Trade Wars

In In My Opinion..., Random Thoughts, Trump Apocalypse on January 27, 2017 at 2:30 pm

ship4It appears that we’re entering a time where the United States of America will be participating in a trade war with the world. The current U.S. President wants to impose a 20% tax on goods entering the country from Mexico. This tax will pay for his border wall so that we don’t have to.

If we assume that Mr. Trump paid attention when he attended the Wharton School of Business, we must conclude that he’s intentionally lying to us about not paying for his pet project. Why? Because anyone with a brain knows that any tax imposed on Mexico or any other countries’ goods will be passed on to the consumer. If this is true, Americans will be paying for his wall. It’s simple economics.

What are the implications of this tax? Since Mexico is our 3rd largest trade partner, here’s a short list of the things that will increase in price if and when the current administration follows through on their plans:

  • Fruits and Vegetables: Mexico is the largest supplier of fruits and vegetables to the U.S. Say bye bye to your favorite guacamole.
  • Alcohol: The price of Tequila and Cerveza will increase. This alone should make Trump voters very, very angry.
  • Cars prices: Want to pay extra for your new General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Volkswagen, Nissan, Honda, BMW, Toyota, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz vehicle? They all have factories in Mexico. If a tax is imposed, they will pass it along.

Buckle up America! Mexico may be the beginning, but our current administration will surely look toward China in the next few weeks. And since we’ve backed out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, trade with other Asian countries will also be strained. Yes, America will start buying U.S goods out of necessity. And we will begin to pay more for everything, leaving us with less disposable cash.

Yes, America will start buying U.S goods out of necessity. And we will begin to pay more for everything, leaving us with less disposable cash. Yes more people will be employed. But given the fact that Republicans don’t want to increase the minimum wage, those workers will be making less money working in those new jobs and spending more money for goods and services.

Of course, this is just a prediction. I’m not an economist. But neither is our new President.

 

 

 

 

Illegal Voting

In In My Opinion..., Random Thoughts, Trump Apocalypse on January 25, 2017 at 7:11 am

screen-shot-2016-09-01-at-6-11-54-pmThere’s a certain man that won the electoral vote and believes that he would have won the popular vote if not for those pesky illegal voters. He told Congress that
3 – 5 million people voted illegally in November and I assume he thinks those illegal votes all went to Hillary, depriving him of the landslide that he thinks he deserves.

Where do I start with this story? I’m sure there are better things for this person to do with his time. As his boss, I’d love to gently suggest that he concentrate on the work of the country, not on the work of stroking his ego. That said, I personally would welcome any evidence that he or his cronies have about illegal voting. Let’s see all that evidence that he seems to be hiding.

He tweeted that he wants an investigation into voter fraud. As an American citizen, I would welcome an investigation too! Even though it may be a vast waste of taxpayer dollars, we need to settle these rumblings about widespread voter fraud once and for all. Republicans are denying citizens access to the voting booth because of their belief in widespread voter fraud. The current president thinks that he didn’t win the popular vote because of this supposed fraud. And yet the National Association of Secretaries of State, which represents many of the country’s state elections officials, said in a statement on Tuesday: “We are not aware of any evidence that supports the voter fraud claims made by President Trump…”

So let’s call his bluff and investigate. We may find out that there is widespread voter fraud. We may also find that the voter fraud invalidates his presidency. Who knows. Let’s settle the question and deal with the fallout.

 

Are We Great Yet?

In In My Opinion..., Random Thoughts, Trump Apocalypse on January 22, 2017 at 9:23 am

It’s been 48 hours since The Donald took office. For those who thought that his rhetoric was just a joke, I point to his first acts as President:

  • The President reversed planned cuts to interest premiums on FHA mortgages. Those planned cuts would have reduced mortgages of eligible homeowners by approximately $500 per year. I hope none of his supporters want to own or keep their homes.
  • Whitehouse.gov has been redone: Pages on climate change, LGBT issues, civil rights, and health care, have been replaced with pages on an “America First Energy Plan,” “America First Foreign Policy,” “Bringing Back Jobs and Growth,” and “Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community.” I suppose this is normal for any incoming administration but it does not bode well for anyone that believes in these issues.
  • The Department of Justice “postponed” a hearing that challenged the voter ID laws in Texas. The department was scheduled to argue that the state law intentionally discriminated against Latino and African-American voters. The DOJ also delayed an initial hearing on police reform in Baltimore.
  • And of course, he signed an executive action to “minimize the economic burden” of key provisions of the Affordable Care Act pending its repeal. Of course no one knows what that means since the administration doesn’t want to explain the order.

Amid all of that action. The Donald had time to comment on the size of his inauguration crowd as it compared to Obama’s inauguration crowd (because apparently size matters). You decide:

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Who do you want to believe, Trump or your lying eyes? Trumps Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, was also a little upset about the truth and decided to chastise the press about their fair reporting. He then left without taking questions. Nothing like transparency in office.

Welcome to Trumps America!

#TrumpApocalypse

 

Let’s Play Trump Bingo!

In In My Opinion..., Random Thoughts, Trump Apocalypse on January 19, 2017 at 6:07 am

It’s almost time for the peaceful transition of power here in the U.S of A. As an American citizen, I’m cherishing every last moment of Obama’s presidency and dreading the coming apocalypse.

Over the past week, I’ve been trying to think of ways to get through the next few years and I’ve come up with a solution…Trump Bingo!

That’s right, Trump Bingo. If I have to listen to Trump make excuses for why he can’t fulfill his promises to his adoring constituency, I’m going to make a game of it. So, for your viewing pleasure, here’s the first of many Bingo cards to help play the Trump game. This is the Trump Excuses Bingo card.

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If you have ideas for additional Bingo cards, let me know. Here are a few ideas I’m kicking around:

  • The “I Love Women”
  • The “Tax Return” Edition
  • The “Some People Say” Edition
  • The “Putin is Perfect” Edition

#TrumpApocalypse

…And Mexico Will Pay For It

In Uncategorized on January 6, 2017 at 7:48 am

Remember the rallying cry heard round the world over the past year? I do. The future president stated that “…we’re going to build a wall and Mexico is going to pay for it!”  Turns out that if a wall is going to be built, the cost of the wall will be paid for by the American taxpayer. Surprise!   Of course, Mexico will pay use back later, or so says the future prez. Don’t hold your breath Donald.

In other news, I’m still waiting for “The Donalds” news conference disclosing the basement dweller responsible for the DNC hacking. He promised he’d get back to us on Tuesday or Wednesday.  Of course, he didn’t say what month or year that would be. I can’t wait to learn the truth.

…And So It Begins

In In My Opinion..., Politics, Trump Apocalypse on January 3, 2017 at 12:15 pm

Happy 2017 to everyone!  I’m sorry that it’s been such a long time since my last post but it was a hard few months for everyone and I personally needed to clear my mind and figure out where I stand in the world.

With that said, I’m back and ready to tackle the issues at hand, or at least write about them.

Today’s Congressional Watch:

  • As one of its first acts, Republicans met in a closed-door meeting and voted 119-74 in favor of placing the independent Office of Congressional Ethics under the control of the……wait for it…..Congress!  This means that the “independent” Congressional Ethics committee would report directly to the people they are mandated to oversee.  That makes sense right?  Nothing to worry about.
    Oddly enough, the future president agrees with me… at least for the next 16 seconds. The House Speaker, Paul Ryan, however, believes that it’s a great idea for an independent watchdog committee to report to the people they’re watching.If you’d like more details on this crazy idea, check out the New York Times article .
  • But wait….looks like the House Republications have caved under pressure. They seemed to have pulled their proposal to gut the independent Office of Congressional Ethics.  It kills me to say this but it appears that the future president stopped them from being stupid. Who knew that would happen!