Leslie Cook

Archive for the ‘In My Opinion…’ Category

Time for Californians to Take a Stand!

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

Flag_of_California

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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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?

 

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.

trump-bingo-card1

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 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!

Six Rules for Surviving an Autocrat

In Politics, Trump Apocalypse on November 15, 2016 at 10:25 am
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au·to·crat | ˈôdəˌkrat | noun : a ruler who has absolute power.
I just read this really great article written by Masha Gessen about surviving an autocrat. I suspect that we now have a president-elect who aspires to be an autocrat in the mold of Vladimir Putin, so this list and the associated article could be useful. If nothing else, it’s very interesting.  You can read the whole article  at Autocracy: Rules for Survival
Here are her Six Rules for Surviving an Autocrat:
  1. Believe the autocrat. He means what he says. Whenever you find yourself thinking, or hear others claiming, that he is exaggerating, that is our innate tendency to reach for a rationalization.
  2. Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
  3. Institutions will not save you. It took Putin a year to take over the Russian media and four years to dismantle its electoral system; the judiciary collapsed unnoticed.
  4. Be outraged. If you follow Rule #1 and believe what the autocrat-elect is saying, you will not be surprised. But in the face of the impulse to normalize, it is essential to maintain one’s capacity for shock.
  5. Don’t make compromises: Like Ted Cruz, who made the journey from calling Trump “utterly amoral” and a “pathological liar” to endorsing him in late September to praising his win as an “amazing victory for the American worker,” Republican politicians have fallen into line. Conservative pundits who broke ranks during the campaign will return to the fold. Democrats in Congress will begin to make the case for cooperation, for the sake of getting anything done—or at least, they will say, minimizing the damage. Nongovernmental organizations, many of which are reeling at the moment, faced with a transition period in which there is no opening for their input, will grasp at chances to work with the new administration. This will be fruitless—damage cannot be minimized, much less reversed, when mobilization is the goal—but worse, it will be soul-destroying.
  6. Remember the future. Nothing lasts forever.

#TrumpApocalypse

The Trump Apocalypse – Day 6

In Politics, Trump Apocalypse on November 14, 2016 at 7:06 am

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I am addicted to Sunday morning political talking head shows. This past week it has been very difficult for me to watch the news or hear anything related to the recent election. However, I’m slowly coming out of hibernation and have actually watched and listened to a few political shows this past weekend. I was immediately bombarded with the operatives from the Republican party telling me that I need to “cooperate” to “bring the country together.” I’ve been lectured by Democrats that tell me that I need to “accept the outcome of the election.” I’ve been told by comedians that the president-elect is “everyone’s president.”  To all of these official representatives of the government and spokespersons for the media, I say this: He’s not my president.

I make this statement after much thought and a lot of deliberation. I’ve voted in presidential elections since 1980 and I’ve always accepted the outcome of those elections, even though most of them didn’t go my way. I accepted the outcome because deep down I felt that the opposition was working for the good of the country, even if I didn’t necessary believe in the method they used to get there.

Over the years, I’ve noticed that our elected federal officials have moved further and further away from doing the public good. They’ve been more obstructionist and less willing to work with one another. The last few sessions of congress have been some of the least productive in their history. Our representatives spend their time raising money for reelection, which will allow them to come back to Washington D.C. and spend 2 to 6 more years doing nothing. They’ve been disrespectful to a legally elected president and have done everything they could possibly think of to obstruct legislation designed to help the American people and clean up the mess they made when they last held power.

And now we’ve elected a man that doesn’t respect women, minorities, or anyone that is “other.” A man who wants to put up a wall to keep people out of the U.S. and lock up people because they are the wrong religion. I cannot accept this person as my president because he doesn’t represent anything I’ve ever believed in. I cannot accept this person because he refuses to accept facts as truth and changes his own truths to suit his fancy. I cannot accept this person as president because I do not respect him.

So no matter what the pundits implore me to do, I refuse to accept this man as my president until he does something to prove that he actually has the wellbeing of the nation at heart. I will accept him as my president when he stops fanning the flames of racism and xenophobia within the country and does more than pay lip service to unifying us as a country. He will be my president if he doesn’t just hand the keys to the country over to corporate America. I suspect that this will never happen but we will see.

#TrumpApocalypse

 

 

 

 

The Trump Apocalypse – Day 2

In Politics, Trump Apocalypse on November 11, 2016 at 6:13 am

bhmmarchonwashington

Just a few random thoughts:

  • Why does the US insist on electing Republicans that bankrupt their companies? First George W., now Donald J. What’s up with that? Why do they think that they can manage a country when they can’t manage their bank accounts?
  • Is this how Dewey supporters felt when Truman won in 1948?
  • I’m getting reports that minorities are being verbally harassed in public. One Asian man was told to “Go back to China and eat dogs.” Another Indian woman was told that “We’re one god, one country now. You should go back to where you came from.” Does this election mean that random white men have the permission to verbalize their racism? Is this a good thing or a bad thing?  On the one hand, it’s nice to know what people really think and maybe we should all come up with witty rejoinders. On the other hand, it’s a nicer world when bigots keep their mouths shut.
  • If we want to know what to do next, let’s start with standing up and defending people against verbal abuse. It’s not that hard for me to turn to an idiot that’s telling someone to go “Back to where they came from” and say “Why don’t you stop being such a racist?” Please add a comment if you have a better response to these idiots.
  • Having a crisis of faith in my fellow Americans. I always thought that, despite everything, this country looked out for its citizens. I’m beginning to think that it only looks out for its white citizens. My mother would say “Duh” because she grew up in the Jim Crow south. My generation is mostly spoiled and shocked by this behavior.

On the news front, looks like there are anti-Trump rallies in New York, Portland, Oakland, and Los Angeles. Probably in more places than that, but the news tends to only report the bigger rallies in the bigger cities. To all the protesters, stay safe, keep within the laws, and know that at least 1/2 of the country is behind you.

#TrumpApocalypse