Friday, January 20, 2017

A Day in the Life of Joe and Susie Conservative – They Live Independent of Government

So They Think

To celebrate the anti-government forces taking over government the DPE would like to present the following.

In honor of and homage to the conservative delusion , here is a day in the life of a typical conservative family.  Joe and Susie live in a close-in suburb of a major American city. They both work and have three children, Jimmy in middle school, Sarah in high school and Charlotte in college.  Here is what a typical day looks like for them.

Joe awakens and showers.  The water he uses is clean and pure, and is monitored and delivered by a government agency in his area.  He has bacon and eggs for breakfast, with no worries that the food is impure or will make him sick as it is all regulated and graded by the U. S. Department of Agriculture and the FDA.  Susie has an economical meal of cereal from grain that is subsidized by the federal government.  All of this food is delivered to their local grocery over roads built and maintained by government.

After breakfast Joe drives to work along a beautiful and safe interstate highway, free of tolls.  He isn’t worried about crashing as he knows his car has sophisticated safety features like air bags and crash protections, features mandated by government and of course his car has undergone government safety testing and an annual government inspection.  Susie rides the bus to work, paying a small fare because the bus service is operated by a local government transit authority which uses taxpayer dollars to make fares affordable.

At work Susie learns she is getting a nice raise because it turns out her company has been paying women less than men for the same job and a government agency has made them pay equal salaries for equal work.  Susie’s friend Alice has not been in for a few weeks as she was injured on the job.  But not to worry, Alice gets Worker’s Compensation benefits and so she is not rendered economically destitute by her workplace injury.   Susie's co-worker John has been off for a few weeks to take care of his disabled father, so Susie has had to work a little harder.  She doesn't mind because federal law requires her company to keep John's job open for him, and Susie is glad to know if she has to leave for a few weeks to take care of a parent her job will be waiting for her.

At lunch Joe charges the meal to the company as a business expense even though almost no business takes place.  His company gets to deduct a portion of the tab which means taxpayers are paying for part of Joe’s lunch, but he doesn’t focus on that.  He also is not concerned about food borne illnesses as the restaurant is regularly inspected by a local government unit to insure its foods are safe and properly prepared.

Susie has to work late but will be paid overtime thanks to federal wage and hour laws.  This means Joe has to take Timmy to the doctor.  The examination and tests will costs hundreds, but Joe’s only cost is a $20.00 co-pay because he has health insurance mandated by ACA.  Also, while Joe receives an employer benefit of over $15,000 per year for the cost of the insurance, Joe does not have to pay any tax on this income as it is exempted from income taxes.  Joe’s friend Pete does not have health insurance and so has to use after tax dollars to pay his medical bills; he gets no such benefit.

Timmy goes to a very good public school which is financed by taxpayers, a majority of whom do not have children in school but want to support education because they believe the entire community benefits from a well educated population.  Charlotte’s tuition bills in college are a strain, but she has a taxpayer subsidized loan and doesn’t have to make loan payments until she graduates and leaves school.  Meantime she is covered by Joe’s health insurance thanks to a federal law. Sarah will save money on education by going to the local community college for her first two years at almost no cost to her since the community college is funded almost entirely by local and state government.

On the way to the doctor’s appointment Joe gets cash from an ATM.  Joe does not worry about the safety of his bank account as it is insured by an agency of the federal government.  He also is not worried about his brokerage accounts as they are also protected from malfeasance by the government.  And Joe gets a nice tax break for his retirements savings.

After leaving the doctor’s office Joe and Timmy stop off to see Timmy’s grandparents.   Both sets of grandparents are retired and do not work and Joe and Susie could not support them.  But they don’t have to since the grandparents have Medicare and Social Security and are able to support themselves without help from Joe and Susie. 

When they get home Timmy takes in the garbage cans as the city has picked up the trash, no charge and Joe notes that while it has rained heavily his yard is not flooded like it used to be because the county fixed a bunch of drainage problems that affected his house.  Joe’s house is very nice, more expensive than they could afford but they got help from the Federal Housing Administration and were able to make a below market down payment and have an easier mortgage than they could have gotten without federal help.  The new electrical service for the garage is coming along nicely, and Joe is not concerned about whether or not it is done right because his electrician is licensed and the city will inspect the work when she is done.

When Susie gets home she reminds Joe they have a meeting tomorrow night.  The school used to provide after school activities free of charge, but tax cuts have caused the district to propose a fee and Joe and Susie think this is wrong, that after school activities should stay free.  Sarah is going to the library to do homework and she will get a lot of help from the staff and be able to download library material and books to her tablet at no charge as all of the library support comes from government.

Finally Joe and Susie are ready for bed, and after watching Fox News both lament to each other how they have to pay taxes but get no benefits from government whatsoever.  “All our money goes to those people” Susie says to Joe’s nodding head, “why do we have to pay for them, why can't the government do something for us for a change?”

So Joe and Susie are excited about Donald Trump becoming President and getting government off their backs and out of their lives.  Welcome to Trumpworld 101 Joe and Susie.  Come for the catharsis, stay for the pain.

Ford Motor Company's New Strategy

Just Remember - Get in Financial Trouble and It Ain't the Republicans and Trump that Gonna Help You

From the NYT

DETROIT — Donald J. Trump has promised to change the way American automakers do business. Less than three weeks before his inauguration as president, he has already knocked the companies on their heels.
In a stunning reversal, Ford Motor, the nation’s second-largest automaker, said on Tuesday that it would scrap plans to build a small-car assembly plant in Mexico that Mr. Trump has repeatedly criticized.

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“We are encouraged by the pro-growth plans that President-elect Trump and the new Congress indicate they will pursue,” Mark Fields, Ford’s chief executive, said at an event on Tuesday.

Auto Dealers Beg, Yes Beg Government for Protection from Competition - Free Enterprise is for Everyone Else

And Don't Expect Conservatives to Fight Regulation on This

The problem with conservatives is that they talk the talk but don't walk the walk.  So if one examines government regulation which protects businesses from competition, as opposed to government regulation which protects consumers, you know, the ones who need protection well conservatives are no where to be found.  Case in point, auto dealerships.

Now even though there doesn't seem to be data on the political preferences, it is fair to assume that auto dealers are dyed in the wool conservative Republicans.  After all their record on consumer protection is, well, dubious at best so it is natural that they would want to keep government regulation out of their business.  Well, natural except when government regulation protects them and harms consumers.  Then they are first to feed at the trough.

Case in point, Tesla which is a manufacturer of electric cars and wants to sell direct to the public.  Nothing wrong with that, America wants competition, it's what the country is all about.  But no, auto dealers want government to protect them, to prohibit free enterprise, to stop Tesla from selling cars.

The Virginia Automobile Dealers Association is going to court to appeal a recent decision by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles that would allow electric automobile maker Tesla Motors Inc. to open a company-owned dealership in the Richmond area.

What regulationsa is Tesla trying to violate?  Oh this.

The dealers association opposed Tesla’s petition for a second location, arguing that under state law the company must sell its cars through independent, franchise dealerships, as other automobile manufacturers do.

State law prohibits automobile makers from owning dealerships except under certain circumstances, such as when there are no independent dealers available in a community to sell an automaker’s cars “in a manner consistent with the public interest.”

And what is the purpose of such a law?  Why to protect business.  How do consumers benefit?  They don't.  What do free market conservatives say?  Nothing.

Conservatives Love the Constitution - Except When It Does Things Like Provide Justice for Low Income People

Then It's 'What Constitution?'

The Constitution is ambiguous about a lot things.  But one thing it is not ambiguous about at all is the right to an attorney when charged with a crime.  It does not say the right is contingent on being able to afford an attorney, it is an unconditional right to be represented by counsel when one is accused.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

What part of that do the people like gun nuts who know every word of the 2nd amendment not understand?

So the right to an attorney in a criminal prosecution is every bit as strong a right as the right to carry a murderous assault weapon.  Except of course, if a state does not want to spend the money to povide an attorney.  New Mexico is one such state.

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What happens when innocent people do not get attorneys

When Defendants Cannot Afford a Lawyer, and Neither Can New Mexico

"The number of felony cases in Hobbs had almost doubled since 2011, rising through the oil boom and bust even as the number of public defenders dropped by one-third in only three months.

In October, Mr. Baur ordered his lawyers here, who on average were representing 200 defendants each, to stop taking any new cases. It was a desperate and unprecedented step in this state, which triggered a nasty legal fight that has roiled this town of 43,000 for months.

“We have to turn off the spigot,” Mr. Baur said. “It is unconstitutional, inefficient and, frankly, not fair to represent more people if we can’t give them a functioning attorney.”

That's right, the public defender cannot give representation even when they do give representation.

Poor defendants almost always make a first court appearance on their own, without a lawyer present to interpret the charges against them. Routinely, they meet the public defenders assigned to represent them only moments before they are supposed to negotiate critical decisions, such as a plea deal or the conditions for their release.

Public defenders contend that they are unable to properly prepare for hearings, thoroughly interview witnesses, evaluate the evidence against their clients or file the correct motions because they are stretched way too thin.

Anyone expecting those Constitution loving conservatives to be outraged and horrified?  Anyone?

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Alexander Hamilton Writing About the Impending Trump Presidency

Ok, Really Writing About Burr, But Looks Like He Was Writing About Trump

From Balkinization Blog, a Great Find!

The election of 1800 produced a tie in the electoral college, in part because at that time there was no differentiation between the votes for President and votes for Vice President.  So it was possible that
Aaron Burr, whom everyone thought would be VP would get to be P.  Opposed to this was Alex Hamilton, who wrote the following, which is about as relevant today as it was then.

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Right On!!!

"Be assured my dear Sir, that this man has no principle public or private. As a politician his sole spring of action is an inordinate ambition; as an individual he is believed by friends as well as foes to be without probity, and a voluptuary by system, with habits of expence that can be satisfied by no fair expedients. As to his talents, great management & cunning are the predominant features—he is yet to give proofs of those solid abilities which characterize the statesman.

Daring & energy must be allowed him but these qualities under the direction of the worst passions, are certainly strong objections not recommendations. He is of a temper to undertake the most hazadrous enterprizes because he is sanguine enough to think nothing impracticable, and of an ambition which will be content with nothing less than permanent power in his own hands.

The maintenance of the existing institutions will not suit him, because under them his power will be too narrow & too precarious; yet the innovations he may attempt will not offer the substitute of a system durable & safe, calculated to give lasting prosperity, & to unite liberty with strength. It will be the system of the day, sufficient to serve his own turn, & not looking beyond himself. To execute this plan[,] as the good men of the country cannot be relied upon, the worst will be used."

Does Hamilton know Trumpie, or what!!  Any doubts and this will dispel them.

"No engagement that can be made with him can be depended upon. While making it he will laugh in his sleeve at the credulity of those with whom he makes it—and the first moment it suits his views to break it he will do so.

Let me add that I could scarcely name a discreet man of either party in our State, who does not think Mr. Trump Mr Burr the most unfit man in the U. S. for the office of President. Disgrace abroad ruin at home are the probable fruits of his elevation".

The U. S. Supreme Court – the Laziest People in the World

Work Less – Paid More – Complain a Lot

Once President Trumpster appoints some hidebound conservative judicial ignoramus to the Supreme Court it will be a conservative majority Supreme Court.  At that time the fact that the members of the Court do less work than almost anyone else will be a blessing.  Their ability to disrupt society in favor of the rich and the powerful will be reduced, a very good thing, by their inability to work very hard.

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The Supreme Court at Work

It turns out the Supreme Court decided 62 cases this past year, about 8 cases apiece.  Of course if you don’t count Clarence Thomas, who has not contributed to the judicial process for decades the average rises.  But it is still pretty pathetic.

"WASHINGTON — Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., noting that the number of cases on the Supreme Court’s docket has declined, used his year-end report on the state of the federal judiciary to praise federal trial judges, whose workload is by many measures much larger.
In the term that ended last June, the Supreme Court issued 62 decisions in argued cases, down from 66 in the previous term. That amounts to about eight majority opinions per justice, even accounting for the vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February, and is a steep drop from the more than 150 decisions the court issued per year in the early 1980s."

Well given the Court’s disastrous decisions like overturning the Voting Rights Act (at least the part that matters) every American should be thankful the Court is doing less.

Kazakh Man Gets 3 Years in Prison for Insulting Putin - Explains Why Trump Says Nice Things About Russin Dictator/Thug

Trump Probably Afraid Kazakhstan Will Imprison Him if He Doesn't;  Likely Wants Law Like This in US to Protect Him

Not True News - But Could Be

A man in Kazahkstan is going to jail for a long time for committing the crime of insulting Russian dictator and autocrat Vladimir Putin.

Sanat Dosov, a businessman and activist, was found guilty of breaching a Kazahk law that bans the incitement of “national hatred” and will now have to serve his sentence in a penal colony.

What did he say?

Dosov is alleged to have posted negative comments about Mr Putin on social media, including one in which he shared an image showing the face of the Russian president alongside those of former communist leaders Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Lenin. He also called Mr Putin a “fascist” and “terrorist” and said he was “ruining” Russia.
If the name calling fits . . . . .

Oh, the truth.

And although he has never said it one can certainly conclude that Trumpman would like such a law in the US. For if any public official here is subject to or will become subject to 'national hatred' it is soon to be Czarlover Trump.

Is David Brooks’s NYT Column on Market Forces and Health Care the Worst Conservative Column Ever on That Subject?

Hard to Tell, There’s A Lot of Competition

How Does Someone This Ignorant Get a Column in the Weekly Shopper, Much Less the NYT?

Conservatives charge that progressives are elite ignorant condescending ignoramuses but no one tops David Brooks, the pseudo intellectual who pontificates on the opinion pages of the NYT.  A recent Brooks column praising Republican’s market approach to health care has these gems.

Brooks admits market forces do not work in the specialized area of health care, but then admits it does. (confused, yeah so are we).

 “People’s needs for health care are unpredictable, unlike food and clothing. The doctor-patient relationship is unique and demands a high level of trust, empathy and care. Providers know much more about medicine than patients do, so the information is hopelessly asymmetric. Patients on a gurney can’t really make normal choices, and payment comes after care, not before.

These are all solid points, especially the doctor-patient one. But health care has become less exceptional over time. The internet and other mechanisms help customers acquire a lot more information. Sophisticated modeling helps with unpredictability in a bunch of fields.

Yeah, everyone Brooks knows has access to the internet, understand sophisticated modeling and has plenty of time to research health care and the technical background to understand it.  So of course his analysis is correct, for about 10% of the population.

And then there’s this.

“The most fair-minded review of the evidence I’ve read comes from a McKinsey report written by Penelope Dash and David Meredith. They noted that sometimes market forces lead to worse outcomes, but “we have been most struck by health systems in which provider competition, managed effectively, has improved outcomes and patient choice significantly, while at the same time reducing system costs.”

Wow, anybody in the real world think system costs are being reduced.  And of course there is the old favorite, anecdotal evidence.

“Laser eye surgery produces more patient satisfaction than any other surgery. But it’s generally not covered by insurance, so it’s a free market. Twenty years ago it cost about $2,200 per eye. Now I see ads starting at $250 an eye.

There’s a big chunk of evidence that market incentives would work in health care, especially in non-acute care. “

Uh David, you do know that almost all of the costs are in acute care.  We imagine David lives in a world where a person needs an ambulance, but stops to take the time to call around to see which service is cheapest, and which emergency room has a special, like stay 6 days at full price, get a 7th day free!!

And finally there is this howler.

“There are plenty of examples where market competition has improved health care delivery. The Medicare Part D program, passed under President George W. Bush, created competition around drug benefits. The program has provided coverage for millions while coming in at 57 percent under the cost of what the Congressional Budget Office initially projected. A study of Indiana’s health savings accounts found the state’s expenses were reduced by 11 percent.

Really, anyone who believes that competition has brought drug prices under control is so out of it that he needs medical care.  But we hope he takes the least cost instead of the Cadillac coverage a writer for the NYT probably has.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Donnie to Start Presidency with Working Round the Clock (Not!)- Three Day Weekend (Yes!!)

Needs to Rebuild Stockpile of Vitriol Hater in Chief Did Not Say

Remember when Donnie the Trump was going to do a whole lot of things on day 1.  Well day 1 is coming and Donnie is going to take a nice short vacation.

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Trump's first day on the job

"Donald Trump will be inaugurated on Friday, but he’ll consider his first day on the job to be Monday.
The detail emerged after he sat down with British and German journalists over the weekend and offered up his thoughts on a wide range of topics.

“I mean my day one is gonna be Monday because I don’t want to be signing and get it mixed up with lots of celebration,” he said."
See, being President is hard work, hard work and that's not what Trump signed for. Actually Trumpie the majority of us would not mind if you took the next four years off.

Americans Think the Economy is Bad – Americans Are Wrong

Americans Are Not Stupid, Just Misinformed by a Weak and Oh What a Sniveling Press

Objective reporting does not come from the U. S. media.  One has to look to foreign sources to get the real picture.  Here is the correct assessment from the Financial Times on the state of the U S. economy.

Donald Trump will enter the White House presiding over one of the stronger US economies any president has inherited in recent history.

On Thursday, the Department of Commerce reported that the US economy grew at a far faster pace in the third quarter of 2016 than previously thought — an annualised rate of 3.5 per cent. Since the 1980s, the only president to have taken office while the economy was growing at a faster rate was George HW Bush.

And what has the Obama administration done?

The latest data stand in sharp contrast to the free-falling economy Barack Obama inherited in 2009, when the US was losing almost 800,000 jobs a month. On the campaign trail, Mr Trump repeatedly characterised the economy under Mr Obama as a disaster, but the economy has come a long way since then.

But were the American media to report such things it would be accused of ‘bias’ and maybe not invited to swimming parties at Mar-a-Lago.   

What about unemployment?  Oh This

The US unemployment rate has fallen to 4.6 per cent. Only one recent president — George W Bush — has taken the oath of office when the US had a lower jobless rate.
Unemployment peaked at 10 per cent in October 2009, just after Mr Obama entered the White House. Ronald Reagan is the only other recent president to have overseen a similarly sized drop in unemployment: the rate shrank from 10.8 per cent in 1982 to 5.3 per cent in 1988.

Some Comments on the House Ethics Rules Fiasco - House Repubicans, Crooks or Morons

Well They Could be Both

The first order of business for the new House Republicans was to essentially eliminate the independent ethics operation, you know where investigators look into ethical violations by House members, or as it is called on Capital Hill, business as usual.  Public opinion thwarted the move but don't look for it to go away, just to be snuck in some other time.

Here is opinion that won't be found in more refined sources.

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House Republicans Open the New Session
No, its not adult entertainment

1.  Congressional ethics - the term found in the dictionary under the definition of 'oxymoron'.

2.  House Republicans complain that they are being investigated for ethics violations;  don't they realize that's because they engage in ethics violations?

3.  Trump opposed the move because he feels he and his cronies should have a monopoly on ethics violations, doesn't want to share spoils with the House.

4.  Kellyanne defended the House move until she got word Trump had a different take.  In her defense Kellyanne is still recovering from having her principles surgically removed, although in her case it was minor surgery.

5.  Several House Republicans defended the move saying 'Hey, you knew what we were when you elected us'.

6.  Democrats were miffed because being in the minority they do not have the opportunity for graft and self-enrichment that the Republicans do.

7.  Many Republicans didn't mind the fracas because they said it detracted from the fact that they do not have a replacement plan for ACA.

Trump Will Bill Mexico for the Wall, Then Advise Them on How to Welch on Their Obligations

News That May Happen

Washington (UPS) Jan 2017  Donnie the Trump today explained how he was going to say he got Mexico to pay for his wall even though Mexico will not pay for the wall.  It turns out he will use accrual accounting, which as Trump does not say “I know more about accrual accounting than the CPA’s.  In fact I know almost as much as that felon I hired to teach at Trump U.

Under accrual accounting a revenue is booked when it is billed, as opposed to cash accounting where the revenue is booked when it is collected.  In special legislation that the Republican Congress is expected to pass, largely because they have no idea what it means, the authorization of funds for the wall that will require that its costs be accounted for under the GAAP method of accruing the revenue once Mexico is billed for the wall.  And once the revenue is booked Trumpster can say that Mexico has paid for the wall.  “Genius” said Speaker Paul Ryan.

Anticipating the problem of actually getting Mexico to pay for the wall Trump said he would be teaching Mexico authorities how to not pay.  “I know more about cheating people I owe than anyone” Trump bragged at a closed door dinner “and for a small fee I will explain to the Mexicans how they can stiff the United States.  The first thing I will tell them to do is complain of shoddy workmanship and then they can bring up the technicality that while they are being asked to pay for a wall, in most places the wall is just a garden fence and so why should they pay for a fence when they were promised a wall.”

Trump did acknowledge that once it became clear that Mexico would not actually hand over the money the debt from Mexico would have to be written off.  “That will take place when a Democrat is in office” he said “and then we get the added benefit of telling the American public how we were going to make Mexico pay for the wall but the Democrats let them off the hook”.  When asked how he could fool his supporters this way Trump replied “You’re kidding, right, you’ve met my supporters haven’t you?” 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Donnie to Mommy – John Lewis is Being Mean To Me - Wah Wah

He Thought He Was the Only One Allowed to Question the Legitimacy of a President

Donald Trump and John Lewis
On the right, a real American hero; on the left a real American Scheisskopf

Gosh, isn’t it satisfying to watch the man who spent years questioning whether or not President Obama was born in the U. S. (he was) and was eligible for the Presidency (he was) now the object of a legitimate questioning of how unsullied was his election (it wasn’t).  Donnie rose to fame by claiming Obama was born, well, somewhere other than the United States and even after it was conclusively shown that this was not the case, Trumpie persisted in claiming it was because, well facts don’t matter to Donnie.

Now that Trump is on the receiving end of this, properly so given the overwhelming evidence Russia interfered with the election and the conclusion of intelligence and law enforcement agencies that this was the case, suddenly questioning an election is out of bounds?  Chief Sycophant Mike Pence thinks so.

Pence expressed respect for Lewis, a Georgia Democrat and icon of the civil rights movement, but said he hoped the congressman would "reconsider" his comments that he didn't "see this president-elect as a legitimate president.”

"Donald Trump won this election fair and square," Pence told host Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday." "The American people know that, and while I have great respect for John Lewis and his contributions, particularly with the civil rights movement, I was deeply disappointed to see someone of his stature question the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s election as president and say he’s not attending the inauguration."

Gosh Republicans, you know your outrage would be a lot more credible if you hadn’t spent the last 8 years denying the legitimacy of Barack Obama.  But that would have required intellectual honesty, wouldn’t it, something you are just not capable of.

Hooray for Utah Republicans - Want to Lower Alcohol Limit to .05%

Rational Government Coming from Republicans - Outliers do Happen

Lost in the news about a radical right wing government about to take power and destroy many cherished American insitutions is this story about Utah thinking about lower the alcohol limit.

An effort is underway in the state to lower the legal blood-alcohol concentration for driving to .05 — a first in the nation. Currently, all 50 states have a .08 cap, eschewing suggestions from the National Transportation Safety Board to redefine what constitutes drunk driving.
But state Rep. Norman Thurston, a Republican from Provo who plans to introduce a bill on the issue in the upcoming legislative session, wants that to change in 2017.
“Impairment starts with the first drink, and we want to establish this state as one where you just simply do not drink and drive,” said Thurston, noting he worked with officials from the Utah Highway Patrol while drafting the legislation. “This is all about safety.”

Wow, who could oppose such a thing? Oh yes, the people who make money from getting other people all liquiored up and driving their cars into other people.

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So what if they kill a family - their rights are more important

In 2013, the NTSB released a report recommending that states lower to .05 the limit at which people can be prosecuted for drunk driving.
While the national board characterized its proposal as a way to prevent drunk driving deaths, restaurant industry groups pushed back, questioning the effectiveness of such a change. The American Beverage Institute portrayed it as “criminalizing perfectly responsible behavior.”
And don't forget the people who make a living opposing government regulations which save lives.

That’s the same argument coming from some detractors of the proposed legislation in Utah.
“Why not focus on reducing the speed limit, or limiting texting while driving?” said Connor Boyack, president of the libertarian-leaning Libertas Institute, located outside Salt Lake City. “Those are real factors in causing traffic deaths.… This would just criminalize people not causing any problems.”
Not to worry merchants of destruction, we are sure the incoming administration will protect your right to sell alcohol so that people can drink and drive. It's what the Founding Fathers would have put in the Constitution if they had been stupid and callous instead of decent and noble.

Hypocrisy Hall of Fame – Charter Members the House Freedom Caucus

Just the First in a Long Line of Aspirants

Conservatives sometimes serve useful functions.  For example they want to get government out of people’s personal lives.  But then they go ahead and ruin it by going back on their principles when they want government to interfere in personal lives to make people behave the way they want them to behave.  Case in point, their opposition to rights for minorities, immigrants and the LGBT community.

The latest betrayal by conservatives is on the deficit.

Some of the most conservative members of Congress say they are ready to vote for a budget that would — at least on paper — balloon the deficit to more than $1 trillion by the end of the decade, all for the sake of eventually repealing the Affordable Care Act.

In a dramatic reversal, many members of the hard-line House Freedom Caucus said Thursday they are prepared later this month to support a budget measure that would explode the deficit and increase the public debt to more than $29.1 trillion by 2026, figures contained in the budget resolution itself.

Yessir, one thing constant in this world is that you can count of conservatives not to stand on anything.  So we say welcome Freedom Caucus as the charter members of the DPE’s Hypocrisy Hall of Fame.  Don’t feel lonely, other members of government will soon be joining you, but they may never aspire to the heights of hypocrisy that you have obtained.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Racism and Bigotry of Trump's Attack on John Lewis

All African Americans Are Criminals and Live in Crime Infested Neighborhoods

It is difficult to imagine that a man who spent years attacking President Obama's legitimacy is now upset that someone with the stature and courage and grace of Rep. John Lewis would attack his legitimacy.  But even worse is the disgusting prejudice behind the attack.

Trump's reasoning is basically this.

1.  John Lewis is an African American.

2.  John Lewis is a member of the House.

3.  The only way an African American can get elected is if he is from an African American majority district.

4.  African American communities are characterized by high crime and slums.

5.  Therefore even without looking at or knowing anything about Rep. Lewis's district, it must be one with high crime rates and other major social problems because it is not a white district.

Yeah, racism and bigotry, 2017 style from Donald Trump.  Maybe at least part of the nation will wake up to the true nature of the man.

AMA to Republicans on Health Care: Lay out for the American people, in reasonable detail, what will replace current policies.

Republicans:  Well hell, don'tcha think we would if we could

The AMA, that big conservative doctor organization has a simple request.  When Repubicans repeal ACA tell us what you are replacing it with.

"In considering opportunities to make coverage more affordable and accessible to all Americans, it is essential that gains in the number of Americans with health insurance coverage be maintained.
Consistent with this core principle, we believe that before any action is taken through reconciliation or other means that would potentially alter coverage, policymakers should lay out for the American people, in reasonable detail, what will replace current policies. Patients and other stakeholders should be able to clearly compare current policy to new proposals so they can make informed decisions about whether it represents a step forward in the ongoing process of health reform."

Republicans did not reply "It's none of your damn business, this isn't a democracy you know" but everyone knows they were thinking it.

Republicans Love the Constitution Except When People Actually Use it to Exercise Their Rights in Opposition

Then It's 'What Freedom of Speech?'

A key component of freedom in America is the right to speak out without fear of intimidation or penalty from government.  Loss of freedom of speech is loss of freedom.  So it is alarming when a newspaper reports this.

Some companies, anxious about changes in health policy, said they were afraid to speak out because they feared that Mr. Trump would attack them on Twitter, as he has badgered Boeing, Ford, General Motors, Lockheed Martin and Toyota.

Sounds like Russia, looks like Russia, gee we wonder if this intimidation and threating policy is from someone who admires Russia and wants to introduce Russian policies in the United States?

Sunday, January 15, 2017

WSJ Prints Picture of a Stereotypical Dem by a Condescending Conservative Lou Weiss

Maybe That’s the Only Kind of Conservative

One of the many things conservatives whine about, and boy do they whine a lot led by the Whiner-in-Chief is that Dems and Progressives look down on them.  It turns out the opposite is true as evidenced by a vomit quality op-ed piece in the WSJ by a self described ‘adorable’ conservative.

The writing categorizes all who aren’t conservatives as people who know nothing about football, (we know more than most who watch Cajun TV) who boycott Chik-Fil- A (hasn’t happened for years but then no one expects conservatives to go for facts when fiction helps their cause), don’t know how to use a box wrench (really, we do) and live life in comfy hi rise hotels (uh isn’t that their hero Donnie?).  So let’s invite the prejudicial bigoted Trump voter, the true Deplorable to listen to a few facts about those who oppose government by lies and insults.

  1. Progressives fight for policies like health care that will benefit mostly the lower income voter.  Progressives usually have good health insurance, they want it for those who do not, typically those who insult the effort.
  2. Progressives don’t want to take away guns, they want common sense gun safety so gun nut conservatives will not shoot themselves or allow their children to shoot them or their siblings.
  3. The environment is pretty good where progressives live, they want clean air, clean water and clean energy for the non urban areas where conservatives lives.
  4. Progressives recognize that government programs cost money and are willing to raise their own taxes to pay for benefits for conservatives.  All they want is maybe a simple thank you (like Louisiana to the rest of us for all that Katrina help and all that flood control billions).
  5. The pursuit of equal opportunity is a progressive goal; equal opportunity for those conservatives who are disadvantaged and need it more than college educated progressives who already have it.
  6. Community standards like telling the truth, refraining from racial epithets, tolerance for all views are progressive characteristics and they hope that conservatives would join in.
  7. Finally progressive believe that if one is a lying, cheating, serial sexual assaulter with no previous experience at any level of government, maybe, just maybe that person should not be President of the United States.

So yeah conservatives, find out for yourselves how decent and caring and generous and compassionate the other side is instead of assuming that the lies, distortions, half truths and just plain insults of Fox News and A.M. radio are true.  A little open mindedness goes a long way.  And try not to yell racial slurs and other incendiary disgusting comments at political rallies, all you are doing is reinforcing negative views of yourselves and making it harder for the rest of us to actually give you any credibility.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Trump Cabinet Picks Introduce New Strategy for Confirmation Hearings – Lying

And Other Snarky Comments on the News

Attorney General Designate Jeff Sessions says he will stand up to Trump.  Those who believe that statement need to check their portfolio and maybe take another look at that time share purchase of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Trump says the report that Russia has ‘compromising’ information on him is fake news.  We agree.  Trump has already been exposed as a congenital liar, a serial sexual assaulter, a bigot and a bully, a person who cheats on his taxes and doesn’t pay his suppliers.  What else could there be?

Ben Carson is doubtful that government help for people who need decent housing is good policy.  Of course the fact that he benefited from this in his past just means he’s the hypocrite of the day in Trump World.

Republicans are outraged, outraged that Senator Cory Booker  testified against a  fellow Senator, Jeff Sessions in his confirmation hearings.  This violates an unwritten rule of Senate courtesy.  Republicans are outraged because they feel they are the only ones who should be allowed to violate decades long behavioral norms, that Democrats have to obey the rules, they do not.

Fox News settled another sexual harassment claim, this time against faux moralist Bill O’Reilly.  The network has promised its viewers it would not abandon its ‘holier than thou’ attitude and moral condemnation of others.

VW is reported ready to plead guilty to criminal charges in its deliberate violation of anti-pollution laws by rigging its emission testing results.  In America corporations are furious because they believe the government should just let corporations that engage in criminal acts off with a relatively small fine and no admission of guilt.  Mitt Romney said corporations are people, but he meant this only for the good stuff that people get from government.

The New York Times reports that the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the Swiss government can force a Muslim family to make its young girls take co-ed swimming lessons.  Now many of us think the Muslim fanaticism about co-ed activities are not appropriate, but if that is their religion so be it, no harm no foul.  As for he Court of Human Rights maybe they ought to live up to their name.  And while we think Brexit was a bad idea, one motivation for the exit vote was to remove Britain from jurisdiction from this Court.  Good thinking.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a man rejected by Donald Trump has returned to his state and now says he will focus his last year in office (in any office we hope) on drug abuse.  Seems only fair since his near total absence from being Governor to pursue his national ambitions probably contributed to the drug crisis.