Medicare Terms And Players

The Players

The seven individuals below, plus lobbyists, private citizens and trade organizations are looking to a big fight over entitlement programs.  Only congress can make major changes to Medicare.  And with the Republican majority entitlements are in real danger.

Donald Trump: Trump campaigned on promises not to cut Medicare and other public health programs.  But a recent change to his website and his full support of The American Health Care Act (a bill constructed and promoted by Paul Ryan) suggests he now supports efforts to “modernize” Medicare, to deal with “challenges with the coming retirement of the baby boom generation.”  The president will be under pressure from some congressional Republicans to back major changes to Medicare.  Trump is currently, supporting massive cuts to Medicaid as part of the AHCA.

Biggest Enemy Of Entitlement Equality

Paul Ryan: Speaker of the House of Representatives, has said that repeal of the Affordable Care Act should be paired with an overhaul of Medicare.  Ryan wants to turn the program into a premium  support system, which would give people a fixed amount of money to purchase private insurance.  Amounts of governmental support will drop significantly.

Tom Price: A former Georgia congressman, selected by Trump to serve as Secretary of Dept of Health and Human Services.  He advocates adopting a premium support system for Medicare, but many warn that this system could end the guarantee of certain government provided benefits for seniors.

Mitch McConnell: Senate Majority Leader is champion for the rollback of federal support for social programs.  He has proposed significant changes to Medicare, such as raising the eligibility age.

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Gorsuch Hearing

I watched the Senators interrogate 10th Circuit Judge, Neil Gorsuch, for about 4 hours this morning.  I couldn’t watch any longer I had to get a few things done, so I shut it off TV and ran some errands.

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) definitely has a point when he questions whether we should be considering appointing a life time judge that was nominated by a President that is under FBI investigation for possibly colluding with the Russians to win the 2016 election.  Schumer reminds us this is a life time appointment.  Why such a big hurry? Merrick Garland was held off for over a year while the Republicans prayed for a Republican President in 2016.  So, I’m kinda like Schumer, it’s not really Gorsuch, it’s Trump, he may not have a year left in office.  Maybe we should hold off a bit.

I was too far from the TV to see who was asking the questions, but I thought, “good question,” when he asked, “Who’s paying for all your TV ads?”

“I don’t know,” Gorsuch answered.

I say, “Really?”

There certainly are lots of ads.  Why?  Since when do we put 100’s of millions of dollars into support ads for a nominee?

From what I saw, who knows what I missed, but from what I saw, I think the Democrats should keep his feet to the fire, and watch the White House self destruct.  But if need be confirm him, things might get a lot worse than Neil Gorsuch.

Thanks for visiting Calamity Politics, your grass root source of relevant, and timely political gossip and liberal outrage.

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After a day of testimony in front of the House Intelligence Committee, Comey and Rogers drop some big news.  The Trump campaign and the Russian government are being investigated for collusion during the 2016 election.  Comey flatly said there was no basis to Trump’s claim of wire tapping by Obama.

James Comey Has A Story To Tell I’m Sure

EXTRA! EXTRA!    Reuters News:  Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State has cancelled April meeting with NATO heads, and INSTEAD is planning on visiting Russia.   

When this news broke, Rep. Adam Schiff ranking Democrat on the House Intel Committee was on the Rachel Maddow Show.  I did not tape the show, however he basically said, “After what the Russians have done to this country, the only imaginable reason Tillerson would go to Moscow would be to return the Order of Friendship Medal that Putin gave him.”

Well, said, Rep. Schiff.

My comment is, WOW!!!  Pretty fucking ballsy.  Secretary Tillerson, you are acting very strange, and your well known affiliation with the Russian government does not help your image.  Your boss, the President, and his campaign are under investigation for possible collusion with the Russians.  Hmmm.  More Russians. It’s Trump and the Russians, Sessions and the Russians, Manafort and the Russians, and you and the Russians. How many Russians are in this story?  Right now, it looks like way too many.

Rex Tillerson Leaves Press Behind

When you are Secretary of State you take the press with you when you travel, its that simple.  You are now employed by the people of the United States America and we want to see our officials in action.  You are not the CEO of Exxon Mobil.  Maybe they thought it was okay to slink around in the shadows but the American citizens don’t like that kind of behavior.

If this news is correct, I think the Congress should insist the President fire your ass.  There is absolutely no conceivable moral reason for a visit by the Secretary of State of the United States to Moscow.  To do what?  Hold court with that murdering thug, Putin, colluding on lifting sanctions, and opening up the Arctic oil reserves to drilling?  I can smell the corruption from here.  Careful, Mr. Tillerson, you are standing on thin ice.

The Editorial Desk at Calamity Politics is kept busy trying to decipher the nutty, stumbling, bumbling and incompetent statements being issued by the Trump White House. Every day a new story.

New Distractions, New Lies New Voice?

Every day a new distraction. Every day another lie. presidential lie. As a political analyst, commentator and progressive liberal organizer I want every one to be ready to agitate our Congressional representatives until they are scared shitless. Nothing shapes up an elected official as much as a potential threat to their elected position. Both Trump and Tillerson, like the Russkies way too much. Why? We need to find out.

The battlefield of right, versus left, is a twisted and distorted terrain. It is hard to navigate the U.S. political scene without getting emotional. I’m Darlene, and I am here to pull my hair, and scream profanities, for your amusement.

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Was It The First Time?

There’s a guy in the White House that may have colluded with a foreign adversarial power to win the 2016 Presidential election.  That in itself is terrifying.  While I’m thinking about this Russian attack against our most democratic of institutions, I had another thought that was quite unsettling.  What if Trump isn’t their first success?  What if the Russians have had previous success in our elections?  Could there be victories that we are unaware of?  Seems strange, that the Russians would hit a home run with the first effort.

Could there be Senators, or Representatives, that are participating in these investigations, or sitting in the House and/or Senate that are in Putin’s pocket?  I’m not big on conspiracy theories, but it seems that it is a real possibility.  Hopefully, this cancer is contained in the Executive Department.

If you are shocked and amazed, you are not alone. I spend most every day scouring the news comments and editorials for things that I find curious, intriguing, mystifying, bizarre, or just funny, to use on my political blog, Calamity Politics. I want to be your resource for entertaining insight into the U.S. political battleground. So, don’t make this your only visit, please come back, stay awhile. Hopefully, I will present something that brings a smile to your face, or a picket sign into your hand.

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The List

Calamity Politics, a progressive blog based in NW Oregon, attempts to stimulate the political conversation. A little argument is good, if it can clear the air. A little chaos is good, if it helps us re-center. A little investigation is good, if it uncovers the truth.

There is a list floating around that seems to indicate a tenuous connection between Putin and Trump. The House Intel Committee began hearings today with some very interesting testimony.  The partisan divide was immediately apparent.  It seemed, to me at least, the Republicans were leading a campaign to ferret out the folks leaking information, while the Democrats were on a mission to uncover a Russian spy network, sprinkled heavily with money, sex, hacking, election tampering and sabotage.  Hmmm.  My first suggestion is, let it go guys and gals.  For everyone concerned, we need an Independent Commission to get to the bottom of this scandal.  It is entirely possible that there is a Russian operative in the White House.

Money, that’s what they need to focus on.  Lots of billionaires bumping into one another in this cabinet, and at the table it seems.  And we know how those rich guys like to make money.  It seems we have moved past random and coincidental meetings.  Lots of trips to Russia by Trump surrogates.  Secret meetings between Trump associates and Russian operatives all over Europe, secret meetings in the U.S., accompanied by Administration denials of those same meetings, money passing here, and there.  Looks bad.

Putin Believed to be Behind 2016 U.S. Election Hacking

Mike Flynn Former NSA For Trump Registers As Foreign Agent

Kremlin Election Meddling May Reach To The Top Of Trump Campaign

Russian Collaborator?

The following folks seem to have ties to Putin and to Trump, or his campaign:  1.) Julian Assange,   2.) Andri Artemenko,  3.) Wilbur Ross,  4.) Carter Page,  5.) Sergey Kislyak,  6.) Felix Sater,  7.) Viktor Vekselberg,  8.) Rex Tillerson,  9.) Mike Flynn,  10.) Jared Kushner,  11.) Boris Epshteyn,  12.) Jeff Sessions,  13.) Mike Pence,  14.) Paul Mannafort,  15.) Michael Caputo,   16.) Robert Mercer,  17.) Sebastian Gorka,  18.) Nigel Farage,  19.) Michael Anton (Nicholas Antongiavanni),  20.) Alex Shnaider,  21.) Donald Trump, Jr.  22.) Eric Trump,  23.) Stephen Bannon,  24.) Kellyanne Conway,  25.) Guccifer 2.0, 26.) Rick Gates, 27.) Dmitry Rybolovlev, 28.) Sergey Borkov, 29.) Oleg Deripaska, 30.) Sergio Millian (Siarhei Kukuts), 31.) George Papodopoulos, 32.) Michael Cohen, 33.) Igor Sechin, 34.) Mike Flynn, 35.) J.D. Gordon, 36.)Tevfik Arif, 37.) Ivanka Trump, 38.)Vladimir Putin, though they themselves, may not have directly engaged in Russian collusion, they certainly would have heard the insider chatter.  If you know, and don’t disclose, you too are guilty.

Again, let’s wipe our hands of this filth and get an Independent Commission, or Legislators your skirts and shirts might get a little dirty.

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Thinking Aloud

Sunset Pool In Seaside, Oregon My Winter Waterworld

I’ve been going to the pool most of the Winter, for my hour of morning exercise. During the good weather, as much as we get here on the mostly wet Oregon coast, I try to walk 3-4 miles each day. But, once November rolls in, the thought of walking four miles in a down pour is a real fuckin’ turn off. As it is now, some days are nice, and I walk, while others are nasty, and I go to the pool in Seaside.

None of that would matter, except as the seasons change so does my self scheduling

Sunday Afternoon Thoughts

1.)  My Mom said, “People will dismiss facts, ignore science, and argue the unarguable;  if it’s in the interest of their pocketbook.”

People Do What Is In The Interest Of Their Pocketbook

I have no idea if she read it someplace, or heard it, or just came up with it on her own, but it seems to sum up Washington, D.C.   It seems more true today, than when she said it.

2.) If you haven’t written a letter to your Mayor, your local newspaper Editor,  your State Legislators, or one of your Federal Legislators, you should do it immediately.  It is a great way to get what’s bothering you off your chest.   The Letter to the Editor is especially rewarding because you can present your beef to the community and garner a few minutes in the spotlight.

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Morning Wonderful

I’ve commented on my political blog, Calamity Politics, over the last week how fed up I am of the wind and rain.  Not today.  I woke up to crisp air and bright sunshine. Stopping to post a journal entry is not on my current ‘to do list’ this morning. Like a Snickers starved child I run toward my muse, the illusive sun.

Lily is in charge this morning. She has convinced me that we need to take a walk, a long beach walk.  The beach is three blocks away and so we headed that direction. 

We Flushed A Deer Family

I took a shortcut across the back field and disturbed a deer family and when Lily fussed and jerked on her leash she nearly toppled me over.  The pleasures of dog ownership are often close to the pleasures of non-dog ownership.

Miles Of Dunes And Quiet Beach Between Gearhart And Surf Pines Oregon

I live in an area that is blessed with miles of unspoiled dunes and beaches.  Coming over the dune top, I saw what looked like three small kids lined up with their backs to the surf.  Weird, kids never hold still that long.  I strained and held Lily tight.  It wasn’t three tots, it was three American Bald Eagles.  OMG, just standing there, less than a foot between them.  I’ve seen single specimens stand like that at the water’s edge but never three together, just hanging out.  Lily seemed to recognize the moment as a special one, and for once was quiet and turned back and we walked further down the dune to access the beach.  I looked back and they were still there.

As I am fortunate, I know there are many who are not. I just hope I can be a voice for doing the correct thing, and hope that anyone who reads my rants and rages, recognizes that I am just trying to make a comment on a U.S. political activity that needs to be highlighted and questioned.

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Twitter Madness

Spendy Weekends At Trump’s Private Florida Club

It was me, not Trump.  I admit it.  I went on a Twitter rant to several Senators and cable news channels this morning.  Central to the rant was outrage over Trump’s unprecedented $3.6M weekends at Mar-a-Lago, but no Medicaid, no Meals On Wheels, no TIGER, no PBS, no Muppets.  Just ANOTHER million or two burned up while Trump and his entourage parade around like Louis the XVI.  I’m waiting for Melania Antoinette to suggest we, “eat cake.”

Trump’s Policies May Force Many Of His Supporters Out Of Their Homes

With the severe budget cuts this president is recommending many of his most devoted voters will be hurt the most.  Some of these folks are barely hanging on.  With the damage Trump and his cronies are planning,  many of his supporters will be on the street, living with relatives, or dead.

How can a newly elected president, who is an Electoral College President, not a Popularly Elected President, hurt so many of his supporters, mostly elderly, rural poor, in such a devastatingly malevolent manner.  Many of these seniors can’t make it without the ACA (Obama Care), Medicaid, rural hospitals and clinics, and Food Stamps. From the looks of it, TRUMP LIED AGAIN.  He is a master of the con, and has, over the years, fucked just about everybody, in one way, or another; at one time, or another.

Spending Lot’s Of Time Blog Posting

I’ve been writing an average of two posts a day for my political blog, Calamity Politics for at least the last two months. There is so much going on with the U.S. political scene. I can’t stay quiet. So, if it seems sometimes like I might be screaming, I just may, be.

I  intend to add, probably a third post to my daily political blog journal for just, today. I have a need. A need to comment when I see an outrage. The Fire Around Trump WH Is White Hot/caption] The Trump discussion is white hot and I plan on keeping the fires stoked, with nothing more than a reporting of the outrages that Trump and his chorus of Trumpettes have perpetrated on the American people over the last 24 hour news cycle. We need to crank up the volume. I’m just wondering if we can light the investigatory fire in this heavily Republican government?

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Pulling the Scab Off

I’m ready this morning to have a cup of tea, eat an apple and reflect on why the American people would elect a man like Donald Trump to the highest office in the land?

Calamity Politics is a liberal political blog, written from my home office at Surf Pines, Oregon. I attempt to bring attention to bits and pieces of the U.S. dynamic ever evolving political scene. From the last several days I’ve scratched these juicy, gossipy tidbits on Trump from several sources.

Trump Angry With Media Over Growing Scandal Reports

Trump started his corruption years ago. As President, he’s just taken it to a new level. This is without a doubt the most corrupt presidency in American history. No wonder he calls the media “fake.” He has so much to hide that if the public believed as much as half of the truth about Donald J. Trump the White House would be surrounded with torches and pitchforks. Just to refresh:

1.) Housing discrimination against people of color.
2.) Reported Mafia connections with construction trades in N.Y.
3.) Hiring of undocumented Polish workers on Trump Tower and then refusing to pay their wages.
4.) Trump fined $750,000 for anti-trust violations during attempt to take over a rival casino
5.) Trump brings 1000’s of overseas workers to work at his resorts based on phony claim, “Can’t find Americans to do the work.”
6.) Habit of not paying contractors, whether architects or brick layers.
7.) Gave Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi an illegal $25,000 PAC donation from Trump Foundation while her department was investigating Trump University. She then squelched the investigation.
8.) Trump’s multiple casino bankruptcies which left investors high and dry while he left town with a suitcase full of cash.
9.) Trump claims he “lent” his name to a couple scoundrels that by using his name ripped off people.
10.) Trump University was just another Trump scam. He had squelched investigation in Florida and Texas with questionable donations to state authorities. Other states pursued him and have so far, recovered $25,000,000. Several other cases remain unsettled as of this writing.
11.) Trump Network was a pyramid scheme where people sent in urine samples and were sent “especially formulated vitamins” by return mail.
12.) Trump Modeling Management brought foreign models to the U.S. to work illegally (lying to custom officials) while housing them in squalid conditions with almost no income.

Alleged Money Laundering, Russian Election Collusion

These are just some of the known historical scams, and unlawful behaviors that Donald Trump engaged in prior to his election. Since his election the corruption has just amped up. The post election scams, scandals, money laundering schemes, rumored Russian collusion, are being reported on daily, both on this blog and the mainstream media. We are not fake news. We are the news. Trump just doesn’t want people to listen.

The costs of maintaining this man in his Louis the XVI manner will hopefully lead to new investigations, travel to his private clubs, charging the Secret Service to stay and eat at his hotels while guarding him. It is already being estimated that DJT will spend more on travel and protection in one year’s time than Obama spent in eight years.

Calamity Politics in actively reporting on Trump and his corrupt behavior on a near daily basis. The self promotion of the brand is outrageous and in violation of innumerable laws, I’m sure. We just need to get those frenzied Republicans in Congress to take a serious look at Donald Trump and his unethical activities.

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Trump Sucker Punches His Voters

Its Been An Especially Cold Winter 70 Days Of Below 30 Degrees

It seems to have been a colder than usual winter. I’m not talking about climate change at the moment, more a comment on how a string of seventy days of freakin’ cold days, ran both my electric, and my gas bills to unimaginable heights.

Natural gas prices are low, but my consumption went through the roof. I wore sweaters and sweats continuously and haven’t gone to bed in the buff, since last December. So, I’m out of bed, fireplace is going and the chill is being driven off. So, I’m about to check out the morning political shows and plan on getting back to this page, ASAP.

Light The Fire And Take The Chill Off The Room

Recognizing Calamity Politics is a Progressive-liberal political blog, and not an unbiased journalistic endeavor, is a good place to start. I know my biases and try to be up front about them, and repeat that left leaning direction on a regular basis, just so every one knows from what side of the aisle, I speak.

Strange how things work out.  Trump’s most fervent support came from rural middle America.  Wow.  He turned on those supporters in half a heart beat.  His budget goes after subsidies for rural development including airports, water and sewer plants.  Furthermore, Trump’s voters in the rust belt will see him terminate the Restoration of the Great Lakes and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.  He is targeting, Medicare, Medicaid, TIGER, rent subsidies for the low income, food stamps, legal aid, PBS and the Muppets, school food programs for underprivileged children. *(Medicaid pays for 1/2 of the births in the United States.  Medicaid also pays for 1/2 of the Nursing Home care in the United States).

Merciless Federal Budget Cuts Attack The Poor

Trump and the loyal Trumpies will demolish the safety net for possibly 24 million people over the next decade, and up to 14 million the first year if Trumpcare is adopted.   The merciless White House Budget calls for the following cuts: 
1.) Environmental Protection Agency:  -31.4%   
2.) Department of State: -28.7%   
3.) Department of Labor:  -20.7%   
4.) Department of Agriculture:  -20.7%   
5.)  Department of Health and Human Services:  -16.2%   
6.) Department of Commerce:  -15.7%   
7.)  Department of Education:  -13.5%   
8.) Department of Housing & Urban Development  -13.2%   
9.) Department of Transportation:  -12.7%   
10.) Department of the Interior:  -11.7%.

I guess this is where my mother would say, “Careful what you wish for, ‘cuz you might get it.”

Just remember, if you did vote for Trump, you’re forgiven.  He’s quite the con man, and he had the power of the Russian state behind him.  So, admit the mistake and start working with the people that really have the American citizens best interests at heart.  Vote Democratic.  Take back the House and the Senate and I promise you with a lot of hard work we can get this train out of the ravine and back on the tracks.  But, it is going to take more than hand wringing and tears.  We need to hit Trump and the Republicans hard at the ballot box.

Stop by the Calamity Politics website any day, and hopefully, I will educate and invigorate you with new and quirky American political analysis and comment. Bring your jeers and cheers, love hearing from my readers. Please leave a note. I read them all. I’m pretty good with handling criticism

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