Is Stupidity a Pre-existing Condition?

Is Stupidity a Pre-existing Condition?

Mo Brooks.

He’s a comedian, right?

No, that’s Mel Brooks.  Funny man.

Mo has to be related.

I mean, who could seriously say:

My understanding is that (the new health care proposal) will allow insurance companies to require people who have higher health care costs to contribute more to the insurance pool,” Brooks said, “thereby reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives, they’re healthy, they’ve done the things to keep their bodies healthy. And right now, those are the people–who’ve done things the right way–that are seeing their costs skyrocketing.”

No, unfortunately, he’s not a comedian.

He’s not related to Mel Brooks (sorry Mel, to have nearly impugned your reputation).

Yes, he was serious when he said that.

He’s the Republican Congressman representing Alabama’s 5th Congressional District. Seriously.

 

Oh. Well… ah… Maybe he just had a bad day. Or maybe the nasty news media planted this story, you know, like the Republicans always say, it’s fake news.  I mean, he surely didn’t mean that anyone with a pre-existing condition or any other cause to have high health care costs can’t have “led good lives”…”done things to keep their bodies healthy”…”done things the right way.”

I mean, is there anybody that arrogantly stupid?!  Having been sick is a sure sign that someone hasn’t lived “the right way?”  How lame is that?

I wonder how many people who live in Good Ol’ Mo’s Congressional District would be among the losers in Rep. Brooks’s stance.  It’s hard to say.  You see the Republican replacement plan allows each insurer to conveniently define for itself what ailments qualify as pre-existing conditions. Congress apparently wants insurers to have free reign to do what’s best. And we all know how much we can trust the insurance industry to watch out for our best interests.  Who needs goverment protection when we have the insurance companies to cover us?

The Kaiser Foundation estimates that “about a quarter of American adults under 65 have pre-existing conditions that made them ‘declinable.’”  If Mr. Brooks’s constituents are a typical cross section of America (a reasonable assumption), he apparently doesn’t hold 25% of the people he represents in high regard.  Lots of slackers in the doing the right thing department.

Let me see a show of hands here.  If you have had any of the following ailments, please raise your hand:

  • AIDS/HIV
  • Alcohol abuse/ Drug abuse with recent treatment
  • Alzheimer’s/dementia
  • Arthritis (rheumatoid), fibromyalgia, other inflammatory joint disease
  • Cancer within some period of time (e.g. 10 years, often other than basal skin cancer)
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Coronary artery/heart disease, bypass surgery
  • Crohn’s disease/ ulcerative colitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)/emphysema
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Epilepsy
  • Hemophilia
  • Hepatitis (Hep C)
  • Kidney disease, renal failure
  • Lupus
  • Mental disorders (severe, e.g. bipolar, eating disorder)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Obesity, severe
  • Organ transplant
  • Paraplegia
  • Paralysis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Pending surgery or hospitalization
  • Pneumocystic pneumonia
  • Pregnancy or expectant parent
  • Sleep apnea
  • Stroke

OK. Everyone with a raised hand, you’re out!  If you get sick, take out a loan or take your chances with divine intervention.

Now, these are just the most common items among most insurers’ pre-existing conditions.  As mentioned, the insurers make up their own lists.  So the rest of you are not completely out of the woods yet.  Technically, insurers could blow up your rates if you’d had a hangnail, or acne, or sinus headaches, or whatever.

“To put it another way,” writes Beth Skwarecki in Gawker Media’s Lifehacker, “the health care bill doesn’t name any conditions that are fair game; but they also don’t explicitly protect any of them, either.”

This just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it?

Please, remember this:  Republicans now control:

  • The House of Representatives,
  • The Senate,
  • The White House and all of its Cabinet Agencies, and
  • The Justices on The Supreme Court (Republican Presidents selected the majority of them).

This is the Republican Party’s dream arrangement, they are in control of every facet of the Federal Government. It’s their big chance to get what they really want for America.  What happens to you is now primarily their responsibility.   If they’re not on your side, the government isn’t on your side.

So the pre-existing conditions portion of the newly proposed Republican Health Care law is an example of their national government doing its level best to protect:

(pick one)

  1. American citizens
  2. The Profitability of the Insurance Industry

 

I have a cold…again

I have a cold…again

I have a cold…again.

I hate having a cold.  This one started just two weeks after my last cold finally left my system.   I’ve been cycling through colds separated by brief hiatuses (hiatusi?) for several months now.

It’s not hard to figure out why.  It’s an occupational hazard. Two and a half years ago, I was shanghaied into a new job.  Grand-parenting.  My official title is “Grandfather,” but never one to stand on ceremony, I prefer the  informal, “Pop.”

For the first 63 years of my life, I was not qualified for this job.  My resume was strong but it lacked one absolutely-mandatory-no excuses-accepted qualification – a grandchild. I was an honorary Grandfather, a title I still proudly hold, but in order to qualify for the bona-fide Grand Certificate and the 401K opportunity* that come with the real thing, I needed one more credit.

*[Update: I just learned there’s no 401K opportunity, but I’m expected to establish a College Fund for each grandchild. Shanghaied again.]

Finally, in late 2014 my wife Doris and I were invested with full rights, privileges and responsibilities of Grandparenthood. Our names were added to the on-line version of the Official Grandparents Directory/ US Division/ New-bees Chapter: www.diaper-changers (the national equivalent of the British Division’s famous www.nappy-changers).

There are now three acorns after my name and Doris’s.  So far all of our acorns reside under one roof.  For  good reasons, Doris and I were enlisted for temporary duty to assist in acorn management under that roof.   At least for the time being, we are a household of seven family members, two of  whom typically labor weekdays nine-to-five in “Day Care.” (Their artwork and paper hats can be stunning.)

I’ve learned that it is wise to inquire as to how many other acorns are in a Day Care. The chance that one of our acorns will catch another one’s cold and bring it home for us all to share is inextricably related to the number of acorns there. We are vulnerable to colds incubated in Day Care for export as well as the home-grown kind. Only a miracle combined with a total ban on kissing might break the cycle of colds passed around in our present environment.

Tired of grabbing tissues to clear mucus from my stiff upper lip, I recently decided to buy an over-the-counter cold remedy.  I was amazed at the number and variety of cold remedies on Walgreen’s shelves.  Each item’s label listed the specific combination of symptoms that the remedy was supposedly designed to manage: congestion, headache, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, sore throat, general aching, fever, sleep deprivation, halitosis.

(Okay, one of these wasn’t among any product’s targeted symptoms – can you find it?)

Amazingly, each product touted its prowess with typically only three or four among the universe of cold symptoms.  I found not one product claiming to relieve all cold symptoms; the most I saw was five.

I guess if you have six or more symptoms you should go to the hospital, not the drug store.

Before going out to buy a cold remedy, I suggest you should list and prioritize your symptoms.  Not including the mystery entry, my list of ailments two paragraphs ago names nine different cold symptoms.  Among products with labels advertising special effectiveness for three symptoms, there are exactly 84 possible combinations of three symptoms that could be offered. (So says a permutation calculator on the Internet.  Impressed?)

This inventory of 84 possibilities is considerably more than the 50 or so cold relief products on Walgreen’s shelves.  I suspect some odd combinations of symptoms, like headache, general aching, and halitosis, didn’t make the cut.  Nonetheless, if you are hunting for a remedy to cure your three most acute symptoms, your hay stack is 84 differing three-symptom combinations and the needle you seek, may not even be in a store that stocks only 50 or so combinations.

Make sure to bring your glasses when you go to buy; symptoms listed on the front of the package are alphabetized on some labels, but not all. No uniform code of for symptom labels addresses this issue.  Finding a package claiming to have been made for your three priority symptoms could take some time. Plan accordingly.

Alternatively, however, you can look at the lists of ingredients in the various products, like I did. There you may be surprised to find, despite the symptoms listed on the front labels, most of the mainstream cold products list the exact same active ingredients in the exact same proportions!

So why do manufacturers put the same ingredients in so many different bottles?  Well, if you see a product that appears to specialize in Runny Nose, Sneezing, and Congestion, and those are your symptoms of greatest concern at the moment, wouldn’t you choose it over other products touting their effectiveness against symptoms you don’t have?  If you don’t know the pills are essentially all the same, wouldn’t you be willing to pay more for a product that appears to have been customized specifically for YOUR symptoms? Wouldn’t that increase the product’s profit margins?

In the end, it appears that the only thing associated with a cold remedy that has been customized is its label. 

This slick trick is a shining example of American Marketing Ingenuity at the Top of its Game.

This is what Makes Money for investors, which is what Makes America Great.  

Let’s see China, Russia or North Korea top that!

 

 

 

Tell me again, why…

Tell me again, why…

Why:

  • … do the rich need more big tax breaks? Don’t they have enough already?  Isn’t the definition of “rich” already having significantly more than average wealth?  Haven’t we trickled down this road before?
  • … is Trump/Ryancare really an improvement to Obamacare if 24 million of our fellow Americans will lose their insurance because their premiums will increase beyond affordability?  Is the purpose of the Trump/Ryan “American” Health Care Act (notice  no longer “Affordable”) to provide or to remove affordable health care insurance for Americans?   Is this how one fixes a problem? If Ryan was a car mechanic, when fixing your flat tire he’d also disconnect your brakes.
  • … is Lecherous & Lying Donald removing nearly all programs that support the impoverished and jobless Americans who elected him, while at the same time increasing their numbers?
  • … does the president’s budget proposal give the Pentagon an extra $54 billion that even the Generals and Admirals (who are, by the way, the worst shoppers in the world) didn’t even ask for?  How can we trust the Pentagon to spend any taxpayer dollars wisely?
  • … were many hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars spent by these protectors of our freedom on overinflated supply contracts with a world class briber? [Likely Fat Leonard is not the only briber living large on taxpayer millions.]
  •  … did these Navy and Marine Corps officers not realize, or choose not to care, why Fat Leonard regularly provided them with lavish gifts and $50,000 parties, complete with expensive hookers? (Hey Captain. New in town?)  They knew full well what they and he were doing. Who wouldn’t spend a million dollars on entertainment in order to pocket an extra unearned hundred million out of the Pentagon’s coffers? [Might this be a much better place than Planned Parenthood to cut back funds and begin to reduce the deficit?]
  • … are widespread betrayals of our country like this not considered a financial form of treason?  Does not the siphoning off of defense funds impair our national security?
  • … in a civilized and mature nation, would greedy L&L Donald and his cabal of advisors try to abolish the National Endowment for the Arts, Public Television, and many other scientific, educational, cultural and social support programs?  Are we a nation of Neanderthals?
  • … in a natural environment recklessly abused by greed, does L&L Donald want to disassemble nearly all efforts of the Environment Protection Agency?   Are so many of the industrial rich so self-centered that they don’t care whether life on earth survives after they themselves are dead and gone?
  • … does a lunatic fringe of our citizenry, unfortunately including key members of our lunatic administration, deny the plentiful and dramatic evidence of Global Warming and the nearly unanimous concerns expressed in the scientific community.  The hubris of the fools on the hill in denying proven facts could very well doom our species to early extinction.
  • … does L&L Donald continually make completely unsubstantiated (e.g., blatantly false) accusations in speeches and on Twitter, whenever the mood hits him? And why does he get away with it? Is this paranoia or is it just that L&L Donald doesn’t fully grasp that he is no longer a candidate, but is expected to live to a higher standard of truth and reliability as president?
  • … does Kellyanne Conway never give straight-forward answers to interviewers’ straight-forward questions?
  • … don’t interviewers either ignore her altogether or doggedly continue to reiterate their questions until she answers them?
  • … did it take so long for L&L Donald’s accountants to find the only two pages of his past 20 or more tax returns that indicate he may have actually paid some taxes more than ten years ago?
  • … are the Russian connections of L&L Donald, his campaign staff and his current Administration not being aggressively pursued and updated in the public domain?
  • … does it turn my stomach to see the President of the United States acting like a petulant and spoiled 7-year old, blatantly ignoring and insulting Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, when she was America’s guest at the White House.  What, does he really think he can treat every woman the way he treats his wife?
  • … does it not surprise me that L&L Donald was not only inexcusably rude to the leader of one of our greatest allies, he was at the same time woefully ignorant about how NATO is funded and operates.  His continual bouts of Ready, Fire, Aim are much more than just embarrassing, they are dangerous to all citizens he swore to protect.
  • … are most, if not all, of these issues in L&L Donald’s campaign and first hundred days as president, unprecedented?  Could it be that the previous 44 Presidents were intelligent?

Is he draining the swamp or filling it with champagne?

What is Wrong with the Greatness of America?

What is Wrong with the Greatness of America?

There’s little question that the United States of America, a comparatively young nation in the civilized world, has been the “greatest” and most influential country on the planet for over 100 years.  Nonetheless, recently the sound bite “Make American Great Again” resonated with a goodly number of righteously disgruntled voters.

They may well be right.  American Greatness should never be taken for granted. But many of the problems they’ve been led to believe plague America are the subjects of propaganda designed to divert people’s attention from the real threats to our nation. We need always to remember America now has an untrustworthy, conniving, malignantly narcissistic President who seems to change his rhetoric about as often as he changes his neck ties.

A President who tweets echoes of baseless blather he heard on late night Fox News is probably not going to keep America great.   If Sweden has supposedly had a dramatic spike in rapes and robberies due to the recent influx of Muslim refugees as Trump alleged in one of his recent rallies, no one in Sweden is aware of it. These must be secret rapes and robberies, known only to him.

No President in history has made such an idiotic, misinformed and embarrassingly false proclamation in such a public forum.  But hey, he’s Donald Trump – give the guy a break.

This is what happens when a President of the United States relies on “intelligence” gathered by Fox News and eschews briefings from the nation’s experienced intelligence agencies.  How can any public office holder rely on anthing Fox News reports without getting a confirmation from some trustworthy source, like maybe the CIA?

Unfortunately, Trump has learned that he can get away with anything he says, so long as at least part of his audience is willing to believe it. It is shocking how easily his trumped up allegations against Muslims turned all disciples of Allah into scapegoats for a fictitious outbreak of atrocities that simply have not happened.  How does Trump’s demonizing of Muslims in America differ from the demonizing of Jews in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s?  How does this Make America Great Again?  Was Hitler not elected as Chancellor on the promise to Make Germany Great Again?  His playbook must be around here somewhere.

What Makes America Great?

Let’s consider what has made America great:  Is it our dedication to freedom?  Is it the strongest and best equipped military in the world?  Is it our Constitution?, our justice system?, our free press?, our states’ rights?, our civil rights?, our religious freedom?, our history?, is it the freedom of expression that’s in our DNA?, our aversion to oppression?, or perhaps our leading edge technologies?, our ability to invent?, our entrepreneurial vision?, our robust national economy?, our leadership of the free world?, our diversity?, our common ancestral and/or contemporary immigration to America in search of freedom? (Ironically, true native Americans whose ancestors were here long before most of the rest of our ancestors, have virtually lost most of their freedom to make room for ours.)

It’s all of this and more.  All of these American traits come from America’s values that have always been the grassroots tools of our Greatness. Today these include:

  • Truth;
  • Fair Play/Equal Opportunity for all;
  • Honesty;
  • Individual Respect;
  • Tolerance of Differences in Ancestry, Opinion, Ethnicity, Race, Intelligence, Customs, Gender;
  • A Government Accountable to the People and Not Vice-Versa;
  • Personal Privacy;
  • The Right to be Heard;
  • Rule of Law and Civil Disobedience of Law that Violates Our Rights and Values;
  • Mobility, and
  • The Sanctity of Human Life.

America – An Experiment in Progress

The radical socio-economic experiment that is America has been amazingly successful, so far.  We have found ways to blend the survival of the fittest foundation of economic Capitalism with the generosity and respect of a Social Conscience that tries to assure that the basic needs of all citizens are met.  The balance between Capitalism’s competition and the “no one left behind” tenet of Socialism is never static, but they do coexist. Because the pendulum swings back and forth, the search for equilibrium in the experiment is definitely not finished.

In fact, the American experiment will never be finished until and unless it fails.

Like all human endeavors, America constantly operates in social, political, scientific, economic, ethical, and international environments that are always in a state of change.  Figuratively, all of these arenas carry weight and collide with one another in various and unpredictable ways, creating massive tension just below the surface of our lives.  So far, when the socio-economic pressures have erupted and surfaced, America dealt with the damage and siphoned off similar pressures to avert repetition of the eruption.

A Parade of Challenges

The American Civil War was probably the country’s most costly and bloody eruption of pent up pressure ever.  America was literally blown apart into two distinct governments for a few years. The intense divide – slavery and a regional, nearly regal, agrarian economy versus a more heavily populated abolitionist region and its industrialized juggernaut – was driven by two irreconcilable sets of American values.  While the Union was preserved 150 years ago, regional tensions from the war still exist.  A century after the end of the Civil War, insidious, unresolved racial stress fractures in the nation’s experiment erupted again leading us to define, re-confirm and protect the value of Civil Rights for all Americans, regardless of race, creed, gender, or religious belief.  Anti-war movements, women’s suffrage and later women’s rights in the workplace, abortion rights, gay rights, a World War against Fascist oppression, the Great Depression, similar periodic economic crises, and a host of other eruptions are among the litany of challenges that have threatened the viability of the experiment.

Today, some issues have been resolved but others still require a good deal more work. Our American values have matured and reshaped our nation to meet our challenges and to keep the experiment that is America alive and well.

But is there a potentially insurmountable challenge in our midst that could destroy the American Experiment?

A Fundamental and Difficult Conundrum

Ugly new challenges to America’s greatness are quickly growing before our eyes today.  The electorate’s discontent with, and righteous distrust of, our elected representatives is a cancer that threatens the whole organism of our nation.  The sources and symptoms of the disease are fairly plain to see.  The cure, however, is not.

The love of money and the political power it buys has infused a pernicious, potentially fatal disease in our national and state legislatures and executive offices.  The one common element necessary to prevail in any election in this country today is no longer a candidate’s intelligence, leadership ability, moral integrity, dedication to the truth, sincerity, fairness, heroism, or reverence for motherhood and apple pie.  It is money, money, and more money.

Absent considerable amounts of money, a candidate has a snowball’s chance in Hell of being elected to what is supposed to be a position of service to the “public trust.”  The Number 1 priority of nearly every national and state elected official is re-election.  The day after they’re elected most of our vaunted representatives begin “dialing for re-election dollars,” a 365-day, annual, unwritten requirement of survival in their jobs.

The conundrum of this reality is clear.  Any effort to curtail or remove the sale of influence by legislators, regulators, jurists, and others will have to be initiated and supported by the very people who owe their financial and political success to the purchasers of their influence.  In order to truly represent the interests of a majority of one’s constituents, somewhere along the line a representative would have to betray his/her financiers and seriously jeopardize his/her chances of re-election.   Except in rare instances, like Bernie Sanders’s crowd funding of his 2016 presidential campaign, legislators and members of the executive branches personally have little or nothing to gain by biting the hands that feed them.  The office-holder is the supplicant and the money-holder is in control.

Is it any wonder that the political influence of the wealthiest 10% of the nation’s electorate is greater than collective political influence of the remaining 90% of voters in this nation? What majority of politicians will coalesce to successfully legislate the boundaries necessary to break this stranglehold on our elected representatives?  There’s that snowball in Hell again.

Absent the will to break the financial bonds that tie elected officials in the Congressional Branch and Executive Branch, what hope is there?

A Pivotal Failure

The judicial system of the US, intended as a check and balance when things go constitutionally awry in our country’s legislative or executive branches, has failed miserably in its crucial role of preserving the integrity of elected officials.  Citizen’s United is an insulting misnomer for both a Political Action Committee and a Supreme Court case that far more accurately should be called Corporations United, or better yet, Corporate Bribery United.

The sanctity of the Supreme Court should never come into question, but somehow I cannot rule out what should be the impossibility that one or more of our “conservative” justices may have been corrupted.  It is difficult to find any good reason for their swinging wide the gates of secret corporate money to further solidify the hold of the moneyed interests on our government.  If this was what the “Founding Fathers” intended, we need to re-write all American History books.

And the Beat Goes On

In the name of “Making America Great Again,” today’s spin doctors pervert the truth while Foxy “news” outlets openly identify themselves as commentators disguised as reporters.  Talk radio crackles the air waves with hatred as “commentators” instigate listeners with unfounded vitriolic charges designed to create and capitalize on divisions among the ethnic, racial, religious, and even gender allegiances of Americans.  The bigger the lie, the more it is believed.

Simply stated, the virtually unbridled influence of money in politics may be the force that ultimately kills the American experiment for all time.

The concentration of political power in the hands of a few, elite, self-anointed masters of the universe is already pretty far advanced on the road to dictatorial power behind the scenes. When Russia’s “elected” dictator, Putin, is held out as a role model by the President of the United States, something evil must be afoot. And when Russia brazenly and sucessfully manipulates the outcome of an American Presidential election, something unquestionably needs to be done to Make America Great Again. 

Putin recognizes the importance of the opportunity of having the perfect stooge in the White House. Accordingly, the complicity of the Trump political organization in Putin’s scheme needs to be vigorously and impartially investigated. There are strong indications that Putin may have wasted little time in purchasing the egomaniac’s influence along with that of his small cadre of “advisors.”

Business Insider, January 17, 2017  –  Memos: CEO of Russia’s state oil company offered Trump adviser, allies a cut of huge deal if sanctions were lifted

“A dossier with unverified claims about President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia contained allegations that Igor Sechin, the CEO of Russia’s state oil company, offered Trump ally Carter Page and his associates the brokerage of a 19% stake in the [$350 -$450 Billion] company in exchange for the lifting of US sanctions on Russia. … In return Page confirmed that were Trump elected US president, sanctions on Russia would be lifted.”

Perhaps the reason the Trump Administration has has yet to fill more than 600 job vacancies in the Executive Branch is so he and his cabal won’t have to share the wealth. With no one on the phones or texting from them there is little  danger of a whistle blower exposing the plot if all the desks are empty. When (not if) Trump removes the sanctions and this deal is consumated, worldwide consumers of energy  will provide Russia ample funds to de-rail the American experiment. There is nothing Putin wants more, and let’s face it, Trump & Co.’s complicity could easily be part of “the art of the deal” for the right price.

The “alternative truths” and baseless rallying cries of division and hate that have found homes in the minds of many Americans are proof positive that skillful propaganda still works.

In a relatively short span of time, the money-and-power hungry are well advanced in their own greedy interests in America.  They are not overt, but they are unquestionably greedy. They work diligently to cultivate the outright support of Americans agitated by their propaganda while they pick Americans’ pockets, protections and rights at the same time.

Indeed it is a Crucial Time to Make America Great Again.

Donald Trump can only lead America into oblivion. The question is, do we take our American values seriously enough to fight to preserve America’s greatness?  One thing is certain, it will take a massive grass roots effort to regain our nation from the wealthy manipulators of the truth, if it is not too late already.

This Kool-Aid Tastes Funny

This Kool-Aid Tastes Funny

Tim (not his real name), our financial advisor, has safely navigated my wife and me through the financial storms of the past 20 years.  His knowledge of investment strategies, financial products, and markets; his sage advice; and most importantly his impeccable personal integrity have kept our heads above water in unexpected conditions, including the unimaginable.

Dealing with the Unexpected

The least of the painful of the many consequences I suffered from 9/11 was that it abruptly cut my professional career short.  By the time I recovered and returned to work, someone else was doing my job and my expectations of earnings and retirement savings for the rest of my working days were halved.

That the momentum of my career stopped short that day was a small price to pay; I was very lucky to be among the thankful, grieving survivors. I have no complaint; no one alive is to blame.  I mention this only to point out that no personal financial strategy could ever have anticipated what America’s enemies did that day.  Thanks in large part to Tim’s financial advice before and after the disaster, my wife and I enjoy a modest but comfortable retirement.

But today there’s a new unexpected threat on our horizon.

A few months ago I reached the age of Medicare.  Over more than 30 years I made the mandatory payments into the system in return for the promise that if/when I survived to age 65, I would have good government health insurance. That coverage was pre-paid out of every paycheck I earned. Now House Speaker Paul  Ryan & Co. plan to further sabotage my retirement by weakening Medicare’s role in the rest of my days.

I can deal with the fact I was among those targeted and victimized by America’s enemies, but it is a completly different feeling to know that the U.S. Congress is now aiming to victimize me.

Perhaps we need to do more “extreme vetting” before going to the polls. As Trump writes broad sweeping Executive Orders aimed at weeding out dangerous insurgents, we voters should to do what we can to weed out danergous incumbents.

Whose Interest Do Financial Consultants Serve?

The latest example of the Repugnican (not a spelling error) Party’s service to America is hilarious if you think about it.

The new Administration, with the support of the pachyderms in both chambers of Congress, has decided to delay and reconsider the pending Department of Labor rule that (now get this) a financial advisor you pay to help you with retirement planning and/or money management is required to work in your best interest, avoid conflicts of interest and be transparent about all his/her compensation and fees. 

Put another way, Repugnicans (e.g. spoiled Republicans) want to continue to let crooked financial advisors steal their clients’money with impunity.  First off, were you aware that advisors are not required to serve their customers’ best interests?  Isn’t such a requirement a bona-fide “no brainer?”  The President’s position on this is that you have no right to expect what you should have every right to expect – an advisor who is on your side.

Despite the absence of any regulation, most Financial Consultants are good and honest professionals who serve their client’s interests as a matter of personal principles and professional ethics.  But are there any evil financial advisors who prey upon unwitting customers to line their own pockets at their clients’ expense? Absolutely.  Can they do this with impunity? Apparently.

OK. Here comes the hilarity.

By what dizzying spin of logic do those who hold that Financial Advisors should not be held accountable to their clients justify this position?  The Financial Industry and Repugnican law makers contend that making financial advisors serve their clients’ interests will only serve to LIMIT THE RANGE OF OPPORTUNITIES IN THE MARKETPLACE.

Huh?  What was that?  Are they really worried that the unsuspecting public should have the right to the opportunity to be bilked?  C’mon man!

That’s like saying:

  • the makers of Kool-Aid (Kraft, by the way) should be allowed to broaden the soft drink market with a new Cyanide flavor (made with real cyanide).  Please excuse me if I decline this opportunity.

or

  • Goldman Sachs should be allowed to bundle up a bunch of toxic mortgages, wrap them in pretty paper, stamp them Grade A Certified, and sell these ticking time bombs to unwitting investors, igniting  financial ruin for all   …..  Oh, wait a minute.  They did do that.

 

Beware of those Advisors and financial instituutions who oppose the serve client’s best interests mandate. They’re the ones most likely to pick you pockets.  The evil ones.

It is  a sad day, however, when integrity needs to be made mandatory. A sad day.

For Goodness Sake, Calm Down

For Goodness Sake, Calm Down

Never before in the history of the United States of America has a President of our country been an outright self-centered, evil human being.  Being an accomplished malignant narcissist, Donald Trump has never felt the slightest amount of empathy for anyone but himself.  He lies constantly and is unapologetically sadistic, like an immature and undisciplined playground bully who enjoys attaching firecrackers to frogs and other small animals just to watch them explode.  He makes rash decisions motivated solely by selfish wishes. And he usually gets away without a scratch.

Anyone who would use his bully pulpit to complain about the falling ratings of his trumped up television show, The Apprentice, at a major prayer breakfast of clerics from a huge variety of religions, is seriously demented, disrespectful, conceited, and unstable.

Summing up, we have a President of the United States who is incapable of empathy, is malignantly self-centered, is a blatant and lifelong liar, is unreliable, seriously demented, evil, disrespectful, and unstable.  He has executive powers, controls our nuclear arsenal, and in his first 10 days in office has created opportunities to insult both our allies and our enemies with reckless abandon.

So what in heaven’s name are so many people worried about?

Lying Donald

Lying Donald

Okay folks.  Here we go. Welcome to the Twilight Zone.  One day in office and Donald Trump is obviously lying.  Equally obvious, he expects us to believe him.

Ridiculously, this lie is about the fact that the “crowd” at his Inauguration was significantly smaller than the Obama Inauguration crowd in 2009.  Lying Donald purports that every single news outlet in the world tampered with aerial photography of the crowds on Washington Mall in 2009 and 2017.  Why did they do that?  To show that Lying Donald is not nearly as beloved as he says he is.

What a foolish and self-centered issue on which to inaugurate his presidential disinformation campaign.

The real problem is his crowd was much smaller than his ego.

Take note, patriots.  Lying Donald had the nerve to stand before the wall of the fallen in the CIA and lied about what???  Crowd size?? He doesn’t deserve the right to occupy the hallowed space that honors true Americans who gave their lives for intelligence regarding the Truth.

Our nation has never had reason to question the veracity of its President’s character…until now.  How in heaven’s name is the United States of America to remain a democracy under a president who has no respect for the Truth?  Lying Donald lives in his own fantasy world where he is worshipped and adored by everybody.  Any evidence to the contrary in the real world must needs to have been fabricated by his evil enemies.  He is a legend in his own mind, but he was rejected by a nearly 3 million person margin of the electorate.  (Oh, yeah.  He covered that in a tweet alleging massive voter fraud in states where he didn’t win. Right.)

Make no mistake; blatantly lying to the masses to fabricate an unstable political environment is a key tactic in any strategy to create a totalitarian state.  It is little wonder that Trump openly admired the ultra-oppressive leaders of North Korea.  Lying Donald surely would feel right at home there.

Real American patriots who value freedom, security, and all that is necessary to uphold them will not long tolerate Lying Donald’s dangerous disregard of the Truth.

Perhaps we should begin to populate a compendium of the work of Lying Donald. Setting aside his absurd several-year Obama “birther” position that he finally had to admit was a lie, let’s start with his tweets characterizing Representative John Lewis as “all talk, talk, talk, but no action” and characterizing his district as a crime riddled slum.  Both of these allegations were BLATANTLY false.  Unlike Lying Donald, Mr. Lewis is a true hero of the Republic who accomplished more for America in one day than Lying Donald is likely to accomplish in his lifetime.  Furthermore, Mr. Lewis has long represented a peaceful, law-abiding, integrated, and exemplary district in Atlanta.

A president simply cannot afford to take any uninformed action.  Obviously, Lying Donald’s tweets were horribly wrong because Mr. Lewis and his district are among the broad universe of topics about which Trump is woefully uninformed.   As demonstrated in this instance, statements made by the uninformed are quite often proven to be lies.  It’s a matter of Trust, and Lying Donald’s is bleeding quickly away.

Intelligence

The cure for being uninformed is what, Donald?  Come on; you know this.  If you don’t have information, what do you need?

No. Not gut instinct, Try again.

Yes, that’s right. Information.  When you don’t have information you need information.

Remember those pesky daily intelligence briefings you refused to accept?  They are full of information you should know about as President of the United States. 

Don’t you think you owe it to the American people to be informed?

No?

Oh, you think the time you spend on Twitter is more important.

Dear God, help us.

 

 

Lying Donald’s Compendium of Falsehood – January 2017

  1. Representative John Lewis is all talk, no action. Twitter
  2. Representative Lewis’s District is shameful and crime riddled. Twitter
  3. Lying Donald’s Inauguration crowd will be record-setting . Twitter
  4. The Media conspired to make Lying Donald’s Inauguration crowd appear much smaller than it was. Twitter and Pronouncement by Press Secretary