Why?

When you want to make a difference and a blog like this is all you can think of.  FYI: This is my deaf dog Princess. She has nothing to do with this blog. I just like the picture.

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We’re Not a Business, We’re a Country; There’s a Difference

CNN recently ran a story on its Website on interviews it conducted with senior citizens in Florida about how they saw the 2020 presidential race.

A retired banker had “proudly cast his ballot for Donald Trump in 2016, excited at the prospect of sending an entrepreneur to the White House on a pledge to change Washington, D.C,” the story reported.

“We were so excited in the beginning,” the man said. “A businessman to run our country like a business, and it hasn’t happened.” He plans to not vote for the president this time around.

You could wonder why anyone who thinks it’s a great idea to have a businessman run the country would think that someone like Trump, whose businesses have declared bankruptcy six times, should be that man.

And you could argue that Trump’s series of unique and seemingly endless traits that disqualify him from holding our nation’s highest office make him a distorted study of how well a businessman would handle the job.

Still, we’re a country, not a business, and those who want the country run like a business either don’t understand the role government should play in our lives, or are telling us that government should exist to benefit only the most fortunate among us.

Either way, they’re wrong.

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Will Police be Part of the Solution or Remain Part of the Problem?

Years ago, a friend of mine who had been a state legislator and a school superintendent told me, “You can’t make someone do something they don’t want to do.”

I still don’t know what to make of that observation. Lots of people do things they don’t want to do because of the consequences if they don’t, such as losing a job. Of course, some will still be defiant and lose their jobs rather than conform.

I remembered my friend’s comment in the wake of the national anger over racism and policing that has long simmered in this country and is now blazing hot, having been ignited by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.

Uprooting systemic racism is a pretty daunting task that becomes that much harder when one of the key groups in the equation – the police officers themselves – have little interest in cooperating.

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Buzzword Kill, a Voter’s Guide to Republican Jargon

Madison Cawthorn is 24 years old, and this week he won his U.S. Congressional district’s Republican primary by easily prevailing in a run-off against a candidate endorsed by President Donald Trump.

Cawthorn is a good-looking, smart, articulate young man. He has a compelling backstory. He was nominated to the U.S. Naval Academy in 2014 but was partially paralyzed in a car accident the same year.

I watched his interview on “Morning Joe” the day after his win, and I checked out his Website. It turns out that Cawthorn might be a fresh new face in the Republican Party, but he’s singing the same old song the GOP has used to try to con us for years.

Hearing and reading the predictable clichés made me think that this might be a good time to go over the true meaning of what Republicans tend to spout off by rote. Spoiler alert: It’s not what they want you to think it is.

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More Mueller, Other News, and a Blast From the Past

A pretty important story appeared on the Business Insider Website this week.

It’s titled, The most explosive revelations from the newly released, less redacted version of the Mueller report,” and it revealed some pretty damaging details about our incompetent, corrupt president, Donald Trump.

The documents were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit from BuzzFeed News and CNN. (On a side note, it’s pathetic that we need media outlets going to court to get information that the government should have released to the public on its own.)

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The Hell With Healing, Focus on Winning

In the small town of Bethel, Ohio, located in the Cincinnati area, with a population of about 2,800, approximately 80 people gathered last Sunday for a peaceful demonstration to oppose police violence against African Americans.

The event was called “Bethel’s Solidarity with Black Lives Demonstration.”

Nothing unusual here. Peaceful protests have been held all over the world the past few weeks in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

Nothing unusual until about 700 counterprotesters showed up – some of them armed with rifles, baseball bats and clubs – representing motorcycle gangs, “back the blue” groups, and Second Amendment proponents. (I know, Floyd’s death has nothing to do with the Second Amendment, but you know how gunheads hate to miss a good party.)

Not surprisingly, things got ugly.

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No Problem Was Ever Solved by Believing a Fairy Tale

Chances are if you ever read a child a bedtime story, it was one that had a happy ending.

I’m no child psychologist, but it seems to me that if your goal is to have him or her enjoy a good night’s sleep you wouldn’t tell stories about zombies eating human flesh or monsters coming out of closets at night to kill children.

Unfortunately, our politicians sometimes see us as children and think a good yarn, no matter how untrue it is, is just what the doctor ordered to help them get what they want, as opposed to what our country needs.

Probably no politician in history has lied with the depth and frequency of President Donald Trump. Thousands of his lies have been documented. Two of his recent ones are particularly ghastly because they’ll lead to more unnecessary deaths. And he doesn’t care.

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Truth be Told: Why It’s So Important

If you’ve watched much basketball, you’d know that different teams employ different styles and paces of play.

Some are methodical, taking their time to strategically set up the best shot they can come up with on every possession. Some play at a faster pace that gives the players more freedom to aggressively seek a good scoring opportunity, still within an organized approach. And some are downright frenetic, hoping to find success and discombobulate their opponent in the process.

This blog has recently completed a five-part series titled, “Truth be Told.” Its goal was to refute Republican fairy tales and lies about important issues. The series included coverage for pre-existing conditions, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the economy, and prescription drug costs, detailing the con jobs that the GOP has been trying to pull in each area.

If you compared the series to a basketball game, you’d say it took the methodical approach. The belief here is that, while fire and brimstone and controlled hysteria have a place, sometimes you just have to get down to the nuts and bolts.

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Truth be Told: Republicans Say No to Prescription for Lower Drug Prices

(Fifth of a five-part series refuting Republican fairy tales and lies about important issues)

When Donald Trump was running for president, he said he could save Medicare billions of dollars by getting it to negotiate prices with major pharmaceutical companies – something not allowed by the law.

Trump wanted the government to “negotiate like crazy” with drug companies, the Washington Post reported.

Turns out that was just a lie. The president has done absolutely nothing to establish negotiations with the drug companies, and Republicans have played right along with the sham by voting against that happening.

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Truth be Told: The Republicans’ Economic Fairy Tale

(Fourth of a five-part series refuting Republican fairy tales and lies about important issues)

My U.S. Congressman, a Trump-embracing blowhard named Mike Kelly, likes to talk about how our country is “experiencing the best economy in half a century.”

Kelly not only gets his facts wrong about our economic realities, but he also keeps leaving out the most important part: “Thanks, Obama.”

That’s because, for all of Kelly’s fawning and bootlicking over President Donald Trump, the truth is our streak of economic growth leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic actually started when President Barack Obama brought us back from the Great Recession he had inherited from a Republican president.

In fact, the Trump economy has underperformed the Obama economy in several areas, according to a February 2020 piece in the New York Times by economics expert Steven Rattner titled, “The Economy is Not as Good as it Looks.”

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Truth be Told: The Bait and Switch on Taxing Corporations’ Foreign Revenues

(Third of a five-part series refuting Republican fairy tales and lies about important issues)

It turns out the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was an example of the old bait and switch to help large corporations pay billions of dollars less in taxes on money shifted overseas.

This was explained in a December 2019 New York Times article titled, “How Big Companies Won Tax Breaks From the Trump Administration,” that carried the subhead, “As the Treasury Department prepared to enact the 2017 Republican tax overhaul, corporate lobbyists swarmed – and won big.”

“… not long after the bill became law in December 2017, the Trump administration began transforming the tax package into a greater windfall for the world’s largest corporations and their shareholders,” the Times article said. “The tax bills of many big companies have ended up even smaller than what was anticipated when the president signed the bill.”

Starting in early 2018, Treasury Department officials found themselves busier than a one-armed paper hanger as they dealt with lobbyists seeking to protect companies from the few parts of the tax law that would require them to pay more taxes.

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