62 thoughts on “News/Politics 11-12-16

  1. Hi guys

    I have a question for you all. In the wake of the election, I have some concerns that my health insurance and retirement will be limited so that I can no longer cover my wife. Is this something I really need to worry about or is it just an existential fear stemming from a new Congress that seems likely to take a shot a marriage equality, including through the courts.

    As a Marylander, I live in a state that passed marriage equality through the vote, not the courts or the legislature. (I’m not sure that’s relevant though given NOM, Women for America and others that seem to have no compunction about legislating their agendas).


  2. Coyote Blue, my thought would be that, like everyone else ought to be doing, you should be taking steps to not need assisted health insurance or retirement. We are getting so messed up that people are going to need to step up to make things work for themselves and for others.


  3. I put this is up for Tychicus in case he is homesick, but everyone can play. Last night we went to LSA Burgers on the square in Denton (right across the street from the Confederate monument). The place has this Texas-size painting of Jesus eating a hamburger (with mustard not mayonnaise) along with 12 Texas music legends as his disciples. How many can you name?


  4. Mumsee,

    Really? I have health insurance and retirement as a consequence of my job. My retirement package includes an annuity and a 401k plan to which I contribute. I also contribute to my health insurance plan. I also have an IRA. It isn’t lack of planning that worries me.

    Rick — that’s the truth, more flies with honey was never more apt

    Michelle, that’s comforting. I’m trying to keep my unease at bay.


  5. All the planning in the world won’t help if it is based on a faulty system. I am talking about doing things separate from involving insurance companies and banks and investments. We have seen too many other countries go over the edge to not be forewarned.


  6. DJ and Michelle, It appears you are in a type of warm-weather Bastogne – surrounded by the enemy.


  7. CB, I’m watching West Virginia play Texas and it reminds me of a very pretty 200 mile drive we made across western Maryland and West Virginia form Williamsport to Morgantown on Interstates 70 and 68 to see the Mountaineers play Baylor two years ago. Cumberland, Maryland is a stunningly picturesque town from the highway. I understand it is sort of the city that time forgot.


  8. At least one group of govt. employees is happy with the Trump election. Now they might actually be permitted to do their jobs instead of playing nursemaids to the invaders.


    “After a campaign in which Donald Trump promised to end illegal immigration, his victory over Hillary Clinton sent waves of optimism through the ranks of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency this week.
    “A collective sigh of relief was breathed Wednesday morning,” said one deportation officer based in Texas who, like others reached by BuzzFeed News, requested anonymity because they were not permitted to speak to reporters.
    Another deportation officer working on the southern border said he hopes Trump will end the “catch-and-release” approach. Right now “I feel like I’m not even working for immigration, I feel like I’m working for a travel agency,” he said. “Welcome to America, here’s your bus ticket, now go on your way.”
    “I signed up thinking I was going to enforce immigration laws,” he continued. “Hopefully he is going to fix that.”
    The Immigration and Customs Enforcement union, which says it represents 5,000 federal immigration officers, endorsed Donald Trump in late September, the first time it has ever weighed in on a presidential election.”

    Liked by 2 people

  9. And on a related note….

    End your states “sanctuary city” policies, or lose federal funding. Problem solved.


    “California is quickly becoming a battleground for immigration policy as a cross-section of leaders across the state vowed to fight any plans by President-elect Donald Trump to deport thousands of people in the U.S. illegally.

    Trump said during the presidential campaign that he’ll build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and deport people in the country illegally. He is expected to unwind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an initiative by President Obama that protects immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

    California has some of the nation’s most liberal policies when it comes to handling immigrants here illegally. The state has allowed them to get driver’s licenses, health coverage for children and in-state tuition. Institutions like churches also support immigrants.

    But the Golden State could be on a collision course with Trump if he pushes hard-line immigration policies enthusiastically backed by many of his supporters.”


  10. Coyote Blue, I think you have heard my “joke” that I have enough gay friends and relatives to have my own parade…I have spent the week reassuring them. Joe and Joanne American do not want to take away any of your rights. No one is going to come and haul you off to shock therapy to cure your gayness. I had to assure one friend that I had a gun and if anyone came for him I would shoot them. I will make you the same offer. I am not being flip. I still believe this is the United States of America. I have to believe that we are better than what is currently going on.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The effects of the Trumpocalypse continue to ripple. 🙂


    “The political climate has changed and many of the poor bureaucrats at the EPA are in denial. After eight years in the ideologically simpatico Obama administration, they are struggling to deal with the angst created by the election of Donald Trump. Panic and depression have set in with some people taking sick leave to manage their grief and others breaking down in tears. From E&E News:

    U.S. EPA employees were in tears. Worried Energy Department staffers were offered counseling. Some federal employees were so depressed, they took time off. Others might retire early.

    And some employees are in downright panic mode in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s victory.

    “People are upset. Some people took the day off because they were depressed,” said John O’Grady, president of American Federation of Government Employees Council 238, a union that represents thousands of EPA employees. After Election Day, “people were crying,” added O’Grady, who works in EPA’s Region 5 office in Chicago. “They were recommending that people take sick leave and go home.”

    According to this Office of Personnel Management fact sheet, sick leave is supposed to be used for “personal medical needs,” “family care or bereavement,” caring for a “family member with a serious health condition” or “adoption-related purposes.” There’s nothing in there about feeling bad about the outcome of an election which means, technically, this is abuse of sick leave. But pampered government workers, the very people who make sure everyone else sticks to the rules, are notorious for taking “mental health days” and thus turning their sick leave into just another big bucket of paid hours off. In this case, it’s not just employees abusing their leave, it’s the managers at the EPA telling people to take a sick day.””

    The real victims here are the taxpayers.


  12. Politics is a touchy subject at the dog park. One of our more (Republican) patrician regulars, who is married to a diplomat, said her husband is actually now on some kind of Trump advisory committee, taking calls even though he’s half way around the world most of the time.

    We have others who are staunch Hillary supporters, some who are yahoo-type Trump supporters, also a libertarian.

    I was thinking also today that California, which is feeling rebellious to the point of wanting to secede, is now big on “state’s rights,” which is usually a favorite conservative cause.

    The world is getting very confusing.

    (I see, also, that Bolton is on a short list for Secy of State? wow. Some things are going to represent a complete U-turn from the current (soon-to-be-past) administration)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. DJ, I would hope that a couple of the dogs were Arnold Weaver supporters. 😀

    Marse Robert would agree that when you desire to secede, State’s Rights are very important indeed. Otherwise, the federal president may invade your state and burn your cities, houses and farms.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Kim – thank you

    KBells – were the feds to repeal recognition of my legal marriage in Maryland, my 401k would still go to my wife, but it would be taxed as if it were a gift to a stranger. My annuity and social security would not go to her at all. The IRA would be much like the 401k.

    DJ – John Bolton would be different in tone for State but not that different in substance. I know this from his work as UN Ambassador. He’d be a good choice, as would Sen. Corker.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. As my daughter-in-law said, “If I had known how Trump’s election was going to drive the liberals completely insane, I might have considered voting for him though he is disgusting.”

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sorry. I meant to attach this:


  17. In other election news, my 6th Arrow announced the winners of the first plastic animals presidential race here:

    And we have our first woman president. 🙂 A nine-year-old dinosaur named Marissa. The candidate with the second-most votes is Marissa’s 29-year-old uncle, Fourt (I am told he likes the number four), making him the Vice President.

    Kind of interesting how a nine-year-old female won in an election set up by…um, a nine-year-old female. 🙂

    Now imagine if the #1 and #2 top vote-getters in the U.S. presidential election this year were to be the pres and vp, respectively…

    Whoo whee wouldn’t that be fun? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Sounds pretty out your way, CB. I have a sister in Maryland, but I haven’t been out there in the time she’s been there. (Actually, I’ve never even been anywhere in the Eastern time zone.) Maybe some day…

    The Music Teacher’s National Association 2017 Convention is in Baltimore in the spring…


  19. Interesting article. I had no idea my vote seldom got counted during the 20 years we voted absentee ballot. Anyone else heard of this idea–that they only count the absentee votes if there’s a question or the numbers are close in an election? In my county, 80% of the voters vote absentee. Maybe vote DID count a little more this year?

    He’s also saying that if all the votes really were counted, Clinton might not win the popular vote.



  20. Hi 6, Md is a lovely state from the Cacoctins to the Chesapeake.

    Kbells – My pleasure.

    Michelle, with 4 million more votes to count in Cali, Clinton is now up 1.5 mil in the popular vote. I doubt that President-elect Trump would catch her, but you never know.


  21. Many of you saw Lynn Vincent’s FB post with her letter to the NYT editor.

    In part, she writes (quoting from the Times editorial):

    “And Ms. Le Pen is not alone. From the Balkans to the Netherlands, politicians on the far right have greeted the election of Mr. Trump with unrestrained delight…They are seeing it as a sign that their time has finally arrived, and that the politics of heightened nationalism, immigrant-bashing and anti-globalization have overturned the pro-globalization, pro-immigration consensus.”

    She responds:

    Mr. Baquet, I submit to you that self-examination and fair coverage necessarily mean that Times news writers refrain from using politically freighted, and subtly or overtly pejorative terms.

    Mr. Nossiter broad-brushes as “immigrant-bashing” a range of concerns with the economic and security implications of immigration. Does immigrant-bashing go on? Yes. But painting as “bashing” all concerns with immigrants ignores other, quite valid opinions on the topic.

    This is precisely the kind of intellectual marginalizing that damaged your paper’s reputation, and helped elect Donald Trump.

    Mr. Nossiter’s use of “far right” is a more subtle use of loaded language, evoking fascist dictators of the past. If he is not aware of this, his editors should be.

    If you mean to make good on your promises to subscribers, you may want to consider directing your reporters and editors to strive for accurate, uncolored language. In this piece, something like “consternation—sometimes vehement—over legal and illegal immigrants” would have done the job, as well as “conservatives from the middle- to far right.”


  22. Correction, that first graph was a quote not from an editorial, but apparently from a NYT news story.

    As she said, loaded language


  23. DJ, true, but people need to learn to not treat editorials as news. I definitely don’t react to every editorial I read (and I read quite a few) from the right – most of it is bloviating. Same on the left.


  24. That’s why I corrected that, it was from a news story. I agree, editorials can say whatever they want (I rarely read the ones that run even in our own paper)


  25. I really don’t care what any given newspaper *thinks* in an election. But news coverage too often is subtly influenced by a reporter’s own world view. Most reporters are liberal, so that kind of viewpoint to often seeps into news stories.


  26. Most (not all) of my colleagues in my own newsroom saw Trump as racist and every other -ist — and his supporters as the same, as mostly uneducated “far right wing” types. They are horrified at the election results.


  27. I was clicking through the channels and passed by MSNBC. Up there was a question “Should Trump cross party lines to establish his cabinet?”

    I might suggest an alternate question.
    “Why would Trump ever consider appointing an opposing party member for his cabinet?”
    I saw last night that some in the EPA and some other agencies are taking sick leave.


  28. That’s also true DJ. I wouldn’t suggest that reporters are always able to shake their bias, but the good ones do try. I know President-elect Trump is perceived as racist, but that is really his own doing and he could change that, if he wanted to. When I read Breitbart it is also easy to see a clear bias.

    Chas, President Obama, in his first term did appoint a few Republicans. He did this for continuity (in the case of DoD) and as a reach across the aisle. When the country is split as closely as it is, it might not be a bad idea to reach out. Though I can see why a new President would prefer not to as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I think I’m speaking of most Red America here.
    We don’t want them tow reach across the aisle.
    We don’t want to get something done.
    We want lots of stuff undone. Too much has been done already.
    Too much government everywhere.

    That’s what I heard Red America say.

    Liked by 3 people

  30. chas, I think most presidents make an appt or two from the opposing party, it’s pretty traditional. A party that wins the White House AND both the House & Senate also needs to beware of overreach and hubris.

    Coyote, yes, good ones do, agreed. But sometimes there’s an almost subconscious approach — seen frequently in this election, I’d argue — that seeps in almost innocently, if I could use that word.

    And I agree, Trump said some pretty over-the-top things while campaigning. I did not vote for either him or Clinton. But this (hopefully) will be a new phase. … He has some reassurance to offer, i’d say, on some issues.

    I posted on the daily thread about out excellent sermon today regarding some of this. Our pastor outdid himself today. 🙂 You can hear it on audio sermon — Branch of Hope (Orthodox) Presbyterian Church. We are blessed.


  31. That’s interesting Chas, from the places that gave President-elect Trump the election, the voters said do something about trade, do something about Wall Street, do something about health care, etc. Bring back jobs. President-elect Trump responded with a mix of things including billions in new infrastructure spending and in the case of trade, threatening tariffs – these things require doing not undoing.

    Undoing stuff will also make them do something. The ACA for example, it can’t just simply be repealed — they need to figure out how to do that and President-elect Trump is trying to figure out what parts of it to keep. Undoing regulations — they really need to look at what is being undone. Many, if not most regulations extend from legislation. Congress writes, make the air cleaner (okay not that simplistically, but not with great, great detail either).

    DJ, we definitely agree.


  32. Coyote Blue I am in Maryland about once or sometime twice a year now. My husband has grandchildren there. I am somewhere between Annapolis and Solomon’s Island. I would love to buy you lunch the next time I am there. Probably not until some time over in the Spring this coming year. We were there for a week in January.


  33. Good will gestures go a long way following a hard-fought national election. There may be no soothing all feelings, but reaching out to those who suddenly find themselves on the “outside” can be a big help and are well advised moves for the victors.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Revamping a health care plan will be a challenge and could take some time. There were problems with the system before Obamacare, more added (in my opinion) after Obamacare. I’m not really sure how we “fix” that.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Priceless, Ricky — He should be a meme similar to “Get a brain morans”

    Given the popular voter will be in Hilary’s favour by at least a million votes, Trump and Republicans should be conciliatory, but I have my doubts it will happen.

    Provisional votes and absentee ballots are sometimes not counted if it won’t make a difference to the outcome — a strange practise and an insult to those who made the effort to vote.

    Undoing stuff is almost impossible — like unscrambling an egg. NAFTA and other trade deals will be almost impossible to rewrite or cancel as business and individuals have established practises and plans. All Trump can do is prevent TPP. The ACA may be changed but the actual framework will be maintained as there really isn’t a viable replacement other than more gov’t involvement — single payer, gov’t insurance, etc. Roe v Wade won’t be repealed as it would affect other decisions — right to privacy — which have nothing to do with abortion. It may be modified but why as abortions are lower than 1973 and in certain states regulations have minimized any access to abortions. Same sex marriage and accompanying rights may be just as difficult to unwind — existing marriages and other arrangements can’t be unilaterally undone and culturally most Americans now accept same sex couples should have similar rights and privileges as married or common law couples.

    Interesting fact — the last time the Republicans controlled the Presidency, Senate and House at the same time, it was 1928. And Hoover’s response to the economic crash — higher tariffs, which only made things worse.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. DJ, I think it would take a very intelligent, benevolent dictator 10 years to make our healthcare system as good and as efficient as those of Singapore or Holland. If Trump and our Congress can make any progress, I will be really impressed.


  37. HRW, My wife and I figure that a couple of my Trumpkin friends probably took my post literally and now believe I have become a communist.


  38. The most difficult part of true healthcare reform revolves around the fact that our doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, nurse’s aides, pharmaceutical salesmen, etc. are paid based on us spending 19% of GDP on healthcare. Most of Western Europe spends around 10% of GDP. Singapore which has a brilliantly (and not democratically) designed system spends about 5% of GDP. Even a dictator would not slash the salaries of healthcare workers overnight. You need to phase in market reforms over time. Paul Ryan’s plan to convert Medicare to a voucher program is actually the best idea to come along since Reagan increased Medicare copayments. However, the political alliance of old people, doctors, big pharma and poor people is unbeatable.


  39. “End your states “sanctuary city” policies, or lose federal funding. Problem solved.”

    So “States’ Rights” and Federalism only apply when you actually like them. Otherwise, they’d better toe the federal line?


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