Now For The Numbers….

So–the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has released its analysis of “TrumpCare.”

Here are their numbers:

14 million Americans will lose their insurance by 2018
21 million Americans will lose their insurance by 2020
24 million Americans will lose their insurance by 2026
There will be 52 million Americans with no health insurance by 2026 (for comparison, there were 46 million uninsured before Obamacare became law)
The bill will cut $880 billion from Medicaid by 2026
15 percent of Planned Parenthood patients will lose access to care
A 64-year-old making $26,500 would have to pay $14,600 for insurance in 2026 (for comparison, that 64-year-old pays $1,700 under Obamacare), and

After transferring $275 billion from public-health spending to the richest 1 or 2 percent via tax cuts,  it will reduce budget deficits by $336 billion between 2018 and 2026.

AHCA–aka “Trumpcare” or perhaps “Ryancare”– would reduce deficits by $336 billion but would cut government spending on healthcare programs by $1.2 trillion.

When you think about it, this is a brilliant approach to deficit reduction that we could apply across the board.

We can cut billions out of the budget if we stop paving Interstate highways and inspecting and fixing bridges. We can reduce the deficit significantly if we stop hiring those high-priced CPAs to monitor bank compliance with financial regulations and enforce the SEC’s oversight of corporate securities offerings. We can save another bundle if we no longer enforce rules against air and water pollution (actually, Scott Pruitt, the new EPA Chief, has already begun that effort.) Betsy DeVos assures us that schools don’t need oversight, so we don’t need the Department of Education. We probably don’t need those bean-counters at the CBO or the Bureau of Labor Statistics, either.

And of course, we could stop paying Social Security to all those useless old people. Think of what that would save us!

It’s true that if we did all these things, government would no longer function, and we’d be thrown into a Hobbesian, dog-eat-dog world, but that’s actually the result many Republican Congress-critters have been working toward. The President wouldn’t mind, because he really has no idea what most of government does anyway.

Of course, if we wanted to make a real dent in the national debt, we could dramatically reduce the bloated amounts we spend on the military. But something tells me that might be a bridge too far…..


  1. Guess now we’ll see how effective AARP is, and what clout citizens over 55 have.

  2. And we will see if the Trump voters catch on to the fact that they have been had.

  3. We could save 1,500,000,000,000.00 (that’s 1.5 trillion if we went to single payer or “Medicare for all”

  4. Congress could consider becoming a volunteer organization with no budget and give up their health and life insurance. That should save a few million. They could work on a kick back/fee basis, keeping a percentage of whichever lobbyist’s favorite legislation was passed. I can see them lining up now like hungry baby birds with their mouths open.

  5. Last night I watched Chris Hayes and Bernie Sanders in “Trump country”; they had the numbers before CBO released them and shared them with the people in a rural West Virginia coal mining county. The numbers became faces and voices last night; real people who are becoming aware of who and what they elected to the presidency and what actually lies in their futures. While Bernie and Chris spoke facts and figures to that specific group, including one Democratic elected official who voted for Trump; I watched Bernie’s face as he watched and listened to what they said and saw their dawning awareness to reality. Bernie was there to share information; he spoke to those people but more importantly, he LISTENED to what they had to say.

    The only West Virginian who appeared to remain partially swayed by Trump was the miner who got his job and benefits back as promised. But; he also saw what looms ahead in his future and that of his family and the other miners and realized, nothing is guaranteed as was promised under this current administration. Nothing is as it seemed with all of Trump’s promises which are now, in the full light of day, contentious partisan political rants filled with “alternative facts”, “walking back” his spoken words and idiotic accusations and “explanations” by his clones, Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway. Beware your microwaves!

    The “numbers” always come down to the people they represent; we need to see and hear more from them to know the full impact of wealth and politics vs. quality and/or loss of human lives. How much time and how many millions of our tax dollars have been wasted by Republicans since the fight over people’s right to affordable health care began decades ago? How many lives have been lost and will be in jeopardy as this fight over MONEY continues.

    A major point made last night; if you who watched have been paying attention during this chaotic campaign and election began in 2015, is the fact that it is NOT drugs coming from Mexico that is causing the addiction problems and deaths. It is BIG PHARMA; that point was made but should have been stressed. MILLIONS of painkillers provided by Big Pharma have been sold through one small West Virginia town with a population of 400 residents. MILLIONS of painkillers sold due to doctors over prescribing, earning the pharmacy $500,000 monthly.

    Consider those numbers as we absorb the numbers we now know from the CBO publication, Sheila’s blog today and those of us who received the report from honest Representatives such as our own Andre Carson. I got mine yesterday and passed it on.

  6. Bill Bailey,

    The only realistic clout now is the threat of an effective general strike. We need to understand the political history of France in the mid 30’s before it’s too late. Ryan needs to be taught a real good lesson.

    “What goes around comes around.”

  7. Bill Bailey – it will be interesting now that the numbers are published, to hear how those older Trumpster voters correlate “make America great again” and not having affordable health care in their elder years. Methinks they will discover these two things are not compatible if/when Republicans and Drumpf dismantle Medicaid, Medicare and the ACA (& also Social Security).

    Maybe losing these lifelines will be the “catastrophic” event that will finally change their minds about Hair Orange Fuhrer, his flunky Republican congress, and their ill-will-conceived agenda.

    If (only) it were up to me, the Republicans who want to eradicate Obamacare should forego their congressional health care plans. Itʻs disgusting and hypocritical for them to have health care that we citizens pay for while they cut off their fellow Americans. Selfish jerks.

  8. When will you ALL wake up to the fact that you have been “sold out” and that your so-called leaders have no EFFECTIVE defensive capabilities whatsoever against this TSUNAMI OF HATRED from the Extreme Right?

  9. wow! Great comments. It is no wonder that the Russians saw our vulnerability brewing over the years and took the opportunity to invade. Bernie is so inspiring to so many and I still wonder what the Democrats have as a game plan to go forward. I see hope in the increase of activism at many levels of our country to combat these dangerous forces.

  10. As Robert points out, Medicare for all is the only end game for this mess. It works. It is already in place. It has a good track record. Lets DO IT.

  11. We can make a difference. I encourage all to call, write and email our Senators and Representative. We can demand Town Hall meetings. We can write letters to the editor. We can post on social media and ask that such posts be shared. A war is when the government tells us who to fight. We need to have a revolution whereby Americans unite to fight for the rights of many compared to the rights of the top 1-2% of the wealthy who are getting this $275 Billion windfall tax break at our expense!

  12. Tom,

    I hope you can observe how difficult it is for many on this blog to admit to the problem of leadership. That’s why we have been focusing on communicating with Europeans. They’re not scared to speak out against this terrible situation we’re now facing. The same thing happened in Germany in 1934 when Hitler finally had complete control. However, it took him a few months to consolidate his power.

    We’re now facing the same process with Trump/Pence/Bannon. They’re pretty much on schedule even as they make mistake after mistake. It doesn’t matter since there is no effective opposition.

  13. What I am most interested in seeing over the next few weeks is how Republicans in Congress act. We know that moderate Republicans think the Ryan bill is bad for the same reasons Democrats do. We also know that conservative Republicans think the Ryan bill is bad, because it gives too much away to people outside of the 1%. If Democrats hold the line, they only need three Republicans in the Senate to stop the bill. Are there three Senate Republicans with the courage to defy their party? I certainly hope so.

  14. An excerpt from
    They Thought They Were Free
    The Germans, 1933-45
    Milton Mayer

    But Then It Was Too Late

    “What no one seemed to notice,” said a colleague of mine, a philologist, “was the ever widening gap, after 1933, between the government and the people. Just think how very wide this gap was to begin with, here in Germany. And it became always wider. You know, it doesn’t make people close to their government to be told that this is a people’s government, a true democracy, or to be enrolled in civilian defense, or even to vote. All this has little, really nothing, to do with knowing one is governing.

    “What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.

    “This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.

    “You will understand me when I say that my Middle High German was my life. It was all I cared about. I was a scholar, a specialist. Then, suddenly, I was plunged into all the new activity, as the university was drawn into the new situation; meetings, conferences, interviews, ceremonies, and, above all, papers to be filled out, reports, bibliographies, lists, questionnaires. And on top of that were the demands in the community, the things in which one had to, was ‘expected to’ participate that had not been there or had not been important before. It was all rigmarole, of course, but it consumed all one’s energies, coming on top of the work one really wanted to do. You can see how easy it was, then, not to think about fundamental things. One had no time.”

    “Those,” I said, “are the words of my friend the baker. ‘One had no time to think. There was so much going on.’”

    “Your friend the baker was right,” said my colleague. “The dictatorship, and the whole process of its coming into being, was above all diverting. It provided an excuse not to think for people who did not want to think anyway. I do not speak of your ‘little men,’ your baker and so on; I speak of my colleagues and myself, learned men, mind you. Most of us did not want to think about fundamental things and never had. There was no need to. Nazism gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about—we were decent people—and kept us so busy with continuous changes and ‘crises’ and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the machinations of the ‘national enemies,’ without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us. Unconsciously, I suppose, we were grateful. Who wants to think?

    “To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it—please try to believe me—unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’ that no ‘patriotic German’ could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.

    “How is this to be avoided, among ordinary men, even highly educated ordinary men? Frankly, I do not know. I do not see, even now. Many, many times since it all happened I have pondered that pair of great maxims, Principiis obsta and Finem respice—‘Resist the beginnings’ and ‘Consider the end.’ But one must foresee the end in order to resist, or even see, the beginnings. One must foresee the end clearly and certainly and how is this to be done, by ordinary men or even by extraordinary men? Things might have. And everyone counts on that might.

    “Your ‘little men,’ your Nazi friends, were not against National Socialism in principle. Men like me, who were, are the greater offenders, not because we knew better (that would be too much to say) but because we sensed better. Pastor Niemöller spoke for the thousands and thousands of men like me when he spoke (too modestly of himself) and said that, when the Nazis attacked the Communists, he was a little uneasy, but, after all, he was not a Communist, and so he did nothing; and then they attacked the Socialists, and he was a little uneasier, but, still, he was not a Socialist, and he did nothing; and then the schools, the press, the Jews, and so on, and he was always uneasier, but still he did nothing. And then they attacked the Church, and he was a Churchman, and he did something—but then it was too late.”

    “Yes,” I said.

    “You see,” my colleague went on, “one doesn’t see exactly where or how to move. Believe me, this is true. Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow. You don’t want to act, or even talk, alone; you don’t want to ‘go out of your way to make trouble.’ Why not?—Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty.

    “Uncertainty is a very important factor, and, instead of decreasing as time goes on, it grows. Outside, in the streets, in the general community, ‘everyone’ is happy. One hears no protest, and certainly sees none. You know, in France or Italy there would be slogans against the government painted on walls and fences; in Germany, outside the great cities, perhaps, there is not even this. In the university community, in your own community, you speak privately to your colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do; but what do they say? They say, ‘It’s not so bad’ or ‘You’re seeing things’ or ‘You’re an alarmist.’

    “And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can’t prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don’t know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end? On the one hand, your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. On the other, your colleagues pooh-pooh you as pessimistic or even neurotic. You are left with your close friends, who are, naturally, people who have always thought as you have.

    “But your friends are fewer now. Some have drifted off somewhere or submerged themselves in their work. You no longer see as many as you did at meetings or gatherings. Informal groups become smaller; attendance drops off in little organizations, and the organizations themselves wither. Now, in small gatherings of your oldest friends, you feel that you are talking to yourselves, that you are isolated from the reality of things. This weakens your confidence still further and serves as a further deterrent to—to what? It is clearer all the time that, if you are going to do anything, you must make an occasion to do it, and then you are obviously a troublemaker. So you wait, and you wait.

    “But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That’s the difficulty. If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked—if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in ’43 had come immediately after the ‘German Firm’ stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in ’33. But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D.

    “And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jewish swine,’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in—your nation, your people—is not the world you were born in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God. The system itself could not have intended this in the beginning, but in order to sustain itself it was compelled to go all the way.

    “You have gone almost all the way yourself. Life is a continuing process, a flow, not a succession of acts and events at all. It has flowed to a new level, carrying you with it, without any effort on your part. On this new level you live, you have been living more comfortably every day, with new morals, new principles. You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things that your father, even in Germany, could not have imagined.

    “Suddenly it all comes down, all at once. You see what you are, what you have done, or, more accurately, what you haven’t done (for that was all that was required of most of us: that we do nothing). You remember those early meetings of your department in the university when, if one had stood, others would have stood, perhaps, but no one stood. A small matter, a matter of hiring this man or that, and you hired this one rather than that. You remember everything now, and your heart breaks. Too late. You are compromised beyond repair.

    “What then? You must then shoot yourself. A few did. Or ‘adjust’ your principles. Many tried, and some, I suppose, succeeded; not I, however. Or learn to live the rest of your life with your shame. This last is the nearest there is, under the circumstances, to heroism: shame. Many Germans became this poor kind of hero, many more, I think, than the world knows or cares to know.”

    I said nothing. I thought of nothing to say.

    “I can tell you,” my colleague went on, “of a man in Leipzig, a judge. He was not a Nazi, except nominally, but he certainly wasn’t an anti-Nazi. He was just—a judge. In ’42 or ’43, early ’43, I think it was, a Jew was tried before him in a case involving, but only incidentally, relations with an ‘Aryan’ woman. This was ‘race injury,’ something the Party was especially anxious to punish. In the case at bar, however, the judge had the power to convict the man of a ‘nonracial’ offense and send him to an ordinary prison for a very long term, thus saving him from Party ‘processing’ which would have meant concentration camp or, more probably, deportation and death. But the man was innocent of the ‘nonracial’ charge, in the judge’s opinion, and so, as an honorable judge, he acquitted him. Of course, the Party seized the Jew as soon as he left the courtroom.”

    “And the judge?”

    “Yes, the judge. He could not get the case off his conscience—a case, mind you, in which he had acquitted an innocent man. He thought that he should have convicted him and saved him from the Party, but how could he have convicted an innocent man? The thing preyed on him more and more, and he had to talk about it, first to his family, then to his friends, and then to acquaintances. (That’s how I heard about it.) After the ’44 Putsch they arrested him. After that, I don’t know.”

    I said nothing.

    “Once the war began,” my colleague continued, “resistance, protest, criticism, complaint, all carried with them a multiplied likelihood of the greatest punishment. Mere lack of enthusiasm, or failure to show it in public, was ‘defeatism.’ You assumed that there were lists of those who would be ‘dealt with’ later, after the victory. Goebbels was very clever here, too. He continually promised a ‘victory orgy’ to ‘take care of’ those who thought that their ‘treasonable attitude’ had escaped notice. And he meant it; that was not just propaganda. And that was enough to put an end to all uncertainty.

    “Once the war began, the government could do anything ‘necessary’ to win it; so it was with the ‘final solution of the Jewish problem,’ which the Nazis always talked about but never dared undertake, not even the Nazis, until war and its ‘necessities’ gave them the knowledge that they could get away with it. The people abroad who thought that war against Hitler would help the Jews were wrong. And the people in Germany who, once the war had begun, still thought of complaining, protesting, resisting, were betting on Germany’s losing the war. It was a long bet. Not many made it.”

    Copyright notice: Excerpt from pages 166-73 of They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45 by Milton Mayer, published by the University of Chicago Press. ©1955, 1966 by the University of Chicago. All rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of U.S. copyright law, and it may be archived and redistributed in electronic form, provided that this entire notice, including copyright information, is carried and provided that the University of Chicago Press is notified and no fee is charged for access. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the consent of the University of Chicago Press. (Footnotes and other references included in the book may have been removed from this online version of the text.)

    Milton Mayer
    They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45
    ©1955, 1966, 368 pages
    Paper $22.00 ISBN: 978-0-226-51192-4

  15. Wow, after Marv’s excerpt I’m exhausted.

    Shelia, in that grim scenario you present, there is HOPE. Beaten down, a proportion of the conservative side will flip to whatever offers better. Now if the Democrats can reform and take a proper role as progressives, the Republicans will be thrown out and I would expect that it would be a major house cleaning. Then matters would revert to a more humane policy towards the people.

    As for military spending, it pisses away our nation resource, for what? If we keep the present attitude, I predict a China – Southeast Asia coalition will position the US in a decade or two as no longer the world’s military top dog. Heaven help up if a PEACEFUL WORLD is not forthcoming in the Nuclear Age.

  16. We had a surplus at the end of the Clinton years. In part, that came from GOP demands for balanced budgets, scored on CBO numbers. You may recall the fight over the budget in 1995-1996 that led to the government shut down. Newt and crew loudly demanded that Clinton submit a balanced budget, scored on CBO numbers. The GOP loudly rejected budgets Clinton submitted, and loudly demanded the CBO scoring. It’s wasn’t that Clinton was submitting budgets with deficits; after the first proposal, he was submitting balanced budgets. All rejected by the GOP. The 3rd or 4th proposal was scored on CBO numbers. It was, of course, rejected. It was clear at that point, that the budget fight was never about the money or the numbers; it was about spending and taxing priorities- ideology. The GOP lost, and Newt’s Speakership never recovered.

    I recount that tale because we’re about to hear from the GOP about how the CBO is the latest purveyor of bad, untrustworthy data, much like the BLS under Obama. The short-fingered vulgarian and his lackeys are about to smear another gold-standard source of information critical to creating effective policy. Again, as in 1996, the CBO has exposed the GOP for what it is: a tool of its wealthy cronies and donor class.

    Will the voters that supported it catch on? Probably not quickly. It’s not because they’re slow or stupid (and we have to stop suggesting they are- if you haven’t noticed, they kind of resent that sort of thing). It’s not because they’re unaware of their dependence on government programs. It’s because they still believe that what the GOP is doing will liberate them from that dependence. The GOP won’t, and yes, there’s a huge awareness problem here among those voters, but like I said, don’t make them feel stupid for it. They don’t believe they’re voting against their own interests. And remember, the short-fingered vulgarian knew how to speak to that group. Hillary didn’t (and, frankly, I don’t think Sanders would have reached them, either, despite being a tad more populist than Clinton. They would have seen him as demanding more dependence).

    What can we do? I’m not sure. We can look at CBO reports all day long and point out what they mean. We can also bang our heads against a wall. We don’t have a majority in either the House or Senate, and we’re down in a majority of the states. And the people we need to listen and wake up aren’t yet convinced that what the short-fingered vulgarian and the GOP are doing is such a bad thing.

  17. FMonty,

    Milton Mayer was a partner with Professor Harvey Wheeler at the Center for Study of Democratic Institutions at Santa Barbara. Professor Wheeler was also my partner at The Political Epidemiology Insitute.

    Mayer, a Quaker, is thought to be the author of the phrase “speak truth to power.”

    The following two paragraphs from the excerpt from Mayer’s book outlines the requirements for OPPOSiTIONAL LEADERSHIP against Trump/Pence/Bannon:

    “To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it—please try to believe me—unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that, unless one were DETACHED FROM THE WHOLE PROCESS FROM THE BEGINNING, UNLESS ONE UNDERSTOOD WHAT THE WHOLE THING WAS IN PRINCIPLE, WHAT ALL THESE ‘LITTLE MEASURES’ THAT NO ‘PATRIOTIC GERMAN’ COULD RESENT MUST SOME DAY LEAD TO, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.

    “How is this to be avoided, among ordinary men, even highly educated ordinary men? Frankly, I do not know. I do not see, even now. Many, many times since it all happened I have pondered that pair of great maxims, Principiis obsta and Finem respice—‘Resist the beginnings’ and ‘Consider the end.’ BUT ONE MUST SEE THE END IN ORDER TO RESIST, OR EVEN SEE, THE BEGINNINGS. ONE MUST SEE THE END CLEARLY and certainly and how is this to be done, by ordinary men or even by extraordinary men? Things might have. And everyone counts on that might.”

  18. And oh yeah, let’s not forget that the ACA mostly came out of conservative think tanks and GOP policy proposals, and was successfully implemented by a Republican governor. If the GOP had embraced it, touted its origins, fixed what needed to be repaired to stabilize the market, and then claimed credit for effective reform, there’s a good chance Mitt Romney would be in the first 100 days of his second term.

  19. Marv Kramer – Please weigh in on this:
    On the subject of money and the GOP:
    Is World War III coming? How will it be provoked? Next will be Pence instead of Cheney and who will be the new Halliburton? Exxon? Congress will supply those $$$Trillions; who will be the victims? The U.S. “Defense” (formerly WAR) Department is gearing up for it and the GOP carpetbaggers will provide enabling legislation. Who will be the propagandist-in-chief and who will be the new holocaust victims?
    It’ll be so shocking that healthcare and the crumbling infrastructure will be forgotten–can’t afford them.

  20. Perhaps they should check out & implement MMT (Modern Monetary Theory), which would solve all the supposed deficit problems. Google it or follow Real Progressives on FB/YouTube.

  21. Wingnuts tend to forget or didn’t bother to learn that Medicaid expansion not only brought states a huge sum of money, but there were a lot of new jobs created in the medical fields and hospitals and clinics. Those will go by the wayside.

    HHS director sez everyone will be taken care of. (death squads would be my guess). Gingrich is calling on wingnuts to get rid of the CBO.

  22. OMG,

    “Marv Kramer– please weigh in on this”

    I’m more concerned about a racial/civil war in the U.S. than W.W.III. Our inability to manage our own domestic affairs will make W.W.III more of a possibility. We have already led to destabilization in the EU, with Great Britain and now it looks like we might have done the same thing with The Netherlands.

  23. The “Good Germans” who sat on their divans while Hitler took over remind me of the “Good Americans” who are sitting on their sofas these days while Bannon sets us up for dictatorship via his puppet Trump. Not all revolutions are violent; some are by osmosis, as pointed out in Marv’s quotes from Mayer. Slowly but surely one’s civil rights are removed but in such gradual fashion that it is hardly noticeable. Bannon is moving faster than one would expect from ordinary osmosis, but so far we are sitting on the couch while he (via Trump) is calling the press the enemy of the people, lying about everything without paying any price, blaming everything and everybody for their mistakes etc. They are framing all issues so as to demand an answer suitable to their purpose. If the CBO gives an answer that they don’t like, the CBO is wrong or in need of reform, or both etc. Let’s get off the couch and into the streets and offices of our state and federal legislators and put an end to this march to authoritarianism. Our democracy is at stake, and nothing is more important than its preservation – nothing.

  24. Gerald,

    “They are framing all issues so as to demand an answer suitable to their purpose.”

    Like you so well stated as usual, “Our democracy is at stake.” It’s been invaded from the INSIDE. We can’t let the invaders off the beach. Let’s don’t make the mistake the Germans did at Normandy.

  25. Considering all the bad financial news that was heaped on Americans during the past week alone, it seems logical that a new source of revenue must be found if U.S. citizens are to survive. May I suggest the creation of a “Fake President Donald Trump Lottery.”

    Every time a new subject comes up, create a new jackpot. If Trump changes the subject (which he always does), raise the amount of the jackpot. Example, Trump originally said he would accept no salary from the Federal Government. He has now changed his mind and will accept a salary, which he’ll donate to somebody some day some time.

    This may sound confusing, but no more than any other Trump activity does. People who can guess what Trump is going to do will win some money. Those who are not good guessers will learn what a confusing government Trump is suggesting. Isn’t that exciting?

  26. Even if Trump accepts the 400 grand salary and gives it to charity, he will cost our treasury 558 grand, 400 grand for his salary and 158 grand in a tax reduction for his charitable contribution. I hope he takes the 400 grand and spends it, sends it to his buddies at the Russian money-laundering Bank of Cyprus, Zurich or wherever.

  27. Choosing to decide which way is best/worst is scary if you don’t know what the end will be. Our kids(middle aged) all have said there will have to be a revolution. We have to listen and talk to all kinds of folks and explain our beliefs.

  28. Marge,

    “Choosing to decide which way is best/worst is scary if you don’t know what the end will be.”

    As you know, it helps to have been from Texas; If not Dallas, then at least Austin.

  29. It would be interesting to run the numbers on retiring one of our 10 carrier battle groups. i.e. the carrier, air wing and associated support/defense ships. I suspect (without evidence) that this would not only fund health care but decrease the deficit to boot.

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