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TGIF – November 16, 2018.

Our government’s socialist slide.

Democrats are patting themselves on the back for winning back the House, but as they often do, they are taking credit where none is due.

In reality, the people who placed the GOP in minority party status were primarily socialist-leaning progressives.

Of the 36 or 37 nominally Democratic winners approximately 20 will be joining the 78 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Without them, the Democrats would still be playing second fiddle.

These progressives still call themselves Democrats because that’s where the money is, not because they bear any resemblance to the Democrats of the 1990s.

That makes nearly 20% of our elected representatives people who adhere far more closely to the socialist philosophies of Karl Marx than the democratic ideals of George Washington or Ben Franklin.

That should bother us, but apparently it doesn’t.

The roster of progressives includes somewhat familiar  names like Ted Lieu, Keith Ellison, Sheila Jackson Lee, Luis Gutierrez, Marcia Fudge (who is toying with the idea of challenging Nancy Pelosi) and Bernie Sanders, but it also includes people you’ve probably never heard of, like Hank Johnson, Mark Desaulnier, Rick Nolan or Darren Soto. They will be joined by some of the newer “stars” like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an avowed “democratic” socialist.

Given the all-out multi-generational efforts of the left to indoctrinate the nation’s children toward socialism, this is a trend we would be wise to counter, while we still can.

No one gets a trophy every time.

In the wake of elections in Florida and Georgia people are wondering, what IS it about Democrats that they just can’t accept that they can lose?

We submit that it goes back to the liberals basic philosophy that everyone should get a trophy.

Perhaps if we gave Bill Nelson, Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams a nice participation trophy and a sucker in their choice of flavor, they might be content to accept reality.

Watch out for that turkey sausage.

If only the FDA would put as much verve into finding out why we can’t trust our food not to kill us as it does on flavored tobacco, this could be a better Thanksgiving. Many people prefer ground turkey products to ground beef or pork, but once again, we have gotten an alert (from the CDC not the FDA or USDA) that these products are contaminated with salmonella. Way to go folks.

Who looks stupid now?

During the election, Democrats repeatedly thrashed on President Trump for moving troops to the border, claiming none of the caravan members would get to the Tijuana border before Christmas.

Apparently Christmas came early this year, and caravan members aren’t any more welcome in Tijuana than they are here, if news reports are correct.

The number may be in question, but there’s no question some of the caravan members arrived six weeks or so early, and some have already been arrested for crossing illegally instead of waiting on the south side of the border.

What is true about illegal entrants is that the caravan numbers only represent a fraction of the total apprehensions we can expect this month.

The Customs and Border Patrol website lists 60,745 apprehensions in October, 2018. If you accept the idea that reported apprehensions only account for less than half of total illegal entrances, that’s one hell of a lot of people.

Just for comparison, the town I live in only has about 57,000 city residents.

As independent filmmaker Ami Horowitz reported, these aren’t all women and children either. Far from it. He reports 90 to 95 per cent are young males, some with obvious gang tats.

OK, so the Prez was right.  So what?

With the House now under Democrat control, do we think anything will be done to stop this massive influx of unvetted illegal entrants?

Dream on, brother, dream on. We’ve got a better chance of seeing Mommy kissing Santa Claus than we do of controlling our borders.

Even assuming Congress were to cough up 5, 10 or 25 billion dollars for border barriers during the lame duck session, it’s too late to make much difference this year, or the next.

Given that the election will increase the Progressive caucus membership to nearly 100 when the newly elected socialists take their seats in January, it’s fairly obvious that the GOP members wasted far too much time obsessing over President Trump’s tweets, and far too little time serving the country over the last two years.

Maybe we could wall the migrants INTO California, since we aren’t going to be able to wall them out.

Is this freedom of the press?

As so often happens with any and all things Trump, the Jim Acosta comedy has now become one of those “the sky is falling” issues.

Frankly, the banning of one grandstanding actor from White House press conferences is an item of non-interest to most people, but somehow the media, including usually sensible Fox News,  sees it as a constitutional sin.

Here’s what we, us, the ordinary viewers see.  CNN has not been banned from attending White House  functions. Any of their other reporters, camerapersons or other employees that had “hard passes” apparently still have them. So, what’s the big deal?

The whole thing seems to be less about the First Amendment and more about people having, if not any respect for the President, at least some sense of decorum and respect for the office and the White House.

Mr. Acosta could and can write about what happened as much as he wants, as could CNN, so it is hard to see what press freedom has been attacked or curtailed.

Pressers are, according to the media, to inform the public. There was nothing informative about Acosta’s little act, other than to prove he’s a narcissistic camera hound.

Just to put this in perspective, what would you expect the President to do if Acosta whipped it out and peed on the podium to show his disdain for Trump? Because that’s exactly the attitude he projects.

From our point of view…good riddance to bad rubbish.

Florida – A voter’s viewpoint.

By now most everyone is aware of the Broward and Palm Beach voting circus, but does it really matter to anyone who doesn’t live in Florida?

Yes.  Yes it does.

Voters, otherwise known as citizens, are pretty torqued off over politics in general, and Florida is just a visible marker of almost everything that they see wrong with American politics.

As the numbers show, a lot of people voted in the mid-term elections, so it isn’t that the voters don’t care. In fact, the voter turnout is reported have been a record for a non-presidential election.

They appear to have gotten damn little substance for their efforts.

“Anna” stated her opinion in no uncertain terms.

I wish God would give me just a few minutes with all the people in Congress. I would bend them all over a bench, and beat their bare butts with a belt until they couldn’t sit down for a month!”

“Jack” says it this way.

“Screw all of them. Congress, whiny Hillary, CNN, the whole lot of them. Stop flapping your jaws and DO SOMETHING for God’s sake!”

You get the drift.

And it doesn’t matter whether the voter is Democrat or Republican.

“Mark” is a lifelong Democrat, and reluctantly voted for Hillary.

“Does what’s happening in Florida surprise me? Hell no. We have the biggest mid-term vote ever, and all the flapper jaws like Schiff and Schumer and old leatherface  (?-Ed.) can do is think of 85 ways to stick it to Trump? What about healthcare or ANYTHING that helps the people? I’m done. No more. They’re going to f— up the country no matter who I vote for!”

We’ve still got two more years until the next election, but judging by these comments the Democrats may well have used up all their voter clout already.

All the self-righteous babble and self-glorified back-patting just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Politics is an ugly mess because we allow it to be so. Perhaps sometime in the next 24 months we can figure out how to change that.

The big healthcare scam.

During the recent election, voters said the cost of healthcare was either their top or second most important consideration, and Democrats actually ran on it as a campaign issue.

But do people mean the cost of the care, or the cost of the insurance?  It could be either or both.

Several states opted for broadening Medicaid coverage for people who are working, but still can’t afford insurance premiums or they can’t see any reason to buy it when the deductibles and co-pays are often more than a half years pay.

In fact for many people, by the time they pay the non-covered portion of the doctors fees, they may never have a claim paid by Obamacare. To that extent, it is little more than catastrophic insurance.

Here is a 2017 quote from cnbc.com that describes the then-current annual cost of health spending per family.

“According to eHealthInsurance, for unsubsidized customers in 2016, “premiums for individual coverage averaged $321 per month while premiums for family plans averaged $833 per month. The average annual deductible for individual plans was $4,358 and the average deductible for family plans was $7,983.”

That means that, last year, the average family paid $9,996 for coverage alone, and, if they met their deductible, a total of just under $18,000.Meanwhile, an average individual spent $3,852 on coverage and, if she spent another $4,358 to meet her deductible, a total of $8,210.”

Note that the costs described are not for CARE, but for insurance premiums. In other words, you will pay out this amount even if you do not receive a single minute of actual care.

Believe it or not, it is very difficult to find amounts for actual routine care. Most averages include all health care, including catastrophic event care, cancer treatment, emergency injury care etc.

We spoke with a few people with families of four who have opted for cash-based concierge care with family physicians.  Most of them pay about $1000 a year to belong to the practice, and their total annual cost for care such as annual physicals, immunizations, minor injuries such as sprains or minor burns averaged another $2200 annually. That’s a fraction of the costs listed above.

For all of its hype, the ACA, i.e. Obamacare, didn’t cover everyone. It is popular now mostly because it’s perceived to be the only game in town for those not covered by employer insurance or Medicaid.

Since Congress, particularly Republicans, didn’t and don’t  have any viable alternative, people are obviously afraid to lose even the scant benefits they get from the federalized policies.

Although politicians won’t admit it, most people are very little if any better off with ACA coverage than they were under the “old” free market system.

Of course when you go beyond routine care, then insurance becomes not just useful but mandatory.

For instance, “Jim” had two vertebrae in his back “stabilized”  (not fused, but mechanically stabilized) last year. The total cost for everything, i.e. surgery, anesthesia, hospitalization, diagnostic and post-surgical care including physical therapy was just under $71,000. His employer-subsidized insurance paid all but $6,800 of the total.

The argument FOR insurance is that even if you only have one expensive episode of care in a lifetime, the premiums you have paid over three, five or even ten years average out over the charges so that your insurance company has the money to pay the claims.

OK so much for the insurance side of the equation. What about the actual care?

Going back to “Jim” again, he says he had a hard time getting fully itemized bills, but he does know that the hospital charged a total for the room of $9127 for three days. His surgeon charged just under $30,000 including all aftercare exams, and the anesthesiologist charged another $6500. Physical therapy was $327 an hour. Then there were radiology charges, pain medications,  “surgical suite charges” and other items that were lumped under “supplies.”  He still isn’t sure what some of the remaining hospital and radiology charges covered.

Number one, if a provider can’t tell you exactly what you are paying for and why, that’s a problem.

Second, this sounds like an awful lot for a surgery that took just over two hours to install what amounted to two staples. Granted, spinal surgery requires a highly skilled surgeon, but does price equal quality?

The whole aim  of insurance is to keep people from having to choose between their health and going bankrupt, and too many times we aren’t hitting that target.

Some providers say that they bill high because if they don’t they won’t be paid enough to stay in business. Some years ago, a retired provider admitted that they bill high simply because they can.

We need to find out why the cost of care is so high in the United States.

Perhaps the Democrats could squeeze that task in between their 85 Trump-targeted subpoena cannon shots  before they try to sell us on Medicare for all.

What’s that smell?

Welcome to the era of I and O. That would be the Investigate and Obstruct era.

Having been elected by a carefully groomed and fed cadre of trained poodles, we are now being treated to a constant stream of things the Democrats want to investigate, the latest being trying to obstruct the ability of the temporary DOJ boss, Matthew Whitaker, to oversee the Mueller investigation.

Democrats made no secret of the fact that they see the overthrow of the President as their single sacred crusade, and it appears they are already off to the races.

Start  with the superfluous Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, which purports to protect Robert Mueller’s investigation from the President.

Never mind that so far as we know the President hasn’t lifted a finger to stop the investigation. According to one Flake, Mr. Whitaker’s appointment means that the legislation is now a “must pass” priority.

It is impossible to listen to any prominent Democrat for more than 30 seconds before the subject of investigating Trump enters the conversation.

Take  David Cicciline (D-RI), who on a Sunday talk show blithely denied that there was any problem whatsoever with the way the FISA warrant was obtained. In other words, we should just ignore our lying eyes.

The bad thing about the glee with which Democrats are anticipating finally getting their chance to take down the Trump administration is that it provides no incentive whatsoever for two-party government.

Normally you would want both parties to have a say in government, but that assumes they want to govern.

Perhaps Democrats should take a lesson from what happened after Harry Reid invoked the “nuclear option” regarding judicial appointments.

Someday there will be another Democrat in the Oval Office, and then it might be tit for tat.

Speaking of Democrats in office, every American should be ashamed of the shenanigans in Florida’s Palm Beach and Broward counties.

If these were one-off incidents, you could chalk them up to random malfunctions, but given that it has been happening for 18 years at the least, it’s simply proof of the ugly underbelly of corrupt politics.

One of the things that is the most troubling is that the actual ballots themselves seem to have been designed to skew the vote.

These are state elections, but it seems as though there could be some sort of national template or outline designed that would at least assure that all ballots affecting the national government would present candidates and issues in a clear and standardized format.

TGIF – November 9, 2018

Hi, Hu-persons!

That may be the way Europeans will have to start referring to our species, if the European Union has its way.

Or maybe we can just change our species name to something like  “candy-assus personus” (plural, personii).

Just when it seems like political correctness cannot possibly become any more absurd it does, as this article from National Review reports. Seems the EU is launching a full-blown campaign to remove any form of the word “man” from their official language publications.

In an effort to be fair and balanced, the EU doesn’t have a monopoly on stupidity, a fact hammered home by our own ” institutions of higher learning” such as Mississippi’s Delta State University. The school  reportedly  threatens any student with disciplinary measures up to and including immediate expulsion for using language “inflicting mental or emotional distress on others “, having unauthorized demonstrations,  using profane language, violating written university policies, etc.

Who gets to decide what speech is distressing? Why the distressed student, of course.

And these are the people “educating” our young people? O-M-G!  No wonder people are beginning to refer to college graduates as the lobotomized generation.

Use the door!

Predictably,  the left is up in arms because President Trump wants to deny asylum for three to ten years to people who enter the U.S. illegally.

In other words, if illegals get caught crossing the border any place except at a legal port of entry, they will be deported immediately, even if they walk up to a CBP officer and ask for asylum.

The aim of the directive is to give the courts time to wade through the 700,000-plus backlogged asylum claims,  most of which will be denied anyway.

It also gives the current tide of avowed border jumpers a chance to stop where they are rather than continue on in a futile effort to get into the States illegally and claim asylum they will more than likely not be granted anyway.

Seems like both a logical and humane way to save people a lot of wasted time and energy, not to mention threats to their safety, but of course it triggered the left.

Note that the directive does not prohibit migrants from asking for asylum. It simply attempts to bring some order  to the chaos by directing them to existing legal border entry points.

And finally…

Here’s wishing Justice Ginsberg a speedy recovery.  Speaking from recent experience, be assured that we know that broken ribs is nothing you want to sneeze at; in fact, you don’t want to sneeze at all.