Putingate never stops, does it? It’s kept me from the bulk of this post until now. I promise to catch up on Kushner, et al next time. For now, it’s mostly about the reverse Robin Hood policies of the GOP and Trump. But scroll to the end for a brief legal analysis of the potential senility of Alan Dershowitz, hereinafter Alan Dishwasher–his sophistry and that of all the Trump surrogates on CNN is what has vaulted MSNBC well past CNN in the cable news ratings.
Here’s the nutshell before the bullet points: The GOP could stand for the Greedy Old Plutocrats. AKA Party of Scrooge, whose members are affectionately known generically as “Ebenezers.”
- CBO score says 23 million will lose health coverage over 10 years
- Young, healthy people will pay less
- Older, sicker and disabled will pay more–LOTS more
- Big savings ($836 BILLION) will come from cuts to Medicaid
- Smaller savings ($276 BILLION) will come from cuts in premium subsidies
- Wealthy/high income individuals/couples will get HUGE tax breaks (rob from the poor and give to the rich)
At a National Review interview with Rich Lowery, Paul Ryan recalled a college kegger Lowery put on. Here’s what Ryan said about Medicaid and other Federal programs for the poor.
“We’ve been dreaming of this [capping Medicaid] since I’ve been around—since you and I were drinking at a keg,”
[W]hen asked by Chuck Todd whether he believed health care is “a right or a privilege”, Ryan said no. “Not from the government,” he responded. “So if you say that health care is a government-granted right, then we as citizens are giving the government too much power over our lives.”
What then of the Trump budget, released in more detail Wednesday? It cuts MANY Federal “safety net” programs. Including making even larger cuts to Medicaid. It also double counts a $2 trillion savings and posits an extraordinarily unlikely 3% growth rate (the GDP). It’s much worse than the AHCA. So much so that no less than John McCain and Lindsey Graham say it’s “dead on arrival.” Other Republicans, as well as Democrats, had similar reactions. Too much bad to even bullet here. Instead, let’s just consider more reasons why “compassionate conservatism” is an oxymoron and the GOP is no longer the Grand Old Party but is really the “Greedy Old Plutocrats.” Paul Ryan, unlike Trump and his progeny is only worth a few million–but others have far more. Here’s what Mick Mulvaney, OMB Director said about some of Trump’s draconian budget cuts. This comes from the same Vanity Fair piece above.
“We can’t spend money on programs just because they sound good,” in cutting Meals on Wheels (food delivered to homebound seniors) funding. Rather than being hard-hearted, he said, “I think it’s probably one of the most compassionate things we can do.” He was referring, of course, to the compassion showed to taxpayers who pay for the program.
Then there’s Ben Carson (aren’t you glad neither you, nor any friend or family member ever had surgery performed by him? That could have been disastrous given all the nutty things he’s said in the past two years!). Wednesday, Carson said in response to questions about the $6 billion cut in housing aid (he’s the HUD Director):
“[P]overty to a large extent is also a state of mind.”
Ryan, Trump and many of the GOP are in agreement. Let me digress to mention my own childhood. Like many, I didn’t realize how poor we were until much later. My father died of cancer, after a long illness, when I was seven. My mother initially worked at a school cafeteria–with her 8th grade education (this was in the 50s). She had to stop due to crippling rheumatoid arthritis in her hands. Thereafter, she and I lived on Social Security spousal and dependent benefits–which were far from generous. Neither Medicare nor Medicaid existed then; they began in 1965. We had no health insurance. Doctors who formerly treated asthma and other problems stopped when the money stopped. Hospitals were required to offer treatment, but it was subpar. Things were tight enough that scavenging for bottles to return for deposit was a means that I undertook to supplement the meager money. Fortunately for me, by older brother and his wife took me in when my mother died around my 16th birthday.
So no, Ben, our poverty was NOT a state of mind you f—ing idiot. Nor is it for many others. Others who would suffer or simply die–without any number of Federal programs that the Greedy Old Plutocrats would like to cut for the benefit of the Trumps, the Kochs, the Adelson clan and other uber rich.
On to Alan Dishwasher (what he’s now, possibly, best suited for). A couple nights ago, he opined on CNN that Jared Kushner’s lawyer should demand to know what crime it is that Special Counsel Robert Mueller wanted to question him about. Otherwise, such inquiries could violate Kushner’s civil liberties. Let’s be clear, neither the media’s reference to Kushner being a “person of interest” or a “focus of investigation” are legal terms. They’re popular on crime procedurals on TV and on news media. In legal terms, the focus is on one of three categories–witness, subject of investigation or target. Since it’s been stated (up until yesterday’s news) that Kushner is neither a subject nor a target, that leaves him as a witness. If there’s a crime, it’s somebody else’s. It’s not a violation of anyone’s rights for law enforcement, for example, to ask about a traffic accident, a burglary or an assault they witnessed.
Dishwasher also asserted that Mueller’s only focus is on prosecuting crime. Not so. Before anyone is charged with an offense, an investigation must be conducted. Only after an investigation determines a crime has been committed, will a prosecution potentially occur. Mueller is directing an investigation by the FBI–both into financial crimes and into espionage-related crimes by the FBI’s counterintelligence division. He has a broad mandate, because all the facts are NOT known as yet. There’s is plenty of suspicious activity–as former CIA Director John Brennan said in referring such things to the FBI before he left office.
Finally, Dishwasher said “collusion is not a crime.” BULLS**T! Being generous, we could call this sophistry. Yes, there is probably no statutory offense listed in the US Criminal Code (Title 18) titled “collusion.” Nonetheless, colluding with others to do a “pump and dump” stock scheme is a crime. Conspiring (colluding) with others to rob a bank, commit a terrorist act, etc., is a crime. With knowledge of an upcoming theft, colluding with the thieves to accept stolen merchandise is a crime. Being an accessory after the fact is a crime. Aiding and abetting is a crime. Any or all of which can result from “collusion.” Hence, BULLS**T. CNN should drop Dishwasher from their “expert” or analyst list–whatever legal reasoning he might once have possessed is not being demonstrated today.
To be clear–with respect to the Russian meddling with the US election of 2016, the “collusion” in question most certainly could entail any number of crimes. Just a few: conspiracy, accessory, espionage, treason, etc. All of which requires investigation to prove. Which brings back the “fairytale,” “FAKE NEWS” and other surrogate apologist protests about the investigation into the Trump campaign. There is “no evidence” of collusion BECAUSE the investigation is NOT OVER! Only the Red Queen of Lewis Carroll’s Alice adventures concludes guilt or innocence before hand.
Again, MSNBC is cleaning CNN’s ratings clock because in their effort to provide balance by putting up Trump apologists, they are viewed as fools.