Senator Mitch McConnell’s Stealth Healthcare Bill

What is Senator Mitch McConnell up to now? Where is he?  Things are not going swimmingly for the GOP right now, but they are still treading water (pun intended); so he is in whack-a-mole mode: no one knows when or where he will pop up next.  Although we have not seen or heard much from him lately, we know that he is leading the 13 guy Senators stealth team that is hard at work on the senate’s stealth healthcare bill.  This bill is so secret that he won’t even tell his fellow Republicans about it, let alone senate Democrats or the American people (Democrats, Republicans or Independents).

It appears that the senate Republicans, especially Senator McConnell, must have taken some kind of hypocritical (again, pun intended) oath that they are determined to honor.  For example, here is what Senator McConnell said according to an article in The Washington Post by E. J. Dionne Jr. dated June 14, 2017:

“Fast-tracking a major legislative overhaul such as health care reform or a new national energy tax without the benefit of a full and transparent debate does a disservice to the American people, ” McConnell said in 2009, referring to the two big issues of the moment.  Democrats using such means, he added, “would make absolutely clear they intend to carry out their plans on a purely partisan basis.”

What in the world is Senator McConnell thinking?  There is no doubt that it is far past time that congressional Democrats and Republicans and the American people (constituents/voters) get a drink with him and find out what the h**k – I might as well just say it, heck is going on.  But, as I have said in previous articles posted to this site, the man is elusive and he is quick!  When reporters spot him and think that they have him, he pops back down into his hole and pops up someplace else.  And whenever he comes out far enough so that someone can block his hole and reporters are lucky enough to surround him so that someone can try to restrain him so that they can question him on key issues (like healthcare), just when they think that they have him and reach out to grab him; poof, he is gone!  And by the time they spot him again, he is back in whack-a-mole mode.  Click here to read the whack-a-mole article.

I’m not so sure that I would want to be the one to crawl inside of his head and find out what is going on in there.  But I wish that someone could/would.  Wait; I am sure that I would not want to be the one to crawl inside his head.  But I still wish that someone would.  Senator McConnell is likely a decent guy but he is scary.  I mean, he is not the kind of scary that Mr. Trump is but he is scary.  Maybe sneaky is a better word to use to describe him instead of scary.  You know what I mean?  You know like, have you ever had people that you are around that seem to have a sneaky-type walk and overall body movements and every time that you look at them they are looking at you with sneaky-looking, stealthy-like eyes?  And the next thing that you know you turn around and they are in your personal space, right on top of you, and they are like; helloooo?  You know, like in a scary movie.  It’s that kind of scary.  But that’s still pretty scary when you are talking about politics; and especially when you are talking about Senator McConnell!

The fact that all of these Republicans are marching in lockstep with Mr. Trump and Senator McConnell speaks volumes about their hypocritical ways.  Their ‘hypocritical’ oath to Party belies what is supposed to be their true commitment to their principles and honor.  Times like these are prime examples of times when politicians principles and honor should be the dominating force that drives their thinking and drives them forward.  There are far too many Republicans with far too many good ideas to contribute that are worthy of reasonable discourse and debate for Republicans to allow them to be derailed by anyone – Democrat, Republican or Independent – who does not have America’s best interest at heart and who does not put America above Party.

Anyway, Senator McConnell is shepherding and fast-tracking a healthcare bill through the senate using his power as Senate Majority Leader to employ unprecedented control and stealth to push a bill through that is forged solely by him and 13 guy senators.  He is doing this without input from Democrats and without revealing what is in the bill to the American people although it will effect 1/6 or more of the economy.  He is doing this in an effort to make sure that the bill will receive enough votes to pass the senate before senators’ constituents can pressure them to vote against it.  Senator McConnell is a savvy politician who has been in his job for a long time and he knows how thing work politically.  The maneuver that he is trying to carry out now makes him a scary man despite your definition of scary.  Whether you see him as ‘Mr. Trump scary’ or ‘scary movie’ type scary it is important that you be aware of what Senator McConnell and the Trump Administration are doing to push through a GOP healthcare bill that they hope to make a healthcare law even if the majority of Americans are against it.

While Mr. Trump is faced with many problems that may be slowly dragging his administration down, we would do well to remember that the operative word is “slowly.”  In the meantime, Mr. Trump and the GOP are quietly pushing their agenda forward, below radar, in the field of healthcare, voter rights, immigration, environment and other areas involving the federal government.  Whether you are among those who agree with Mr. Trump and the direction in which he and the GOP are moving the country or you are among those who disagree, our legislative process should be transparent and we should be kept informed and allowed to participate to the degree that we are entitled to participate.  As constituents and voters, we should be allowed to know what is going on and have any appropriate input to bills and potential laws instead of just having them sprung on us by congress.  So let’s be sure that we always remain vigilant and assure that this is the case.

Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line

Trump Makes Headway In Divide And Conquer

Mr. Trump and those Republicans who continue to enable him are making headway in their efforts to divide and conquer American citizens by splitting them into factions and pitting them against each other.  Although they might not be overtly doing this, those things that they subliminally suggest and/or imply work well to provoke Americans and encourage this hateful infighting in our country.  More hate crimes are occurring since Mr. Trump was elected.  He rode to victory like a white knight astride his trusty steed ‘Make America Great Again’, the namesake of his great cap-selling slogan, during the presidential primaries and general elections.

Speaking about white knight, the so-called Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) are working hard to revive the days of old that, based on Mr. Trump’s rhetoric and the people that he has surrounded himself with, easily dovetails with what appears to be the ideals of the Trump slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ and the days that he wants to take America back to.  Although he has referred to himself as ‘the least racist person that you have ever met’, his constant antics speak otherwise.  Instead of bringing us together, his actions and rhetoric seem to inflame Americans of all stripes.

The KKK recently applied for a permit to hold a rally near the Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia on June 8, 2017.  This is two days before which a rally by a right wing group led by a local blogger, who was recently fired by a conservative website for his support of white supremacist groups, will also be held.  And it is less than a month after self-proclaimed white nationalist Richard Spencer led a night rally, attended by torch-wielding supporters, protesting the removal of this statue.  Mr. Spencer coined the term “alt-right” and he is also calling for a whites-only state.

Because of Mr. Trump’s campaign rhetoric, messaging tied to his ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan, his endless antics and faux pas, and the fact that elected Republicans want to protect him at all costs, want-to-be elected Republicans (e.g. Virginia gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart and Montana congressional seat candidate Greg Gianforte) want to be like him and hate groups seem to be inspired by him, it is not hard to see why people associate these problems with Mr. Trump and are inflamed by him.   Again, this drives a wedge between Americans rather than pull them together.

Well, if ‘Make America Great Again’ means what it appears to mean, which is returning to the days in America when women could not vote and could not make decisions about their own bodies and health, when America discriminated against fellow Americans because of their religion or ethnicity and had her foot on the necks of African Americans simply because of the color of their skin; then I do not want anything to do with it!  And I suspect that the great majority of Americans, obviously some would like to return to those days, feel the same way!  It is completely unacceptable!

All the while that the “least racist person that you have ever met” and man who “could go out on Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and my numbers wouldn’t change” is applying his divide and conquer strategy on Americans; he is also doing everything in his power to prevent us from getting to the bottom of exactly how Russia was involved in the 2016 American presidential election and from getting answers to questions as to whether or not members of his campaign and cabinet and/or he colluded with them.

Further shenanigans surrounding this particular effort surfaced on June 7, 2017 when National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats, Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein stonewalled Congress when they were questioned about Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.  They refused to say whether or not Mr. Trump asked them to interfere in this investigation even though they did not have any legal basis for their refusal.

To make matters worse, when the Committee questioned former FBI Director James Comey the following day, Senator John McCain, who was the last to speak before the session was adjourned, went through a painful and convoluted effort to suggest that if Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election is still open because, in the words of Mr. Comey, it is “a big deal” that a foreign government interfered in it, then the Hillary Clinton email investigation should also still be open because she was also a presidential candidate.  Huh?!  Go figure.

Throughout all of this, the Implicit question that Mr. Trump continues to pose to Americans is ‘are you going to believe me or your lying eyes, ears and dire situation that you are in?  Based on the way that things have gone for him so far since he made his announcement to run for president, it would be far from a sure bet to wager that people will believe their lying eyes, ears and dire situation that they are in.  So which of the two are you going to believe?  During his testimony former FBI Director Comey essentially called the president a liar.  Mr. Trump’s Deputy Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, protested loudly after the hearings and said that ‘the president is not a liar’.  So once again I ask, who are you going to believe?

While Mr. Trump and his enablers are busy tearing America apart, disgracing her in the eyes of her allies and the world, and marching her in reverse as quickly as possible, Americans must not despair.  As Senator Elizabeth Warren has said repeatedly, this fight is our fight!  And she is right.  We must stay the course and, no matter how many times we are knocked down, we must get right back up and continue to fight.  Although our allies are confused and some are beginning to question America’s  willingness to lead and our commitment to them, an encouraging word has come from Emmanuel Macron, the newly elected president of France.  An article in Quartz by Roya Wolverson dated June 1, 2017 stated the following:

In a nod to Trumps bravado about US power, Macron reassured Americans that “the world believes in you.  I know that you are a great nation.”

In light of the fact that France is one of America’s closest allies and is respected by our other allies in Europe , this is an important statement that can help to convince other American allies to stay the course through all of Mr. Trump’s antics and negative rhetoric and that they can rest assured that America can still be trusted to abide by our commitments.

As we continue to fight we must remember that Mr. Trump is not doing this alone.  It would be impossible for him to do it without the help of those who are enabling him.  And come the 2018 and 2020 elections we must demonstrate to Mr. Trump and those enablers that we will not tolerate elected officials who chose to discard statesmanship to support any president at all costs and who refuse to step up and stand up for America by defending and protecting the Constitution, which they swore to defend and protect.  And if they persist in refusing to perform their sworn duty, let’s show them by way of our vote that we are serious about assuring that they stand on principle, conduct themselves as statesmen and always place country above party.  Let’s vote them out!

Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line