Obamacare Lives; The Clash Of The Macs

Thanks to the grassroots American resistance, two strong Republican women and the clash of the Macs, Obamacare has lived to fight future battles.  And you can rest assured that there will be future battles.  Thank you grassroots American resistance; and thank you Republican Senator Susan Collins and Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski.  These two strong (emphasis on strong) Republican women are a key part of the reason why Obamacare has survived to fight another day.  Normally, I would think that no Republican, male or female, would want to be mentioned in a positive way in a liberal blog written by a liberal blogger even if they felt that they made a right decision based on principle.  They would be frightened, consider it a kiss of death and prefer to remain in the closet and keep their truth – in this particular case, that they are determined to put country and their constituents before party – anonymous.

But these are not two ordinary Republican women, they are two strong, principled and determined Republican women.  The majority leader, all of the Republican men (and women) in the senate, and even Mr. Trump himself were unable to intimidate them.  These two women were consistent and never wavered.  Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, was right when he said that many times women are much stronger than men but they just don’t brag about it as much.  These two strong Republican women have received only a small fraction of the attention for their vote that Senator John McCain has received for his.  That is why I took this opportunity to mention them first and thank them for their contribution to keep millions of Americans from losing their insurance coverage.  Once again, thank you Senator Collins and Senator Murkowski!

Now, however, I would be remiss if I did not give Senator John McCain his well-deserved kudos and thank him as well for his vote; especially since I was so willing to express my disappointment in him when he voted to move Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s healthcare legislation forward.  So although I mentioned my great respect for you and the sacrifices that you have made for America and the American people before I expressed and harped on that disappointment, I want to take this opportunity to say thanks to you as well for your vote.

It was obviously you who cast the deciding vote to keep millions of Americans from losing their insurance coverage and that took courage.  Although I might disagree with you at times I am not in the least bit surprised at the courage that you exhibited in casting that decisive vote and then looking Senator McConnell directly in the eye after casting it.  You were a hero when you were in the Navy, have remained a hero since that time, and you added to that heroism during the clash of the Macs; that is, the clash between Senator Mitch McConnell and Senator John McCain.  So thank you Senator McCain for your vote.  Thank you for standing up for what you believe in, and for not cowering when you were faced with a great controversy; the clash of the Macs!

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

John McCain Is A Patriot But…

I purposely waited for a while after I watched Senator John McCain’s speech on July 7, 2017 about healthcare because I did not want to write this article while I was angry.  I have had some time to cool down now and believe that I can be more reasonable and open minded.  Keep in mind as you read this article that Senator McCain had only come out of brain surgery that was paid for by insurance 11 days before he made his speech.

Let me begin my critique of his speech and criticism of him by saying that there is no doubt that Senator John McCain is a patriot and that all Americans owe him more gratitude than we can ever give him for his dedication and service to America and the American people.  Let me also add, and I have said this before in some of my posts to this site, that it is very hard for me  to not like him.  That notwithstanding, I must say that the speech that he gave on the senate floor, after he voted yes on moving Senator Mitch McConnell’s healthcare bill forward, to me, if not disingenuous was, at best, cunning.

He was without a doubt humorous when he said that with all of the wonderful things that people had said about him, he wondered if they were talking about someone else.  He also said, again in humor, that he fully intended to return to the senate and to make all of those who said all of those nice things about him regret that they had ever said them.  I neither regret the way that I feel about him nor do I regret any of those nice things that his colleagues said about him: they are true.  But it is also true that he is trying to straddle the fence and play both ends against the middle.  That is what is discouraging to me.

Since there is no doubt that Senator McCain is a strong and courageous man who is willing to step up and stand up for his convictions, why did he find it necessary to vote to move Senator McConnell’s bill forward instead of nipping it in the bud when he already knows that if any iteration of this bill should happen to pass and ultimately be signed by Mr. Trump, it will hurt millions of Americans, including many of whom are his constituents, who are dependent upon their insurance in order to survive.  Surely he already knows that Mr. Trump does not want poor people in decision-making positions (and does not want poor people in general) and that those poor people are depending on him and others like him to be their voice.  Come on Senator McCain; you refused to desert your fellow soldiers to save yourself, why are you willing to desert those American people who are depending on you to be their voice?!

To Senator McCain’s credit, he said that he would not vote for any of the bills as they are in their current form to be sent to Mr. Trump for his signature.  But should the time come when it must be decided whether or not to send a bill that has been debated and amended to Mr. Trump, even if Senator McCain disagrees with that bill and votes against it, there is likely a fifty-fifty chance or better that that bill will advance anyway.  Then, it will be too late.  As a matter of fact, it is already too late.

Think about that Senator McCain.  During your speech on the senate floor you talked about vainglorious victories and how you, yourself, had participated in some of those types of victories in the past.  You talked about how ludicrous it is to win just for the sake of winning and claiming a victory for yourself and your party.  So tell me, Senator McCain – the senator from the great state of Arizona, how does it feel to be the key person in moving a bill forward that you in essence disagree with just to support your party and hurt your constituents without knowing for certain that you will be able to prevent it from ultimately becoming law and ruining the lives of millions of Americans?  This decision does not diminish you as a person and/or a senator, neither should it detract from your unquestionable patriotism or the great things that you have contributed to America and the American way of life, but it certainly does bring your decision-making into question.

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

Approaching Time When ‘Trump’ Card Will Be Meaningless. Bid? 7-no Trump

As Mr. Trump continues to thumb his nose at congress, the American legal system and the American people, the time is continuing to approach when the ‘Trump’ card will be meaningless.  There is no doubt that as President of the United States of America Mr. Trump is an extremely powerful man.  It is also extremely unfortunate that, as president – the man who is entrusted with the capacity to wield this enormous power, he exhibits little to no respect for the high office that he holds.  Not only is he completely disrespecting this highly esteemed office by dishonoring and, in many cases, ignoring its long-held traditions, but he is also stealing away the long-held visions and dreams of it that all Americans have held and are desperately struggling to hold on to.  They are struggling to hold on to these visions and dreams despite this disrespect that must be brought on by Mr. Trump’s complete lack of ability to grasp the understanding of the deep and revered meaning that this great office holds for them.

Even setting aside political differences that exist between Mr. Trump’s supporters and most other American voters, as hard as I try, I still struggle to understand how those who support him can continue to do so in light of all of the negative things about him and his administration that have proven to be true.  And these things obviously do not include those negative things that, although they have not yet proven to be true, have more supporting evidence that says that they are true than indicates that they are not.

I am a staunch Democrat and I admit that I am likely more ready to condemn Mr. Trump for his antics than any Republican, supporter or not, might be.  But for the life of me I cannot understand why his backers continue to support him when it is all but completely obvious that Mr. Trump, for whatever reasons, is willing to promote the failure of Obamacare with no alternative plan available to replace it and blatantly ignore the negative impact that this would have on the health issues and concerns of the American people.  And as if that weren’t bad enough, all indications are that he is willing to sell America out to Russia in order to ingratiate himself to Russia’s president Vladimir Putin.

What has happened to us?  What has our country come to when Evangelicals are willing to suspend their principles and religious and moral commitments to God (for, according to some news reports, one election cycle) to achieve their secular goals?  Things are changing in America; and unfortunately, they are not changing for the better.  I do not know what can or should be done to stem this defection from religious principles to secular expediency by those who espouse their religious beliefs and are children of God.  But I certainly hope that America’s ministers and other religious leaders do.

Personality-wise and temperamentally, Mr. Trump is Mr. Trump.  He always has been, is now, and likely always will be.  But the problem is that he seems to be working hard to make an awful lot of other Americans after his own image; and that is scary!  Mr. Trump is an extremely tough and determined man who seems to have the capacity to wear down even the toughest of our elected officials.  And they seem to fear him more than they fear the American voters.  That, too, is scary!  As voters, we must decide whether or not we are going to stand up to Mr. Trump.  With his personality and being the narcissistic person that he is, he can completely wear his opponents down.  He can drain you!

But the ultimate prize involved in this great controversy is America and American values.  Therefore, we must continue to fight no matter how many times that we are knocked down.  When we are knocked down, we must get right back up and resume the fight.  And so far, Americans have done that.  Men and women from around the country – no matter how battle weary they might be, have stepped up to Mr. Trump and congressional Republicans and said an emphatic ‘no’ to their willingness to ignore Americans and their healthcare needs and what appears to be congress’s willingness to stand by and allow America to be sold out to Russia.

Americans, no matter how tired we might get, must continue to do this to show Mr. Trump and his administration that they do not run America and determine her path and future based solely on their vision of the path forward, but instead, that we the American voters must also participate; “We the people” must have our rightful input in this process.  There have likely been other times in history when Americans needed to step up and accept and carry out their responsibilities as voters.  But there has never before been a Mr. Trump ruling the White House.  There has never before been a US president who has shown such a great affinity for strongmen; and especially for one who is our enemy.

It is hard to fathom someone like Mr. Trump as president and, therefore, it is hard, and scary, to imagine where we might end up as a country if Americans and/or congress choose to keep him in office for a full term or more.  There has never even been anyone remotely like Mr. Trump in the Oval Office before and I hope that there never will be again.  I also hope that his ‘Trump’ cards will immediately be rendered useless via impeachment or, at the very least, when Americans vote in the 2020 election.  In essence, it would be a virtual bid of 7-no Trump where Mr. Trump could not use his ‘Trump’ cards to stop America’s efforts to heal herself and then sow his seeds of divisiveness to secure victory for himself.

And if America chooses differently and decides to reelect him , I hope that Mr. Trump will run out of ‘Trump’ cards sooner than later and that even if he does not, our elected officials will stand up to him and choose country over party.  Only time will tell how things will work out.  Until then, let’s keep fighting!  And let’s make sure that the harder he hits us, the more resilient we become and the faster we pop right back up and resume the fight!  Hopefully, that will scare the ‘Trump’ out of him and his supporters and he will somehow morph into a man worthy of holding this revered and highly-esteemed office.

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

Trump Fatigue But Can’t Avoid The Subject ‘Trump’

I have never been more tired of writing about anybody or anything than I am of writing about Donald J. Trump.  I’m completely exhausted.  I think maybe this might be a part of his strategy for all of the news media in order to accomplish his goals.  Wear them down and they will begin covering, what he considers to be, his accomplishments and stop covering what he feels is the negative stuff; stuff that he calls ‘Fake News’.  Because, you see, in Mr. Trump’s mind, the president cannot have any conflicts of interest and he or she can do no wrong.  It is unfortunate but, based on the way that Mr. Trump comports himself,  I would not feel at all uncomfortable in leaving out the ‘she’ in the last part of the previous sentence because I doubt that he could actually envision a woman in that position.  And if he could, based solely on statements he made during his campaign, everyone knows that he certainly believes that she could do plenty of wrong.

But just like he sucked all of the oxygen out of the room during the presidential campaign and all of the news stations and other media had to all but ignore all of the candidates other than him, he has continued to do the same thing since he was elected.  He is keeping the world’s attention focused on him.  He is not accomplishing much beyond that but, without a doubt, he is still keeping all eyes focused on The Donald.  It does not seem to matter to him that the news coverage about him is negative as long as all eyes are focused on him.  He needs this and he would be hard pressed to survive without it.  For some of the pundits to say that Mr. Trump is mentally unstable and for some in Europe to say that they believe that he is insane might be unfair but, nonetheless, they are saying it.  Never before can I remember a time when the President of the United States has been referred to in this way.  We have always been looked upon as the world leader in the eyes of the world and perhaps this has spoiled us.  On the other hand, this change and current situation is an embarrassment to America!

Unfortunately, virtually every US Republican congressman is continuing to enable Mr. Trump by continuing to support him despite the controversy that is swirling around him regarding Russia that involve words and phrases like collusion, treason, aiding and abetting the enemy, and high crimes and misdemeanors.  It doesn’t matter to them that Mr. Trump, many of his current and former high-level advisors, cabinet members, spokespersons and, perhaps even the Vice President himself, have been caught up in bold face lies and that many of them have been caught up in one lie after another.  And that, in fact, many of these people are continuing to lie.

Instead of abandoning him, putting the country first, standing on principle and standing up for America, they have chosen to stand up for themselves and the Republican Party.  Instead of standing up for their constituents, they have chosen to stand up for big money and their donors.  Case in point, many of them are supporting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in his efforts to pass a bill that will repeal and replace Obamacare even though it will devastate their constituents by stripping almost 800 billion dollars from Medicaid and leave millions of them without insurance.  Not only are they supporting this bill but many of them are spinning it, at every possible opportunity, to the media in such a way as to convince their constituents that it will be good for them and will not devastate them or Medicaid.

Many people throughout the country might choose to ignore what Mr. Trump is doing because they believe that his antics only effect things at the federal level and that it is a problem that needs to be dealt with at the federal level by our elected officials there.  While it is true that this is a federal level problem it is also a state, city and local level problem (hello Colorado, Denver and all of Colorado’s other cities and local governance bodies) and all of us need to be aware of this.

When Mr. Trump employs a continuous effort to trample on and discredit the media at the national level, we should not think for one minute that this has no effect on the media at the state, city and local levels.  We must also realize that, ultimately, it is our input at the state, city, and local levels that will dictate the way that our politicians behave at all levels of government.  Too often we feel that politicians like Mr. Trump and those elected officials who support him ultimately control us and our behavior.  That is only the case if we do not recognize the power of our vote and allow them to deceive us into believing that that is actually the case; if we allow them to intimidate us with their high visibility and power that comes from sitting in high places: the high places that we as voters have put them in!  With the way that things are going in America and around the world now, each voter needs to take their responsibilities seriously.  We cannot afford to stand on the sideline and let the other guy deal with the problem.

There was a time when if things were going bad in the world and in America our president could always speak to the nation and calm our fears.  His voice was somehow a soothing and calming voice that Americans could always believe in and count on.  No matter how great and unsettling the storm, that voice calmed us.  Perhaps because we have shirked our responsibilities for so long now, that is no longer the case.

As I said at the beginning of this article, I am exhausted from writing about Mr. Trump and would love to be writing about other things.  But the fact of the matter is that he is continuing to dominate the news.  Therefore, whether I want to or not or whether I am enthusiastic about it or not, I am obligated to write about him.  I have tried very hard not to write about him because it seems that I constantly end up repeating myself.  The reason why I end up constantly repeating myself is because Mr. Trump somehow manages to always create news; and it is usually mostly negative news.  Besides, look where trying to avoid writing about him has gotten me; here it is beyond mid July and this is my first article for the month.  How can I keep you informed if I do not write about The Donald?  Go figure.

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