Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve Thoughts

This is the time. The time when little children are in limbo. Hoping and believing that tomorrow will bring a better day. When you look at their sleeping faces and imagine them dreaming about a world where Santa needs warm milk and cookies, where elfs on the shelf look watchfully down, where reindeer need carrots and cookies and candy canes for fuel. Presents are less important than the belief that someone is actively trying to connect - someone cares about them.

I don't have much to offer you but this... If you are lucky enough to have little children... be that hope.

You can do it.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Obamacare Is Dead.... Long Live Obamacare...

Reports of the demise of the ACA/Obamacare are premature.

Yes, the individual mandate is no more. Yes, premiums will likely increase over time as more healthy individuals choose to become uninsured because there is no financial penalty.

But anyone expecting a wholesale collapse of the system is mistaken.

This year, the first under Trump, was the first sign-up period where the administration didn't extend the deadline for sign-ups for Obamacare. They didn't do advertising. Several states have undone the state program. What was the impact from everything that they did to drop sign-ups and undermine the law?

Enrollments dropped. By 4 percent.

That is it. 4 percent. All of that and it made no real difference. People like and use Obamacare. In states with good Governors and legislature they are expanding the exchange or expanding Medicaid. People are getting insurance.

Meanwhile, Congress and Trump are trying to take away insurance coverage from people (instead of fixing it), as well as letting CHIP languish - while hurrying to pass the corporate and wealthy tax breaks.

Something has to give. When the dam breaks, it is going to be a wave. Virginia, Alabama are only precursors to what is coming. Governor Hogan and other blue state GOPers should be afraid. State legislators, mayors, everyone is going to be impacted. 

Obamacare is dead said Trump. Long live Obamacare say the people. Let's see who wins...

Thursday, December 21, 2017

CHIP Needs Funding Now! #SHUTITDOWN

Nancy, Chuck (can I call you that? Trump does) - we have to talk about CHIP.

The Childrens Health Insurance Program (CHIP). You might have heard of it, in all the hullabaloo going on, it has been sort of lost in the discussion. It expired long ago. No approval from Congress in sight. Several states are grappling with shutting it down. And what have the GOP and Trump been doing - looking out for the little kids or passing their own big tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires and corporations?

I've heard that the government funding bill is slated to be voted on tomorrow and that it doesn't have any CHIP funding in it.

Don't miss out on this opportunity - to put a stake in the ground, to help children and families and to help people remember what is important to Democrats and what is important to Republicans.

You are worried about shutting down the government and distracting from the holidays. Sure, I get that.

But what better reason could you have than to draw a line over CHIP? What better holiday present for families than to know someone is fighting for them? I don't have fancy focus groups, message testing or pricey consultants - but I believe that even a majority of governmental employees would be with you if it meant funding CHIP. And the public would be too.

When Doug Jones won in Alabama (!) in his victory speech that night he talked about getting the CHIP program funded as soon as possible. Before he gets there if possible. It is that important.

Don't delay. Don't punt it to January. Do it now. Change the conversation, show people that Democrats stand for children while Republicans have their priorities and they don't include CHIP.

What are you guys waiting for?

It's the right thing to do. It's the smart political move. Yes, you have to get some messaging and line up people to talk, etc. But that is why you have all those pricey consultants. It's time to earn their pay.

Fund CHIP, or no Democratic votes for the govt spending bill. Let Republicans go it alone.

It's easy. All you need to do is lead.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

On The Spread Of "Fake News"

I wonder if it has always been this way and I am just noticing it. Or whether something has changed. This “fake news” phenomenon when people don’t like what you say or what they read. I notice it on Twitter all the time. It was always there, but below the radar. And then Donald Trump started calling whatever he didn’t like, “fake news." Then it really took off. It made its way to blogs, and newspaper pundits, to tv and even to Facebook.

But the facts are the facts. Like, "Russia tried to influence our election." Nearly 20 separate agencies of the US intelligence service said so. Other countries services, like MI-6 say it.

Yet, the standard rejoinder is ”Fake news.” Which really means, "I don’t want to hear or believe it. So I won’t."

It is an easy rejoinder and a lazy way to try to shout out an argument. Just deny the evidence.

I realized just how far it had gone when in a neighborhood Facebook group someone claimed it was “fake news” that he had participated in a conversation. When confronted with a screenshot of that actual conversation he doubled down and said it wasn’t him and it was ”fake news.@ I would laugh, but it isn’t funny. If we can’t agree about the nature of reality when it is provable, we are in deep trouble as a country and as a community - probably globally. Heck - some people are even denying that the earth is round. These flat earthers believe that the "round earth" is a lie or "fake news."  I swear I am not making that up.

And that isn’t “fake news.”

Monday, December 18, 2017

New Years Resolution early - blog more often

I'm back beetches.

Yeah, I know nobody reads this stuff. But it seems like a good way to think things out and put down in writing what I am thinking.

Plus, you never know when people will actually listen (it could happen)....

And it seemed like a good New Years resolution. If I've got opinions I should spend some time formulating the arguments rather than fitting them into 140 (or 280) characters.

Although I have no doubt that Twitter, Facebook, this blog and maybe Instagram and Snapchat (if I ever figure those two out) will make appearances in each others feeds.

There is just too much going on - in the country, in Congress, my state (old and new) and in my neighborhood to stay silent.

More to come!