Two things about this election

There are two things I’ve thought before the election and remain committed to as we wait for more votes to be counted.

1. Georgia needs to change our Constitution to require a Secretary of State to resign if running for a different office. Changing the Constitution shouldn’t be the path to solving every problem, but it is the only way to address the less than above-board election this year, and protect future contests.

2. Yes, Nancy Pelosi has raised lots of money for Democrats, and yes, she corralled Democrats during difficult issues (Democrats say Pelosi has eyes in the back of her head, knows who is in the room, and how they will vote at any given moment). When do we make room for a new leader like this if not now? Could Pelosi be an interim Speaker with a transition plan to pass the gavel, as suggested by my friend and former Congressional candidate Carol Miller of New Mexico? With a wave of newly elected “firsts” across the country, it is time to pass the role of Speaker to someone with solid knowledge of the House and Congress. There is a role for Pelosi, but it shouldn’t be as Speaker of the House.

The new generation of leaders

The Friday Photo

Decatur High School, Decatur, GA

Students walked out or took a knee on Wednesday because #enoughisenough. I stood with them and for them.

When the data scare folks

Earlier this week I found this nifty tool for comparing the healthcare plan proposed by the Republicans (Trumpcare) to the current plan in place (Obamacare). Let’s call the plans what they are, since the Republicans considered attaching the former President’s name to the health care plan he championed, which provided affordable insurance to over 20Million more Americans, as a negative way to tag the plan and policies.

I also shared the Kaiser Family Foundation’s tool in a FaceBook group that was put together to support the hospital in my rural county. All I did was compare the differences in costs for a 60 year-old making $40,000 per year. I used the names Affordable Care Act and Affordable Health Care for America, not Obamacare and Trumpcare, respectively. I didn’t even mention either President or member of Congress by name.

Yesterday a local man took issue with posting the tool and providing the difference in coverage costs as criticism of the plan and the hospital. I responded today:

I am sharing the data. The tool allows people to use it themselves if they choose to do that. Both plans impact the access to care, and affordability of that care for local residents. Both plans also directly impact our hospital.

If we want to keep our hospital open and viable, it will take a combination of many funding streams- that’s not a criticism of the hospital. Hospital admins and leaders have been frank about the diverse source of funds and payer load that is required to keep the hospital open. I have not named any elected officials, nor criticized anyone, OR provided any information that can’t be verified. If sharing information in a polite and civil forum “stirs people up,” that is something that people who are “stirred up” must resolve for themselves. I’m not afraid to do some of the work of being an informed citizen, and share what I learn if others want to use those resources. The proposed legislation is being fast-tracked, so there isn’t a lot of time to “wait for all the data to be processed.”

I’m smart enough to look at the numbers myself and work through the differences- I don’t have to wait for someone to explain it to me.

Have a good day and weekend.

What’s so scary about a an easy-to-use data tool with information that is readily available and verifiable? What’s to get “stirred up for no reason” about looking at information yourself? And perhaps worse, why does anyone think that we ought to, “wait for all the data to be processed.’? Even though this in a complex problem, it isn’t rocket science.

Why are Trump supporters so unhappy about comparing Trumpcare data to Obamacare data?

The mansplaining and “don’t you worry missy, wait until someone can explain it all to you” is another problem. If you look at the provisions for women’s health care in the Trumpcare plan, and the lack of respect for women and our ability to make information decisions about our health and bodies, well, no wonder this man thought I needed to just sit down and be quiet.

Clearly I didn’t take his words to heart.

What I’m reading about last night

What I’m reading about last night (link to the address is below from the New York Times):

WAPo: “In describing his bleak vision of a ruined United States exploited by foreigners, Mr. Trump wrote a series of checks he almost certainly cannot cash.”

The ugliest moment in the 60-minute address came when Mr. Trump announced the formation of an office on “Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement,” and then introduced families of people allegedly murdered by illegal immigrants. It was an appeal to raw prejudice and fear that will do nothing to promote the national unity he claims to be seeking. (emphasis added)

WAPO: Fact checking demonstrates that Trump continues to take credit for things he didn’t do, including the sourcing for DAPL pipeline materials

WaPo: Why any glow from last night won’t last very long

WaPo: The word you didn’t hear last night

NYT: Video of the address to Congress and NYT Washington correspondents comments and analysis during the speech and the Democratic response

NYT: Did Bannon and Miller talk Trump away from a pivot on immigration during lunch yesterday?

NYT: Five takeaways from last night’s speech

Jay Bookman at the Atlanta Journal Constitution on pouring money into the military,
“In short, this is not a carefully thought-out strategy from the Trump administration, based on consultation with the experts and our allies. Instead, the man who took five draft deferments to avoid fighting in Vietnam, the man who says that he knows better than the generals how to defeat ISIS and who claims he understands the military because he attended a military-themed boarding school, is offering a military strategy fueled largely by his own deep personal insecurities.”

If your plane has been hijacked….

This saying has been circulating since the election, and I understand the thinking behind it.

It also reminds me of the passenger-heroes of Flight 93, who overtook hijackers on their September 11, 2001 flight, forcing the plane to crash in a Pennsylvania field instead of its intended metropolitan target.

If your plane has been hijacked, and you know it is on a suicide mission, do you sit by idly? Or, do you organize and try to regain control of the plane, putting it on its right course?

Trump has no idea how our government works

Today Trump said he would call a special session of Congress to roll back Obamacare if he and a Republican controlled Congress are elected.

He can’t do that until he is sworn in. And duh, guess who else will already be in town and ready to work?

We can’t afford to have a President who doesn’t have a clue on the mechanics of our government. And shame on voters who don’t know better either.

Try this on for size

Trump supporters, male and yes, female, are burning up Twitter with the hashtag #repealthe19th. The 19th Amendment gave women the vote. Multiple polls show that if only women voted in November, the slam-dunk for Clinton/ Kaine, and probably most Democratic Congressional candidates, would be deafening.

I have a suggestion for men and women who think repealing the 19th Amendment is a good idea: sit this election out and see how that feels.

In the wee hours this morning

A couple of months ago I began posting links to news items on Rural and Progressive’s Facebook page. I was sleepless in the wee hours of the morning so I skimmed the news and found some interesting things that I shared there.

If you are on Facebook please like the page, and share or comment. If you aren’t on Facebook, you can check my Twitter feed @kghcummings I also post there, and the two platforms don’t always overlap.

Here’s what I found at o’dark thirty today:

circular firing squad

you can’t make this stuff up 

Republicans complain to state ethics commission they eviserated 

The Peach Pundit gets it right on Jody Hice

I don’t agree with the Peach Pundit very often, but yesterday he got it all right on Jody Hice, a Baptist minister vying for the Republican nomination to run for Georgia’s 10th Congressional District (which is my district).

Hice thinks the rights guaranteed and protected in the Constitution don’t really apply to all Americans. He has some scrambled ideas about “geo-politcal” constructs that allow for denying First Amendment rights of free speech for Americans who are also Muslims.

Hice also has Neanderthal ideas about women holding political office, but I digress.

The Peach Pundit spells out why voters casting ballots in the Republican run-off should take a hard look at Hice’s politics. The Pundit is wise to urge voters to consider the potential damage beyond the boundaries of the 10th District.

 

 

At least 194

I don’t like guns. I’ve never fired one and I don’t care if I ever do.

I can appreciate the hand and eye coordination in shooting a target because some days I can barely thread a needle when wearing my readers.

I get the issues around hunting to provide food for families (Hunting is violent, but I don’t think Contained Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs, are any more humane than killing an animal with a single shot.)

What I don’t get is why AT LEAST 194 children have died in our country since Newtown. One hundred ninety-four. 10 x 19 +4.  AT LEAST that many.

We don’t keep good data on gun deaths and children, so 194 is on the conservative side. Why don’t we have uniform reporting on children who die because they are shot? Who doesn’t want us to know how many children are dying because of guns in the country we say is the greatest in the world?

A year ago today we were stunned into silence as a nation while we waited for the students and teachers to emerge from Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Yesterday we waited for the body count at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado.

Shame on us for waiting to learn the body count at another school shooting.

Shame on us.

It took 10 years to get the Brady Bill passed after Jim Brady and Ronald Reagan were shot. 10 years.

Using the conservative data we have, are we willing, as Americans, to let 1,940 more children die while the NRA, the members of Congress that they own, chest-thumping state’s rights legislators, and gun waving citizens, prevent background checks and bans on assault weapons?

I am asking my fellow rural Americans who own guns and think enough children have died just since Newtown to do something about it.

The next time you buy bullets for hunting, put 194 individual bullets on the counter.

194 bullets

Ask the people standing there with you if they think 194 children shot and killed since Newtown is enough. Ask them why we need to be able to buy assault weapons and rigorous background checks aren’t the law. If they say “because of the Second Amendment,” ask them about the last time their home was invaded by an entire Army division. Owning an assault weapon is over-kill. No pun intended.

If you think speaking up for gun control isn’t “your thing,” ask any one of the 194 families who won’t open birthday presents with their daughter, son, sister, or brother, in 2014, why speaking up shouldn’t be “your thing.”

They can give you one reason why you should.

The NRA must stop using our children as pawns

Being the President’s child in the White House can’t be easy. Now the NRA is dragging the Obama’s daughters into the politics of gun control by producing a web video criticizing the President as “elitist” because his daughters have security details at school.

Clearly the NRA is so desperate now that it  resorted to using the President’s own children in its campaign to arm our society to the teeth with assault weapons and magazines.

Disgusting.

The NRA is losing the grip it has had on Americans for too long. We don’t need assault rifles and we don’t need high-capacity ammo magazines. Finally citizens are saying it.

connecticut-state-police-lead-children-from-the-sandy-hook-elementary-school-after-shooting-dec-14-that-left-27-deadWhat we do need are laws and procedures which will help reduce the all-to-easy access to guns.

And we have to couple that with increasing the access to mental health services so that people who need care can get it before they reach a crisis. Our mental health care delivery system is not set up to help patients and families until they reach the breaking point.

Congress and state legislatures have the power to make it harder to get a gun. New York did it last night and Governor Andrew Cuomo said after signing the legislation, “We put rules in place that actually protect innocent people in society. That is what the State of New York is doing today. It says common sense can win and good people can win. And you can actually get government to work and get good things to happen. You can overpower the extremists with intelligence and with reason and  common sense.”

If Congress and state leaders won’t act, the President has Executive Authorities to make changes in gun ownership that Americans are calling for. He should use them.

Last night Lawrence O’Donnell reported on The Last Word that the NRA edited its video and took the Obama girls out of it during his broadcast. The NRA’s video begins at 2:00.