veronica_rich: (cucuy)
I see the Senate has illegally confirmed Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court. Which is about right - to paraphrase my sister, a legitimate president who actually won the majority of his votes for both terms and strove to remain ethically even-keeled can't choose a justice even when he goes to effort to pick a candidate like Merrick Garland to appeal to both parties ... but a literal loser who is under investigation by the FBI for collusion and potentially treason can.

Okay. We'll see if this dude is anywhere near as nonpartisan on the bench as he presented himself to be in the hearings every time he invoked "there's a precedent already in place" on every issue he was asked about.

When I read the news last night about the U.S. bombing Syrian military soil, I tried to consider if my "doNOTwant" immediate reaction was just because it was Trump who ordered it. I'm not a mindless follower; I do try to think over things relative to the situations at hand and not just the people involved. And I remembered a few years ago when we came this!close to strikes in Syria, when Kerry was negotiating on chemical weapons and Obama was having to decide whether to go with diplomacy or military action (for some reason, you know, since we're World Police). And I remember being relieved when the non-strike option won out, and so I know my reaction to a strike back then would have been "don't do it, you imbecile" ... because that's what I was thinking AT THAT TIME. I remember, in fact, being borderline ready to punch Obama over the Libyan military action - I have a really strong reaction to anything resembling us invoking war after the last 15 years.

Viscerally, I too want to punch anyone who is gassing their own people and killing children. I do. But that's not the reason Trump ordered the strike on Assad, and even with that reason out there, I don't approve of the strike. Above anything else, we don't have the resources to get into another war, especially not one that doesn't directly involve us and isn't purely defensive. We've wasted enough treasure and lives on both sides in Afghanistan and Iraq. (And I'm NOT a pacifist; I prefer to be selective about military action, is all, and reserve it for when it's really needed.)

But another angle on this is, even if you were a space alien who just happened upon the Earth and its goings-on and you thought Trump genuinely changed his mind from when he used to harass Obama via Twitter about how stupid it would be to launch a military strike in Syria because of dead civilians and children: How do you justify a military strike when you are the same person steadfastly refusing to accept any refugees from that same country? Not only refusing, but using it as a cudgel to whip up support from a voter base by badmouthing those same refugees as likely terrorists and wanting to resolutely lock every single one of them even with clean background checks?
veronica_rich: (cucuy)
Am I the only one who thinks Trump leaked those 2 pages of his 2005 tax return himself to the press in order to distract people protesting the GOP Obamacare replacement disaster?

I mean, there's no itemized details or paperwork attached to the return. It's 12 years old. It's probably the most taxes the man has ever paid in one single year - he probably just thought What'll get the peasants with pitchforks off my ass the quickest? and had it delivered. It's enough to further piss off those already against him but not enrage anyone who supported him who might have been wavering in that support of late because of the shitty, shitty GOP health plan thing ("He paid $38 million! That's a LOT!!" Yeah, asshole, it's about 25 percent; tell me, how much of a percentage of your $50,000 or less salary do YOU pay into federal income tax? Not too far from that I'd wager).

Oh, and for those of you still on LJ who can't get enough GOP-bashing from just me: [livejournal.com profile] pir8fancier is also posting regular screeds. Check them out. You'll like them.
veronica_rich: (cucuy)
This won't be a long entry. It's about my friend MT. She technically has an LJ account, though I don't know if she still reads this platform; a lot of people don't. I don't mind if she reads this, I'm just observing she might not.

MT is still alive. She won't be for too much longer, according to her doctors. She's been battling cancer on and off for the past five years, roughly - I think that's right, but it's definitely been since after Congress passed the ACA, or "Obamacare," in 2010. MT hasn't had employment that provides her with health insurance, so she's either had to pay for her own care or just go without seeing a doctor, which I suspect is what she did before the ACA kicked in. At any rate, it was in full force when she was first diagnosed with cancer and she gives its funding credit for being able to get treatment and surgeries, and stay alive. "Thanks, OBAMA," indeed.

While the ACA isn't perfect, it's helped a lot of people like MT with both serious health care and preventive doctor visits, that they couldn't afford before it. And being able to access means of basic health and staying alive should be a human right we don't even think about granting. Yet in this country a lot of the same people who have hijacked Jesus Christ as the hood ornament for their political juggernaut eschew Christ's New Testament's basic principles of caring for fellow humans - especially those down on their luck - via help with obtaining nutritious food, shelter, water, clothing, and care for their bodies and minds.

It does not fail my notice that a lot of liberals who are in favor of spending taxpayer funds on these sorts of things identify as agnostic, atheist, or something other than Christian (not all of them do, of course, and maybe not even the majority - Diane, who died several years ago and was on LJ, was very liberal but also very dedicated to going to a Christian church and studying the principles of her Lord ... and then trying to carry them out as she was able). Just saying.

I read a WaPo article yesterday analyzing the CBO report on the GOP ACA replacement proposal, called the AHCA (I suspect the similarity of acronyms is entirely intended, to confuse GOP voters who actually rely on ACA but were too fucking stupid after 6 years of exhaustive news coverage to know "ACA" and "Obamacare" are the same thing, and voted against Obamacare because it had Black Devil's name attached to it ... and yes, I think even the congenitally and willfully stupid both deserve publicly funded health care just as I or anyone else does). It outlined the facts of the report, as well as comments from both Republican and Democrat lawmakers regarding it.

What struck and bothered me was the almost gleeful response Paul Ryan and others on the right of the GOP were having to the news about the "cost savings" projected over 10 years if it is enacted. Totally ignored was the millions of people who would lose health coverage. Totally ignored was the fact these "savings" would mostly be going to people who don't need tax cuts, in the form of tax cuts - the wealthy. Totally ignored was any sense of morality or ethics or public service AT ALL.

Look, I know there are people who don't work because they don't want to, and they milk the welfare system, while we're all out scraping and clawing to earn a buck. I also know those are nowhere NEAR the majority of human beings, or Americans, and I'm willing to finance a small percentage of those people in exchange for being able to provide humanity to everyone. It sure would've been nice if more voters and lawmakers would have felt that way over a decade ago, when I was working three jobs and none of them provided health coverage, and I couldn't afford the $600 a month for COBRA so I just didn't go to the doctor for many years.

MT told me earlier this year that she was largely at peace with death. She also joked (joked? serious? I don't know) that it's good she's dying now, since the Republicans seem hellbent on taking away any sort of health coverage anyway that she would need going forward if she were live past the time her doctors have surmised for her. So, for this and for many other things I've had to watch over the past few decades, especially the last two ... if you're a Republican reading this and you voted especially for these cocksuckers in November: FUCK. YOU.
veronica_rich: (mousie owned!)
Hello darkness, my old friend. I thought you were banished in late 2008, when my fellow white voters proved they might be xenophobes, they might still be racists, but at least they were cognizant enough of basic economics to be frightened by any more years of warmongering, wealthy-enhancing Republican policies leading to another crash like the one that September, that they were willing to give a nearly unknown black man a chance at the wheel.

Speaking of said man, judging by the photos that've come out, I have never been as happy to go on vacation as the Obamas. That man dropped back to his mid-40s in those photos; I swear his hair wasn't even gray anymore. (Never take my favorable judgments to mean that I think he's perfect. There are things I feel like he could've fought harder for and things he continued or started that I didn't care for, but the difference between someone like him and a Dubya or a Trump or a Nixon is I felt like he was making an effort to do the best he could for the country as a whole. Ditto with Joe Biden, who I've actually developed more respect for in the past decade than I had in the mid-2000s, to be honest.)

So much now just seems like ... well, insult to injury. Doesn't it? Trump and his cronies/handlers/masters (because I can't figure out WHAT Bannon and Conway are to him, to be blunt) just come across as working as hard as they can, as fast as they can, to fuck over the ideals of equality and liberty and justice. And the Republicans in Congress are fairly coming all over themselves to help. My Republican senator's voicemail catches his messages these days. I can still reach my Democrat one and House rep, of course, but I'm not sure how much good it does to preach to the choir when the choir is the voting minority.

Let's see what the latest is. Transgender people are being kicked out of the public restroom of their choosing. It almost makes me want to go use a men's room just to see what happens, except men's rooms are usually grosser than women's (there was a time when I was still ignorant enough to make trans jokes about 20-some years ago, and also worked at Taco Bell and had to clean the restrooms, when I would've cracked wise that the reason so many men wanted to identify as female was to avoid going into the men's room). I remember having to cover events as a journalist 17 years ago and regularly being at the same things as this one transgender reporter for another publication, and nearly every time having to use the bathroom while she did as well. I didn't know enough at the time to use "she" and "her" properly, and I still wasn't bothered by being in the same room with her/him/her (as I switchingly called her) while I adjusted my bra or washed my hands. She was usually trying to figure out makeup or fuss with her scarf and didn't give a damn about looking at me anyway.

I mean, shit son. I would tell people who are uncomfortable with the idea of being in a public bathroom with someone who has or had different genitals at some point, stop thinking about things you've no right to anyway, and the problem disappears. You're welcome.

We also have the protesters removed from the Dakota Access pipeline site. My sister showed me a photo last night of the ground there set fire; it was the saddest thing I've seen in a while. Just the whole situation is incredibly sad and frustrating. Here we have the same thing that's going on almost with Keystone XL - a very few people stand to make a profit from it, so it's being sold falsely as a job-maker and money-maker for the wider populace. What's really going to happen is either/both of them ARE going to leak or burst or be damaged at some point and WILL contaminate the ground and water and wildlife being attempted to be protected, and the owners will not be charged nearly enough as a fine to punish them or make them want to close up shop and remove it. That's what sad; the frustrating part is knowing all this and watching it unfold at the hands of crooks and opportunists put in power by 60-some-odd million of the dumbest motherfuckers I have the misfortune to call my fellow citizens. I have, in my life, known many conservatives and for most of my life I was able to get along with them despite our differing opinions and tastes; even when Dubya was in office, while I was angry with them, I could still get along and find common grounds.

Now? I have lost all patience, all care, and all give-a-damn. I'm nearly 45 and I'm through with making nice and giving people the benefit of the doubt. You didn't vote for Trump because you're racist and you did it in spite of him being a racist pig? Too bad; you're a goddamn racist. Own the title. You voted for Trump but you say you wish he'd stop tweeting because he says stupid shit? THAT'S BECAUSE HE THINKS THAT EXACT STUPID SHIT AND ACTS ACCORDINGLY - if you only have a problem with what he says out loud but not with the thought and non-speech actions that stem from that reasoning, you are a useless cunt. Pretty much the only way I get along with people I have to, that I know vote Republican no matter what these days, is by not discussing politics. At ALL. My boss and I don't talk about it (which is pretty odd for newspaper editors, but I assure you it IS doable), for instance.

The one thing that heartens me is that loud people are giving lawmakers an earful, and that there ARE Trump voters who are too ashamed to gloat or even admit to it. I work with an entire office of them. Now, not everybody where I work voted for him. I know this. But the ones I'm reasonably sure did so, have not said one word at least within my hearing range. I don't know if they're ashamed or if they're just not getting exactly what they expected out of him, or they're afraid of being lynched by the rest of us, or what. Whatever it is, I'm good with their self-censure - I hope they keep their goddamn mouths shut about him forever.
veronica_rich: (mousie owned!)
I am on my eighth lifetime president (nine if you count Nixon ... which I can't because I don't remember him), so I have seen some greed in decision-making. But what I'm used to are under-the-radar actions and policies and laws that eventually put those passing them into position to profit from their actions. I'm used to corruption being a long game that plays out over a year, or months, or at the very least several weeks before it's clear what the personal gain is to be had.

But Cheeto and his confederation of nincompoops have elevated the level. I don't remember seeing such naked, immediate, HUNGRY grasping for greed in my life in the White House - like, there's not even an attempt to disguise what these lawless walking Ids are doing. I'm never giving a pass to Dubya and Cheney and their squadron of boobs, but that seemed more greedy incompetence disguised behind this whole built-up fiction of "patriotism" even while it was going on.

Cheeto has no such need for a floor show. He and his minions are going straight for the gold, like a shitty new CEO determined to pad executive salaries as much a possible with employee and quality cuts before he's fired less than a year later with a golden parachute severance package. And fuck you if you don't go along with it.

I guess my next question is this: Who are the adults in the room? Who is there to remove this oversized toddler and his band of thieving sycophants and profiteers - including Misogynistic Q-Tip (Pence)? Are we just supposed to ride it out for four years, with an impeachment of Cheeto at some point designed to be a placebo (it won't be; Q-Tip is every bit as bad as Cheeto, just with a smaller desired bank account)? OR CAN WE THROW OUT THEIR FUCKING FAT AND BONY ASSES SOON. Surely there must be a way to do this. Surely the founders foresaw that the quarter of the voting public who are racists and idiots might somehow bumble an unfit orangutan into the office someday, and need the adults to legally override their poor choice?

What the actual fuck.
veronica_rich: (cucuy)
So today, Nukie - or "Assclown," as I like to call him - decreed we're going to spend our own money to build a wall between us and Mexico. It matters not that we've been experiencing net loss immigration for years, nor that a wall isn't going to be enough to keep out dedicated invaders, and that it's going to cost a king's ransom and tear up more land that the fence from years ago didn't reach.

Anyone else who had to admit as bad a loss to another country as he's experienced (a former Mexican president literally said the country is not going to pay for that fucking wall) would be suffering for it ... well, anyone else who happened to be brown, or female, or possibly just Democrat. The Republicans have NEVER had to abide by the same rules they impose on everyone else. The last one in that office just started up two wars easy as you please; this one will rob low-income women and other poor people of health care to build a wall that will no doubt enrich his coffers and those of a few friends.

This one will rob the environment of funding to finance whatever government compliance is needed to construct two unwanted and dangerous tar sand pipelines that only benefit a foreign country and provide the U.S. absolutely NOTHING in return - no product, no profit, no strategic advantage.

This one will choke off the flow of publicly-funded information and research so he can vet the data himself ahead of time and carefully control the release of alternate facts to make himself look better ... mainly because he can't get over the fact he will never be as widely beloved as his predecessor, or even as much as that unpopular harridan who used to send emails through her work address about her daughter's wedding plans.

I mean, shit, son. His wife doesn't seem to even like him very much, and two of his children look like they'd rather be anywhere else when in his orbit.

Ah, Nukie. Such naked insecurity on full public display could possibly be either fascinating or sympathy-inducing on a regular guy. You, though; without your family money and now your office, you're just a suburban mom's easily-unlocked gun cabinet away from being a school shooter.
veronica_rich: (mousie owned!)
Wow, Republicans sure are copacetic with Presidential Executive Orders so long as it's not a Democrat issuing them, aren't they? How many is Cheeto going to sign this week alone, do you reckon?

Let's see. So far he's frozen new federal hires and wage increases and is doing his best to send us back to 1972 on abortion; canceled planned cuts to mortgage insurance rates for FHA loan recipients; and House Republicans are trying to yank us out of the United Nations. (Someone asked me if the U.S. pulled out, would the UN building still be a thing in New York? To which I astutely responded that if Trump isn't renting it out and isn't making money off of it, he don't give a fuck about maintaining it.)

I hope wherever Obama and Hillary are, respectively, they're having good, long laughs. They deserve it.
veronica_rich: (cucuy)
It's a dark day in American history, but I'm looking fabulous in my all-black ensemble which inclues a sparkly trio of cats on my chest (courtesy of my dad's girlfriend as a Christmas gift). I may be pissed off, but there's no reason to look poorly doing it.

I'm committed to only checking the newsfeed two or three times today. I don't think it's realistic to ask people to not look at ALL, because I want to know if there's real news going on in the world, but I'm going to endeavor not to give Nuclear Cheeto more clicks and hits today. Because attention is what he craves and I've no desire to facilitate THAT.

I bought myself a small breakfast burrito and TWO small iced coffees at BK this morning; it's going to be a LONG day. Fortunately I have a job to keep me busy; unfortunately, it's in news, so I can't escape the day's events entirely. I have, however, so far overseen several weeks of news stories following the election, some of which have been about Cheeto, and am glad to say I think they've been fair (meaning, not filled with effusive praise, some quoting people with real concerns about him - which in the professional circles I run, is hard to come by for any Republican). I'm doing my small part for journalism in the Age of Lies.

So, what are you all wearing? Are you staying away from social media mentions of Cheeto?

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