A Political First

For the first time in my life, I’ve been asked to put up a political sign in my front yard. I happily agreed. It will be for our great Democrat state rep. She was first elected four years ago and has really delivered.

Why it’s impossible to have hard-working, non-sloganeering, effective people like her nationally is a mystery.

8 thoughts on “A Political First”

  1. Local politics really matter.

    And it’s hard to remain good when you get to higher / broader office, I think, in part because so much money is involved. And I guess so many boxes have to be checked. I wonder if it’s like academic hiring: advertise for a professor and you get oodles of good applications, but hire a search firm to find candidates for President and you can only turn up a few and they all seem odd.

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  2. Trump’s official agenda in a few concise bullet points:

    TRUMP CAMPAIGN ANNOUNCES PRESIDENT TRUMP’S 2ND TERM AGENDA: FIGHTING FOR YOU!
    https://www.donaldjtrump.com/media/trump-campaign-announces-president-trumps-2nd-term-agenda-fighting-for-you

    Judging from the language and the presentation, the voters are treated like not too bright 6-year-olds mentally.

    “Create 10 Million New Jobs in 10 Months” plays with the number ’10,’ o/w why not 11 million new jobs?

    “Cut Taxes to Boost Take-Home Pay and Keep Jobs in America” — Translation: more tax cuts for millionaires.

    “Stop Endless Wars and Bring Our Troops Home” blatantly contradicts “Wipe Out Global Terrorists Who Threaten to Harm Americans.” The war after 9/11 was started in order to “wipe out global terrorists.”

    Also, if the goal is less wars, why “Maintain and Expand America’s Unrivaled Military Strength”? Countries don’t tend to expand costy things they don’t use. If everyone knows US military strength remains on US territory, it won’t function as a deterrent.

    “Teach American Exceptionalism” reminds of Russia.

    “Protect Social Security and Medicare” that Republicans were fighting every step of the way since it’s ‘socialism.’

    “Put Patients and Doctors Back in Charge of our Healthcare System” — meaning, let a patient dying from cancer be ‘in charge’ during the horrifying search for accessible treatments?

    “Block Illegal Immigrants from Becoming Eligible for Taxpayer-Funded Welfare, Healthcare, and Free College Tuition” — Can they become eligible for those things? Seems like Trump is imagining.

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    1. OK! You really don’t like him. I don’t blame you.

      But on the opposite side we have lockdowns and riots. And I rest my case.

      Trump’s platform could say boo-boo-bee-doo, and he would still have the unquestionable advantage of being against lockdowns and riots.

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    2. //“Block Illegal Immigrants from Becoming Eligible for Taxpayer-Funded Welfare, Healthcare, and Free College Tuition” — Can they become eligible for those things? Seems like Trump is imagining.//

      They can’t become legally eligible for some of those things, but ask anyone who has ever worked in a welfare office: there is a lot of fraud going on. We need a way to prevent that, yes. In addition, as Clarissa has pointed out, there are lots of forms of welfare that we don’t call “welfare”, that illegals absolutely benefit from without paying for: their children attend public schools (in a district with a lot of illegals, this is a huge burden on the district’s budget). They are the cause of an inordinate number of police visits (at the expense of legal residents) (Yes, it turns out people who don’t respect national laws regarding borders, also don’t respect other laws). They make otherwise-OK low-income rental housing absolutely hellish for their neighbors. My brother and his family once had to go to court to break a lease, because their (illegal) downstairs neighbors were running a porno parlor: They played porn loudly on a big-screen TV all day long with a steady stream of Mexican dudes coming and going from the house, a haze of marijuana smoke, and probably fifteen people actually living in the tiny apartment. The landlord either didn’t care or was too afraid to evict them. If you’ve ever wondered about the “kids in cages” story: that happens because there’s a pattern of people coming across the border with children who aren’t theirs. For a long time, our policy was to keep families together, and let them apply for asylum. But it turns out a lot of people were taking advantage of this loophole by renting or purchasing someone else’s children to bring across the border, so they could be a “family with kids”. At least some of those kids were being sexually trafficked once inside the US. Now, we separate them until we can prove they’re actually related. A bunch of them end up in the foster care system, if they’re not here with parents. That’s another financial burden on the state.

      We definitely need better immigration enforcement. Trump has been doing a good job of this, but cutting down on the “catch-and-release” policy of his predecessors (i.e. we catch them in the country, we give them a court date, and then we tell them to show up at court and let them go. They of course have moved to another state by the time the court date comes.

      //“Stop Endless Wars and Bring Our Troops Home” blatantly contradicts “Wipe Out Global Terrorists Who Threaten to Harm Americans.” The war after 9/11 was started in order to “wipe out global terrorists.”//

      I agree these things are stupidly phrased, but I don’t see them as contradictory. We’ve already established that boots-on-the-ground warfare is fairly useless when it comes to preventing terrorism. What we need is better intelligence. As for promises to beef up the military: He HAS to say that to reassure the people who will automatically assume that “bring our troops home” = “military budget cuts”. It’s stupid, but it’s necessary. Historically, in the US, candidates who seriously oppose the military-industrial complex get assassinated.

      His efforts to get us out of foreign wars, and to bring our guys home from the current ones, are one of the main reasons I’ll be voting for him this time around. He hasn’t got us into any new stupid wars, and while I’m disappointed he didn’t already get us out of Afghanistan and the middle east already… that was clearly not for lack of trying. He’s been opposed by congress and the military/intelligence bigwigs every step of the way.

      I don’t like the guy, personally, and I didn’t vote for him in 2016, but his track record so far is way better than I expected, he actually tried to do the things he said he would do while campaigning… so I can trust this time around that they aren’t empty promises. He may not succeed, but he will definitely try. And I like most of what he’s trying to do. Not all, but enough. I mean, I think the whole moonbase/ mars mission stuff is idiotic drivel, and I hope there’s not the budget for it.

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  3. //“Put Patients and Doctors Back in Charge of our Healthcare System” — meaning, let a patient dying from cancer be ‘in charge’ during the horrifying search for accessible treatments?//

    Having just been through an out-of-pocket surgery with my husband, I am 100% on board with this. We could not get an exact price up front, we had to go in blind with just a ballpark estimate of what people typically pay at an average facility (not at our particular facility), and we are gradually, over the following couple of months, getting billed separately by all the various people involved: the anesthesiologist, the surgeon, the surgery center… and just this week we got a random bill for a biopsy analysis. WTF? We never agreed to a biopsy. We don’t even know what they biopsied. It was a HERNIA surgery for Pete’s sake! No tumors or anything. When we called up the surgery center, they were like “oh yeah, we always do that.” …!!!?? And we STILL don’t know what they biopsied or what the results were. For all we know, they biopsied someone else, and then billed us for it, because we’re paying cash, so why not?

    Yes, as a patient I WANT to be in charge of my own dang medical care. Trump is also fighting for pricing transparency and I am 1000x ON BOARD with that. There are few things I hate more than being told, at a doctor’s office: “Oh, we’ll send you a bill. I don’t know how much that costs: we just bill the insurance, normally”. That is a totally normal thing in the US and it needs to end yesterday.

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    1. methylethyl, see what you describe with your husband’s surgery (wish both of you well) is exactly what I imagined as the result of Trump’s “Put Patients and Doctors Back in Charge of our Healthcare System.”

      In Israel we have a system which unables one to have surgeries w/o thinking of the cost since everybody is required to pay and does. My grandmother received several surgeries as she was dying from cancer. We were poor immigrants but paid ZERO because of Israeli national health insurance policies.

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      1. “In Israel we have a system”

        The US healthcare system is a giant mess and run by criminals (I mean that literally, not figuratively). The way it used to work (pre-Obama) depended on whether you had insurance (prohibitively expensive for most except through work) and what that insurance would cover which is never transparent and only discoverable after the fact…
        I remember having a really terrible flu in the mid 1980s (really vile symptoms that lasted for weeks) and never once considered going to a doctor because I had no insurance (I didn’t reject going to a doctor – the thought literally never entered my mind as a possibility until years later).
        Trump’s speech is half-code for “let’s do away with the insurance companies” but only half-code because he has no power to make that happen.

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      2. Yeah, the problem is that we don’t have the system you have in Israel. We also don’t have anything resembling a free market in healthcare. We have a giant fustercluck where the only people who benefit are hospital administrators and insurance companies. Everyone else– including doctors– gets savagely mugged for every penny that can be squeezed out of them. This is because of the insurance companies. It’s a long story that started with wage caps during WWII. The pricing transparency that Trump is fighting for (there has already been an executive order on it, but hospitals have been fighting it in the courts), would be a VAST improvement for people at our income level, who don’t have traditional insurance, because it means that when my husband needs hernia surgery, we can find out ahead of time how much it’s going to cost, shop around to see if we can get a better deal, and save up the money we’ll need. The way it is right now, he had the surgery over a month ago, and we STILL don’t know how much the total cost will be, because we’re not sure if we’ve gotten all the bills yet.

        I expect Israeli healthcare would be an even greater improvement, but that is not one of the options. The Democrats aren’t offering it. The Republicans aren’t offering it. It’s probably not possible in the US. When they start talking about “medicare for all” here, everyone shudders, because medicare sucks.

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