Tag Archives: “Obamacare”

Who Was That Guy?

Who was that guy speaking to Congress and to the American public on Tuesday night? He clearly resembled President Donald Trump, but he appeared to be much different than what we are used to seeing. During his first address to a joint session of Congress, President Trump seemed to be calm, caring, and dare I say…presidential. The normally brash businessman came across as a unifier and even showed glimpses of humility during his hour-long speech. I like that guy.

Early on in his speech President Trump said, “While we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms.” And toward the end of his address he said, “We are one people with one destiny. We all bleed the same blood. We all salute the same great American flag. And we all are made by the same God.” Those were some very assuring words from our President (yes, our President). Could this be the so-called “pivot” that at least half of this country has been waiting for since after he won his party’s nomination – after his victory in November – after his inauguration? Probably not.

Trump is who he is, and many of his supporters are fond of his candidness and political incorrectness. The problem is, more often than not, the former reality star does not know when to quit or when to stay silent. For example, just one day prior to his heartfelt speech to Congress, President Trump accused former President Obama of being the mastermind behind the recent protests against the current administration as well as the leaks coming from the White House. During Monday’s interview with Fox News, when asked whether he thought Obama himself was arranging protests, Trump replied, “I think that President Obama is behind it because his people are certainly behind it.”

I believe whenever an allegation is made against someone then the burden of proof is solely on the accuser. (Like our justice system.) Therefore, some evidence must be given to lend credibility to one’s claims or else it’s only senseless chatter. Trump’s accusations against Obama, at this point, fits the bill. There is no evidence of any wrongdoing on the former President’s behalf, and I highly doubt our nation’s first Black President is secretly organizing anything against the current Trump administration. Say what you will about Obama’s policies, but former President Barack Obama is a classy guy.

What wasn’t so classy were the actions of some during President Trump’s first address to Congress. Apparently, some lines had already been drawn before Trump even uttered one word. A handful or so of lady Democrats reportedly dressed in white attire to show their disapproval of Trump’s assumed stance on women’s issues. A couple of the women then repeatedly gave the President a thumbs down, in melodramatic fashion, while he spoke about repealing and replacing Obamacare. It probably didn’t really matter what Trump was talking about because haters are gonna hate.

I always find it a bit humorous, although in a bleak sort of way, observing Congress when the President is speaking. Watching one side of the auditorium stand and applause while the other side sits in disgust is fascinating. Politicians often talk about their concern of a divided nation, especially during this past election, and many of them even offer advice (usually to the other party) as to the best way of unifying the country, yet Congress openly shows their divided state, for the entire world to see, simply by the way they’re seated during the President’s address. This behavior is certainly nothing new, and it goes both ways, but I think our country would best be served if politicians were forced to amalgamate instead of adhering to the status quo. Have any of them ever heard of leading by example?

I agree with many of the things President Trump had to say on Tuesday evening including his take on illegal immigration. I think he asked a legitimate and thought-provoking question of the elected officials seated before him concerning illegal immigration that I too would like to have answered. The President said, “To any in Congress who do not believe we should enforce our laws, I would ask you this one question: What would you say to the American family that loses their jobs, their income, or their loved one because America refused to uphold its laws and defend its borders?” Unfortunately, I think those who need to do the most soul-searching on this issue are the ones who are making a career out of being anti-Trump and have ignorantly lumped illegal immigrants in with legal immigrants.

The two main reasons I consistently hear in defense of not deporting illegals are because it breaks up families, and we need them in our labor force for a healthy economy. The first argument is a valid point because it does break up families. However, it is certainly not the government’s fault. The lawbreaker need only look in the mirror to see who’s to blame for his or her family’s sad situation. I think the solution to the second argument is so simple to solve, but I have not heard one elected official mention anything like it amidst all of the bickering and partisanship in Congress. My common sense approach would be to replace each deported illegal immigrant with a law-abiding person from the waiting list that we’ve heard so much about. If 500 illegals are sent back to where they came from then 500 people that have been doing it the right way, patiently waiting their turn, would be rewarded by being allowed to make the United States their home.

Like it or not, President Trump has softened his stance regarding illegal immigration. He has decided to keep a few aspects of former President Obama’s executive order including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. I would think Democrats should be thrilled with the President for taking a more centrist position on this issue. Trump is first and foremost a businessman, so it should be of no surprise to anyone that our 45th President tends to view his presidency as a four-year stint (at least) of negotiations. A good businessman (heck, even an average one) knows not to start a negotiation without allowing for a bit of wiggle room.

It appears the travel ban President Trump signed into law via executive order will now be negotiated as well although the courts will likely have the final say in the matter. I’ve been a proponent of Trump’s temporary travel ban, for the sake of our national security, since he proposed the idea during his campaign. There were definitely some flaws found with the President’s order soon after the ban was announced, but some kinks should be expected when implementing something new. Anti-Trump people skewed the President’s order as hateful and racist, but I viewed it as just another way of trying to keep America safe.

Immediately after the President enacted the ban, the media began referring to the Trump administration as “turbulent,” “a mess,” and a “train wreck.” Of course, Trump responded with a little nonsense of his own by insisting his presidency is “a fine tuned machine.” I think the actual truth lies somewhere in between. As hectic as those first couple of days were, I appreciate the fact the President held true to his campaign promise concerning timetables. He publicly berated Obama, while on the campaign trail, for giving advanced notice to our enemies around the world. Nobody can accuse President Trump of doing that in this instance.

I agree with many of the policies our new President has either enacted by way of executive order or has implied during his short time in the Oval Office. However, I respectfully disagree with his plan to increase defense spending by $54 billion. We absolutely should take care of our veterans, but I don’t see the need for making our military bigger, better, and stronger than ever before like the President desires. The United States already has the greatest armed forces in the world without having to waste money that could be used in a more constructive manner: like using those funds to jumpstart the proposed $1 trillion infrastructure plan or having a financial cushion in place while Congress is attempting to modify Obamacare. I’m well aware that at times President Trump offers a mixed bag policy wise, but we should not take his every word literally because his background is indeed in business, not government, so he truly is a negotiator at heart. Regardless of Trump’s policies, I sure hope to see that guy more often.

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Thus Far

I’d give President Donald Trump a letter grade of a B, thus far. Our 45th President of the United States is already honoring some of the promises he made during his campaign by way of executive orders. Of course, executive orders are the lazy man’s way of implementing change, and they’re only worth about as much as the paper they’re printed on once the president who signed them leaves office. Many presidents from both major political parties have gone solo numerous times during their presidencies, but I’m certainly not a fan of the common practice. It’s simply too easy to undo something the prior president enacted, with one fell swoop of a pen, which is precisely what President Trump has been doing to some of former President Barack Obama’s executive orders.

One such order is in regard to Trump’s differing stance than that of Obama’s concerning illegal immigration. The Donald (is it okay to still call him that?) is making good on his promise to “build the wall.” I’m actually no longer too concerned about building a wall because most of the damage has already been done. Droves of illegal immigrants have already established themselves in this country, during the last several years, and I believe the number of illegals crossing our nation’s Southern border these days is minimal. Many critics have scoffed at the President’s statement that Mexico will be paying for our border security. Obviously, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto will not be handing President Trump a check for the project (Nieto has said as much), but I do think somehow, whether through tariffs or future negotiations, Mexico may very well be paying for the wall.

I’m totally on board with Trump’s decision to come down hard on “sanctuary cities.” Miscreants should not be granted immunity just for finding a place where the overseers have no respect for their country’s statutes. Those government officials who refuse to uphold the laws of the land should be held accountable for their actions. The likes of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray should suffer any and all consequences for not complying with the President’s executive order. This includes slashing federal funding for their cities, and I would even suggest a little jail time for the mayors’ blatant disregard for authority.

Another executive order President Trump recently signed was to expedite the review process of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Sound familiar? Probably because it has been in the news off and on – like forever. The shovel-ready jobs were desperately needed during the early stages of the Great Recession, but former President Obama “needed” over 6 years to review the process before ultimately deciding to reject the planned fourth phase of the pipeline project. Those jobs aren’t needed near as much now as they were back then, but they’re jobs nonetheless.

I also agree with Trump’s executive order to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). He’s definitely not alone in his thinking on this issue. Even two of his political nemeses, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, have been very vocal about opposing the trade agreement which includes eleven other countries. The TPP was supported by former President Barack Obama and by Hillary Clinton as well, but many on both sides of the aisle view the proposal as more beneficial to the other countries involved than to the United States. I understand that President Trump’s newest tagline is mostly political rhetoric, but I have no problem with “America First” whatsoever.

I might have given President Trump a higher mark if it weren’t for his continued, and unsubstantiated, accusations of voter fraud in this country. Just this week our 45th President boldly declared he probably would’ve won the presidential election’s popular vote (he won the electoral vote) if it weren’t for the numerous fraudulent ballots cast by illegal immigrants and even deceased people in favor of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. I’m sure some illegal votes were cast, but Trump estimates the number to be somewhere between 3 and 5 million. Come on. Just another example of The Donald’s evident inability to think before he speaks. Many times I like his candidness, but at times it makes him look foolish. The President, like everyone else, should hold his tongue until all of the facts are in.

I’m also a bit leery of President Trump’s desire to fast track the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Republicans in Congress did not offer any alternative plans prior to the inception of Obamacare, and they did not even mention the word replace until the most recent election. I think to successfully repeal and replace the ACA will require sensibility and a delicate touch – not a willy-nilly, hurry-up approach just to appease those who want Obamacare instantly dismantled. The fact is there are millions of people who have purchased health insurance for the first time because of the ACA and whom are very appreciative for being able to do so.

It’s no secret that I’ve been a proponent of the Affordable Care act since day one. My lovely wife and I have benefited immensely by choosing health insurance through the ACA Marketplace; We finally have very good coverage at a very affordable rate. Until the implementation of Obamacare the missus and I had consistently paid good money, for decades mind you, for crappy health insurance. I think good, affordable health care should be a right of every American citizen.

However, we’ve also witnessed firsthand this year the apparent implosion of the government-run program. In the state of Arizona, the number of insurers participating in the ACA Marketplace dropped from a robust 12 companies last year to a measly 1 for 2017. By the way, having only one choice is really no choice at all. Something surely needs to be done about our current healthcare system, but I hope (and pray) our elected officials will compromise enough to get it right this time. President Trump’s future grade depends on it. There’s a long way to go in Trump’s presidency, but our 45th President of the United States is doing a commendable job…thus far.


If I Was To Run For President

If I was to run for president it would be history in the making. I would take a completely unconventional path to the White House. First, I would compose a list of all of the inappropriate things I have ever done, throughout my entire life, and I’d present it to the media the day I entered the race. The neatly typed document would include my juvenile record although I was promised my early indiscretion would be expunged on my 18th birthday. However, in today’s world of mischievous computer hackers, and so much personal information now floating around in “the cloud” (whatever that is), I’m not so sure that promise wouldn’t be broken. Regardless, I would hope my egging transgression, committed at the age of 16, would not be a deal breaker for the American public.

Next, I would refuse to give any additional detailed information, concerning the lengthy list, or even make mention again of my prior sins for that matter. So many candidates have said they’re through discussing specific issues, from their past, but then they continue talking about them whenever hounded by the press. I absolutely would not retreat from my vow of silence in regards to my distant past. If I was to run for president I would not make any promises, but I would be totally transparent with my devised agenda. My modest qualifications, for the position of president, includes earning a high school diploma, operating a fairly successful business (for 5 years), and possessing common sense. My formal education certainly pales in comparison to practically everyone, but the latter attribute (common sense) is seemingly absent amongst the majority of those who are currently occupying the political arena.

If I was to run for president it would be as an Independent. I do not fully agree, or disagree, with either of the two major parties’ platforms. In addition, I’m adamantly opposed to partisanship; therefore, if I was elected president I’d be able to form partnerships with Democrats and Republicans alike to do what’s best for the country. However, collaborating with the Tea Party might be a different story. I blame their existence, these past several years, for the much needed compromise missing in Congress.

I’m all for fiscal responsibility but not at all costs to the American public. Those Grover Norquist pledges, signed by almost all of the Tea Party clan, are utter nonsense. I assuredly would not add to the nation’s outrageous debt, but I wouldn’t be able to balance its budget either. (Not even if I had a full 8 years and a compromising Congress.) No one could responsibly make this country solvent again, after 14 plus years of careless overspending, in that short amount of time.

If I was president I’d be fine with leaving some issues left up to the states to decide, but generally I prefer consistency throughout the land especially when it comes to public safety. I would aim to make texting while driving illegal (nationwide) with a mandatory jail sentence even for first-time offenders. I’m a proponent of having a required sentence already in place, for all life-threatening infractions, so violators will be well aware of their punishment beforehand; hence, acting as a deterrent to those contemplating breaking any laws. Potential lawbreakers may be more apt to reconsider their actions when knowing there’s an unavoidable harsh penalty awaiting them. I have no tolerance for anyone who foolishly puts another person’s life at risk.

I definitely place computer hackers into that category, near the top, of people who need to be dealt with in a severe manner. I’m not sure if those hackers, who are “genius” enough to disable a moving vehicle or redirect the flight plan of a commercial airplane, are truly trying to cause harm or if they’re wreaking havoc on innocent people simply because they can. Regardless, anybody who’s inclined to tamper with the safety of others needs to realize that would not be acceptable on my watch. I not only have contempt for hackers like “patriotic whistleblower,” Edward Snowden, but I’m not too fond of those who blatantly shine their laser pointers into the cockpits of airplanes, temporarily blinding the unsuspecting pilots, as well. Again, I’m in favor of having mandatory jail sentences for the likes of these people.

If I was elected as President of the United States I would not attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). I believe our nation’s healthcare system was much worse before “Obamacare,” so I wouldn’t be willing to revert to the way that it was. However, I would listen to anyone with a legitimate suggestion for improving the ACA. I’m not too familiar with the specifics of Medicaid or Medicare, but I’ve often wondered if combining those programs with “Obamacare,” into a single entity, would be a cost saving measure somehow. I do think President Obama made a mistake, through one of his many executive orders, by quashing the government’s policy of threatening prosecution for anyone negotiating with terrorists. Now, American families can make deals, with known terrorist groups, for the release of a confined family member. This sets a horrible precedent, and only the wealthiest Americans would have a legitimate shot at paying the necessary ransom to free their loved ones. That’s not right!

I am anti-war. It’s quite sobering when pondering the accumulated costs, both financially and in American lives, due to our nation’s involvement in unjust wars over the years. I proudly hold an isolationist’s viewpoint because in general I don’t think it’s appropriate to get involved in other countries’ affairs. I also don’t believe in forcing our type of government, no matter how wonderful it may be, on any other nation. I highly doubt if we’d appreciate it if the tables were turned. I imagine the United States of America would fight tooth and nail to keep from being subjected to another country’s form of government. Remember the Revolutionary War? Obviously, I would not hesitate to declare war if we were ever attacked on our own soil.

If I was sworn into office my agenda would surely include nixing any further development of driverless cars and putting the kibosh on the use of drones in residential areas. It’s apparent, at least to me, there are numerous drawbacks with both of these technological advancements including losing some of our beloved freedoms. We should maintain the right to drive our vehicles, and expect privacy in our own backyards, but that’s not where we’re headed. As president I would also advocate for the disbandment of affirmative action, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). I desire a country where equality actually means equality.

If I was president I’d petition for all grand jury rulings, of the racially charged kind (whether real or imagined), to be read in the morning instead of in the evening as currently tends to be the case. I think this simple change would most-likely prevent the spontaneous actions of many miscreants looking for a “justifiable” reason to loot and vandalize their neighborhoods. I figure delinquents are more prone to disregard the law in the shadows of the night than during daytime hours. Announcing verdicts before lunch would allow for heated citizens to cool down, and to reconsider their contemplated endeavors, before the sun sets. If they still choose to instantly riot at least the culprits’ identities would be less difficult to capture in the light of day.

If I was to run for president I would have no chance of winning whatsoever. I would not have any special interest groups backing me; therefore, I would not have the money to launch a competitive campaign. I know I lack the education, experience, and name recognition needed to become a viable candidate for president. Oh, and did I mention the money? I am certain I’d make a better president than anyone who has already entered the race, but it’s just not possible for a transparent Independent with common sense to be victorious at this time. I guess the making of history will have to wait.


A Very Good Week For The President

Last week was a very good week for President Barack Obama. The United States Supreme Court upheld a provision (government subsidies) crucial to Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA). In addition, Congress approved a bill allowing America’s leader “fast track” dominion over free-trade agreements, and same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide. Of course, the President wasn’t actually responsible, for giving homosexuals the right to legal matrimony, but the Supreme Court’s ruling did happen on his watch. I’m not exactly sure what platform the Republicans will be able to embrace, this next election cycle, with “Obamacare” and gay marriage now being laws of the land. I suppose there is the nation’s gargantuan debt, in which one of their own (George W. Bush) began, and Obama unashamedly increased by colossal proportions, still left for debate.

By now, it’s no secret my lovely wife and I are proponents of the ACA. We’ve heard the horror stories and numerous rants, in opposition to the historical piece of legislation, but for us “Obamacare” has been nothing but a good thing. A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with degenerative hip disease which means I’ll most-likely need hip replacement surgeries at some point. Without the Affordable Care Act we had decent health insurance, but the insurance company attached a rider to our policy denying coverage of my hips. With “Obamacare,” through our state’s health insurance marketplace, my wife and I have even better health insurance (at a slightly lower premium) that covers my pre-existing condition as mandated by the new law. Although the ACA is not perfect I’d absolutely hate to see this country’s healthcare system revert back to what it was.

I’ve also heard the arguments, for and against, concerning the recently proposed free-trade agreements. It’s interesting to me how seemingly equally intelligent individuals can be on opposite sides of any given issue, and each side can cite specific data in support of their chosen stance. Some say the trade partnership with other countries will help the U.S. economy while others say it will further hinder the nation’s unemployment rate. I tend to agree with the latter, based on the consequences suffered at the hands of a previous free-trade agreement (NAFTA), although I’m not too familiar with the details of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreements. I do know there already are not enough jobs, in the United States, for every able-bodied person wanting one. Almighty technology is responsible for continuously squeezing out the human workforce and forever causing a lack of employment in this country.

Computers and machines have been replacing human beings, at an alarming rate, and will continue doing so. Bank tellers have lost out to ATMs and on-line banking, and more and more stores are replacing checkers with self-checkouts. The days of seeing two men on the back of a garbage truck have all but disappeared. Eventually and inevitably we’ll be saying goodbye to FED-EX and UPS delivery drivers – thanks to drones, and we’ll be bidding a fond farewell to truck, taxi, and limousine drivers – thanks to driverless vehicles. Regardless, whether or not the TPP or TTIP would aid in diminishing more jobs, here at home, I do not think the agreements should be “fast tracked” as is now permitted by the recent somewhat bipartisan passage of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). In general, rushing into anything is not usually recommended, so I wish our elected officials would’ve taken more time considering such an important matter.

I do not pretend to understand homosexuality, and my religion certainly does not condone it, but just like the millions of illegal immigrants, occupying this land, homosexuals are here to stay. I think everybody saw legalized same-sex marriage coming at some point; however, I think the Supreme Court’s citing of the United States Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment, in its ruling, quite possibly provides a gateway to other legitimate requests for legalized marriages. The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits state governments from depriving its citizens of “life, liberty, or property.” What about those people whose desired liberty includes polygamy or marrying someone within their own family? It’s something to think about.

I heard a new argument, soon after the Supreme Court’s ruling, as to why gay couples should not be allowed to marry. Some people are saying the newlyweds will have a negative economic impact on our federal government, and they’re also suddenly concerned about Social Security and how legalized same-sex marriage will assuredly reduce the fragile system of its funds. That may be true; however, heterosexuals have been draining the system for years, and I haven’t heard too many complaints. Besides, others have suggested that the decreased spending on Medicaid and Medicare, after gay couples marry, would more than make up for the increase in payable Social Security benefits. The real problem is our leaders, from both sides of the aisle, have been making withdrawals from the beloved program for decades. Maybe now is the time for our elected officials to have a serious, bipartisan discussion about Social Security before the well runs dry.

In 50 years (probably less) no one is going to ponder when homosexuals weren’t allowed to marry. I rarely contemplate a way of life that was different than my lifetime, so why wouldn’t others be prone to do the same? I don’t think much about the telegraph, eight-track tapes, or segregation, since they were before my time, although I know they all existed. Likewise, future generations aren’t going to dwell on landlines, compact discs, or the days when there was heterosexual marriage only, because they’ll all simply be things of the past. That’s just how it is…like it or not. Yes, last week was indeed a good week for homosexuals, trade advocates, and “Obamacare” supporters. It certainly was a very good week for the President.