Thursday, March 30, 2017

Trump Budget Includes $4 Billion for Border Wall

Wednesday, 15 Mar 2017 09:50 PM

Image: Trump Budget Includes $4 Billion for Border Wall

President Donald Trump will propose deep cuts for foreign aid and environmental protection and a steep increase in military spending in a budget plan to be released on Thursday, a congressional source said.
The budget plan for fiscal 2018 will call for cuts of 28 percent for the State Department, the source, who was briefed on the outline of Trump's plans, told Reuters.
Trump is proposing a 10 percent increase in defense spending, equivalent to $54 billion, and a 6 percent increase in funding for homeland security, the source said.
To fund those increases, he is seeking deep reductions in programs such as public broadcasting, funding for the arts and science, and heating subsidies. Those programs have been targeted by Republican politicians before, but in many cases the proposed cuts have failed to make it through Congress.
The blueprint highlights Trump's priorities for government spending and sources say it includes a funding cut of up to a third for the Environmental Protection Agency. But it is ultimately up to Congress to decide how to allocate funds.
Even though Trump's Republicans control both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the budget is likely to face resistance. Some moderate Republicans have already expressed unease with some of the proposed cuts.
"They're really going to be cutting into bone," said Kenneth Baer, a former associate director at the Office of Management and Budget who helped draft former Democratic President Barack Obama's first four budgets.
The proposal includes $30 billion in supplemental funds for fiscal 2017 for defense, primarily border security, according to the source. It also includes $1.5 billion in 2017 and $2.6 billion in 2018 for Trump's promised wall on the southwestern border with Mexico.
Federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will be phased out under the plan, the source said.
The document will begin months of debate on government spending, with Democrats and moderate Republicans worried the budget could force tough decisions on popular programs such as aid for disabled children and hot meals for the elderly, and conservatives pushing for more cuts down the line.
New administrations typically submit to Congress what is known as a "skinny budget," a broad outline of spending proposals, in their initial months in office. Lengthy volumes of fiscal plans and projections follow a couple of months later.
But the Trump budget for the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1, 2017, may be more truncated than usual, said three budget experts interviewed by Reuters.
The document is expected to look only at one narrow piece of the budget: “discretionary” programs that are subject to renewal every year and not so-called entitlement programs such as the Social Security retirement program and the Medicare and Medicaid health programs.
"This one appears as though it will be one of the skinniest budgets of recent memory. Possibly emaciated," said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
Social programs such as Social Security and Medicare account for the majority of overall U.S. federal government costs. Trump pledged to protect the two programs during the 2016 campaign.
"If they put out a budget as skinny as advertised, it might not really tell us a whole lot about the president's overall budget and the direction of fiscal policy," said Robert Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan budget reform advocacy group.
The "skinny budget" is not expected to address other potentially expensive promises Trump made during his campaign.
Trump wants to boost infrastructure spending while cutting taxes. Although he has not given details on how or when that would happen, the pledges worry Romina Boccia, a fiscal policy expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation. “You could blow up the deficit even more,” she said.
If Trump sticks with his campaign spending promises but decides to make a bigger push to rein in the deficit, more cuts could be in store for programs such as food assistance for the poor, college Pell Grants for the poor, and some income assistance for poor senior citizens, said Sharon Parrott, senior fellow at the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities.
"That’s what’s left," Parrot said in an interview.
Trump's "skinny budget" will also make funding requests for the remaining months of the current fiscal year.
As long as increases in military spending are offset with cuts elsewhere for 2018, keeping the deficit in check, Republican Representative Steve Pearce said he was willing to wait patiently for broader fiscal belt-tightening down the road.
"We’re playing a very long game here in the debt and deficit," Pearce said in an interview.
I love the part where he's cutting foreign aid to help pay for the wall.  Mexico won't shell out the money?  Fine.  We'll just cut foreign aid.  One way or the other, Mexico will pay (at least partly) for the wall to keep their people from running the border because they too get foreign aid from us.
It's just a shame that other countries whose people don't come here illegally may have to do with less aid too.  Well, they can blame Mexico for that.
I just hope they can get started ASAP.  The sooner we start, the sooner we can keep out more illegals and let other countries know we are damn serious about protecting our borders.
Dan 88!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Tom Cotton: 'This Bill Won't Pass Senate'

By Cathy Burke   |   Sunday, 12 Mar 2017 12:28 PM

House Republicans who vote for an Obamacare replacement plan that can't pass in the Senate "walk the plank," risking voters' wrath and losing the GOP majority in the lower chamber, Sen. Tom Cotton warned Sunday.

In an interview with ABC News' "This Week," the Arkansas Republican said the GOP's current plan needs a lot of work.

"It probably can be fixed," he said. "It will take a lot of carpentry on the framework. As written today, it cannot pass the Senate. I believe it would have adverse consequences for millions of Americans and wouldn't deliver on our promises to reduce the cost of health insurance to Americans."
"I would say to my friends in the House of Representatives, do not walk the plank and vote for a bill that cannot pass the Senate and then have to face the consequences of that vote."
He said lawmakers need to take a "pause."
"I'm afraid if they vote for the bill, they'll put the House majority at risk next year," he said.
"We have majorities in the House and the Senate, and in the White House not only to repeal Obamacare and get healthcare reform right, but to reform our taxes and our regulations and build up our military and accomplish many other things."


Like I said, Trump seems to be trying to keep his campaign promises, but it's not his fault if Congress and the SCOTUS get in his way.

However, one thing is his fault - at least when it comes to healthcare.  He is so wealthy, that what seems like a fortune to us, is chump change to him.  He's the type that would go to a fancy restaurant (before he was president of course) and tip someone $50 for the best table and not even blink.  He'd buy a $100 bottle of wine and not think twice about it.  He'd spend more on that one meal than we'd spend in a week at the grocery store.
His ideas on healthcare are the ideas of a man who thinks of a $100 bill the way we think of a penny.  That is not good.  Trump needs to get with people who are in touch with the working class and LISTEN to their advice.  
Unless Trump can get in touch with the working class, or at least get good advice from someone who is in touch, then he won't be able to come up with a plan to properly replace Obamacare.
Dan 88!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Ten Crazy California Law Proposals

1.  Senate Bill 54:  Would make the entire state a sanctuary for illegal aliens.  It has passed the Assembly and Senate.  Governor Brown is expected to sign it.

2.  A bill to raise the tax on hard liquor (they wouldn't dare tax beer) to make up for removing the sales tax on diapers and tampons.  Are they kidding?  No they are not.

3.  Senate Bill 18:  Requires the state to create a bill of rights for children.  When I was a kid my rights were what my parents and teachers told me they were.  When they said "jump", I was expected to ask "How high?" - and then do it!

4.  Assembly Bill 1732:  Gender neutral bathrooms.  No more men's and women's rooms.  Hey, if this one passes, don't ask me not to look when I use one.  I'll look just to piss people off.  If a woman can use the same restroom as me, then I have a right to look.

5.  Senate Bill 1322:  Anyone caught having sex with an under aged prostitute will no longer be charged with statutory rape or child molestation.  They will be charged with the same crime as if the prostitute was an adult.

6.  Assembly Bill 2466:  Allows serving felons the right to vote.  Considering California is a democratic state, if this passes, most of those felons will surely register Democrat.

7. Proposition 57:  Early release for non-violent criminals.  This would include drug traffickers and sex traffickers such as pimps.

8. Proposition 63:  On its own, California would nullify the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution.  This surely would be unconstitutional so it will be interesting to see if it passes.  California, although liberal majority, does have a lot of rednecks so it may not pass anyway.

9.  Senate Bill 3:  Minimum wage hike to $15 an hour.  I'm all for raising the minimum wage, but $15 an hour?  Companies will never pay this out of their profits.  They will pass the cost to the consumers.  If this passes we might be paying $10 for a Big Mac.

10. Senate Bill 1383:  This is to control cow flatulence (farting).  I'm not lying!  If you don't believe me Google "California Senate Bill 1383" and prove it.  Dairy farmers (who are going bankrupt as it is) are supposed to stick hoses up a cow's butt and recycle their farts.  Kind of like the way they capture methane gas at landfills and store it for resale as fuel.  Farts are primarily methane gas.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Special Announcement

Everyone, I wanted to make this announcement before White Heritage Month, but very close to it.

Just as some very fine TV shows run their course and get old, so do blogs.  Things get stale and repetitious, and the amount of visitors drops off.  That's what's been happening with Sense and Sensibility I'm sorry to say.  Oh well, I've had a good run.  As they say, all good things must come to an end.

When something like a blog or a TV show gets old, stale, and repetitious, there are two ways to handle it.  One is to cancel it.  The other is to retool it.  You give it a face lift, so to speak.  You make an old thing into something new.

I have decided to do the latter.  In the near future I'll be completely redesigning this blog including changing the format.  The format right now is basically I find an appropriate news story, post it, and make a commentary.  Although I'll still do that OCCASIONALLY, that will no longer be the standard format.

Let me stop and say that this change won't come until White Heritage Month.  The reason for this is two fold.  One, I don't want to mess with things immediately.  Secondly, I'd like to hear from my more loyal readers suggestions on what direction you'd like to see this blog take.  Just use the comments section.

As to changes I have in mind, I have not decided on whether to change the name or not.  If I do, it will depend on the direction things go here.  I'm also planning to give it a fresher look.  I won't be giving any hints as to what they might be.   However, I will give at least a week's warning before this happens.

Also, if I can work things out technically speaking, I don't see why I won't be able to continue to use the same URL as I have now.  If for any reason I have to change that as well, you'll be given plenty of notice.

I look forward to hearing some of your suggestions and advice.  If I have to take this blog down while I make these changes I will give you plenty of warning about that.  I don't want these changes seen piece meal.  I want everyone to see the finished result in its entirety.

Dan 88!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Our Wonderful Healthcare System

: If Republican's have "Cadallic" health plans, what plans to Democrats have? A: "Yugo" health go to the doctor, you go to the hospital, you pay! 

Q: What does HMO stand for? A1: Hand Money Over! A2: How Many Obstacles! A3: Healthy Members Only! A4: Horrible Medical Organization! A5: Healthy Men Only 

Q: Other than health care what other promises has Trump made to the American People? A: Balancing the budget, reining in the banks and putting a unicorn in every backyard! 

Q: What do Donald Trump & Tiger Woods have in common? A: They both prefer younger women! 

Q: How do you know your doctor is not a fan of Trump's Health Care Plan? A: He/she has remodeled the waiting room with death paneling. 

Q: What is the difference between an HMO and a car battery? A: The battery has a positive side! 

Q: What's the difference between an HMO physican and a seagull? A: A seagull can still make a significant deposit on a Mercedes. 

Q: Why is Congress contacting Tiger Woods about Health care solutions? A: They want to know how to screw everybody except your own family members! 

Q: Why shouldn't health care be run like the United States Postal Service? A: Because babies won't be born unless they have the right amount of postage! 

Q: How is the tabacco industry solving the health care crisis? A: By allowing Marlboro Miles to be redeemed for health care coverage! 

Q: If the health care reform bill is named after the late Ted Kennedy who should the defense bill be named after? A: Rush Limbaugh because it contains a lot of fat! 

Q: How is Donald Trump going to get Democrats to cross party lines and support health care reform? A: By giving their mistresses free breast implants! 

Q: What should you do if your health plan only covers generic prescriptions and generics make you feel sick? A: Poke yourself in the eye! 

Q. Under the Republican health bill, do all diagnostic procedures require pre-certification? A. No. Only those you need. 

Q: How would Hilary Clinton have reduced teen pregnancies and prevent STDs if she was elected? A: By getting Bill to wear condoms! 

Q: Why is it ironic that Sarah Palin is against "death panels" for old people? A: Because she smothered the life out of the McCain presidential campaign! 

Q: Will health care be different under Trump's new reforms? A: No, but if you call right now, you might get an appointment by then! 

Q: Why is Healthcare reform so important to the enigmatic Barack Obama? A: His pregnant mom was turned away from many hospitals and was forced to give birth in a manger! 

Q: Why is it pointless for Donald Trump to hold Senior Citizens Q & A sessions on the internet? A: Because microwave ovens don't have internet connections! 

Q: Under Obama's health care plan can you get coverage for preexisting conditions? A: Certainly, as long as they don't require any treatment! 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

No Obamacare Repeal

Comrades, I assume by now that you have all heard that Obamacare will NOT be repealed at this time.  In fact, it was Trump himself who asked that the bill be removed from the list of bills to be considered.

In all fairness it was not Trump's fault.  He seems to be trying but is being obstructed from all sides.  The reason given for pulling the bill is that there will not be nearly enough votes for it to pass.  It seems that our wonderful representatives and senators whose first duty is to enact the will of the people are afraid that if they repeal Obamacare and Trumpcare isn't as good, they will lose the votes of their constituents - both Republican and Democrat who are benefitting from Obamacare.

Yes, there are some who are benefitting from Obamacare and Congress and the Senate are worried they'll be voted out of office if they repeal the unpopular act.  Democrats are willing to do whatever it takes to preserve Obama's legacy, and there are just enough Republicans who are afraid of losing their seats in the next election so that we are stuck with Obamacare - for the moment.

Trump says he is not giving up.  He says it's mainly a matter of convincing America that his plan is better.  If he can do that, then we have a chance to get rid of Obamacare.  If he can't, then it will be with us for a long time to come.

You know, I never advocate violence, but sometimes I think that an armed revolution is the only answer to our dilemma - just sometimes.  I still consider myself a man of peace, but I'll never forget what one of our Founding Fathers once said:

When the government fails to serve the people, it's time for a new government. - Thomas Jefferson.

If he were alive today, he'd be calling for another revolution.

Dan 88!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Fearful Immigrants Are Offered Anti-Deportation Training

Sunday, 12 Mar 2017 09:25 AM

Don't open the front door if immigration officials knock. If you are taken into custody, tell them your name and nothing else. Definitely don't sign anything.
That is some of the advice being given in New York City and around the country at training sessions, put on by advocacy organizations, aimed at helping immigrants living in the country illegally get in as little trouble as possible if they encounter U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.
Called "know your rights" training, the sessions have been pushed by some groups as a way to prepare for a possible crackdown on illegal immigration under President Donald Trump. Similar trainings are scheduled in New Mexico and El Paso.
The idea, organizers said, is to give immigrants guidance on how to legitimately push back against attempts to detain them, mostly using tactics designed to keep agents from learning anything they don't already know. The government can't deport someone unless they can prove they are in the U.S. illegally.
At a training session Tuesday in Queens, a little more than two dozen people sat in a room listening to Yaritza Mendez, an outreach coordinator at the pro-immigrant advocacy group Make the Road New York. She spoke about various ways ICE agents can find a person, and what to do if they come knocking.
Even people in the country illegally have constitutional rights, Mendez said, such as not being subjected to unreasonable searches and seizures, not answering questions and not signing any documents without speaking with an attorney.
Volunteers took part in a role-playing exercise. The audience broke into laughter when a woman wearing a vest with "ICE" taped on it burst into the room after knocking loudly on a door.
"I try to make it interactive because it's long and very sad, in a way," Mendez said.
A lady sitting at the back had a question. If immigration officials knocked on her door, what if she opened it a crack but kept the chain on?
No, Mendez said. Not even a crack. That's guidance that closely mirrors something criminal defense attorneys have long been telling clients. Letting a law enforcement agent peek inside could give them the probable cause they need to enter without a warrant.
Other advice dispensed during the session: Make sure any warrants presented have the right name and addresses and are signed by a judge. Do not volunteer information. Do not show the agents any fake documents, since doing so is a crime that could land them in much deeper trouble.
Plan ahead for the worst. For example, she said, parents in danger of being detained should have paperwork in place to have someone look after their children, instead of scrambling to find someone in an emergency.
Most of the people in the audience were immigrants in the country illegally.
But they were also people like Pascalina Chirinos, 63, a legal permanent resident from Venezuela who has been in the U.S. for about five years.
She said she attended so she could share the information with friends and neighbors, but also to know her own rights if she were ever caught up even in passing in immigration enforcement efforts.

In Los Angeles, Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, said his organization is trying to train more people to conduct know-your-rights presentations at schools and churches to keep up with rising community demand.
"We're training the trainers," he said. "People don't have to be lawyers to share what the constitutional rights of people are."
Mendez said Make the Road has been getting calls from churches and other institutions like a local hospital to come and give the trainings in those places for their staffs and clients.
The atmosphere is "fearful," she said. "You don't know what is going to happen the next day."


They're afraid?  Good.  They bloody well should be.  They came here uninvited and without permission so they should be afraid of the consquences.
But I was actually expecting something like this.  I figured some do-gooders would start some kind of classes to teach them to avoid deportation.
You know what really gets me?  At least in California they offer free English classes to immigrants and they do NOT check their status.  Any immigrant - legal or illegal can attend free of charge.  The biggest excuse for them NOT to attend English classes is that they don't have the time.  That's why we have legal and illegal immigrants who have been living here for 20 years and they still don't speak enough English to be fluent.  I bet they'll find the time for these Anti-Deportation classes.
We make it too easy for them not to have to learn English.  All government offices provide services in Spanish, there are two or three Spanish language TV stations, several radio stations, numerous publications, and as long as they are willing to limit themselves to the Latino community, getting a job without knowing English is not a problem.
The first thing we do is print government materials in English only. If they want to bring an interpreter at their expense, that's fine, but we have to stop making it so easy to get along without knowing English.  If we don't, we're the ones who will be having to learn a new language before too long.
Dan 88!