Pruitt Out!

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EPA head Scott Pruitt has resigned!

The corruption and abuse of power swirling around Pruitt is increasing by the day.  But recent allegations coming from staff members, including those who quit because of Pruitt, put the pressure on for him to step down.

Question is:  will investigation into his dealings continue?  Or will it be Washington as usual, letting him off the hook by resignation?

Time will tell.  And so will the coming elections!

ICE: Not In Our Name

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Children left alone to wander the streets or hide for days inside, too afraid of what may be waiting for them outside.  No adults at home to care for them.  In some homes, the electricity has been shut off.

Outside, the visible decay already of disorder.  Garbage building up and reeking in the summer heat.  Toys left abandoned in untended yards.  When the sun sets is when fear really sets in.

No, this is not a scene from some apocalyptic movie.  It is real life for children in today’s American heartland!

The Washington Post exposed the horrors happening right now in a town in northern central Ohio after an ICE raid separated the immigrant parents from the born-here American children, abandoning the children to find relatives or fend for themselves.

By now, you already know of the “camps” where immigrant children are being detained by themselves, separated from their parents.  You probably also know about the “baby buses” to transport babes in diapers by themselves to detention camps.

Detention camps for kids is an outrage, reminiscent of 1930’s fascism in Europe.  But if this is not enough, ICE is committing more outrage right under our noses.  Literally creating a ghost town in at least one American community, the tragedy is on the lives of innocent young American citizens – children left to find their own way.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, known as ICE, was born from the fear after 911.  Created in 2003, it was designed to be the strong-arm unit of George W. Bush’s new Department of Homeland Security.  (I have always taken issue with W’s use of the word “homeland.”)

ICE replaced Immigration and Naturalization Services and its intent was enforcement and control.  Under every President until now, ICE has been tempered.  But now …

President Trump has vowed to remove anyone here illegally from Mexico and Central America.  He doesn’t seem to understand – or he doesn’t care – that many individuals are not trying to enter illegally, but are following ICE’s instructions to appeal for sanctuary; they are running for their lives from drug gangs and abuse.

But what about those people in central Ohio?  Many of these adults have been here for years, working at minimum wage jobs and living quietly and normally, raising children and doing the best they can for themselves and their community.  This Ohio community, like many others across the country, was created because certain industries, like the agriculture industry in Ohio, needed workers willing to work those jobs; and most born-here Americans don’t want to work hard labor jobs, like in the fields, for minimum wage!

Finding workers willing to work hard, low-paying jobs, is nothing new.  Ronald Reagan signed into law in 1986 an act for this very reason, to encourage employers to at least legally register immigrants who fill jobs that Americans won’t work.  Reagan’s efforts were a failure and illegal immigration has nearly doubled since his time.

But, and this is important, most of these immigrants are not coming here to “invade” our country, as some, including Trump, are saying.  They are coming here to work.  And to live a good life caring for their families.  That’s it.

Trump seems to think that by making immigrant communities into ghost towns, that Americans will rush in to fill those jobs.  But that’s not the case.  The Washington Post reports that in the Ohio case, deporting or detaining the immigrant workers has created a deficit of 15,000 jobs!  No, Americans are not running to work the fields, and if the Ag companies cannot fill those 15,000 jobs, they go out of business!

But back to ICE:

ICE has waited for a President like Trump to operate unchained.  Their tactics are as close to storm troopers as this country has ever come.  And it is time to stop!

The issue of immigration is complex.  It requires a balance of economics, population, and many other factors to solve.  But solve it we must, and we must solve it fairly and equally – for everyone!

Rushing to action, without thought of consequences, which this President has done, is wrong!  And we the American People must hold this President accountable by voting our views in the coming elections.

We must consider candidates who will approach issues like immigration in a rational intelligent way, candidates who don’t name-call or cast blame on others for their own failures.

We must consider the kind of America we want to be.  A light to the world, or a dark place that harms innocent children?  We decide!

Tillerson Warns: “Wobbly” America May Be in “Twilight” Decline

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Emerging from his retirement, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned that if Americans don’t put it together soon, and demand truth and integrity from those we elect, then America’s democracy may be over.

Speaking to a military graduating class in Lexington, Virginia, Tillerson took direct aim at his former boss who fired him via Tweet.  Referring to President Trump and the media who support and who enable him, Tillerson warned that if we accept “alternative realities” not “grounded in facts,” then America, and the freedom we cherish, is doomed, according to The New York Times.

Tillerson, an Eagle Scout, said,

If our leaders seek to conceal the truth, or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom…
When we as people, a free people, go wobbly on the truth even on what may seem the most trivial matters, we go wobbly on America…
If we do not as Americans confront the crisis of ethics and integrity in our society and among our leaders…then American democracy as we know it is entering its twilight years.

Tillerson has been quiet since his firing.  The New York Times reports that the commencement address at the Virginia Military Institute was scheduled prior to his termination as Secretary of State last March.  However, one may wonder why the strong words now?  Since the results were the same (Trump fired him anyway, and wouldn’t even give him the courtesy of doing it directly to his face), why was Tillerson such a suck-up to Trump when he was part of the Administration?

Read more:  In Rebuke of Trump, Tillerson Says Lies Are a Threat to Democracy The New York Times

If Not Now, When?!

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Once again, our country mourns the loss of innocent American lives because of gunfire in places that are supposed to be safe.  And once again, we are hearing the same B.S. from the people we elect.

I’m not talking about just one side or political party.  BOTH parties are guilty of B.S. AFTER another senseless tragedy.  The only difference this time is the speed at which the politicians came out to defend their positions.

One side scolds us that “this is not the time” and that “we need more facts” before we can assess what happened.  What happened?!  17 innocent lives have been taken by a weapon of war that should never have been available to civilians in the first place!  That’s what happened!

The other side patronizes us by assuring us to elect them the majority next election and, we’ll see, they’ll fix things and make our streets safe again.  Like we have the time to wait until next November!  We don’t!

This was the 18th school shooting this year!

That’s right, 18 shootings at our schools in just 6 six weeks.  That’s 3 shooting per week!

We can’t wait another 9 months!

Military assault rifles are weapons of war, designed to efficiently kill lots of people quickly.  They are not sports rifles nor are they for hunting.  The ammunition for assault rifles are different from other guns, they rip apart flesh and organs, that is what they are designed to do.

The United States had an assault weapons ban for 10 years.  Although results are mixed for its effectiveness, it might be a start to at least try a moratorium on new sales of these weapons and see if it makes a difference.

Access to weapons is also vital.  Not everyone can legally operate a vehicle.  And we have to re-register our vehicles and renew our driver’s licenses.  When we renew our licenses, our record is reviewed for safety purposes.

Why can’t we do the same thing with gun registration?

This young man yesterday got these weapons and the ammunition for them somehow.  And everyone who knew of him said he had problems, as well as his record showed him to be a threat.

How did this young man, who had not completed high school, get such an expensive weapon and all the expensive ammunition and multiple magazines?  Was he enabled by someone else?

We need answers, not political posturing.

And we need immediate solutions to assure us that our kids are safe when they enter school.

My children our grown and on their own now but, as a parent, I know how terrifying it feels, even for a few minutes, when you don’t know if your children are safe when something has happened.  I cannot begin to imagine how it must feel for these parents who were told their child would not be coming home.  My heart cries for them.  I thank God and feel blessed that I never got that call.  But as a parent, I don’t want anymore parents to have to suffer this.  I don’t want to see the terrified faces of our American children who don’t want to go back to school again after having to step over the dead bodies of their classmates.

I hope that as Americans, we can throw our political differences aside,  and that our lawmakers will take their public trust seriously and toss away the “blood money” from the NRA and gun lobby, and that we will begin solutions to protect our children.

I hope that this time we will act, not argue, for a solution.  Other countries have done it, why not us?

Read more: Sheriff’s report: Suspect confessed to Florida school attack

Goodbye Della Reese

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Della Reese

By Gale Agency, Inc. (management company) (eBay item photo) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Della Reese, an iconic performer whose career spanned over 60 years, died today.  She was 86 and passed quietly at her home in California.

Della Reese’s accomplishments and talent were widespread.  Although many may know her only for her beloved TV role of Tess in “Touched by an Angel,” Della Reese was also a star in movies, a top-ten recording artist, a TV actress and host, and a voice artist for Hanna-Barbera animation.  Della Reese also was the first African American woman to guest host “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.”  In addition to her accomplished career in entertainment, Della Reese was also an ordained minister.

Born Delloreese Patricia Early in 1931, Della Reese shortened her name to Della Reese while performing in nightclubs.

Della, thank you for your inspiring life.  You will be missed!

Read more about Della Reese here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Della_Reese

Keystone Oil Spill: Is This the Future for America’s Heartland?

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Coming just days before Nebraska officials decide whether or not to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, a section of the Keystone pipeline in South Dakota burst a leak.  Imagine this hard to clean up oil covering the Cornhusker State’s cornfields?

The spill in South Dakota comes just days before Nebraska regulators will decide on a permit needed for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline

Link

House Passes Tax Bill But Will It Clear the Senate?

Paul Ryan and his Republicans managed to pass the tax bill today.  But their post-vote celebration may be too early because it still has get by the Senate with a narrow margin of only 2 votes.

No matter what you’ve heard about lower tax rates (or no taxes at all), don’t believe that these guys are really working for you, because they’re not.  This bill, if passed by both Houses and signed into law by Trump, will benefit the super rich only!

While tax rate cuts for the super rich remain permanent, forever, the rate cuts for everyone else phase out within a few years.  In addition, in order to benefit the rich, the House bill eliminates deductions for mortgage interest and tuition interest.  It also stops deductions for teachers who use their own money to purchase school supplies for their classes.  And if your employer pays your school tuition for you, you will taxed as income for that amount.

The Senate can only lose 2 votes.  I hope the Senate does its job for the American people, not the special interests, and votes this bill down.

Read more here:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/16/politics/house-tax-plan-vote/index.html

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/u-congress-poised-major-test-135645844.html

http://time.com/5028112/house-tax-bill-passes/

 

Trump Tweets Bans Transgender From U.S. Military

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In a series of morning Tweets, President Trump announced that transgender people are banned from the military.  No matter how you feel about LGBTQ, here is what is wrong with Trump’s doing this:

  1. First of all, no ONE PERSON should have the authority to make decisions of military policy.  We are still a democratic republic and not ruled by a king or tyrant.
  2. The fact that Congress ceded their authority to the Executive opened the door wide open for this to happen.
  3. Trump is using social media to create policy.  How long are members of his own party in Congress going to cower in fear?
  4. If Trump succeeds in getting away with banning members of the LGBTQ community, who’s next?  Consider the history of tyrants and you will understand that tyrants start with one group and continue until no one is left.

It is time for Congress to do its job and take back its power as a co-equal branch of government.  Republicans, Democrats, Independents, everyone in Congress must join together now, for the sake of the Country!

Source: Trump: U.S. military won’t allow transgender people ‘to serve in any capacity’ [Video]