Down to the rich folks
Congress could shut down VA hospitals and services, and save around $220 billion. Then, Congress could eliminate Medicaid and Medicare to save about $1.4 trillion. With this momentum, Congress could cut out food stamps, Obamacare and Social Security, saving another trillion or so. Yet, even with all welfare programs dead and gone, Congress would still have a record-setting budget deficit after the most recent economic stimulus bailout. Where would Congress borrow the money to pay off its debts?
But wait. Congress would not eliminate welfare. Congress would try to pay off the horrible $4 trillion-plus deficit by issuing treasury bonds and securities to the Chinese, the Japanese, the Arabs, and various banks. Unfortunately, these usual sources may not have enough money to cover the debt, so Congress may be required to raise taxes on capital gains made by wealthy stock investors, the way President Clinton and his Democrats did back in the 1990s. Rich folks would bail out America, because they may be the only source in this world who can shell out $4 trillion.
We can blame covid; we can blame Republicans; we can blame everybody. But it will be the U.S. president who must take responsibility for forcing rich folks to pay. It will take a strong leader who is willing and able to suffer the slings and arrows of rich folks.
We the People's trial
Although the current political focus is the impeachment "trial" of one person, this present situation gives opportunity for accountability of many more Americans. A more accurate and accountable trial would be a trial of:
• The American media for granting credibility and free daily coverage for the orange mistake. And for creating the acceptance of "alternative facts," aka lies, as reality, solely for the purpose of profit and/or political manipulation.
• The Republican Party for sacrificing any integrity by wholeheartedly endorsing and conspiring with a blatantly hateful liar.
• The Democratic Party for its disorganization, for allowing itself to be out-strategized and out-maneuvered by far-right components of the Republican Party over the past 40 years, for failing to field candidates who capture the American imagination, and for failing to control public messaging and conversation.
• Every state and federal legislator who acted and voted contrary to her or his fundamental sense of right conscience in pursuit of continued political power.
• The U.S. judiciary for allowing itself to become a politically partisan entity.
• Every white American for their lack of awareness and continuing participation in the racist pillars supporting American society.
• The apathetic, non-voting American public for not helping to make a difference. A 95-plus percent voter turnout could create a nonviolent American revolution.
Finally, we must be fair regarding our past president. His words and actions on Jan. 6 were no more hateful, inflammatory, dishonest, or contemptuous of the Constitution than his words and actions have consistently been since before his election. Indeed, if he possesses integrity at all, it is an "integrity of consistency."
Be honest: "We the People" only have ourselves to blame.
The illusion of fraud
Rep. Mark Lowery, sponsor of House Bill 1112, wants to make it more difficult to vote because, he says, "studies" (not cited) indicate faith in the election system has been eroded. Rather than educate the public by showing that voter fraud doesn't exist, it seems he wants to undermine our democracy by limiting those who can vote. Not necessarily to white male landowners, but perhaps moving in that direction.
Let's get to the real story, shall we? I believe Mr. Lowery is afraid of increased voter turnout and doesn't want Arkansas to become the next Georgia, where strong turnout hurt the Republican Party. There are more than a few in Arkansas who don't want a true democracy. Instead, their goal is victory. Sometimes pesky voters get in the way of that goal, so they have to be barred in any way possible.
If there really is a decreased faith in the system, where did it come from? I'd say from the Republican Party's long drumbeat of unfounded allegations of fraud. Mr. Lowery doesn't need to use the word: All his buddies in the party are doing it for him. It's not "Where's the beef?" this time; it's "Where's the fraud?"
On the elusive truth
Just because you see it on the Internet doesn't make it true. Just because someone says something (over and over) doesn't make it so. Only the facts (evidence) provide some degree of certainty. Unfortunately, people tend to overlook inconvenient truths and embrace lurid lies that support their wishful agendas.
Grinning for camera
After watching President Biden signing his executive orders. opening folder after folder, signing and closing the files without apparently looking at them, it occurred to me he was like a puppet with someone pulling the strings. While I think that is probably true, it is more likely that there is a village in Delaware that is missing its idiot. I believe his orders are negatively affecting thousands of jobs and the economy, but he just sits there grinning for the camera as he signs his name.
The sun shines bright
Rep. Johnny Rye, thank you for the laugh. Arkansas, with the passage of House Bill 1017, can decree that the sun shine for one more hour per day. Wow, what power!
In the real world, the bill will merely no longer require changing our clocks twice a year. I do support the idea. Just pick one or the other, un-daylight or daylight saving time, and save us from the horrors of the spring/fall time changes. But to declare the bill will provide more daylight is a ludicrous statement. The sun will shine the same amount of time with or without this bill.