“Share your story with the President”

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Funny thing happened to my computer last night after replying to an unexpected whitehouse.gov email with the subject line “Share Your Obamacare Disaster Story“.

I did.

“Obamacare meant that members of the congregation I served for eight years received insurance coverage for the first time in their adult lives. It meant that children under 26 were covered by their parent’s health insurance. It meant that the American working poor were part of a movement toward having in the Unites States what all other industrialized western nations regard as a basic right to be honored.

I write this because Whitehouse.gov asked me how Obamacare “impacted” me. Although far from perfect and needing improvement, the proposals to improve the Affordable Care Act met with iron-clad resistance from a party intent on destroying it rather than improving it.

Now, today, it is estimated by reputable sources that 20,000,000+ now-insured Americans will lose their health insurance with repeal. Shame on you. In the name of Jesus and all things compassionate and merciful, shame on you! Do the right thing and stop the blame game.

Having completed the submission and click with the mouse, the President’s voice spoke through my computer, thanking me for my support and going into an extended attack against Obamacare which, he said, was getting worse even as we spoke.

When I clicked again to silence him, my computer cursor went mousey, jumping all over the screen beyond my control.

An hour or so later I watched KellyAnne Conway explaining how I could be surveilled through . . . my microwave, and I wondered whether I’d just fallen into a dark alternative universe with KellyAnne, Steve Bannon, and their boss.

Today, just in case, I think I’ll get rid of the microwave.

  • Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, March 13, 2017.

National Health Care

health_care_reformMuch of the fuss over The Patience Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) could have been avoided by a genuine national health care system. The insurance industry is still running the show and doing very well by it. The debacle is NOT about national health care. It’s over a hybrid.

Real national health care is an expression of democracy (“government of, by, and for the people” – ALL the people), not its enemy. Built on the foundation of the old private insurance company system, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was destined from its inception to be a mess.

Do I hear a “Yes!”? A “No!”? A yawn?

Boogie-Man Politics

Senator Ted Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz

Comparing Obamacare to the Nazis, Senator Ted Cruz (TX) said: “Look, we saw in Britain, Neville Chamberlain, who told the British people, ‘Accept the Nazis. Yes, they’ll dominate the continent of Europe but that’s not our problem. Let’s appease them. Why? Because it can’t be done. We can’t possibly stand against them.’”

So which is it? Sometimes you paint the President as a Communist. Sometimes you paint him as a Fascist. You can’t have it both ways, Senator. Hitler was a Fascist. Stalin was a Communist. Obama is neither. Somehow the three have been mixed together into a political Molotov Cocktail. It’s reported this morning that a huge crowd in Iowa gave Senator Cruz an enthusiastic 36-second standing ovation.

Is it a coincidence that the President he loves to smear is black? Boogie-Man politics has a sordid history in this country.

Those whose memories are longer see the sneer of former Senator Joseph McCarthy on the faces of those who, like him, use innuendo and character assassination to destroy public figures and elected officials who do not agree that a Right Wing agenda is the definition of “American.” The arrogant sneer always looks the same. Because it is the same.

Paul Robeson testifying, SOURCE: AP/Bill Achatz

Paul Robeson testifying,
SOURCE: AP/Bill Achatz

Paul Robeson, under investigation by the House Committee on Un-American Activities, doing battle with the Chair while testifying, spoke the words then that still echo in my ears. They still pertain to Boogie-Man politics:

“You are the Un-Americans, and you ought to be ashamed of yourselves.”

ObamaCare

They want you to believe that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a sinister plot. They do not call the Act by its name. They call it “ObamaCare” after the man they love to hate, President they paint as either a secret Muslim or Socialist or Communist. We’ve seen this kind of demagoguery before. Those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it.

This 1954 video of Joseph Welch brought the tsunami of demagoguery, led by WI Senator Joseph McCarthy, to a screeching halt. An exasperated Welsh, Chief Counsel for the Army in the Army-Senate Hearings, finally put the question directly to McCarthy: “Have you no decency, Sir?” The same question pertains to the Right Wing ad scaring the public about a lecherous Uncle Sam (government). Views from the Edge posted that video an hour ago.

Lecherous Old Uncle Sam

Video

There is nothing quite like sexual brutality and fear to scare people to death.

In this TV ad a lecherous, sadistic, evil Uncle Sam substitutes himself for the doctors for a young women’s gynecological exam and a young man’s annual prostate exam. This is the definition of demagoguery. When and where will the Right Wing stop? The actual name for “Obamacare” is The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It was enacted by Congress after many compromises. Demagoguery is leading the populace, in this case the American public, by appealing to prejudices and emotions.

The Religious Parade: Unreal and Real

Click HERE to read and view the photos of religion on the campaign trail in Michael Gerson’s opinion piece in this morning’s Washington Post. Comment below to generate the discussion her.  But…before you do…ponder Steve Shoemaker‘s “The Donkey”  sent to me this morning in preparation for Palm/Passion Sunday.

THE DONKEY (A Children’s Verse)

The coats the folks are throwing down

sure make it hard for me to walk

especially carrying this clown

whose feet are almost to the ground.

“Hosannah King!” is all the talk,

but this guy seems to be as poor

as I am–no one could mistake

him for a Royal–he’s just a fake!

They wave palm branches, and they roar,

but my long ears can hear the real

parade across the city square:

the General, the Priests, the score

of war horses–the whole grand deal.

This pitiful parade will fail

to save a soul, and soon the yell

will change from “Hail!” to…”Kill!”