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Profile Information

Name: Peg
Gender: Female
Hometown: New Jersey
Home country: USA
Current location: Tennessee
Member since: Sat Feb 6, 2016, 07:31 PM
Number of posts: 8,422

Journal Archives

Not Healing Fast Enough? Coverage Denied.

Anyone acquainted with traumatic brain injury (TBI) knows how slow the path is to healing. The brain is a remarkable organ and will do its best to self-heal, rerouting neural pathways that have been broken during a head injury. But that repair requires patience, care and outside facilitation/rehab for best results.

Which is why the story of Caleb Freeman from Oklahoma caught my eye. Caleb was brain injured in a car accident on December 19, 2017. Blue Cross/Blue Shield have decided he hasn’t progressed fast enough in his treatment and will be cutting coverage as of 12 February. That’s less than 2 months coverage. For a brain injury!

This is personal for me because my younger son suffered a TBI a number of years ago, He spent 2 weeks in intensive care, 1 week in a step down unit, 3 months in an in-house rehab and nearly 3 months as an outpatient, It took him a good 18 months beyond that to walk without a limp, for the range of motion in his shoulder to fully return and for his vocalization to return to normal.

Two months? My son had barely regained control of his bladder and bowels in that time, let alone regain mobility,

I don’t know what these insurance companies are up to but they should be publicly shamed. We had a recent OP on an ALS patient denied basic services (respirator) and a new medications on the market.

I think we need to start a Wall of Shame for these insurance companies, those reverting back to their old ways, where denial=death=profit.



How Dare You Lecture Us About Treason?

The Honorable Representative Jeffries:

<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Treason? <a href="https://twitter.com/RepJeffries?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RepJeffries</a>: "How dare you lecture us about treason. This is not a dictatorship. It's a democracy and we do not have to stand for a reality show host masquerading as President of the United States."<a href="https://t.co/iJhMZdubIi">pic.twitter.com/iJhMZdubIi</a> 🇺🇸</p>— Ed Joyce (@EdJoyce) <a href="https://twitter.com/EdJoyce/status/960904791860723712?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 6, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

"This is a democracy and . . . we do not have to stand for a Reality Show Host masquerading as President of the United States."

Thank you, Sir.

Representative Jeffries deserved a standing ovation, not a warning from the podium.

The Fiscal Responsibility of Republican Governance. And Other FairyTales

Remember when the US Debt and Deficit were the rallying cry of the GOP? When President Obama was accused of racking up more debt than any other president in the history of mankind? This was, of course, after the Republican Party managed to wreck the US Economy, ushering in the ‘Great Recession” of 2007-2008.

Good Times!

While Paul Ryan touts the sheer delight of a secretary finding $1.50 more in her paycheck, Steve Mnuchin has indicated that the country is running out of revenue earlier than expected. He and his financial wizards have advised that the debt ceiling be raised no later than early March because the accounting sleight-of-hand to keep the lights on will have puttered out by then.

But why? The Trumpster has hailed the economy robust, the massive tax cuts as an engine of growth and prosperity. And, and, and . . . the stock market, which unfortunately fell off a cliff on Friday.

The fact that starting in February, the US government will be bringing in $10-15 billion less in revenue each month just might be, could be, whatta think guys the reason for the need to borrow more money to pay the bills.

How much money?

Last Monday, the Treasury Department said they estimated $441 billion dollars would be needed for this quarter. This would be the largest sum of debt requested since 2010, right about the time President Obama was attempting to drag the country from a financial ditch, the steepest since the Great Depression.

Btw, the Republicans sold this piece of reckless financial voodoo on the basis of a 3% annual growth rate. The CBO is projecting a 2.3% growth rate this quarter. If we’re lucky. Because there are also whispers of a housing collapse in the near future, over-exuberant 401K borrowing and other disturbing credit level spending that eerily sounds like the . . . good ole days.

Did I mention the stock market fell off the cliff Friday? I mention this primarily because the Trumpster has been beating his chest over stock market gains. Strange I haven’t heard a word about the stock dive on Friday, presumably brought on by the fear of inflation and increased interest rates.

For all the whooping and hollering, the tax cuts were in service to corporations and Republican donors. These donors have now turned on the funding spigots for their GOP lackeys. While Paul Ryan headlined the delighted secretary (he has since removed that tweet), he failed to tell his giggly constituent that he received $500,000 in campaign funds from Charles and Elizabeth Koch. Mere days after the the tax bill passed.


Only if you believe Steve Mnuchin’s claim that the country’s lack of revenue has nothing, nada, zip to do with the tax bill giveaway of 2017. If that’s the case, I’ll tell you about Sam Brownback and how he saved the State of Kansas with his fantastical economic policies.

Yup, there’s an entire collection of Grimm Fairytales related to Republican Trickle-Down theory. We’re living inside one of those chapters right now.




Who Is Carter Page?

Now that the GOP has had its way with #ReleasetheMemo nonsense, the name Carter Page, former Trump campaign advisor, has raised more than a few eyebrows, as in:

Who the hell is Carter Page?

Time Magazine takes a stab at it in addition to releasing a curious letter penned by no other than the poor, surveillance subject himself. In said letter, sent to the editor of an academic press, Page describes himself as ‘an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin . . . .’

Impressive credentials! Particularly for someone who has decried any accusation of Kremlin links in the past.

This written claim in 2013 was after Page had a first sit-down with the FBI during which he was warned of possible Russian recruitment. Page ignored the warning.

I suspect there will be more ‘finds’ of this nature in the next few weeks, a series of leaks and information dumps previously withheld from the public.

Taking on the FBI and intelligence community was not a smart move by the Trumpster and his noxious enablers.

Let the Games begin!


This Is What Nightmares Are Made Of

Bad enough that Trump is trying to systematically unravel the US government. But Josh Marshall at TPM has a report from South Korea, a newspaper account presumably indicating that a US official behind closed doors said that the Trump Administration was considering a limited strike on North Korea because . . .

It could help in the midterm elections.

Sweet Jesus.

Link here:


Another Day, Another School Shooting

But, of course, guns don't kill people.

Link here:


A Republican Retreat Not Far Enough

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">HUGE crowd protesting outside the GOP retreat right now. Hell yes ✊ <a href="https://t.co/wEif7KLAsP">https://t.co/wEif7KLAsP</a></p>— Brynna Quillin (@brynnaquillin) <a href="https://twitter.com/brynnaquillin/status/959149710987681794?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 1, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Words Matter

The Trumpster has a problem with certain words, their meaning, their nuance., even their delivery. In many cases, the man uses words as targeted weapons. Fake News is one of the earliest phrases that has been repeated endlessly, the shot heard ‘round the world. The intended target? Our free press, of course.

The Word of the Day? Dreamers.

The Donald dislikes the word Dreamers applied to immigrants who were temporarily protected (until recently) under the 2012 DACA program. When I first heard The Donald whine about the word, I thought he might be angered by his own ignorance. What’s all this Dreamers’ stuff, anyway?

But now it’s obvious the man’s been clued in at least to the assignment of the word, an acronym for the initial DREAM legislation in 2001 (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act). Which unfortunately has supplied him with another weapon.

VOX pulled out the clip from the Trumpster’s speech last night:

“Tonight, I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties — Democrats and Republicans — to protect our citizens of every background, color, religion, and creed. My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans — to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream. Because Americans are dreamers too.”

Because Americans are dreamers, too.

This is snake oil, the toxic brew that deliberately drives wedges between people. This isn’t a dog whistle; this is a God damn Trumpet blare. The essence is this:

Folks, we can’t have undocumented immigrants using the word Dreamers because it’s stealing the word from Real Americans. In the same way immigrants steal jobs and healthcare and welfare benefits, snatching money right out of the pockets of decent, hardworking citizens. And now they’re stealing our words? No siree, we can’t have that! Not here in River City.

Dara Lind at VOX believes this is akin to the Black Lives Matter/All Lives Matter controversy, a deliberate attempt to dilute the original BLM message. Which spills over to NFL players kneeling, then claiming the act is unpatriotic, dismissive of our soldiers. Again, diluting/distorting the intended message.

This sort of thing isn’t an accident; it’s intentional. In his rebuttal last night Joe Kennedy spoke about the Administration pitting Americans against Americans:

“They are turning American life into a zero-sum game. Where for one to win, another must lose. Where we can guarantee America's safety, if we slash our safety net. Where we can extend health care in Mississippi, if we gut it in Massachusetts. We can cut taxes for corporations today if we raise them on families tomorrow.

Where we can take care of sick kids if we sacrifice Dreamers. We are bombarded with one false choice after another. Coal miners or single moms, rural communities or inner cities. The coast or the heartland.

As if the mechanic in Pittsburgh, a teacher in Tulsa, and a day care worker in Birmingham are bitter rivals, rather than mutual casualties of a system forcefully rigged towards those at the top.”

Words matter. When Trump and his minions distort the language, we need to call them out. We know who the Dreamers are, what they represent. There is no threat to America, beyond the resident in the WH.



What Still Stands Against the Big Lie?

For those opting out of the Trumpster’s State of the Union Address this evening, I have a suggestion for an interesting read written by Benjamin Wittes at Lawfare. Wittes is the Papa of the Baby Cannon meme, the Tick-Tock and Boom series on twitter during last year’s on-going Mueller updates. He’s pretty much put that away from what I can tell. Sadly, Sean Hannity took over a similar tick-tock formula, not nearly as entertaining.

In any case, Wittes has written a number of thoughtful pieces and the link below will link an essay from yesterday. The piece is particularly pertinent as the country awaits the next round of spectacular boasts and chest-beating from the Emperor Who Proudly Wears No Clothes.

Wittes manages to tie together the craziness of yesterday’s news cycle and remind us of the Big Lie philosophy, how Big Lie politics have a wretched, destructive history. In today’s context, the Trumpsters are attempting—and on some levels succeeding—to cast the US Justice Department and our own law enforcement and intelligence agencies as Enemies of the State while giving Russia, Vladimir Putin and his merry band of criminal oligarchs a pass. The Trumpster has spent a year discrediting and demeaning the press, journalists, anything and anyone not willing to genuflect and kiss his ring.

It’s what an Emperor expects, clothes or not.

The term Fake News is now a well-known catch-all phrase. Here and around the world. So I’m sure The Donald figures what worked in one arena will surely work in another.

Wittes focuses on Rod Rosenstein who Wittes has criticized in the past, made clear is an imperfect vessel (aren’t we all) but is at the momentThe Man standing between us and the next upheaval. The next disruption could be a direct, unapologetic attack on our independent law and justice departments. American presidents neither control nor are they permitted to use American institutions for their personal gain or political vendettas. That’s the stuff of Banana Republics or the realm of autocrats and demagogues throughout history.

The poignant question rests in the title and in Wittes’ text::

What Still Stands Against the Big Lie?

For the purposes of a conclusion, I’ll edit this to: Who or What Still Stands Against the Big Lie?

At the moment the what = the Rule of Law, the who = Rod Rosenstein. Regardless of how things shake out, The Rule of Law will always be the guiding principle. However, the who could easily change—fired, dismissed, forced from office, stumble from one public official to another. And if that happens, then the who = Us.


Dutch Institutions Under Multi-Pronged Cyberattacks

Though overshadowed by Hair on Fire articles—the truly big story over the weekend was the article on the Dutch infiltration of Cozy Bear hackers in 2015-2016, which included real time evidence of the hack’s ‘how-and-where,’ as well as visual confirmation of the hackers and handlers involved.

Pretty much blows the Trumpster’s denial of Russian interference into the 2016 elections into the Deep Blue Sea.

This morning, I read that several Dutch institutions were attacked, including large banks and their Department of Taxation. I originally read this on a tweet thread but then failed to find it mentioned anywhere else until digging around, finding a Politico & Reuter’s report.

You would think that after the Cozy Bear reveal that the ‘coincidence’ of a cyberattack on the Dutch would be vaguely newsworthy. Though the identity of the hackers are as yet unknown, the servers from which the attack came were inside Russia.

Just another strange coinky-dink, I’m sure.

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