Questions for my Non-Sheepy Friends who Believe what Trump Says

Did you cheer Donald Trump when he said Mexico would pay for the wall, then support him when he stole military funds to pay for it?

Did you believe Trump when he said he’d show us his tax returns, but are OK that he still hasn’t done so?

Where you OK that Donald Trump, who avoided service because of “bone spurs” that never stopped him from anything else, waited almost two years before visiting troops overseas, and that when he finally yielded to political pressure and went to Iraq, he lied to our troops about their pay?

Do you remember when Trump promised to sign the 2018 immigration legislation that Democrats and Republicans worked for months to hash out, then changed his mind and decided not to sign it?

Do you care that he promised insurance for everybody?

Do you believe North Korea no longer a threat?

Did 15 cases of coronavirus go down to “close to zero” in “a couple of days”? like Donald Trump said it would?

If only we had dropped some bombs

The 9/11 attacks killed abut 3% of the Americans that Covid-19 has killed, and we lived through invasive personal searches at airports, more data being collected on us when applying for licenses and services, and more power given to our intelligence agencies to tap our phones, search our emails, and review our library activities.

Now a lot of the same people who approved of these measures are freaking out and threatening murder – in some cases following through – over being told to wear a mask. The difference is we’re not dropping bombs on anybody.

If we started bombing China first and then told people to wear masks, these people would be in balaclavas and shooting people for disregarding their patriotic duty to cover up.

Image source: https://openclipart.org/detail/1086/masked-man-with-slingshot

A Disaster that Waited to Happen

There might be better words to describe this, but Donald Trump likes taking risks where although he’s likely to win, the cost of losing is higher than most people would feel comfortable with.  He likes it more of someone else pays the price.

The kinds of risks Trump takes are like playing Russian roulette on a bet.  With only one bullet in the cylinder, the chances of winning are high, but the cost of losing would be catastrophic.  Except for Trump, the gun has never been pointed at his own head.  It doesn’t matter to Trump if one of his companies goes bankrupt, because he has plenty of others.  It matters to the people who lose their jobs or investments.

Image: https://openclipart.org/detail/185024/roulette-wheel

That strategy works for Trump. He doesn’t have to win a lot, he just has to win more than he loses. For a while, it was working for our country, too.  We enjoyed the benefits of taking risks which, for the most part, seemed to be paying off. We’re like people who every day rode a shuttle driven by a maniac who sped and disregarded traffic signals.  Some of us cheered the thrill of the ride while others worried about crashing, but for a while, most of us enjoyed the advantages of a fast commute.

Each time Trump takes a risk, things will probably be just fine.  He ridiculed a nuclear armed madman, but America is big and scary so Kim probably won’t launch attacks against our allies.  He’s antagonizing our trading partners but America is the world’s economic superpower so they’ll probably keep sucking it up and dealing with us. He plunged us into record-breaking debt during an economic recovery – very risky according to many economists – , but America has deep pockets and we’ve been managing all that debt just fine.  And Donald Trump fired qualified doctors and scientists and put political loyalists in charge of our pandemic readiness.  Maybe it was probable that everything would be fine. How likely was it that a new breed of virus – a ‘novel’ virus – would have plagued us, and that the crisis would overwhelm a CDC led by a religious fanatic with a questionable past, or that it would turn out we really could have used some of those knowledgeable people who Trump got rid of, like the pandemic response team and our experts in China?

Individually, these risks were all risks that probably would have turned out fine. Collectively, something was bound to wrong.

Trump was always a disaster waiting to happen.  If it weren’t COVID-19, it would have been something else.  It still might be something else. 

Now we crashed and over 80,000 of us have died, will we decide that the speed was worth it?  Will we continue to endure the same kinds of risks or will we decide that more sensible leadership, like the kind of leadership which gave us almost eight years of economic stability and growth and provided smart and swift responses to the outbreaks of Ebola and H1N1, is the kind of leadership we’d rather go back to?

Remember the Ebola Scare

In the weeks before the 2014 midterm elections, Republicans did everything they could to keep Ebola in the news, and the media complied. The CDC, fully funded and staffed, responded to the outbreak with largest mobilization in their history. Still, Republicans viciously attacked Obama and Democrats for not doing enough while the media sounded the alarms night and day, and Trump criticized Obama for flying home American medical workers in a plane designated and fitted just for them.

After the midterm elections, we hardly heard a word about Ebola.

There were a total of eleven cases of Ebola in the U.S, and no spread beyond those who had traveled to infected areas.

Today, there are over 60 cases of coronavirus, and it’s starting to spread to people who haven’t traveled. The CDC is underfunded and understaffed because of budget cuts and because Trump’s fired the pandemic response team. People with symptoms that might indicate coronavirus are not being tested, and infected people were flown into the country against the advice of the CDC. Infected patients who arrived in America were greeted by untrained medical workers without proper safety gear, and the scientist who reported the incident was punished. Now Trump and Republicans who exaggerated Ebola concerns to make Obama look bad are accusing the media of trying to make Trump look bad just for reporting the truth.

Every year is an election year in Virginia

If you live in Virginia, your friends and neighbors may not be aware that every year is an election year in our great commonwealth. They may think that all of the political ads, the editorials, and all of the candidate’s signs and literature don’t apply to them, and don’t apply to an election that is less than a month away, on November 5th, 2019.

Please tell them!

Don’t let the outrageous and deadly antics of our president distract us from the many state and local elections that are occurring throughout the United States of America. Perhaps that’s exactly what those antics are designed to do!

Because every year Virginia has an opportunity to rid itself of politicians who think their primary job is to protect the wealthy from taxes, to protect corporations from regulations, and to protect their own friends from prosecution.

The Democratic candidates who your friends, your neighbors, and you can help elect this year – in less than a month – have been and will continue to protect hard working Virginians like you, so you can get medical care when you need it, find quality education for you and your children, get fair pay for your hard work, and get proper representation at the polls.

Virginia needs your vote, but your vote won’t be enough. You have to help spread the word. Every year is an election year in Virginia. Make this year count!

Chris Jones’s Website Missing Article about Blocking Medicaid Expansion

I did a Google search for “site:schrisjones.com medicaid“. That search brings up results about Medicaid from Chris Jones’s website.

I clicked on a few links, and I found that, as expected, almost all took me to articles on Chris’s website.

But there was one exception. When I clicked on the headline, “Senate and House won’t support Medicaid expansion“,

I got “Oops!”

When I tried Google’s Cached result …

Google still had a copy! According to Google, the article was on Chris Jones’s website at least until August.

Maybe it’s gone because it’s so old. It’s from 2016, after all.

So paged through the search results and found an article from 2015. I gave that a try.

No “Oops” there!

This isn’t proof that Chris Jones went around sanitizing his website from the truth about how he blocked Medicaid expansion for years, but it looks pretty dishonest to me.

Whether he did sanitize his website or not you shouldn’t vote for someone who blocked Medicaid expansion and then bragged about supporting it. Vote for someone who has and always will support it.

Clinton Jenkins is running for House of Delegates District 76, against the guy who was against Medicaid expansion before he was for it. If you live in the 76th, vote for Clinton Jenkins.

Why the wall is a bad idea

When I first posted this it was just a list, but after reading and responding to a tweet from a friend, I felt a need to elaborate. There are a lot of people going without a paycheck now and the pain is getting real. Imagine being forced to choose between vital medicine and the electric bill. I’ve read some Trump supporters ( or perhaps Russian trolls ) belittling the struggle by pointing out that back pay will be coming, but there are some people in situations that can’t be put on hold. And not everyone can save three or four months in advance just in case the government doesn’t keep its promises.

But as terrible as the current situation is, it’s important to keep in mind what a terrible idea the wall is. The amount of long-term hardship that will be caused by funding the wall has to be balanced against the hardship of standing against it. It’s not just about Democrats showing backbone and it’s not just about appeasing the Democratic base.

Here are some reasons why the wall is such a idea.

1) The wall would require the seizure of land from thousands of property owners, many of whom will suffer significant property losses.  

2) The wall would divide communities such as the Tohono o’odham Native Americans in Arizona

3) The wall will cause disastrous environmental damage , such as habitat destruction and the disruption of animal migration patterns

 4) Trump can’t be trusted.  Repeatedly, Trump has offered deals in exchange for funding, and then changed his mind about those offers.

5) We don’t know how much it will cost, what it will look like, or how effective it will be.  Everywhere else in the world, and until now in America, big projects are planned first.  Trump wants his money first.  We don’t even have a working prototype.  

6) The people don’t want it.  Even among those who voted for Trump because they wanted the wall did so believing that Mexico will pay for it.  

7) It will encourage more hostage taking.  If we give Trump a win on this, he will only cause more damage the next time he doesn’t get what he wants.