And you should thank the Trump Administration for protecting the Homeland from evil Islamofascist terrorists

Their first mistake was thinking a vacation in Iowa was a great idea

The Iowa Tourism Office generally receives about two complaints a month from travelers who leave the state peeved about picking up a speeding ticket or dissatisfied with an unpleasant hotel stay. But in the days following U.S. Rep Steve King’s recent controversial comments, staff responded to about 60 tweets a day, not to mention emails, Facebook posts and calls from potential tourists, officials said Friday. Many would-be travelers vowed to cancel spring or summer trips to Iowa. Some longtime attendees of an annual bike ride across Iowa promised to ditch the trek after King tweeted Sunday a suggestion that Muslim children are preventing “our civilization” from being restored, officials from the Iowa Tourism Office told The Des Moines Register on Friday…. King, who was retweeting a message endorsing Geert Wilders, a far-right candidate who came in second during Wednesday’s election for Dutch prime minister, said Wilders “understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”

I understand people have the right to spend their money where they choose. If some are (understandably and legitimately) offended by Rep. King’s disturbing comments, they’re certainly free to react in a manner which seems appropriate to them. Having grown up in Minnesota, I find it astonishing that anyone would believe vacationing in Iowa to be a good (perhaps even a “bucket list”) thing.

Could they simply not stomach the thought of yet another fun-filled North Dakota vacation? Continue reading

“Smiling Paul Ryan…puts ideology ahead of his professed concern for fiscal discipline”

Last year, President Obama’s Department of Labor issued a regulation restricting the number of unemployment insurance beneficiaries that would be subject to drug testing. The move infuriated Republicans like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker who had made such a program a centerpiece of his agenda. Despite their vows to eliminate wasteful government spending, the Congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump are now poised to overturn that rule — despite significant evidence that similar drug testing regimes cost a lot more than they save. In February, the House of Representatives passed House Joint Resolution 42 — nearly along party lines — disapproving the regulation. Because such rules are not subject to filibuster, the Senate approved the same last week on Friday 51–48, strictly along party lines. The Trump administration has indicated it “strongly supports” the effort, making it very likely the bill will be signed very soon.

Republicans pledging to eliminate wasteful government spending has been woven into the fabric of American politics since Christ was in training diapers. It seems there are always programs which can be held up to ridicule as being wasteful, inefficient, ill-adviser…or combinations of all the above. That doesn’t necessarily mean such programs actually ARE an unwise use of tax dollars, but if Republicans couldn’t rage against “wasteful spending,” they’d have no reason to live. Continue reading

First, do no harm…unless you and your rich friends won’t suffer any adverse effects

The latest cover refers to Trump’s attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which was enacted during Barack Obama’s tenure as president. “President Trump, with his Mini-Mes in Congress, has bald-faced scheme to pass Trumpcare at expense of city taxpayers,” text on the cover reads. Trump’s plot “to buy votes for troubled health care plan” ― as the tabloid describes it ― was a nod to the changes GOP leaders made on Monday to the Trump-backed American Health Care Act in hopes of obtaining votes from Republicans in upstate New York. According to The New York Times, the changes to the repeal plan would only affect the state of New York, saving $2.3 billion for local governments upstate, and potentially screwing over New York City.

As much as I’d like to give the benefit of the doubt and assume President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan to have the best interests of Americans at heart, the truth appears somewhat different. Given what’s emerging about the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a reasonable person could be forgiven for being confused. Is AHCA a plan to improve this country’s healthcare system…or a thinly-veiled attempt at population control? Is the intent to heal…or a ham-handed paean to eugenics, killing off the sick and the weak? Continue reading

The 1st Amendment isn’t a license to be an asshole

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland City Council discussed an ordinance on Mar. 8 that focuses on how the city should handle the disruption of city meetings, but commissioners did not vote on the matter that day. “Over the course of the last few years, disruptions at city council meetings have become the undesirable norm which allowed a few individuals to halt council meetings,” the ordinance explains. It says some disruptions by protesters interfered with the council’s ability to carry out city business, and that city boards and commission meetings have also encountered the same disruptive behaviors. The ordinance says the city must establish rules of conduct, clearly state the expectations for acceptable behavior and tell people the consequences for unacceptable behavior. “Disruptive, threatening and dangerous behaviors at city council will no longer be tolerated” it reads. The ordinance says a person in charge will ask people who misbehave at city properties to leave or “face property exclusion or criminal trespass.”

As much as I love living in Portland, I don’t write a lot about my adopted hometown. Politics here just isn’t terribly exciting or compelling. Over the past few years, though, a disturbing trend has come to light- one which needs to be stopped local government is ground to a halt. Continue reading

NEVER let the truth get in the way of perfectly good propaganda