The Great American Tragedy

I’ve had a few “traditional” occupations in my lifetime, as well as being a lifelong artist and craftsperson. At my last “day job,” I was the Supervisor of Medical Billing and Reimbursement at a large, non-profit organization. During yesterday’s press briefing spotlighting healthcare, Sean Spicer lied repeatedly and displayed his ignorance in regards to the policies of Medicare, Tricare (for members of the armed services and their dependents) and other federally-funded and private health insurance companies. I was enraged as I watched!

Thankfully, I did get a moment’s relief; I couldn’t help but chuckle at the visual aid. Two piles of paper were on display next to Spicer, representing the former ACA (a tall stack) and the replacement (a short stack). Remember the press conference featuring Trump’s accountant? I guess #45 thought the avalanche of folders representing his financial paperwork was effective. Perhaps he thought it would help drive the point home to the “uneducated Americas” Trump professed his love for during his campaign. Whatever the case, the majority of responses I saw or read categorized the display as downright comical.

I’ll say this about Spicer, his press briefings are certainly entertaining! He’s become a verbal Houdini, squirming out of the tight spots and challenging questions that result from the antics of his boss. You’ve got to hand it to the press; they don’t easily drop their attempts to get at the truth. Yesterday was no acception, especially since in was the first briefing in days, during which time the “Tweeter-in-Chief” had outdone himself, accusing his predecessor of wire-tapping Trump Tower. (At this point, SNL skits are writing themselves!) Spicer did so much rapid fire bobbing, weaving and spinning as the questions flew at him, I couldn’t help but wonder if a staffer holding a stiff drink was in the wings waiting for him!

Despite the Republicans’ attempt at cheerleading, this is a deeply distressing time to be an American. It’s also exhausting, if you’re committed to being well-informed about the daily news from D.C. It’s often necessary to consult a variety of news sources and to fact check each story. Lying, deflecting and insulting the intelligence of the American people is the new normal in the White House. I’ve said it before and I’ll be saying it perpetually, this administration is the embodiment of the great American tragedy.

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Feminist

This article from the New York Times is thought-provoking, indeed. I agree that powerful women pose a threat to certain people and I’m sure they always will. (During her campaign for President, it was revealed that Hillary Clinton’s approval numbers were high, except when she was running for office.) I’m also aware that American women make 80 cents for each dollar an American man is paid. And despite initiatives and organizations that are educating Americans about rape culture, the statistics associated with assaults on women are still staggering. However, I don’t view the criticism aimed at Kellyanne Conway as strictly sexist or mysoginistic. She’s a public figure who inspires the same type of satire her male counterparts do. What I do find troubling is her comment:

“In a recent interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Ms. Conway said she supported many feminist principles but said she would not call herself one because feminism is anti-male, pro-abortion and identified with the left.”

Conway is ill-informed in regard to what the term “feminist” means. She’s not the only one; I’ve been aware of this definition for years. It’s been expressed in the conservative media and is supported by a relative of mine, who once took me to task on Facebook and suggested I channel my “feminist anger” into a more important cause.* Two years ago, The New Yorker magazine published its annual list of words that should be eliminated from the English language and “feminist” was included. (Days later, the editor removed the word from the list and printed an apology.) Apparently, disdain for the term is far-reaching.

I sincerely wish the word “feminist” was no longer relevant. It would be a wonderful world, indeed, if all women felt safe, respected, fairly-compensated for their work, were given the right to control their own bodies and had access to affordable healthcare. Unfortunately, here in America state legislatures and the Trump administration are working hard to curtail women’s rights and to takeĀ us back several decades, to a time before American women claimed their power and the right to choose Ā their own destinies. Until that day comes, feminists like me will speak up, loud and proud!

*My relative was reacting to an article I’d posted on Facebook about funding for Planned Parenthood. This subject is in the news again today; it’s part of the Trump administration’s newly-minted Affordable Care Act replacement. The President tried to make a deal with the healthcare provider; if they would agree to stop providing abortions, he would continue their funding. Planned Parenthood said “No” and The Donald pulled the plug on all funding. (This is Day One for the new healthcare bill. To no one’s surprise, it favors the young, the wealthy and the insurance companies. Let the games begin…)

Do Your Job!

Can the mainstream media please stop focusing on Trump’s outrageous and slanderous weekend tweets and the effect they’re having on our nation and its reputation? We GET it! He’s angry, he’s scared, he’s living within his own reality and Trump’s latest tantrum clarifies the fact that he’s unfit to be the President. Unfortunately, this comes as no surprise to the Americans who are plugged in and have been watching the madness unfold since Inauguration Day.

It’s a new week. At the moment, I’m concerned with #45’s lack of a strategic foreign policy, both diplomatic and militarily, given the fact that Korea is repeatedly flaunting it’s nuclear capabilities. His administration has no policy, at least not one they’ve shared with Congress or the American people. All we know is that Trump’s budget amendments include a drastic increase in defense spending with a major cut in funds for the State Department. Our Leader is focused on Steve Bannon’s playbook and is vigorously signing executive orders that deny civil liberties and destroy human rights. He’s profiling and punishing Muslims and Mexicans. He’s creating optics to sculpt a benevolent image, when the truth is he’s only concerned about himself and his agenda. He’s jeopardizing the available of affordable healthcare for not just women (Don’t get me started…), but for all American’s that depend on it. He’s slashing the budget and encouraging the destruction of the planet. And those are just the glaring highlights! The systematic deconstruction of the United States government is happening at a dizzying and distressing pace.

We, the people, have called and written our representatives and asked for an investigation into Trump and his team’s involvement with Russia, both during his campaign and currently. We’ve called and written our representatives and demanded Trump’s taxes be released. We’ve identified the issues that concern us and we’ve signed petitions, marched through the streets and held general strikes, like this week’s “Day Without Women.” We’re on it, as much as we can be, but the voices of private American citizens shouldn’t be the only ones heard.

Where are the elected Republicans who will place the United States above their agenda? Where are the elected Republicans who have heard Americans at town hall meetings and will represent their constituents via legislation? Where are the elected Republicans who are aware of the frightening reality we’re living through? Where are the elected Republicans who aren’t “afraid of” the bully President? Donald Trump is unfit to be the President and elected officials have the responsibility to act on our behalf. Democrats AND Republicans, DO YOUR JOB!