Transgender Day of Visibility: This Is Everyone’s Fight

March 31, 2017 is the International Transgender Day of Visibility!

This is a day when those of us who are transgendered (and those who support us) stand up to be counted and let those who can’t come out for fear of rejection and violence know that we support them. But more than that, we stand for the rights of all who live under threat because of who they are. Trans rights are about everyone’s rights and equality for all!

We are engaged in a fight for survival, folks, against the forces of darkness who masquerade as Christians while doing the work of the devil. They perpetuate a false narrative, born of ignorance, that being transgendered is an affront to their religion and that our very existence infringes on their religious freedom. Smugly secure in that ignorance, they paint us as sexual molesters and pedophiles when, in fact, they are far more likely to be one of these perverts than we are.

In a further example of hypocrisy, they accuse us of being the oppressors in wanting to force our views on them. Bulls–t!!! No one is forcing them to transition. No one is forcing them to deny their faith. Yet, they seem to think that’s it’s fine to make us live in accordance with their beliefs or be marginalized. AND THAT’S JUST WRONG!!! But they have amassed considerable right-wing support, which could lead to the passage of the misnamed First Amendment Defense Act that would codify into law anti-LGBTQ discrimination based on religious objections.

Passage of the First Amendment Defense Act would just be the first step in the far right’s campaign to marginalize religious and ethnic minorities. The more power they gain, the more they want. It won’t just stop with attacking the LGBTQ community, so our fight is everyone’s fight.

Our constitution starts with term “We the people …” and makes no distinction as to excluding any particular types or groups of people. The same applies to the Pledge of Allegiance term ” …with liberty and justice for all.” There’s no disclaimer attached excluding any particular groups. Of course, in practice, that has not always been the case, but we continue to make strides in realizing the truth of these terms. That’s progress. And we need to stand firm against any and every attempt to roll back the rights that been gained.

Jesus told us to “love thy neighbor.” He also told us to “render unto Caesar (i.e., the government) that which is Caesar’s.” That means, if the law says that you can’t discriminate against someone else because of religion (theirs or yours), gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc., then you don’t have a religious ground to stand on in refusing to comply. No one is requiring you to change your gender identity, sexual orientation or anything else. You’re just expected to publicly respect the rights of others. It’s a simple, universal concept.

Join our fight now, because if we don’t stand together, we’ll all fall one by one!

The Divine Miss Bri

 

 

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A Scorched Earth Defense: Stop Gorsuch At All Costs

With all the distractions involving the Trump-Russia investigation, the AHCA debacle, and the headlong rush to destroy our environment, Trump and the GOP have been hoping to wear the opposition out and assure that Neil Gorsuch is confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice. THAT SIMPLY MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN!!!

Confirming Neil Gorsuch would be a unmitigated disaster for everyone who believes in equal rights for all and that corporations should not hold ultimate authority over our lives. He is cut from the same mold as the five justices who produced the Citizens United decision, one of the most egregious crimes ever committed against the American people. It opened up a flood of dark money campaign contributions and allowed the far right to literally buy their way into power.

This allowed extreme conservatives like the Koch Brothers to pour billions into electing tea party Republicans, while corporations poured money into financing obstructionists like Mitch McConnell. It’s a sad truth that if you tell a lie often enough to enough people, they’ll believe it. Consequently, we have Republicans in Congress who are some of the absolute dumbest creatures on the planet. I wouldn’t be surprised if most of them switched to wearing loafers because they couldn’t figure out how to tie their shoes.

What’s even worse than their ignorance is their arrogance. They only believe in keeping their party in power, regardless of whether that involves trying to cheat the neediest

Crocodile by water edge with open mouth, Australia.

Americans with the AHCA or trying to sabotage an investigation into possible treasonous activities involving the Trump campaign. They are also some of the most racist, misogynistic, homophobic and transphobic bigots imaginable.

They fear progress as a threat to their place in the world. They want to take us back to a time when white, so-called Christian, presumably heterosexual males ran everything and nobody questioned the husband, the boss or the preacher. That, however, is a world that doesn’t exist anymore, if it ever really did in the first place.

Progress comes eventually. You can embrace it and learn to mange it or you can fight it and be destroyed by it. Gorsuch would insure that the Supreme Court helps the right roll back the progress we’ve made to date and prevent any gains. His litany of non-answers to questions from the Senate Judicial Committee, the worrisome nature of many of his lower court decisions and his political leanings leave little doubt that he should not wear the robes of a Supreme Court justice.

In addition, this Supreme Court seat was stolen by the Republicans who refused to even grant a hearing to consider President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland. That was a total disregard for tradition and a dereliction of their duty under the Constitution.

This is where Democrats in the Senate must use every tool and weapon at their disposal to block confirmation of Gorsuch! They need to dig up every scrap of potentially damaging informationabout Gorsuch and publicly rake him over the coals. And, if it takes a filibuster, then they MUST filibuster! We are talking about a scorched earth defense with no surrender and no retreat.

What if McConnell and the Republicans invoke the nuclear option? Democrats need to make sure that the Republicans get burned by the fallout. We need to bring government to a screeching halt! At the same time, we need to raise more money, make more phone calls, post more blog entries, participate in more marches until we get enough progressive candidates elected to return control of our government back to all the people!

This is war! Join the fight!

The Divine Miss Bri

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Exercising Our Rights: This Is What Democracy Looks Like

“Use it or lose it!”

We use that line to talk about a number of things, but it is most appropriate when referring to our rights in a democracy. While it’s most frequently applied to voting, which is critically important, it also applies to demonstrations, marches, holding your elected representatives accountable and other forms of active, participatory democracy.

Although I grew up in the era of the Civil Rights protests and the Vietnam War protests, I was mostly too young to participate, plus I lived in a conservative area where protests of any kind were pretty much non-existent. However, at the still young age of 62 (survival tip: it’s safer to agree with me here than to argue), I was inspired by the Women’s Marches right after the inauguration. Since then, as regular readers of this blog know, I have joined the ranks of activists locally to take action in trying to defend the rights of all against the imminent threats from Trump and the far right since the election.

Today, I took another step by participating in my first protest march, an Equality March in Hartford, CT. It may not have been a huge affair compared to the Women’s Marches, but it was important for those of us who took part. Among the salient points that I took from today’s event:

First, we were a very diverse group of people supporting equality and rights over a broad spectrum of groups: Trans Rights, LGBTQ Rights, Civil Rights, Animal Rights, Workers’ Rights, Immigrant Rights and more. Within this diversity, there was a definite sense of camaraderie and fellowship because we recognize that we are all in this together. There can be no equality until we  achieve equality for all! So, we marched and chanted together for each other.

Second, we were all on the same page about making it a peaceful march. We can all be passionate without being violent about it. And there was no reason for even a cross word. Several people waved and gave us a Thumbs Up in support. We also had a police escort to help us get across intersections as a group, so we weren’t worried about anyone bothering us.

Third, the Hartford P.D. officers were very nice and respectful of us and we were respectful of them. Every situation is different, but mutual respect goes a long way in  minimizing “incidents.”  Can’t always guarantee it on either side, but it helps to try at every opportunity.

Fourth, while rarely will a single action / march / protest result in change by itself, the effects are cumulative so we need to keep it up. The only way to get the other side to understand that we are serious is to outlast them. This is not a sprint, but rather a marathon. And the race has just begun. However, we all have to pace ourselves. When we were talking amongst ourselves before the march started, we all realized there are so many events going on that it’s hard to keep track of them all. That’s good, because there’s always something going on that you can be a part of somewhere. We all need to do what we can, while still taking care of things like work, family and life.

For those of you in CT:

Saturday April 1, from 2:30 – 4 PM, the CT Rally to Support Trans Youth will take place on the steps of the CT Supreme Court building (231 Capitol Ave. Hartford) For more details, visit www.GLSEN.org .

Tuesday April 4th there will be a Teach-In: The Immorality of Inequality starting at 6 PM at the Shiloh Baptist Church (350 Albany Ave., Hartford). For more details visit www.FightFor15.org

There’s so much still to be done, so the keep the faith and stay active, my friends.

And remember to chant: We need a leader, not a creepy tweeter!

Victory will be ours!!!

Equality Through Peace and Unity

The Divine Miss Bri

 

 

 

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Government for Sale: How The Few Are Screwing The Many

“How much is that Congressman in the window?” A sadly modern take on an old song, which rings with far more truth than is healthy. While money really isn’t the root of all evil, it has certainly played a prominent role. There are those who use it to obtain dangerous levels of power, like the Koch brothers and their fellow billionaires who have used the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision to pour enormous sums of money into elections across the country to help them gain control of our government.

Since the Koch brothers exclusively back conservative Republicans, they essentially exercise control of all levels of our government at the moment. In effect, a cabal of rich people, who are out of touch with the needs of everyday Americans and were never elected, in effect pull the strings in subordinating our rights in favor of the rights of corporations and the wealthy. If you don’t find that scary, you’re either one of their rich friends, one of their pet elected officials or a freakin’ idiot! Sorry, not pulling on any punches on this.

Through their political action committees, they flood districts with media campaigns that distort the truth if not just outright lie to get their candidate elected. (Too bad there isn’t a truth-in-advertising rule that applies to political advertising.) And we have seen what happens when lies and half-truths find a foothold in voters’ minds. That’s how Trump stole the election and how Republicans gained a majority in both houses of Congress.

Now, the Koch brothers are pushing the buttons as Republicans steadily role back regulations designed to protect our environment, provide worker safety and protect us from being ripped off by the financial industry. Most recently, they’re trying to strip us of any chance of getting decent health care by gutting even minimal tax credits in the American Health Care Act. Interesting that those who have the most money raise the biggest objections to government helping those who have the least! They make Ebenezer Scrooge look like the world’s greatest humanitarian!

Today, in another vote you can be sure they were behind, the senate voted to roll back a regulation that would have prevented internet service providers from selling customer usage data, much like if the post office could open your mail and sell a copy of the contents along with the address information. Corporations are taking our money and rights, including the right to privacy!

Currently, another battle is brewing over Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court. It’s evident that Grouch will side with businesses against citizens in his decisions as well as favor restricting the rights of racial and sexual minorities.

Here’s what really gets me — Koch and the other rich conservatives spend billions of dollars on getting their candidates elected. They could fund universal health care, erase the deficit and more with that money, which apparently is pocket change for them. Instead, they spend it to gain tax cuts and deprive the less fortunate of essential services. That is pure unadulterated greed! It’s the worship of money and power. That is the worst kind of evil!

They should perhaps consider that nothing lasts forever, including their power. And when their fall comes, they should expect a lot of people lining up to kick them on the way down. In the interim, we can do a number of things to try and mitigate the Koch brothers power.

Call and email your senators and tell them NOT to approve Gorsuch for the Supreme Court under any circumstances.

Support efforts to overturn Citizens United.

Pledge not to buy any of these Koch consumer products if you can avoid it.

-Angel Soft bathroom tissue

-Angel Soft Ultra bathroom tissue

-Brawny paper towels

-Dixie products

-Insulair cups

-Mardis Gras napkins

-Perfect Touch cups, paper products

-Quilted Northern

-Sparkle paper towels

-Vanity Fair napkins & paper towels

-Zee Napkins

While it may not make a huge dent in their income, it’s a start!

Keep the faith and keep up the fight!

The Divine Miss Bri

 

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This Is War: The Fight To Save Our America Is Just Beginning

It has been just a little over 8 weeks since Herr Donald took office as Liar-in-Chief and proceeded to continually prove his unfitness to occupy our nation’s highest office. Not because he is inept (I wish that was simply the case), but because he is a devious con artist who engages in trickery and deceit to keep everyone distracted while he and the Republicans in Congress dedicate themselves to stripping away our rights and protections in order to give more power and money to a ruling class of wealthy individuals and corporations.

Call it Libertarian. Call it Conservative. Call it whatever you choose, but it is a dire threat to our progressive values and our freedoms as individuals. It replaces government protections with licenses for the wealthy, corporations and religious extremists to bully and discriminate against anyone (especially immigrants, LGBTQ, seniors, poor and low income Americans), pollute our environment, mistreat workers, invade our privacy and more. Even worse, they are also working hard to leave us with no recourse through the court system to stop these abuses.

Now, it is true that we “supposedly” live under a democratic form of government in which citizens vote and governing is done by majority rule. It has become quite apparent, however, that our system has been “corrupted” by the Citizens United court decision, which essentially allows elections (and thus politicians) to be bought with unlimited campaign contributions, and Russian intervention in our political process, especially since it appears that Trump benefited from that intervention. This calls into question the actual validity of the election results and, consequently, the validity of the current government.

With his initial budget proposal, Donald the Destroyer, has take a slash and burn approach to the “liberal enemies” of the far right and corporate rule — such as those notoriously slacking seniors who are served by Meals on Wheels, those future protesters and criminals who are served by free school meals and other beneficial programs, those lewd anarchists in theater, music and painting who benefit from support of the arts, and those elitist revolutionaries served by public broadcasting. At the same time, he is proposing a massive investment in our military, but why? What are they protecting? An underpaid, overworked and over-taxed population of drones who have no healthcare, no rights to privacy, no safety nets and no protection from corporate abuses. Hmmm, maybe that’s really why Trump wants his wall — to keep us from escaping!

Well, enough is enough! The longer this goes, the harder it’s going to be to stop it. And stop it, we must. Any way we can! Many of us have already begun to fight back, but this is going be a  long war. Yes, I did say war, because it is nothing less than a war against tyranny, against ignorance, against prejudice and against the rule of money. It will require many battles and many sacrifices. Freedom does not come cheap. For now, we have a number of peaceful means at our disposal that we must use to the max, including mass public displays of protest, contributions to organizations that are battling for us, access to our representatives at all levels and the ability to organize in groups to stay focused and active in the fight. We must also get involved in local politics to build the kind of progressive government we want and need.

However, we need to recognize this may not be enough. If that time comes, we need to be ready to “just say no!” No, we will not comply! No, we will not surrender! No, we will not disperse quietly! No, we will not accept this anymore! How far do we go with this civil disobedience? As far as necessary! We simply cannot compromise our values, because they define who we are. We cannot acquiesce to their surrender.

We are powerful when we are united in righteous indignation. A government that does not fear the people has no checks on its power. Let them tremble!

The Divine Miss Bri

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Like A Sci-Fi Movie, Republicans Selling Out Our Rights To Corporations

Face it, folks, we live in the scariest of times. Responding to the bidding of their rich corporate masters, Republicans in Congress along with Trump the Terrible are in the process of stripping away our rights in the interest of making corporations even more profitable and powerful. Pretty soon, you won’t be able to go to the bathroom at home without your boss’ permission (or even worse, without him or her watching).

Between Trump’s appointments from the wealthy insiders’ club and the GOP corporate lackeys in Congress, the government is trying to eliminate all citizen protections from Wall Street greed, corporate pollution, debilitating health care expenses, hazardous workplaces, unpaid overtime, corporate restrictions on what we can access on the internet, and NOW forced genetic testing by employers.

According to a story in the Washington Post, a bill introduced in the House of Representatives would allow employers to require that employees submit to genetic testing as part of a wellness program. And, if employees refuse they could be penalized! Holy invasion of privacy, Batman! (Read story here.)

“Employers could impose hefty penalties on employees who decline to participate in genetic testing as part of workplace wellness programs if a bill approved by a U.S. House committee this week becomes law.

“In general, employers don’t have that power under existing federal laws, which protect genetic privacy and nondiscrimination. But a bill passed Wednesday by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce would allow employers to get around those obstacles if the information is collected as part of a workplace wellness program.”

Conspiracy theory? It would be hard not to see this as part of a vast conspiracy to undermine our fundamental rights and transfer all power to a vast corporate oligarchy. They are setting it up so that you can’t afford to leave a company because you can’t afford to buy health insurance on your own, while at the same time they can use your genetic testing to raise the amount you pay for company coverage. Eventually it will become like the company store where miners were paid in script that could only be redeemed at the company store, where products were over-priced and miners could quickly get in over their heads and “owe their souls to the company store.

This sudden onslaught of fresh efforts to transfer our last remaining liberties to the corporate monster is very much akin to the rise of the evil galactic empire in Star Wars. As the Dark Lord of the Rich, Darth Trump, consolidates his power with the help of his henchmen, we will soon find ourselves imprisoned in the mind-controlling corporate matrix or clawing for survival as ciphers in the barren wastelands.

So, how do we fight back? First, we contact our representatives and tell them to block this bill in any way possible, even if we have to make it a scorched earth policy. We should also look carefully for the corporations that donate to the GOP and start boycotting their products until they stop. And in the event that this bill passes, we should organize protests and boycotts against any companies that try to institute such testing.

There are some lines we can’t allow to be crossed!

Let the R.A.I.N. make the revolution grow!

The Divine Miss Bri

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A Case of Malpractice: Republican American Health Care Act Will Cause Needless Pain And Suffering

After the Republicans announced their proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act, it took me awhile to calm down, from a state of absolute burning rage at the arrogance of the GOP approach to a cold, controlled fury at their indifference toward the majority of Americans. And I am not alone in my opinion.

Not Good For Young or Old: AARP Opposes Republican Plan

Yesterday, according to an article on CNN.com, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) came out against the Republican American Health Care Act in a letter that said, “This bill would weaken Medicare’s fiscal sustainability, dramatically increase health care costs for Americans aged 50-64 and put at risk the health care of millions of children and adults with disabilities, and poor seniors who depend on the Medicaid program for long-term services and supports and other benefits.” (Read the full article here.)

The AARP stressed that the tax breaks for higher income workers would lead to the insolvency of Medicare, and that “the changes in age rating as well as reductions to subsidies would ‘dramatically increase health care costs for 50-64 year olds’ who purchase insurance through government exchanges.” (Read the full article here.)

AMA Diagnosis: American Health Care Act Will Make Things Worse For Millions

Today, The Hill.com reports that the American Medical Association (AMA) has joined with the American Hospital Association in opposing the Republican American Health Care Act. Dr. Andrew Gurman, president of the AMA, was quoted as saying,  “As drafted, the AHCA would result in millions of Americans losing coverage and benefits. (Read full story here.)

“By replacing income-based premium subsidies with age-based tax credits, the AHCA will also make coverage more expensive — if not out of reach — for poor and sick Americans. For these reasons, the AMA cannot support the AHCA as it is currently written.” (Read full story here.)

In addition, the AMA is opposed to defunding Planned Parenthood.

CDC Cuts: A Danger Of Epidemic Proportions

One of the potentially disastrous provisions of the proposed Republican American Health Care Act that has not gotten nearly enough attention is the elimination of the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which is used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) according to a report on MSN.com.

Set up under the original Affordable Care Act, the fund’s goal was to “lower health costs by preventing diseases before they happen. The CDC uses it to help states deliver vaccines, watch for infectious diseases, keep an eye out for lead in water, promote breastfeeding in hospitals, prevent suicide and watch out for hospital-associated infections. It totals $931 million for 2017.”  (Read full story here.)

This is in addition to further budget cuts expected in Trump’s 2018 budget proposal and that worries health officials at all levels because the results could be fatal. That’s because the funds are used to help prevent major killers like cancer and diabetes as well as prepare for bioterrorism and deadly infectious diseases like Ebola. Without them, we really could be facing multiple crises of epidemic proportions. (Read full story here.)

Blood Pressure Alert: Tax Breaks That Will Make You Sick

True to their irresponsible passion for giving tax cuts to the wealthy, Republicans have put health coverage for almost everyone at risk in order to give tax cuts to those who don’t need them. In addition to eliminating taxes on higher income Americans that helped pay for the Affordable Care Act and stressing Heath Savings Accounts (which you have to have enough money to pay into in the first place), The Republican plan will give a $400 million tax break for insurance executives.

According to a report on MSN.com, “The proposed tax break, buried in cryptic language in the Republican plan, would allow health insurers to more fully deduct the value of their executives’ compensation on their taxes. That compensation can be as high as tens of millions of dollars, in the case of CEOs of insurers. (Read full story here.)

“Those deductions currently are sharply limited by the Affordable Care Act, which caps at a maximum of $500,000 the amount of an individual executive’s compensation that an insurer could deduct as a business expense. The cap applies to any executive, not just to CEOs.” (Read full story here.)

By the expanding this cap, Republicans again look after the wealthy and leave the rest of us to suffer.

A Radical Treatment: Time To Rethink The Entire Approach

One of the big issues that needs to be addressed before we can seriously and effectively deal with health care in America is how do we approach it — is it a right or a choice? In all honesty, I find it very difficult to look at as a choice, as if we should just choose between seeing a doctor or buying food, having needed surgery or paying rent, or paying for health insurance or paying for electricity. That would be absurd.

In a country as rich as America, we need to stop thinking about health care as a nicety and treat it as a right we all deserve! We need to forget treating it as a free enterprise competition, because it’s not something we can defer if the price isn’t right or we don’t time to shop around for the lowest ER costs when a loved has had a heart attack or been injured in a car wreck.

There’s also the issue of people who choose not to buy insurance or can’t afford. If and when they get sick, there’s a good chance they’ll get treated in clinic or hospital, but can’t afford to pay the bill. Guess who pays, then? We all do through higher insurance costs, higher hospital fees, higher taxes, etc. So, everyone needs to covered, like it or not!

Plus, what happens when somebody gets infected with a potentially deadly and contagious disease. If they avoid treatment because they can’t afford it, the disease could spread a lot faster and further with catastrophic results!!!  Everyone needs immediate access to health care regardless of income, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity (unless you want another AIDS epidemic)!

Now, while I’m at it, I will be the first to admit that the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is far from perfect. It’s still expensive and the cutoffs for Advanced Premium Tax Credits need to be higher because of the high cost of insurance. (Republicans didn’t help by eliminating payments to insurers that were supposed to hold down premiums.) Co-pays and deductibles are also excessively high. (I have ACA coverage so I know this for a fact.)

WE NEED UNIVERSAL, SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE!!!!!!

There really is no alternative if we want to do right by everyone. And, seriously, I’m not alone. More and more people just like you and me are shifting their views  in favor of Universal Health Care. According to Pew Research (pew research.org), “60% of Americans say the government should be responsible for ensuring health care coverage for all Americans, compared with 38% who say this should not be the government’s responsibility. The share saying it is the government’s responsibility has increased from 51% last year and now stands at its highest point in nearly a decade.” (Read for report here.

That constitutes a majority in my book! And it covers a diverse spectrum of ages, incomes, political affiliations, etc. And, in an open letter to Congressional leaders, the AMA said, “The AMA has long advocated for health insurance coverage for all Americans, as well as pluralism, freedom of choice, freedom of practice, and universal access for patients.” (Read full letter here.)

Naturally, there are a lot of details to be worked out, but it can be done. You can’t tell me that a country that leads the world in so many accomplishments can’t figure out how to set up a workable single-payer Universal Health Care system that works for everyone!

Call and write your representatives at every level to demand that they push for single-payer Universal Health Care! It’s not about politics or wealth or business! It’s about people … all people!

Let’s do this today!

Let the R.A.I.N. wash away the divisions and help us grow healthier together!

The Divine Miss Bri

 

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The R.A.I.N. Catcher: Bad Mojo In N.O. For Transwomen … State AG’s Step Up To School Right Wingers On Trans Student Rights … Another False Claim As Trump Shows He Has Some Wires Loose … Roger Stone: Stone Cold Stupid

Welcome to another edition of The R.A.I.N. Catcher, a blog feature where I try to gather together a quick overview of the latest developments in our battle against the forces of darkness which threaten our progressive ideals and the basic human rights we have up ’til now always taken for granted.

Well this past week right through this weekend has brought forth a stream of issues to be concerned about (and at least one that shows some politicians have a backbone), so let’s get started.

Bad Mojo: Two Transwomen of Color Murdered in New Orleans

Being transgender in America can be dangerous and transwomen of color are the most likely to be the victims of violence just because of who they are. (Read the Story Here.) While the N.O.P.D. hasn’t actually ruled that the two victims were murdered  because they were transwomen, it’s probably a safe bet that these were hate crimes. Unfortunately, conservatives like to paint the picture that we’re all deviants and undeserving of the right to exist. That creates the atmosphere for this kind of outrage! Report violence and threats of violence against anyone, because that’s not the America anyone should have to live in! Contact the ACLU and the HRC to see what you can do!

A Lesson In Human Rights: States Attorneys General Stand Up For Transgender Student Rights

This week, there was some good news as Attorneys General representing 19 states and the District of Columbia signed “onto a brief to the Supreme Court in support of a transgender teenager who wants to use the boys’ bathroom at his Virginia high school. (Read Story here.)

“The friend-of-the-court brief, filed with the court Thursday night, cites the ‘shared experience’ among the states that allowing transgender people to use bathrooms matching their gender identity creates no public safety, privacy or financial burdens.”

(Seriously, folks, this whole issue was made up by conservatives with no facts, no evidence and no reason except to stir up hate! Hate to tell you, but we’ve been using the same bathrooms as you for years with no problems!)

The Attorneys General took this step to protect the rights of transgender students in traveling to other states. And, that’s important, because we should all have the same rights throughout this country!!!  Nice to see politicians with backbones!!!

Looney Toons: Ding-A-Ling Donald Shows He Has Some Loose wires In Latest False Accusation

Sleep well, America, because the guy who has access to the nuclear launch codes has totally lost connection with reality. Now, of course, that is nothing new. We’ve heard him spout off about massive election fraud without any proof among other things. However, in his most recent unsubstantiated tweet, he accused President Obama of wiretapping his phones. He’s now at odds with his own Justice Department. (Read story here.) Seriously? He is suffering from paranoid delusions without a doubt. At the same time everyone is focused on his insane claims and the Russian connections, the GOP is sneaking bills through Congress that will dismantle just about every protection we have against a corporate police state. Time to join the resistance (See Web Sites Below)!

Stone Cold Jerk: Former Trump Advisor Roger Stone Tweets Proof He’s Just An Ass

Saw a story today about this right-wing mouthpiece’s disgustingly rude tweets to liberals who dare question his outlandish claims. I won’t repeat them here out of respect for my readers, but you can read the story here. While not usually one to advocate violence, I don’t think too many people would be that upset if his thumbs got accidentally broken and his mouth washed out with lye soap. Consequences? Hmmm, just saying …

Join The Fight: Check Out These Web Sites For Information And Tools To Take a Stand Today

https://www.aclu.org

http://www.hrc.org

http://resistancereport.com

https://www.indivisibleguide.com

https://www.resistancemanual.org/Resistance_Manual_Home

https://ourrevolution.com

Keep Up The Good Fight Because We Are At War!

Let the R.A.I.N. wash away the hate and make America progressive again!!!

The Divine Miss Bri

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The Truth About Taxes: We’ve All Been Conned By The Rich

One of the most successful and utterly disgusting con games is the one the rich have used to mislead conservatives and screw everyone who actually works for a  living! You heard right, there is one point on which honest conservatives, moderates and progressives should all agree — the U.S. tax system is rigged against those of us who work for a living.

Now, sure we hear conservatives talking about cutting entitlements and taxes, but the message and the results are terribly skewed in the wrong direction. This is the supposedly secret part that Republicans (and, sadly, many Democrats) won’t talk about because it reflects very badly on them. And that’s why true conservatives should join our revolution!

I’ll give both sides time to pick your jaws up off the floor. So that was a startling statement to say the least, but far more accurate than either side would like to believe. Here’s the down and dirty — the current tax system is rigged against the middle and lower classes. No surprise you say? Yeah, but the solution isn’t what the Republicans are selling because they’re responding to their “contributors’ bidding!” And therein lies the rub.

All the proposed tax cuts really only benefit the wealthy who already have more after-tax income than most of us put together! But that spurs investment.right? The truth? Maybe, but probably not. The truth is that investment is spurred by two things — innovation and demand. So let’s offer tax breaks for investments in start ups which are the biggest source of new jobs! That makes sense.

At the same time, demand-generated investment has nothing (and I do mean nothing) to do with tax breaks for the wealthy!!!! It has to do with tax breaks and higher paying jobs for the middle and lower classes, who spend extra money on cars, appliances, home improvement, new homes, dinners out, etc. — all the things that stimulate the economy, which in turn increases job opportunities and local tax revenue.

This is really not rocket science, boys and girls! It absolutely has nothing to do with how much the rich pay in taxes or the cost of entitlements for the poor! If you want an equitable and workable tax system, then set higher minimums for what is taxable income, provide universal healthcare for everyone that is paid by for by both individuals and companies in terms of taxes, get rid of breaks on Social Security and Medicare taxes at higher income levels, and eliminate all but a handful of specific tax breaks for the wealthy.

Trust me, the wealthy will not have to fire their gardeners, nannies and housekeepers and go on welfare. However, those of us who actually make earned income will get a break and more money to spend on things that stimulate the economy! This is not a liberal or conservative issue. It’s a real world, make things work like they should issue! Tell your representatives, regardless of party, that tax cuts for the wealthy are an insult to people who actually work for a living!!! That ought to scare the crap out of Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and all the other mouthpieces of the rich! Hold their feet to the fire and make them decide who they represent — the rich people who fund their campaigns or the honest people who mistakenly voted for them! Can’t wait to see their reactions!

The us versus them is a lot different than you think!

Let the R.A.I.N. wash away inequality and expose the truth!!!

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Lies, Damn Lies and Trump’s Address To Congress

Calling out Trump for not just stretching the truth, but ripping it up and spitting on it has become rote because he does it all the time. As Yogi Berra used to say, “It’s like déjà vu all over again!” And while Yogi’s lines were alway humorous, this situation is quite disturbing.

Sadly, Americans accept a lack of integrity on the part of politicians as a fait accompli — it’s just the way things are. I used to say the same thing, but not anymore. As I’ve said before, it’s time we demanded a much higher standard of truthfulness and accountability from those who seek and hold office at any level in this country.

Unfortunately, politicians tell us what we want to hear to get our votes regardless of whether what we want to hear is actually the truth. This goes back a long, long way, so we can’t necessarily blame today’s politicians for starting it, but we can  certainly demand that they stop it here and now. These falsehoods that they’ve perpetuated are what continues to drive us farther apart on so many issues.

For example (and you should’ve been expecting it), let’s take Donald Trump’s speech to Congress last night. I will give him credit for improving his presentation by leaps and bounds in terms of style. On the other hand, as I pointed out in my last post, his facts were essentially alternative facts or, in plain English, untruths.

Just to clarify, I used two different sources that fact checked his speech and both reached the same conclusion based on real facts. Trump must love Burger King because he was peddling some “whoppers” last night.

I will focus on just a few here, but I encourage you to check the links below to read the full stories yourself on WashintongPost.com and MSN.com. It definitely changes the perspective on just how things really are.

To quote from the intro to the WashingtonPost.com article: “An address to Congress is such an important speech that presidents generally are careful not to stretch the truth. The ’16 words’ in George W. Bush’s 2003 State of the Union address that falsely claimed Iraq’s Saddam Hussein sought uranium from Africa led to significant turmoil in the administration, including the criminal conviction of a top aide.

“President Trump’s maiden address to Congress was notable because it was filled with numerous inaccuracies. In fact, many of the president’s false claims are old favorites that he trots out on a regular, almost daily basis.”

For example, Trump spoke about draining the swamp and his order banning executive branch officials from lobbying for 5 years after leaving. However, it’s not what it seems. The ban only applies to an official lobbying the department/agency he/she actually worked for. It doesn’t stop them from becoming  a lobbyist and doesn’t apply to legislative branch officials. The truth is a whole lot less impressive than his alternate facts.

In another example of vastly overstating his early accomplishments, “Trump again takes credit for business decisions made before his election.”

Ford’s decision to expand a plant in Michigan and not build a plant in Mexico was driven by sales results and long-term business goals, while Fiat Chrysler’s plans to invest $1 billion in a factory in Michigan were put into place over a year ago. Trump had no influence on these decisions to name a few, yet claimed credit for them. That’s not an encouraging sign.

And, to quote from the MSN.com article, Trump “cherry-picked the findings of a recent report, saying it found immigration costs U.S. taxpayers ‘billions of dollars a year.’ The report said immigration ‘has an overall positive impact on long-run economic growth.’

“Trump said ’94 million Americans are out of the labor force,’ a figure that includes the retired, college students and stay-at-home parents. The vast majority — 88.5 million — said they didn’t want a job.

“Trump said he would ‘promote clean air and clean water,’ a vague claim that came hours after he had signed an executive order to roll back a 2015 ‘Clean Water Rule.'”

I again encourage you read the full analysis in both articles so you can see for yourself why we should all be concerned. It’s not being fair to the American people to make policy decisions based on false facts. That helps no one but these in power who have a vested interest in perpetuating the big lies.

Call and write your representatives in the House and Senate as well as the media to demand real transparency and accountability from all levels of government. NO MORE LIES!

Let the R.A.I.N. come down and let the truth shine through!

The Divine Miss Bri

 

 

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