Honor Those Who Made The Ultimate Sacrifice By Building A Better America … And A Better World!

Memorial Day. It’s a time for honoring those who paid for our freedoms with their lives. They deserve our respect for their sacrifice. But we owe them more than speeches, parades and flags on graves. We owe it to them to continue building on the promise of America to ensure that all Americans should enjoy their inalienable rights and that we should live in one nation with liberty and justice for all.

It is important to recognize the fact that many of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this country paid a high price for freedoms they did not necessarily have. Consider African-Americans who served and died in the military when they faced blatant discrimination in housing, education, employment and protection under the law at home and in the military. Or the Native Americans who were treated just as badly. Or Japanese-Americans in World War II who died in Europe while others were imprisoned in internment camps in California. Or Muslims, who are vilified for their religion. Or women, who were treated like second class citizens. LGBTQ service members who had to hide their true nature lest they be killed by Americans. Or …

The fact is that they all answered the call and gave their lives that someday all Americans would  be treated fairly, equally and justly. It is a sacrifice that deserves more than lip service. It demands action. It demands that we not take our rights and responsibilities lightly. It demands that we work together to make America and the world a better place so that one day maybe no one will have to die for their country.

So what can we do? Vote! Not voting, because you don’t like the candidates or you’re too busy or some other lame excuse, is the same as spitting on the graves of those who died to preserve that right. When you don’t vote, you end up with Tea Party nut jobs in Congress and state legislatures as well as a treasonous crook in the White House!

Get involved in a local political party or a group that shares your beliefs. All politics begin at the local level. Go to council meetings, school board meetings and other forums. Make your views known. Activists make things happen.

Call, write and email your local, state and national elected representatives! Express your opinions. It can make a difference.

Protest to support groups and causes you believe in and to express your opposition to groups and policies you find objectionable.

Stand up for your beliefs and the rights of others. When we can do that, we will make this the kind of country our service members died for.

Honor their sacrifice by continuing to fight for a better America for everyone!

The Divine Miss Bri

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailby feather

Fatal Miscalculations: Who Will End Up Paying For The Red Plague?

I freely admit that I considered the 2016 election results as a catastrophe for individual liberties, the environment, consumer rights and more. Now, I see that I totally underestimated the damage Trump and the GOP threaten to do to the vast majority of Americans. I’m talking about the 99% who struggle to get by while the 1% feast off of our miseries.

Between the latest version of the AHCA (Anti Health Care Act), that was pushed through the House of Representatives without anyone knowing how it would actually impact Americans, and Trump’s robber baron budget, which portends an unholy transfer of wealth from the poor and middle classes to the 1+%, we are facing a financial threat to our very survival. With a flair for the melodramatic at times, I have chosen to call this threat The Red Plague, since it was brought about by all the red states on the electoral map. And, make no mistake, it is a plague upon our country.

Hyperbole? Exaggeration? Paranoia? Well, I suppose it depends upon where you are in the spectrum of differences that seem to divide rather than unite America. If you’re wealthy, white, a religious conservative, bigoted and a fervent nationalist or some combination thereof, then you probably think all of what’s happening is good. You’re the ones that Trump and the GOP are counting on. They keep you happy by appealing to your fears and prejudices while stealing your money as well as our money and our rights.

On the other hand, it’s a very real threat for those of us who believe in liberty and justice for all, the welfare of others, that health care should be a right not a choice, that people should be paid a living wage, that greed is not good, businesses have a moral responsibility to their employees and their communities, that our environment needs to be protected and that those who need help should get it

Now, I do understand that a number of otherwise good people voted for Trump because he said he was going to bring back jobs to this country and put more people back to work. Well, like everything else he said, it’s a case of over promise and under deliver. As an example, take the big deal he made about getting Carrier to stay in Indiana rather than move jobs to Mexico right after the election. Well, that didn’t last long, because Carrier is going to lay off over 600 people in Indiana and move the jobs to Mexico. (Read the Chicago Tribune story here.)

Then he was going to repeal and replace Obamacare with something so much better that would cover everybody for less. What we have so far is the 2nd version of the AHCA, which the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) now says will result in 23 million people losing their health coverage and those who have low incomes, people with pre-existing conditions and older Americans will get socked with huge premium increases and less coverage. And that’s just part of the pain we’ll be enduring while the wealthy will get huge tax cuts out of it. Call me crazy, but I don’t see that as an improvement. (Read more about the CBO report here from CNN Money.)

Then we have Trump’s attempt at a budget, which is based on a combination of avarice, cruelty, alchemy and wishful thinking. Under the banner of supply side / trickle down economics, which has proven to be a failed approach, this budget gives huge tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans and corporations plus spends massive amounts on defense, while cutting welfare, medical research, medicaid, children’s health insurance, food stamps, student loan programs and public education. Apparently, Trump thinks the poor shouldn’t have chosen to be poor in the first place. Wonder if he has ever heard of King Louis XVI of France and  how that kind of thinking turned out to be a real pain in the neck? (Read about Trump’s budget in this CNN.com report, and it’s miscalculations in this MSN.com story.)

So what does all this mean? Right now in this country, we have a huge problem as more and more of the money is siphoned out of the economy and into the hands of am wealthy few. That is unsustainable. Automation, irresponsible and obscene pay for CEOs without long-term performance goals, predatory financial policies, outrageous health care expenses even with Obamacare and other issues have left many Americans feeling like they have nothing left to lose. And that is how revolutions start. The heads will roll — just look at Louis XVI!

Those in power might want to ponder just how much pain the people can endure from The Red Plague, before they turn on the ones who are spreading it. A miscalculation could be fatal.

Stand up and be counted! Demand your rights! Tell your representatives in Congress that Trump’s budget and the AHCA are DEAD! We want Medicare for all and a budget that assures the wealthy pay their fair share!

Be Vocal! Be Adamant! Be Strong!

The Divine Miss Bri

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailby feather

When People Put Party Over Country, It’s Time To End the Party

While it’s no secret that I have no love of the Republican party, especially since it was completely taken over by hard line conservatives, the party and its elected officials have, with a few exceptions, basically turned a blind eye to the string of of apparent lies, deceptions and potentially treasonous acts committed by the Trump administration. Many in the GOP just ignore the threats by saying there’s no proof and dragging out or sabotaging Congressional investigations. The truth is they don’t want to turn up proof of the Trump campaign’s collusion with the Russians, Trump’s attempts to derail the FBI’s investigation by firing Director Comey, and now his apparent leaking of top secret intelligence to the Russians.

Why? Because proving any of these allegations would completely delegitimize the election results and jeopardize their agenda to pay back their wealthy contributors by passing legislation to arrange one of the biggest transfers of wealth from the poor and middle classes to the wealthy with tax cuts for the rich funded by stripping away our healthcare, our environmental protections, our financial protections, our rights as workers and more. Literally, the GOP cares more about party power than they do about the country.

What we need is a fully independent special prosecutor to investigate all of the allegations. The old adages of “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” and “if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck,” seem relevant enough with what we have seen happening to justify the investigation. When the truth is sorted out, we may very well find Donald Trump’s cooked goose. Trump protests his innocence while continuing to do things that sure make it seem like he has something to hide. These perceptions are crippling our standing in the world and creating serious questions about who even cares about the country.

Tomorrow, Trump is scheduled to speak at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy commencement in CT. And in many ways it will be an insult to those graduates, who are tasked with protecting our borders and enforcing the law, to be addressed by a man that wants to take money from the Coast Guard to build his wall and who has no respect for the law since he doesn’t believe it applies to him. But an even graver insult to these graduates is the failure of key Republicans, including Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, to call for a special prosecutor to investigate Trump’s ties to the Russians. The questions need to be answered and the issue needs to be settled by collecting evidence and testimonies that will prove or disprove the allegations.

We need the investigation to remove the cloud over this administration or remove this administration depending on the results. We need to again establish that no one, even the president is above the law. And, we need to prove that the rule of law is more important than party loyalty and power. Otherwise, America is doomed to become a Russian oligarchy and we can kiss out freedoms good-bye.

Call your Congressional representatives now and demand that they call for a special prosecutor to investigate the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia and determine if they colluded to influence the election and if there are other illegal activities involved.

We deserve to know the truth! Demand it!

The Divine Miss Bri

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailby feather

Stinging Barbs of Truth: Pun-ishing Would-Be Tyrants With Comedy

Ever notice one of the things missing from countries ruled by a dictatorship? It’s laughter, especially the type incited by sharp-tongued comics. Tyrants and would-be tyrants are notoriously thin skinned and do not suffer lightly the insolence of truth delivered with a knowing smirk. It threatens their image of absolute power, makes hollow their illogical rants and exposes their deceits for the world to see.

In a free society, politicians and celebrities expect to find themselves as fodder for jokes by stand up comics and show hosts across the spectrum. And, while some may not take it all graciously, most laugh at themselves along with us. That’s the American way. On the other hand, when the high and mighty start getting too high and mighty, comedy becomes the singular most important tool for bringing them down to earth … and hard reality.

Since the 2016 election, the political follies and excesses of the Trump administration and conservative Republicans have fueled volley after volley of well-justified and well-aimed comedic barbs, from show hosts that include Bill Maher, John Oliver, Seth Meyers, and, the focus of this blog, Stephen Colbert, host of Late Night with Stephen Colbert on CBS!

I admit to having become enamored with Colbert’s monologues as he has mercilessly carved up the ineptitude, arrogance and lies of Trump, his lackeys and conservative Republicans with razor-edged comedic barbs. And, while it has certainly gotten under the skin of Trump and his supporters, it has also catapulted the Late Show in the ratings. It’s required watching for me now.

So, it should come as no surprise that I stand in solid support of Stephen Colbert after last week’s big stink about his joke about Trump — “The only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s c— holster.” The “obscene” word was bleeped out, but irate Trump supporters and others went ape-shit (NO Bleeps here), even calling his comment “homophobic” (an unbelievably bizarre comment for a conservative to make) and started a #FireColbert Twitter storm which was countered by variations of #LoveColbert and #KeepColbertFireTrump. Some went so far as to complain to the FCC, which under it’s Trump appointed chairman now stands for F*ck Consumers Commission. The commission reviews all complaints but has not opened an investigation so far.

What I find most annoying is that these same people have no complaints about the Rush Limbaughs who fill the airwaves with angry, idiotic falsehoods intended to hurt real people with real issues. Now that’s obscenity! But they will argue freedom of speech. Fine, so will I when it comes to Colbert!

What can you do? Two things. First, watch the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and drive up his ratings even further. (That shows your support and will certainly tick-off Trump!) Second, you can call CBS programming at 212-975-3247 and express your support for Stephen Colbert. (They have very short hours, but you can leave a voicemail!)

I should also mention that Speaker Paul Ryan’s office took exception with Seth Meyers featuring Ryan’s statements about rushing Obamacare through a vote and all his complaints about that as compared to the way the current version of the AHCA was rushed through passage in the House last week. (Apparently, they were bothered by the truth. That truth can be so damned inconvenient. You go, Seth!)

So, remember to keep laughing ’cause it totally pisses off would-be tyrants like Trump the First, or is that worst, or maybe it’s both. Take our president, PLEASE!

Comedy is a weapon of Freedom! Ready, Aim, Colbert!

The Divine Miss Bri 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailby feather

Our Country Is Being Stolen: It’s Time To Take Back The Real America

There comes a time in every person’s life when they look around and start to wonder what the hell is going on? Well, for those of us brought up to believe in the promise of America and what it could be, we have reached that point as Trump and conservative Republicans are hard at work trying to steer us into becoming something far more sinister and repulsive.

Today’s House vote that rushed through an even worse version of the AHCA, now Trumpcare 2.0, is symptomatic of what has become a persistent march toward an America that is defined by equality only for the wealthy, white males and the religious right. It is extreme capitalism, nationalism, racism and religious extremism all rolled up into one unholy movement that rejects our basic rights as being un-American. They believe America must be purified under the auspices of far right conservatism. All we need is a swastika across the Stars and Stripes or just adopt the Confederate battle flag, and call ourselves Amerika!

Again, I point to the latest iteration of the ACHA, or a I call it, the Anti-Health Care Act. Without CBO estimates, because it was rushed through without complete details, there’s no way to know for sure just how many millions of Americans will lose coverage or go bankrupt because lifetime caps may be reinstated. What we do know is that the wealthy will get big tax breaks and older Americas, poorer Americans and Americans with pre-existing conditions will get royally screwed. Plus, Congress exempted itself from being covered by the new act’s provisions. That smacks of the way the pigs changed the rules in Orwell’s Animal Farm from “All animals are created equal” to “All animals are created equal, but some are created more equal than others.”

Add in the steady stream of bills and executive orders that favor corporations and businesses over workers and consumers, from overtime rules changes to loss of internet privacy to ripping up regulations to protect the environment, everyday Americans keep losing ground and our rights. And, just yesterday, activist Desiree Fairooz was convicted in U.S. Court for apparently laughing at a controversial (and it was laughable) remark made by a Republican panelist during Jeff Sessions’ hearing on his nomination for Attorney General.  (Read Story Here.)

Today, Trump also signed an executive order giving churches and religious  institutions more leeway to endorse political candidates without losing their tax exempt status. It stopped short of allowing what the fundamentalists really wanted — the ability to discriminate against LGBTQ citizens without fear of sanctions. It’s a bad step on the slippery slope toward ignoring our long-standing principle of “separation of church and state.”

Frankly, I’ve had enough of this whole ugly state of affairs. Lord knows America has its share of problems, but the key to solving them is to move forward as a more egalitarian society that works for the collective good while respecting individual liberties. Certainly free enterprise is a key component, but it has to have boundaries because “greed is not good!” The wealthy should pay their fair share because they benefit the most from the system. And the system should help lift up those who need help.

Unlike conservative perceptions, the poor and the sick are generally not responsible for their situations, nobody’s race or religion makes them eminently superior, and all of us are entitled to the same rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Finally, the most egregious sin committed by the GOP has been their not-so-subtle attempts to limit voting rights in order to create and maintain their electoral advantages. That’s an attack on our very foundation of democracy. It is time NOW for all true Americans to stand our ground and say NO MORE, NOT HERE!

Petition! March! Protest! Rally! Blog! Tweet! Contribute to candidates if you can! Get active in local politics! Run for office! Call your representatives! Make your voice heard until it deafens those who would trample our rights and makes them quake in fear of what comes next! We should not fear our government! Our government should fear us!

LET’S TAKE OUR AMERICA BACK!

The Divine Miss Bri

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailby feather

100 Days of Trump: My How Time Drags When You’re Stuck With A Narcissistic Buffoon

So, you may infer from the headline that The Divine Miss Bri is not pulling any punches in this blog post! And you’re right! After 100 days, we can safely say that the Trump administration is possibly the worst administration to govern this country since King George III! And it’s not showing any signs of getting better. However, we can’t solely blame the crooked idiot in the White House. He’s had lots of help from a Republican majority Congress that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Big Money.

Now, let me say that it hasn’t been all bad during the first 100 days. That’s because Trump has a number of failures, which we should  celebrate as good for America, including —

1. Failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) with the American Health Care Act (Ryancare/Trumpcare), which would have resulted in millions of Americans losing their health care coverage.

2. Failure to get approval for financing his stupid border wall.

3. Failure to get an immigration ban that will pass judicial review.

For those failures, let us give thanks!!!!

Unfortunately, Trump still managed to screw over most of us in one way or another via executive order or Congressional bills, including —

1. Stealing a Supreme Court seat and filling it with a conservative political hack.

2. Filling the swamp with alligators and snakes, in the form of Wall Street insiders and big donor cabinet nominees, instead of draining it as he promised.

3. Gutting environmental and worker safety regulations under the pretext of stimulating jobs, but which is mainly aimed at increasing corporate profits at our expense.

4. Backtracking on LGBTQ protections enacted by the Obama administration either directly or through cabinet appointees.

5. Setting in motion the elimination of climate change protocols and public education.

6. Appointing a known racist as Attorney General.

7. Letting ISP’s sell our web search histories and other sensitive information, which sacrifices our privacy.

And, of course, we cannot forget how his actions and those of his staff have diminished the office he temporarily holds, including —

1. Appointing a known fascist to the National Security Council (Steve Banon, who has since been removed)

2. Appointing 2 of the dumbest or most inept spokespersons in “Duh?” Spicer and “Alternative facts” Conway.

3. “Crowd Envy” … worrying more about the size of his “inauguration crowd” than running the country.

4. Refusing to release his tax return as promised and leaving questions about what he is hiding.

5. Constantly whining about the media for holding him accountable.

6. Making idiotic tweets which embarrass him and our country.

7. Single-handedly running up the national debt by spending more time golfing in Mar-A-Lago than he spends in the Oval office.

Plus, and here’s the biggie, trying to hide his Russian connections, including how directly his campaign staff coordinated with the Russians to affect the outcome of the election!

And to think that I have not even addressed his absolute disregard for facts about history.

Keep your signs and keep up your protests! It’s going to be a long 1,361 remaining days until we can say “Good-bye and Good Riddance to 45”!!!!!!

Be Strong! Be Persistent! Be Resistant! We Will Prevail!

The Divine Miss Bri

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmailby feather