Picture Worth 1000 Words and a $100 Check

❝ On Tuesday, a group of senators traveled to the White House to have lunch with President Donald Trump. In a classic Trumpian power move, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, who has been one of the most outspoken Republican critics of Trump, was seated directly next to the President.

Which brings us to this amazing photo — snapped by AFP’s Saul Loeb…

❝ Trump, in the foreground, is out of focus but it’s clear he is talking. When Trump did talk before lunch with the senators on Tuesday, he defended his decision to endorse controversial Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore of Alabama.

Hours later, Flake cut a $100 check to Moore’s Democratic opponent Doug Jones.

Rare, but, telling, example of a politician choosing to endorse civil decency over regressive, opportunist cowardice.

Attorney General – Ravaged by Amnesia – Somehow Able to Hold onto Demanding Job

Sessions continues his mutation into Alfred E Neuman

❝ An Alabama man whose brain was ravaged by severe amnesia is somehow able to function in an extremely demanding legal job, leading neurologists reported on Tuesday.

The man, whom neurologists are calling a “medical mystery,” has performed highly exacting tasks in one of the country’s top legal positions despite having virtually no short – or long-term memory.

❝ Dr. Davis Logsdon, the chairman of the neurology department at the University of Minnesota Medical School, said that the Alabaman’s brain “defies explanation.”

❝ “In all the medical literature, we have never seen an example of someone capable of holding down such a high-powered job while having no memory whatsoever of people he met, things he said, places he has been, or thoughts he has had,” Logsdon said. “It’s the stuff of science fiction.”

❝ Logsdon said that his team of neurologists was studying video of the man in the hopes of understanding the paradoxical functioning of his brain, but Logsdon acknowledged that such a task was challenging. “After listening to him talk for hours, your own brain starts to hurt,” he said.

I’ll second that emotion.

As does, I imagine, Andy Borowitz who writes this stuff for the NewYorker.

Trump’s budget slashes child care for military families

Trump promised to improve child care for all working families. He’s not keeping his word.

❝ If President Trump has his way, more military families will struggle to find child care.

…Trump proposed a budget with a $100 million cut to child care and youth programs for military families. These programs provide early education programs to children aged 6 weeks to 12 years old as well as after-school and summer enrichment activities for school age children. In total, 700,000 children of military service members receive such services. The budget would defund these programs — despite calls for increased child care funding from military families and advocates.

The military has a model child care program designed to support the unique needs of military families. Ninety-five percent of programs are nationally accredited, and all teachers participate in training and professional development to improve their skills. Parents pay on a sliding scale based on their income so that programs are affordable for all service members.

And, yes, this is the sort of aid that should be available to all Americans.

❝ Cuts to child care could also have consequences for military spouses. About one in five military spouses are unemployed, often due to career interruptions from frequent relocations. Losing access to child care would become an added barrier for military spouses pursuing a career. In addition, many spouses rely on child care when the military parent is deployed to help them balance parenting alone.

❝ Throughout his campaign and into his presidency, Trump promised to bolster support for military personnel and to improve the affordability of child care for all working families. But Trump reneges on both of these promises in one fell swoop by proposing a cut to child care funding for military families.

I hope none of y’all expected Trump to come through on any promises that don’t involved tax cuts for corporations, the wealthiest Americans, racist and bigoted discrimination against all minorities including women. Trump thinks he owes nothing to folks who believed his blather, who voted for him.

Ignoring Trump True Believers is OK by me. “Regretters” are another story.

Sherri Underwood reluctantly cast her vote for Donald Trump in November.

But as her health insurance premiums continued to rise, reaching a price higher than her mortgage, she decided to vote for Trump with the hope that he would repeal and replace Obamacare. She wasn’t alone: Health care was one of the top reasons that voters chose Trump in the 2016 election. A Pew study shows the issue was one of the five most important issues for Americans. Many Trump voters expressed frustration with high premiums and the penalty tax of Obamacare. And “repeal and replace,” repeated for years by Republican Congress members, became one of Trump’s signature campaign promises.

❝ But by the time Inauguration Day rolled around, Underwood already regretted her choice. She told Vox that in January she was already seeing signs that Trump wasn’t going to stay true to his campaign promises.

And she recently saw her fears come true: The American Health Care Act, Republicans’ repeal-and-replace plan — the very issue that had decided her vote — failed…

Repeal and replace was the primary motivating factor in my vote for Donald Trump. It is what swayed my vote despite my misgivings with him. The premiums had continued to climb under Obamacare. It was really squeezing our household budget, and I was still unable to buy the medications I needed. I didn’t receive much coverage under my policy, and I felt like I was being held hostage to this policy that wasn’t beneficial to me unless I needed it for some catastrophic event…

I wanted Trump to do away with the tax penalty mandate if you didn’t get coverage. I wanted him to lower premiums and expand coverage under these plans.

I didn’t really have strong, preconceived notions of how Washington would accomplish this. I’m not running for office, I’m not promising to make it better. I take them at their word to make it better. If that means more government spending to make that happen or more free market enterprise options, it is more or less irrelevant to me. I just wanted them to make it happen. They promised they would do it...

…Be more open to regretters. I certainly understand…anger and frustration, but we need to work together going forward.

The crowd that recognizes the incompetence of the Democratic Party in the 2016 election – and thinks voters can only move forward by proselytizing Trump True Believers – is as naive as regretters once were. Sorry for the complexity; but, it works.

First, the folks who should be brought forward into progressive action are the liberals and independents who didn’t vote. For whatever reason. Positive progressive change is what we should be fighting for. Not providing free counseling for folks who still believe Trump’s populist bullshit.

Second, this is the first time I’ve bumped into the term, “regretter”. In this case – and likely most others – we’re looking at someone who tried to take Trump at his word. Foolish as that seems to cynical geezers like me, I can understand the confusion. The words often made some elemental sense – even if the source was a patent leather pathological liar. And “regretters” like the woman in this interview began to understand the whole disaster even before Inauguration Day.

Unlike her peers, she didn’t stop thinking about solutions. She hasn’t relied on uncritical acceptance of the bullshit of someone who played an important person on so-called reality TV.

Welcome aboard, sister. We all have a long critical battle to fight. Together.