Opinion: Negotiate Drug Prices

By George Smith  — September 16, 2021

Any elected official who is AGAINST a movement to allow Medicare to negotiate with drug companies to reduce the exorbitant cost of medication  deserves nothing less than to be ousted in the next election.

Without putting too fine a brush to it, they are bought and paid for by big company campaign contributions.

Think! Why are folks buying needed medications in Mexico and Canada? They are cheaper because these countries created a system that does not make drug companies accountable for exorbitant pricing.

The U.S. encourages high drug costs by allowing full-bore access to elected officials by big pharmaceutical lobbyists who “buy” influence via campaign cash.

And we keep electing these yahoos over and over. Term limits would go a long way to help move “honesty” back in politics.

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Opinion: Bless Your Heart

 Opinion: Bless Your Heart

By George Smith  — September 4, 2021

If you are a Republican in Texas AND support the GOP’s heavy-handed, smashmouth legislative abuse of minorities in the state…oh, my. I pity you.

Bless your heart.

If you agree with recent laws allowing open carry of guns without a permit or proper training, restricting voters’ ability to conveniently cast ballots, attacking—nay, demolishing — a woman’s right to control health issues affecting her own body after consultation with her doctor AND her god, mandating the teaching of the “lipstick on a pig” version of history, and the pending bill to allow the oil and gas industry to discharge environmentally harmful “wastewater”  into streams, rivers and lakes, then shame on you.

The Republican Party of pre-McConnell, President Trump, Rand Paul, Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Green amd Lorraine Boebert was more into trying to refocus the party to appeal to a broader audience rather than pervert its mission by focusing on the eras remembered for the shoot-em-up freedom of the Old West, voting abuses aka Jim Crow 2.0, resurrection of the “Scarlet Letter” type labeling of women’s rights, and blatantly bypassing current federal anti-pollution edicts.

Drunk on majority power and high on the  “eat-s***-and-die” and “divide and conquer” agenda and policies shoved down Americans’ throats by President Donald Trump, nationwide Republican legislatures will follow Texas’ lead simply because they can.

The Texas Republican-controlled legislature, backed by the state’s smirking higher tier of elected officials are playing the political short game rather than looking a few years down the road when the state’s minority voters will move heavily into the majority.

Then, and it’s less than a decade away, GOP statewide-elected officials will be more rare than an effective border wall on the Texas-Mexico border.

Wake up, Republicans. Your power base is already eroding and your jack-booted way of governing will soon end. It’s not a matter of “if”, but “when”.

It may already be too late to save the party as a viable political entity. But it’s never too late to see the grievously erroneous path you have been taking, admit mistakes and plan for a positive future.

Three E’s that could save the party: Empathy.

Earning Trust through good works.

Energy expended toward positive outcomes for all citizens.

Are you ready to be proactive, redefine your mission and accept the inevitabilities of guaranteed future trends to help save the party?

Let’s see: I’m betting NFW: No Freakin’ Way. Mean-spirited smugness has a way of corroding one’s soul.

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Opinion: Old White Men Dictating To Women

 Opinion: Old White Men Dictating To Women

By George Smith  — September 2, 2021

What is it with men, mostly white old men, feeling a need to dictate to women what they can and cannot do with their  bodies?

The Texas abortion ban law is a blatant attempt of men telling women, “Your rights end at the end of my pen that writes laws.” The initial reluctance of the Supreme Court (5-4)  to overturn the case further divides this country. The issue will come back to the court in the near future.

Equality does not exist in this male dominated society; separation of church and state does not exist if biblical interpretations of specific “umbrella” scriptures —Thou shall not kill.” — are used as the basis for discriminatory laws.

What was the last law passed that took away a “right” of men? Can you remember any law that prohibited men from making a health decision made after consultation with their doctor AND their god?

Who are we to tell ANY WOMAN — or MAN — what they can do with their own body?

Asinine laws by do-gooder legislators will not prevent pregnancy termination; laws discriminating against women will only enhance the back alley abortion business and result in the unnecessary death of women.

The issue of abortion is one of the most divisive subjects and it doesn’t have to be.

Those who use the Bible as a reason to stop abortions on every level are cherry-picking scriptures.

The bible orders the death penalty for murder of a human being, but not for the expulsion of a fetus.

When does life begin?

According to the Bible, life begins at birth–when a baby draws its first breath. The bible defines life as “breath” in several significant passages, including the story of Adam’s creation in Genesis 2:7, when God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Jewish law traditionally considers that personhood begins at birth.

What we all need to remember is that the key to understanding and love is kindness.

Ephesians 4:32. And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you.

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Opinion: Surreal Times

 Opinion: Surreal Times

By George Smith  — August 13, 2021

We are living in a surreal time. It’s like we’re running as fast as we can…but moving in slow motion.

I listen to news and read a multitude of stories daily and it’s like revisiting the worst lectures by the worst teachers l had in high school and college — excruciatingly painful.

Some days I feel like some ham-fisted sadistic brain surgeon with a degree from the University of

Getouttatown! has scrubbed my brain with steel wool.

We need relief. Badly.

We need more adults in the Congressional Room in Washington-on-the-Deficit,

We need every eligible voter to vote in 2022.

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Opinion: Truth -It’s one element sorely lacking in the partisan politics

 

By George Smith  — August 8, 2021

Truth. It’s one element sorely lacking in the partisan political frays that greet citizens each day. The GOP is trying to rewrite the history of the development of pandemic cases and deaths in this country; it is not going so well.

Kos Media, which focuses on news of the Democratic Party, recently wrote: “Republicans have clearly looked at their polling and realized their staunch anti-vaccine, anti-mask, anti-mitigation posture is a political liability. They have good reason to worry—Trump’s epic mishandling of the pandemic sealed his fate in 2020.

“Consequently, many Republicans are pulling a complete 180 on messaging and hoping the American public will forget which party stoked doubt, fear, and even animosity toward the Biden administration’s all-hands-on-deck effort to get shots in arms and restore some sense of normalcy to both the U.S. economy and American life.

“Senate Republicans and some governors are now making a sudden push to rewrite history about their own party’s malignant disinformation campaign on the vaccines. But some House Republicans are attempting something even more preposterous—blaming Democrats for the vaccine hesitancy and rejection that has flourished in red America.”

One of my all-time favorite quotes sums it up: “Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance.”

– Plato

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Opinion: Action, not weasel words

By George Smith  — July 31, 2021

Joe Biden inherited a mess; Pandemic, divided America, immigration SNAFU, revenue shortfall, rising national deficit and debt, GOP misinformation campaign…and the list goes on and on.

Biden’s efforts to add calmness, empathy and reason to the national dialogue has been exemplary; his appointment of certain “program czars” have simply not worked.

VP Kanaka Harris was handed the chore of fixing the immigration problems on our southern border and, from research, reading and and analyzing stories, she is doing a lousy job. New problems seem to pop up every day, from accepting immigrants without COVID checks to sending thousands of immigrants by charter plane all over the country.

The program to create an immigration path to the U.S. for Afghan workers (and their families) who aided our troops, according to one in-depth article, is a “disaster”.

We OWE these brave workers; their safety are our responsibility.

I simply cannot see why the administration could not turn the entire process over to military logistics and material transportation officers. These trained officers regularly move huge amounts of people and material all over the world. Give the order to get it done…and back off and let them work their magic.

It is difficult to multi-task, and no job in the world requires more multi-tasking than that of a country’s leader.

Biden needs to “Cowboy up!” and jump-start his game in delegating difficult chores to people who know processes, programs snd protocol … and leave them to do the job. If no progress is made in a certain area within a reasonable timeframe, cut them loose and give somebody else the chance to be a hero.

Action, not weasel words. Results, not excuses.

Do it and do it now.

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Opinion: Why So Mean?

By George Smith  — July 29, 2021

Why are elected public officials who identify as Republican so darn mean-spirited?

I feel sure they love their families, revere their friends and spoil their dogs and cats. But when it comes to other humans — mainly those different from themselves, the poor, oppressed, scared, those seeking a better life — they turn into a combination of Scrooge and Darth Vader.

“Luke…I am your father. I will kill you now!”

Whatever happen to “compassionate conservatism”? You remember, because I sure do, when the GOP was not all about partisanship and retribution but looked at the ills of the country and, sometimes, worked with Democrats on societal issues that benefited about 30 percent of those citizens in the lower socioeconomic rungs of the Almighty Dollar Ladder.

Today, with only token opposition, the Republican Party is focused on three items: 1. Whatever Donald Trump wants is fine with the rank-and-file; 2. Whatever President Biden is trying to do will be opposed with the vigor of a rabid wolverine; and, 3. Their main job (both parties guilty here) is to get re-elected without primary opposition.

Oh, I guess there is a No. 4: Regardless of how out-of-touch some GOP lawmakers are with common sense and reality, no matter how many lies they perpetuate or how far up Trump’s accommodating posterior they insert their heads, as long as they vote the “right way”, they are part and parcel of the GOP cult.

How could any knowledgeable American not see that the GOP’s  reticent on working to assist in curtailing the COVID pandemic is killing people, a majority of whom are the GOP faithful, the people who would vote for them if they were only alive?

The Republican Party is on the wrong side of history on tax reform

Issues (making the rich richer is not a winning political branding issue); pushing vaccination to slow the pandemic; reverting to policies and laws aimed at re-Jim Crowing the voting rights of minorities; threatening to kill a massive infrastructure bill because of a refusal to acknowledge that “infrastructure” is more than concrete snd steel; and, malignantly ignoring the plight of Americans living in poverty.

History will not treat the era of Donald Trump kindly. The would-be Emperor Trump was not only without clothes and abusing himself for the whole world to see, he actively encouraged his followers to follow his example and  perform sadomasochistic rituals on their fellow countrymen and women.

And because Trump “tells it like it is” and is “not a typical politician”, they bow down to his crazed whims like the cult members they have become.

Most of his faithful are not yet ready to accept their political pied piper is a fraud and grifter and is not a Republican or Christian by any definition. He is a liar, an admitted abuser of women, a self-ordained “Christian” who does not attend church or know the Bible (remember “Two Corinthians”?)

His administration has had more scandals with more aides, staffers and campaign workers charged, convicted and jailed than ANY administration in history, including that of Richard Nixon.

One day, maybe, they will wake up amd see there”savior” for what he is: A fake prophet and narcissist. For those millions of faithful followers of Emperor Trump, that will a rude, crude, devastating awakening.

And, hopefully, they will learn from the experience and vow not to be bamboozled by politicians spouting BS ever again.

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Opinion: Oh-hell-no headline of the day

 Opinion: Oh-hell-no headline of the day:

By George Smith  — July 25, 2021

“GOP eyes plan to kick Cheney, Kinzinger out of the party”

Voicing different ideas to help solve problems is always the best way to work toward the best solution.

Wanting everybody to think the same, walk in lockstep to a regulated beat and mindset is not the workings of a democracy.

The current Republican Party has lost its way, its vision, its push for compassionate conservatism. Following the Trump mantra and model of self-delusion, the party is destroying itself from the inside.

This country needs two (or more) strong parties. But all parties need to have certain elements in order for this nation to remain a world leader: Humility, empathy, the ability to listen to other ideas and to be able to admit when you are wrong.

In the present political climate, few of our elected officials possess these qualities. In 2021, however, the Republican Party is determined to self-destruct in the name of…what, exactly?

They are using pages from the not-so-distant past to suppress votes, hush detractors in their own ranks, using scare tactics in areas of healthcare, gun rights, LGBTQ issues, immigration, education and federal vs. states rights to keep this country divided.

Both parties, without realizing it,  spotlight their fringe players, those on the outer edges of liberalism and conservatism; that hurts both parties with clear-thinking voters.

It’s time to push those publicity-hungry politicians out of both parties and return to the system of conversation, conviviality and compromise.

You know…when real programs and policies to push America and ALL citizens forward was the goal of the executive and legislative branches of government.

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Opinion: Critical Race Theory DOES NOT

 Opinion: Critical Race Theory DOES NOT

By George Smith  — July 16, 2021

Despite news and pundits stating it, Critical Race Theory DOES NOT teach superiority of any race over another. It’s a study about certain systems set up to discriminate against a race or races.

It is a fact that this country…in its laws by state and nationally DID discriminate against myriad races and religions. That practice is happening today with voter suppression laws and gerrymandering.

Critical race theory is an academic concept that is more than 40 years old. The core idea is that race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.

The basic tenets of critical race theory, or CRT, emerged out of a framework for legal analysis in the late 1970s and early 1980s created by legal scholars Derrick Bell, Kimberlé Crenshaw, and Richard Delgado, among others.

A good example is when, in the 1930s, government officials literally drew lines around areas deemed poor financial risks, often explicitly due to the racial composition of inhabitants. Banks subsequently refused to offer mortgages to black people in those areas.

Racism has existed since the founding of this county. It still exists today. It is history…and embedded in the present culture.

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Opinion: If I Was Going To …

By George Smith  — July 14, 2021

Another-Trumpian-moment-in-history story of the day:

Former President Donald Trump says he never threatened a coup and that “if I was going to do a coup, one of the last people I would want to do it with is General Mark Milley.”

This was in response to a report in a book that Milley feared Trump would attempt a coup after he lost his re-election bid.

Hmmm. Sounds familiar. Oh, yes, I remember!

“I didn’t molest her. But if I was going to molest someone, it wouldn’t be her, because she’s not my type.”

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