Thursday, January 26, 2017

The End of America as We Know It: Part One

Donald Trump is our president. I guess we all just have to accept that as a fact (wishing it was an alt fact, but oh well). In my personal and humble opinion this will be the worst four years in United States history, especially for anyone without porcelain skin or a penis. I'm so riled up I'm blogging again as you can see.

Trump and minions have made some big and unfortunate decisions since taking office. Let's take a gander at these, shall we?

  • He reinstated the Mexico City Policy, or, Global Gag Rule. This policy kills US aid funding for any health center that even mentions the word abortion. This will globally cut, not only abortions, but family planning counseling, US donated contraceptives, HIV services, maternal and child health, and even malaria services. This puts women's health at risk by cutting basic services, forcing women into unsafe abortions or unwanted pregnancies.
  • Abortions aren't only being cut globally by the new president. His Congress passed a bill expanding the Hyde Amendment which currently prohibits direct federal funding (for instance, medicaid) for abortions. Up until now, this amendment has been attached to Congress's annual appropriations bill. The expansion of this amendment will mean that it will become permanent. Of course medicaid isn't the only channel affected by this. This also applies to women on government provided health care plans like military personnel, federal employees and Native American women, and women who pay for their own insurance under the ACA. This will heavily affect low income women in marginalized areas who will have to pay for abortions out of pocket or go without. Which again, will lead to unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions.
  • The revival of the Keystone XL pipeline and Dakota Access pipelines. These pipelines were blocked over environmental concerns, mostly the affect of fossil fuels on climate change. But since Trump questions the actual science behind climate change, what does he care. The Keystone XL would stretch from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico - 1200 miles, 6 states, moving 800,000 barrels of petroleum daily. Most of which is slated for overseas sales. The Dakota Access Pipeline would transport crude oil from North Dakota to a shipping point in Illinois. The pipeline risks contaminating tribal water and the water supplies of 17 million Americans with disregard to Native American treaty rights. 
  • Lies, lies, lies. Oh wait, sorry. I mean #AltFacts.
  • Trump fired all foreign ambassadors. This in itself isn't uncommon, but he had no replacements lined up, which is, well, inane.
  • The Great Orange One placed a social media gag order on the EPA, USDA and Department of the Interior. I mean, who needs to know the truth about our environment and what we ingest? And let's just stop all those mean tweets from the National Parks, shall we?
  • Trump has placed a freeze on federal government workers outside of military, public safety and public health departments. Historically (through Reagan and Carter presidencies) we know that these freezes don't work. Many federal agency's efficiency was disrupted and it actually cost the government money. One way it may cost money is that these agencies, which may be understaffed, will be forced to hire private contractors, which will be much more costly than federal workers. Which agencies will feel this freeze the most? Those that deal with our most vulnerable citizens - The Veterans Administration and Social Security. Also agencies that are already understaffed such as the FDA, National Parks, and the Bureau of Land Management.
  • Taking action to repeal the ACA. Health care should be a right, not a privilege. I am one of the people this will affect. As the owner of a small business, and side work, I make too much money to qualify for medicaid. Repealing the ACA will take away my reasonably priced insurance no doubt and replace it with private, more expensive insurance - that I will not be able to afford to pay. I can barely afford my inexpensive insurance as it it. Without insurance I will not be able to afford the prescriptions I need, my necessary women's health care, my glasses or contacts, and more than likely, other basic health care needs. And I will not be the only one.
  • In a frightening turn of events, Trump removes the LGBT, Disability, Health Care, Civil Rights, and Climate Change sections from WhiteHouse.Gov. He also removed any Spanish translation from the website as well. He has alienated all minority groups, those requiring health care or special needs care, and of course, remains ignorant of the truth about climate change.
  • He gave the go ahead on building the wall on the Mexican border, which of course we, the tax payers, are funding.
  • Our new Oompa Loompa in charge has stripped federal grant money to sanctuary cities. These
    © David Lacasse
    cities include Austin, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, and most notably, New York and Washington DC. This is just to name a few. These are MAJOR cities! Many of these cities will defy this executive order to protect their citizens.$ 2.2 billion in federal funds are at risk. And what do these funds subsidize? Head Start, airport improvements, public housing, and community development. For me locally, Seattle would lose funding for supporting efforts to end internet crimes against children, aid the human trafficking task force, and assisting women after incarceration, and the biggee, a loss of funding for our ports, which affect American trade.
This blog has become longer than I intended and I have so much more to say and share. Therefore, I guess it has just become a series. More on this later.
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John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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