Religious or Moral Exemptions for Health Care Workers

May 3, 2019 at 5:34 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Fairness | Leave a comment
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U.S. Air Force surgeons Dr. Patrick Miller (left), Dr. Michael Hughes (right), and surgical technician SrA Ray Wilson from the 379th Expeditionary Medical Squadron, repair the ruptured achilles tendon of a servicemember on March 11, 2003. The doctors are performing this surgey at a field hospital in a forward-deployed location.

President Chump has just delighted religious conservatives by issuing a rule that will shield doctors, hospitals and other health-care providers who do not want to provide abortions, sterilizations, assisted suicide, unspecified provisions in Advance Directives (presumably statements such as “I do not want medical efforts to keep me alive if …”), compulsary vaccination (!), compulsary hearing screening, and compulsary treatment for mental health problems, and who do not want to even be obliged to tell or counsel patients about abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide.

Three informative news articles on this topic are here (by Ariana Eunjung Cha, Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Amy Goldstein), here (by Ariana Eunjung Cha), and here (by Paige Winfield Cunningham).

This is a short-sighted approach.  It should lead to particular types of discrimination in hiring and employment.

In deciding whether to hire, or to re-assign or fire, or to promote a health-care worker, an employer has both the right and the duty to know whether the person is willing to perform all of the duties that are part of a given position, or is willing to perform only some of them. If only some of them, the employer has both the right and the duty to know which activities the employee will not perform.

The employer cannot wait for an emergency to obtain that information. The employer needs to know that information immediately, to ensure that all likely needs are adequately staffed by those who are willing to meet those needs. Any employer of health care workers therefore needs to require signed, witnessed statements by existing employees as well as by potential future employees.

The situation here is very much like that for concientious objectors in military service, except that heath care workers are typically not drafted into their health care roles.

The Weldon Amendment denies federal funds to Federal agencies, state agencies, and local governments if those government entities discriminate “on the basis that the health care entity does not provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions”. But that does not constrain non-govermental hospitals and medical practices.

This issue will inevitably be brought before the Supreme Court.

President Chump at Valley Forge

December 25, 2018 at 8:21 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Conceited, Disinformation, Dysfunctional Politics, Fairness, Presidential election | Leave a comment
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Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge, John Ward Dunsmore, 1906

Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge, John Ward Dunsmore, 1906

Shortly after noon on December 24, President Chump tweeted:
I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security.

(Philip Rucker, in the Washington Post.  The original tweet is here.)

This comes on top of President Chump’s repeated whining deceptive unpatriotic claim that the investigation of Putin’s interference in the US election in 2016 is “a witch hunt”.

All of these statements reek of self pity, and of trying to deflect blame.
Hence they reek of fear.

Can you imagine George Washington whining with self pity like that? Even during the cold, resource-starved, discouraging winter at Valley Forge?

Can you imagine George Washington trying to deflect blame?

President Chump – the weakest President we have ever had.

Because of his bottomless insecurity, President Chump claims superlatives whenever possible. But he did not realize that by his tweets he was inadvertantly claiming to be the ‘weakest President’.

Here are truthful superlatives that apply to President Chump:

– The largest number of whining tweets.

– The Whiner in Chief.

– The Chief Whino.

Eugene Robinson, in the Washington Post, has concisely summarized America’s greatest current problem:

The chaos all around us is what happens when the nation elects an incompetent, narcissistic, impulsive and amoral man as president.

It is difficult, at the moment, to fully assess the damage Trump is wreaking. We have never had a president like him, so history is a poor guide. For his racism, we can perhaps look back to Woodrow Wilson; his general unfitness to hold the nation’s highest office recalls the hapless Andrew Johnson. Maybe Andrew Jackson was as impetuous, maybe Richard M. Nixon as venal.

In connection with Andrew Jackson, “impetuous” should be expanded to “impetuous and cruel”. With that extension, the statement still applies to President Chump.

Mitch McConnell’s Conflict of Interest

October 14, 2018 at 5:37 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Conceited, Dysfunctional Politics, Fairness, Presidential election | Leave a comment
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Mitch McConnell at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Mitch McConnell at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

 

Mitch McConnell has a conflict of interest.

Elaine Chao, Trump's Secretary of the Department of Transportation.

Elaine Chao, Trump’s Secretary of the Department of Transportation.

His wife, Elaine Chao, is Secretary of Transportation in President Chump’s Cabinet.  Hence she is a member of the Trump Regime.

This explains why McConnell suddenly stopped barking at Trump, and now wags his tail instead.

This is a clear conflict of interest: a member of Congress is the spouse of a member of the executive branch.  That undercuts the effectiveness of the Constitution’s deliberate separation of powers, which was intended to have each of the three branches of government prevent abuses and mistakes by the other two branches.

Instead of trying to temper the effects of his conflict of interest, McConnell has embraced them.

When Mitch McConnell refused to do his duty when Merrick Garland was nominated for the Supreme Court, he had abandoned most of his principles, but not all of them.

Now he has abandoned the rest.

Merrick Garland. This photograph was provided to the press by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2016 on the occasion of Garland's nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States by US President Barack Obama. At the time Garland was chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, having served as a federal judge on the court since 1997.

Merrick Garland. This photograph was provided to the press by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2016 on the occasion of Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States by US President Barack Obama. At the time Garland was chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, having served as a federal judge on the court since 1997.

 

The New York Times Should Sue President Chump

October 8, 2018 at 8:08 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Conceited, Disinformation, Dysfunctional Politics, Enemies of Freedom, Enemies of Planet Earth | Leave a comment
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Upside-down version of Trump Sr. at Citizens United Freedom Summit in Greenville South Carolina May 2015, photo by Michael Vadon.

Upside-down version of Trump Sr. at Citizens United Freedom Summit in Greenville South Carolina May 2015, photo by Michael Vadon.

President Trump is his official name, but President Chump is his descriptive name.

Chump’s lawyer, Charles Harder, recently threatened that Chump might sue the New York Times for its explosive revelations about Chump’s tax dodges, and those of his father. Tuesday, October 2. David Fahrenthold’s article in the Washington Post is a useful summary, and includes two enlightening videos.

Also galling to Chump was the Times’ evidence that he was not at all a self-made man, but had a huge financial leg up, from his father.

As Paul Farhi notes in an article in the Washington Post, Chump often threatens to sue and then does not sue – exactly the behavior expended of a habitual bully such as himself.

My own reading is that Chump is especially unlikely to sue in this case, because doing so would subject his tax forms to scrutiny by a judge and a jury, and would force the revelation to the public of at least summaries of what he wants to hide.

The shenanigans in Chump’s tax forms are the reason that he never delivered on his repeated promises during the 2016 Presidential campaign that he would release his tax forms.

The New York Times should sue President Chump for libelling the professional integrity and due diligence of its reporters and editors, and the consequent damage the Times’ credibility and reputation, and to the credibility and reputation of the reporters and editors who worked on the story.

If the Times sued Chump, much of what Chump wants to hide would be revealed.

To sue would be the patriotic thing for the New York Times to do, as well as the direct way to undo Chump’s damage to the Times.

Besides defending the Times’ reputation, taking Chump to court would reap widespread public good will, and probably a significant number of new online subscribers.

Trumpkin Chumpkin for Halloween

September 16, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Conceited, Disinformation, Dysfunctional Politics, Enemies of Freedom, Presidential election | Leave a comment
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A Trumpkin, a President Chumpkin, full of lies, cruelty, arrogance and ignorance. By thepoliblog .

A Trumpkin, a President Chumpkin, full of lies, cruelty, arrogance and ignorance. By thepoliblog .

Note the Trumpkin Chumpkin’s realistic features:
Lies issuing from both sides of his mouth.
Cruel teeth. This abominable person separates children from their parents, and then locks them up in a pantry, for later consumption.
Demented eyes, each looking anywhere except at the facts.
A nose for what his “base” wants to hear, regardless of its falsity.

President Chump tried to pin the label of treason on the anonymous White House official who wrote the OpEd in the New York Times.

Chump, it might be treason to your brand, but it is not treason to the United States.

Chump, treason is what occurred when you talked with Sergey Lavrov and Sergey Kislyak in what had formerly been the Oval Office of the White House, in May 2017. You pollute every person and every organization you touch. As long as your presence continues to pollute the White House, the Oval Office is transformed into the Offal Office, the Awful Office.
From President Chump’s mouth to Putin’s ear, via Lavrov and Kislyak.

Treason is Donald Jr’s “I love it!” in anticipation of the June 9, 2016 meeting in Trump Tower in 2016, where he expected to obtain damaging information that Russia had obtained about Hillary Clinton. Given Don’s expectations, his participation was treasonous, because he his statement indicates that he would have been willing to broadcast information obtained by Russian Intelligence Services: information whose broadcast was desired by Russian Intelligence Services, and whose broadcast would have constituted Russian interference in an American election. Don was therefore hoping to collude with a foreign power.

Treason is also Trump fabricating a cover-up story for Donald Jr about that meeting: Trump had Don Jr. claim that the discussion in Trump Tower was about American adoptions of Russian children, not about Don Jr. expected the meeting to discuss, nor about what it actually did discuss.

Treason is Presudent Chump attempting to abort and otherwise impede an investigation of Putin’s interference in the US Presidential election in 2016.

Treason is candidate Trump calling out, “Russia, if you’re listening …” In that July 27, 2016 statement, Trump begged for collusion by Russia, to help Trump win the Presidential election.

An instructive article by Dana Milbank in the Washington Post chronicles the remarkably many people who President Chump has accused of treason. Recall the story of the Emperor with no clothes, who had been flattered into believing that he was stunningly dressed. If that Emperor had been President Chump, he would have charged with treason the person who yelled out the truth.

President Chump often screams “Fake News!”, to devalue unfavorable news.
What a hypocrite!
He deliberately generates fake news. Pretending to sometimes be John Miller, sometimes be John Barron, and sometimes to be John Baron, he told lies about himself to the news media.

President Chump accused President Obama of spending to much time playing golf!
What a hypocrite!

Candidate Chump and President Chump tries to pin the label lyin’ on Hillary Clinton and on everyone else who opposes him.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Who is the biggest liar of them all?

Lets return to President Chump’s inability to distinguish between loyalty to himself and loyalty to the country.

This inability is due in part to Chump’s fragile ego. To preserve his self-esteme, Chump hides the fragility of his ego from himself by being an ego-maniac, who sees the world as revolving about himself.

But Chump’s inability to distinguish between loyalty to himself and loyalty to the country also because President Chump is the President who would be King.

Chump thought that being the President meant being a non-hereditary King – not a constitutional monarch, but like Henry VIII. Henry VIII didn’t have to to distinguish between loyalty to himself and loyalty to his country.

Chump boasts that while a student he didn’t read the assigned texts. He is proud of having gotten through by guessing, and takes that to be proof of a superior intelligence. So Chump didn’t know that the US President is not a King.

Chump’s desire to be an old-school King is why he admires authoritarian leaders like Putin, Duterte, and Xi. It is also why Chump thinks that Obama, Merkel, and May are weak.

Chump’s preference for authoritarian leaders is one reason for Chump having become Putin’s chihuahua.

Another reason is that Russian investors close to Putin bailed Trump out of his company’s latest bankrupcy. Putin bought Trump, and Trump knows it.

President Chump’s preference for authoritarian leaders is why he – unlike previous Presidents – is not the leader of the free world. The present leaders of the free world are Merkel, Macron, and Trudeau.

Posters and Chants Against Depravity

June 21, 2018 at 7:37 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Climate change, Conceited, Crime and punishment, Disinformation, Dysfunctional Politics, Enemies of Freedom, Enemies of Planet Earth, Fairness, Global warming, Presidential election | Leave a comment
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President Trump = President Chump

Dump President Chump

No More Concentration Camps for Kids

                 Trump
Made America Ashamed Again

Trump the Chump
Toxic for America

Fox News
Fux News

Murdoch of Mordor
Murders the News

Fox and Fiends
Font of Fake News

Hannity Is Insanity

              Disloyal Donald
Putin’s point-man in the White House

    Trump is Cruel and Unusual
Punishment for the United States

Trump is Evil

President Chump Undermines America

                  President Chump
Inadvertent Agent of a Hostile Government

The Soviets had a name for people like Chump:
                     Useful Idiot!

            Rupert Murdoch
America’s Most Toxic Immigrant

 

These slogans were all created by thepoliblog.WordPress.com,
who hereby declares them to be in the public domain.

Canada, Mexico, and NAFTA

June 7, 2018 at 6:51 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Conceited, Disinformation, Fairness | Leave a comment
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In the San Juan de Dios Market in Guadalajara, Jalisco, MEXICO. Photo by Christian Frausto Bernal (Tepic, Nayarit, MEXICO), on 26 June 2006.

In the San Juan de Dios Market in Guadalajara, Jalisco, MEXICO. Photo by Christian Frausto Bernal (Tepic, Nayarit, MEXICO), on 26 June 2006.

It is possible to preserve NAFTA in effect, if not in name, despite Trump’s attacks and despite his divide-and-conquer tactics.

President Chump is a more accurate terminology than President Trump, so that is what he will be called in what follows.

To preserve NAFTA in effect, the most important thing is to forestall President Chump’s divide-and-conquer tactic.

Chump prefers one-on-one negociations, because in one-on-one negociations he is better able to bully and to lie.

Canada and Mexico should agree beforehand that in all negociations on trade with the US, their positions will be coordinated, even during negociations between the US and only one of those countries.

Before any further trade negotiations with the US, Canada and Mexico should agree on an initial combined list of features that they want to have in their agreements with the US. They should jointly announce those initial goals, while stressing their understanding that the list may be revised as a result of the negotiations with the US.

They should then announce that even during any one-on-one negotiations with the US, the currently-negociating non-US negotiator will accept only what is also accepted by the not-currently-negotiating non-US negotiator. It should be explicitly announced that the two countries will always synchronize their agreements with the US, much as a person’s smart phone and computer are often kept synchronized even when each is used separately.

Let A and B be abbreviations for the two non-US negotiators.

During all trade negotiations with the US, A should insist that it will accept only changes that are also accepted in side-discussions between A and B, even if that forces a prior agreement between B and the US to be updated before A‘s negotiations with the US can continue.

Britain and the EU can similarly defeat Chump’s divide-and-conquer attempts in negotiations with with them.

At all times, keep in mind that Chump wants to bully you, that he is psychopathic liar, famous for falsely promising whatever his target wants to hear, and that divide-and-conquer helps him to get away with both bullying and with lying.

To counter a would-be-bully, remind him of his inadequacies and insecurities. Do so at every opportunity.

Practice, so that whenever you shake Chump’s hand, you have grip of steel. With his small hands, Chump won’t be able to exert as much force. The goal is to make his orange face turn red, and then white.

Ask Chump whether he admires his brother, and wants to follow in his brother’s footsteps. (On second thought, research that topic before deciding whether to ask those questions. But there are other ways of keeping him off balance.)

By limiting the damage that flea-brained Chump can do to international trade, you will be doing a great service to the US and to the world, as well as to your own country.

“Flea-brained” is a precise description in Chump’s case, because a flea hops first here, then there, and never thinks carefully before the next hop.

Trump Has Admitted His Guilt

June 1, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Crime and punishment, Disinformation, Enemies of Freedom, Presidential election | Leave a comment
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Men in Bramhall stocks, Bramhall, England, 1900, unknown photographer.

Men in Bramhall stocks, Bramhall, England, 1900, unknown photographer.

Trump has admitted his guilt, without realizing that he has done so.

This point was made recently by Paul Waldman, in an article in the Washington Post.

Quoting from that aricle, “According to a January New York Times story, when Sessions decided to recuse himself, “the president erupted in anger in front of numerous White House officials, saying he needed his attorney general to protect him.” (Emphasis added.)

There would be no need for the Attorney General to protect Trump from the investigation of Putin’s interference in the the Presidential election in 2016, if Trump had not done something illegal in connection with that election.

The Attorney General’s job is to protect the American people from crime, not to protect the President – or anyone else – from the consequences of illegal actions.

About the nature of Trump’s crime, we know only that it pertains to Putin’s interference in the Presidential election in 2016. That is the topic that always presses Trump’s buttons, and elicits his most feverishly desparate reactions.

Further evidence of Trump’s knowledge of his own guilt occured in Trump’s meeting with Sessions in March 2017. According to Paul Waldman’s article, “[Trump’s] grievance was with Mr. Sessions: The president objected to [Session’s] decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. Mr. Trump, who had told aides that he needed a loyalist overseeing the inquiry, berated Mr. Sessions and told him he should reverse his decision, an unusual and potentially inappropriate request.” Why would Trump need “a loyalist overseeing the inquiry”, if he wasn’t scared about some fact connected to this particular topic?

See also the previous post on this blog.

I know it won’t happen, but for such a hypocrite I cannot resist: “Lock him up!

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Who Should Squelch Lies and Trolls on Social Media?

June 30, 2017 at 8:25 pm | Posted in Disinformation, Enemies of Freedom, Presidential election | Leave a comment
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John Bauer (1882-1918), artist, in 1915: "Look at them," troll mother said. "Look at my sons! You won't find more beautiful trolls on this side of the moon."

John Bauer (1882-1918), artist, in 1915: “Look at them,” troll mother said. “Look at my sons! You won’t find more beautiful trolls on this side of the moon.”

By now you have read and seen the damage caused by the flood of misleading or harassing material on social media. Vulnerable teens have committed suicide, ordinary adults have become fearful and intimidated, fools have become enraged vigilantes, racists have infected those with weak mental immune systems, and President Chump has been elected.

Elizabeth Dwoskin’s recent article in the Washington Post describes how Twitter and Facebook and Google are trying to weaken the flood.

Colin Crowell is the Vice President of Policy at Twitter. Dwoskin’s article quoted something that Crowell had written recently, and it is worth discussing here, because it states a misunderstanding that is prevalent in all of the major social media companies.

Dwoskin wrote, ““We, as a company, should not be the arbiter of truth,” Crowell wrote earlier this month. He emphasized that Twitter users — “journalists, experts, and engaged citizens” — tweet side by side to correct public discourse every day in real time.”

The fallacy in Crowell’ argument is that the corrections are not really in real time. They are never soon enough. The misleading material reaches the public before any retractions or corrections appear, and sits out there, at least briefly unopposed.

Correcting misleading material is like closing the barn door after the horse has escaped.

Only a tiny fraction of those who see the misleading material will ever see the retraction or the correction.

Even among those who do see the correction, the first-seen version often makes the deepest impression.

The timing is such that most of the simple-minded and all of the malicious will propagate the uncorrected version.

Sociopathic liar that he is, Donald Trump regularly exploits this weakness of all of the media: public appearances, TV, the print media, and the social media.


That the misleading material is seen first, and the stickiness of first impressions – those are inconvenient truths for the social media giants. The social media giants do not want the expense that would be required to pre-disinfect the stream that flows onto their platforms, nor do they relish the potential legal battles that any gate-keeper may face.

Good technical and legal solutions are not yet known. But at least the social media should drop the self-serving illusion that they can evade at least some gate-keeping role.

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President Chump, You Cannot Distract Us

June 6, 2017 at 7:59 am | Posted in Abuse of Office, Conceited, Disinformation, Enemies of Freedom | 1 Comment
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Orangutans can use objects in creative ways. Photo taken by Postdif from Wikipedia, at the Philadelphia Zoo on 8 May 2010.

Orangutans can use objects in creative ways. Photo taken by Postdif from Wikipedia, at the Philadelphia Zoo on 8 May 2010.

To President Chump –

When others point out inconvenient facts about you, one of your favorite tactics is to change the subject. You deliberately do something attention-grabbing, to distract the public’s attention away from the inconvenient facts.

When there are questions about the connections of you and your gang to Putin’s regime, you squawk instead about how those inconvenient facts became widely known. You squawk about leaks – you, who said “I love Wikileaks” during the campaign, when leaks had been crafted to harm your opponent, just like the more recent “leaks” that were crafted to harm Emmanuel Macron‘s campaign for the Presidency of France.

That doesn’t work any more. We are on to you.

Speakers and posters at the March for Truth on June 3 said so, loud and clear.

Every morning, you will wake up to us asking again about your taxes.

You will wake up to us asking again about your conflicts of interest.

You will wake up to us asking again about your loyalty.

You will wake up to us asking again about whether you are a security risk – you, the first US President ever to have been called The Leaker in Chief.  (Yes, that was one of the posters at the March for Truth.)

Perhaps Mar-a-Lago should be renamed Mar-a-Leako.

The March for Truth on June 3, 2017, in Portland, Oregon, which was one of its many cities.  Photographed by 'Another Believer'.

The March for Truth on June 3, 2017, in Portland, Oregon, which was one of its many cities. Photographed by ‘Another Believer’.

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