It’s odd how people will read this column or one of my posts on Facebook and conclude I don’t like folks at the local and state level. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
On an individual basis, I like everyone on the Fargo City Commission. I have not met a state or county official I don’t personally like. At the federal level, I guess they’re right, at least about two out of three. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is my favorite. I have no difficulty separating friendship from political ideology. Surprise! While I have Democratic leanings, I also have many Republican friends. That won’t change.
Now we learn that POTUS 45 has directed the Centers for Disease Control to ban the use of the words “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender” and “fetus,” along with “evidence-based” and “science-based.” Reports indicate that the entire Health Department may follow suit.
It’s odd how those words describe groups most in need of protection. First, he attacks the media! Then he attacks the courts! Then he praises hate groups like the KKK! Then he limits freedom of speech! Then he proposes that opponents and reporters should be jailed! Then he relies on Fox News and Sean Hannity for his world view! Then he blows his cork each and every time someone says or does something he doesn’t like — like the recently revealed story from last June, when he considered dumping his Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch for telling a senator he found 45’s attacks on the court system “disheartening and demoralizing.” I could fill up the rest of this paper with a list of his attacks on countless targets. You get the idea.
This man apparently wants to be a dictator, emperor or king. He has no idea what it takes to actually govern a democracy.
The dumbest lawyers in the world seem to be those who are trying to provide advice to this president. He takes no advice. His legal counsel are apparently too stupid to tell him that he must either take their learned advice … or they will walk.
Any good lawyer controls his client, and any good lawyer kicks that client’s butt right out the door if he doesn’t take sound legal advice.
Lawyers should have told 45 that some of his federal district and appellate court nominees were totally unfit for the positions offered. In fact, they tried. The American Bar Association, which is nonpartisan, rates candidates for lifetime appointment to the bench. Its committee recently found some of the current crop are not just “unqualified,” but “totally unqualified.” Yet these nominees’ names still made it out of the Senate committee. (Several were subsequently withdrawn because of public outrage.)
That begs the real question: What is the IQ of those who submitted these misfits for approval in the first place?
The best gift for all of the people of this country, for this holiday season and far beyond, would be a positive, simple but far-reaching realization by all of our government leaders, from the top to the local level, to remember that we live in a democracy where the will of the people counts.
We live in a country where we should (but in too many cases do not) judge people by who they are, not by their color, sex or religion.
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Now that the tax bill has passed, the wealthy have every reason to be happy with the law that Congress did not even read before passing. We who are not so financially comfortable — we who need affordable health care, the average citizen — will take it in the shorts. Remember, the tax cuts they’ve legislated for individual citizens all expire in 2025 and go back to where they are today. But the tax cuts for corporations and businesses are permanent, ad infinitum!
Because my pancreas was infected and almost totally destroyed several years ago, I am now a Type 1 diabetic, with all the extreme medical expenses that carries. The United States already pays the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. The last thing we need is to put a pharmaceutical executive in charge of the Department of Health and Human Services, which regulates prescription drugs.
Nowhere in the world are drug prices as high as they are in this country. That in and of itself is unacceptable. Yet 45 has appointed Alex Azar, the head of Eli Lily, to head the powerful agency. Azar is a man who values drug prices and profits over people’s lives. That’s a demonstrable fact.
You can take this to the bank: The judicial system will be called upon at both state and federal levels to address many problems of concern to the average citizen. There is no shortage of groups willing to take the abuse to task and into the courts. It may take time, but I am sure of one thing — we will take back our country at every level, and it’s going to happen in my lifetime. (And I’m 78, so that means it damn well better happen fast.)
At his private Christmas dinner at Mar-a-Lago with his wealthy friends, 45 announced his recent tax bill has made them all even wealthier. For once, he was telling the truth. He played the Senate like a fiddle to get the votes to pass it; lies just don’t bother the man. What is worse is that others who are in power know he’s lying, but support him anyway. Do you remember how he claimed the changes in the bill would mean he himself would suffer financially? Clearly, that’s another lie … but until he reveals his tax returns, which he refuses to do, we will not know the rest of the story.
I’m an optimist. I believe good will always prevails over evil. While this country is taking a big hit both here at home and overseas, our democratic system of government will eventually regain its balance, its prominence and its leadership role in the world. This is my wish for the new year. Amen.