Saturday Selects: What is Going on in the White House

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write on the ocassional Saturday to discuss a topic outside the general bookish theme of the blog. Today, well I could talk about the White House everyday if I wanted to.

Guys, it doesn’t take a Democrat or Republican to see that the White House is in turmoil. Every time we think something may have passed or we’ve gotten through the worst of it something else takes its place. I know some would have you believe that it’s the media doing this, but really? Are we really supposed to believe the media is responsible for all of these things that are happening?

I mean, we can believe whatever we choose to, right?

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Saturday Selects: No Better Time Than Now

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write on the ocassional Saturday to discuss topics outside the general bookish theme of the blog. Today the topic is healthcare.

The House passed their healthcare bill to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act this week. Here’s some of what will change. Americans with preexisting conditions may not be able to afford coverage. Why not? Because the bill takes us back to the days in which insurers could discriminate against these people by charging them outrageous premiums. The bill allocates $8 billion dollars for these people in high risk pools. Every estimate by conservative, liberal, and non partisan groups agrees this number will fall short of what’s needed to keep these people covered. As in tens of billions of dollars short. Medicaid expansion will end. The individual mandate is gone. Essential services will no longer be included in every policy available. More people will die.

Except there’s one thing many don’t understand. Nothing is set in stone. The bill has been sent to the Senate where it will undergo change after change due to how it’s currently written. I believe that if Mitch McConnell were to call a vote on the bill as written with no changes that it would fail. The problem (again) is that the parties aren’t working together on this. I’ll admit I wasn’t happy with how the Affordable Care Act was originally passed, but there’s no denying the real positives that have come from it. And also the shortfalls. 

The American Healthcare Act just passed by the House is not the law of the land. And regardless of political affiliation, I hope you’ll join me in making sure it never reaches the president’s desk. Call your senators!

We deserve better. We deserve better from our elected officials. We deserve better when it comes to the healthcare in the supposed “greatest country on earth”.

Saturday Selects: The Failure of AHCA

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write on the ocassional Saturday. This week I’m talking the AHCA.

The GOP controls both houses of Congress and the White House. For seven years they’ve talked about repealing the Affordable Care Act, the landmark healthcare legislation signed into law by President Obama. The ACA has more Americans insured than at any other point in history. But no one says the law is perfect. Some have seen premium hikes in recent years. Some small, rural areas have only one insurer to choose from. Insurers claim that enrollees are sicker than they anticipated.

With the imperfections in mind one would think the GOP would have an easy path to repeal. Wrong. Not because they didn’t try but because the bill they put forth was such a disaster that members from every faction of the GOP came out against it. The final nail in the coffin of the AHCA was the removal of language in the bill that would require insurers to provide basic preventative services in all policies. Why someone would seek the removal of such language is simply beyond my comprehension.

The GOP quickly realized that the ACA is far from perfect, but their own attempt at healthcare reform turned out to be an historical dud.

I don’t see why legislators can’t look at the deficiencies of the ACA and set out to fix them rather than set out to repeal and replace a law that has helped more than 20 million people gain coverage.

Saturday Selects: Why I Love Museums

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write on the ocassional Saturday about topics outside the general bookish theme of the blog. Today I’m discussing museums.

I think if you’re reading this you likely know about my trip to DC last year. For four days I went to every museum I possibly could. After the conclusion of the trip I still have a lengthy list of museums in and around DC I want to visit. A month before I went to DC last year I went to Austin for two days. It was the first time I visited one of the presidential libraries. In those two days I went to four museums and the state capitol of Texas. Next month I’m spending eight days in Boston.

As you can see I’m just about obsessed with museums. Quite honestly I’d like to visit every museum I possibly can during my brief time roaming Earth. But the question I often get is “Why?”. Why do I want to travel to different cities of the world just to go to museums?

I’ll tell you. That’s where all the history lives. I’m not saying there aren’t bits of history scattered throughout cities and historical places, but for what is typically a nominal admission fee you’re granted access to hundreds, thousands, and in some cases millions of pieces of individual history. How great is that!

You don’t have to be a history buff to appreciate the opportunity museums give us. We’re allowed to learn about cultures, eras, wars, and movements because people behind the scenes have usually devoted their lives to preserving history and historical artifacts of all shapes and sizes.

I love museums because I’m only one person in one era living one life experience, but I’m so eager to learn about the things I haven’t and won’t be able to experience. Museums are time machines. And who doesn’t love those?

Saturday Selects: The Consequences of Inaction

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write on the ocassional Saturday on topics that fall outside the general bookish theme of the blog. Yes, today is Sunday.

I have a story to tell. It doesn’t have a happy ending. I have three dogs. One large dog and two small ones. Over the last few months the large dog has been aggressive toward both of my other dogs. In December I said it was time to get rid of the large dog. But my recommendation was not acted on. My other family members seemed to be more concerned with how much they claim to love the large dog rather than the fact that the two other dogs were in danger.

Two days ago there was another incident. And again nothing was done. They continued to just act as if everything was normal. There was another incident early this morning. The time for action has long passed. Emergency surgery and thousands of dollars forces one’s hand.

This is what happens when you take for granted your ability to take action in a timely manner. Your animals shouldn’t be forced to live in fear. They’re members of your family just like your siblings, parents, and children are. If you have an aggressive animal, take immediate action. Just like you would if your family member was in immediate danger.

My family didn’t. And our dog will be a constant reminder of what happens when you don’t do something when you still have the chance.

Saturday Selects: The Media

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write on the ocassional Saturday to discuss topics outside the general bookish theme of the blog.

It’s 2017 and it seems like the only institution anyone wants to talk about is the media. Let me first acknowledge what I believe to be a simple fact. No President of The United States really likes the media. Why? Because the media holds the president accountable. No one enjoys being called out when things don’t go according to plan. But it’s part of the job and the freedom of the press is written into the Constitution.

YouTube is full of videos of former presidents acknowledging the importance of the press in American society. Presidents and lawmakers have acknowledged this since the dawn of this country.

But the current administration doesn’t buy into any of that. Its official stance is that every media outlet that criticizes the administration is fake news. I don’t have to tell you what happens when the press is constantly belittled by a person in power. We’ve seen it in our history books.

You know how every time a politician talks about new gun restrictions you get people all over the country saying, “2ND AMENDMENT! 2ND AMENDMENT!”? For some reason those same people are unwilling to stand up for the Amendment that comes right before it. So many people in this country don’t care about the freedom to practice any religion unless it’s Christianity. So many people in this country don’t care about the freedom of speech unless it’s in agreement with their beliefs. So many people in this country don’t care about the freedom to protest unless the protest is in line with their views. So many people in this country don’t care about the freedom of the press, especially when it’s criticizing their views.

But way too many people in this country believe the 2nd Amendment is holy. People will always pick and choose what to care about and defend, that’s not new. I find it frustrating that more people aren’t standing up for the media like they do for their guns or their religion.

Donald Trump and his administration can say whatever they want to say, but the media is not the enemy of the American people. The media has several responsibilities, but right at or near the top of that list is to hold the President of the United States accountable for his or her actions. And members of the media will continue to do so long after Donald Trump is out of office.

Saturday Selects: Disney Classics

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write that fall outside the general bookish theme of the blog. Today we’re talking movies.

In recent years Disney has released live-action versions of some of its most beloved animated classics. The Jungle Book. Cinderella. Etc. The trend is continuing very soon with the release of Beauty and the Beast.

I’ve seen people my age become excited for just about every remake they’ve done in recent years. I imagine there’s a feeling of nostalgia involved. Like what I’d feel if Rugrats was brought back. I haven’t shared in any of the excitement for these movies. Because I haven’t seen any of the originals. *runs*

That’s right. I know someone who is obsessed with Disney princesses and I couldn’t even talk about the plots of these movies. John Legend and Ariana Grande covered the theme song from the new Beauty and the Beast movie, so I listed to see if it’d bring back any memories. I’d never heard it before.

People talk about The Lion King online as if everyone knows Evert detail about it. But I don’t. I don’t know anything about it. I think a lion dies? I don’t know.

The point is I’m lost when it comes to Disney animated classics. Is there something EVERYONE seems to be familiar with that you just haven’t been exposed to?