Open Letter to GOP 

This was a letter I sent to my congresswoman in protest of her vote on the House #AHCA bill. I make the same available now to all Republican Senators especially the Texas Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, also to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.  

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Dear U.S. Rep. Kay Granger,Cc: Sen Ted Cruz, John Cornyn
I disagree with your vote on U.S. House Resolution 228 (Procedural vote on Obamacare repeal and replace: Passed 230 to 194 in the U.S. House).

In my opinion the entire Republican healthcare agenda has become about “getting” Obama rather than solving our healthcare problem. 

When did it become American to say to young Americans, “do not buy into the healthcare system because you’d be subsidizing old people”? 

That was the message we heard over and over from Republicans during the 2009/2010 healthcare debate from the likes of Rand Paul and Paul Ryan. They seem to forget it is the same young people that grow to be old people. During the transition for youth to old age, some have children, then grand children etc. 

It did not end there, Paul Ryan in introducing the very flawed AHCA divided the country into 

  1. Young vs Old
    • Young people who he said shouldn’t be paying for or subsidizing  old people
    • Old people who he said should not be paying for or, subsidizing young people starting and/or growing a family. 
  2. Men vs Women:
    • Men who he said should not be paying for women’s contraceptive because men can never be pregnant.
    • Women should not be paying for men’s ED medications, they will never have an erection. 
  3. Singles vs Couples:
    • Single people who he said should not be paying for children because they don’t have any. 

You should really sit back and think about that for a moment. What the Republicans are creating is an extremely selfish population devoid of empathy for family and friends.

Republicans are creating an extremely selfish population devoid of empathy for family and friends. 

They are asking kids not to support their parents, parents not to support their children, grandparent not to be concerned about grandchildren. We are telling men to ignore the needs of their sisters, mothers, girlfriends and wives. 

What in Gods name is wrong with us? What is wrong with you, our lawmakers?

Republicans in particular want every pregnancy to result in live birth but then strip every support for pre and post natal care for mother and child. We turn pregnancy into an affliction for which women particularly must be punished.

May I remind you that young people grow up to be old people. It takes a man and a woman to make a child.  

No provision is made for that person who lived a healthy life and was insured through their transition from youth to old age.  No one hospitalization, no surgeries not major illness or infections in their youth. They turn 61 and bingo, they penalized for it.  Under ACA, their premium may see a 300% increase (3x). Under the GOP bill, the insurance providers are allowed a 500% increase in premium for old people. 

Their only crime is turning 61, growing old. It is very likely that this very healthy youth will be a very healthy senior but in the United States of America, that is a crime punishable by tripling (and if the GOP get their way, quintupling ) their premiums and deductibles. 30-40 years of premium become a donation to commercial interests for CEOs to live large. 

When did it become an American value to diminish our old people at the time of their greatest need?

Open letter to my Rep Kay Granger (R-TX)

Dear Congresswoman Kay Granger

The election of Donald Trump has stired up emotions that while not entirely new to our politics are unusually rancorous this election cycle. I have two main concerns that I’d like to share with you and hopefully get some answers. 

Why has there been no effort  in Congress to get Donald Trump to release his tax returns? Presidential candidates since Richard Nixon have released their tax returns and divested or put into a blind trust their personal investments. They do this to avoid future decisions being influenced by their personal interest and more importantly avoid the appearance of impropriety. Yes the President is exempt from conflict of interest rules but the Republican party prides itself as the party of accountability, integrity and transparency. Why is it that this President, a GOP president, whose businesses have global reach with their attendant conflict of interest  implications than any presidents, probably in history of American presidents, is allowed to flaunt this decades old tradition. 

I believe it when US intelligence say that foreign agents did try (even if they didn’t succeed ), to interfere with the 2016 elections. So I ask you, as an American, are you concerned about the integrity of our elections? What are you doing or going to do to determine the extent of this interference?  Don’t you think we owe it to the future of our democracy to find out how it happened and who is responsible for it so that we can prevent future occurrences? 

It is my firm belief that presidential candidates run for office with good intension and  on a vision for direction and goals for the country. When a candidate wins, it is the responsibility of the legislature to implement that vision that the people voted for to the benefit of all Americans, in the most cost effective way. It is not the role of the 530 legislators to substitute their own agenda or vision individually or collectively as the GOP did for 6 of 8 Obama years. It is wrong for Congress to declare their goal to be seeing to it that the President fail. Failure of the President is failure of the country as you must know and admit. I hope that the Democrats, led by Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi will live up to their pledge to work with Trump administration for the benefit of Americans. They should not seek revenge for the GOP obstructionism during the Obama years.  I hope that the GOP legislative agenda will not be driven by simmering hatred and desire to erase Obama’s presidency from history books. 

On healthcare, the GOP have advertised repeal and replace slogn for 6years. They are so set on the repeal part they forgot to prepare a replacement.  If the Republicans we’re sincere in their desire to repeal and replace, you would think they’d have something in the six years the tried 62 times to repeal.  I don’t know why our healthcare has to be a third grade soccer game, kicked around aimlessly. Whatever youWyou decide to do, I want you to know that the following provisions of the ACA are important to me and I’m pretty sure to many of my fellow constituents. 

1. preexisting condition is not an impediment to healthcare access

2. I like that there are no more lifetime cap to healthcare spend. That complicated childbirth will never again create an uninsurable child. Many like myself have had coverage continuously for over 40 years without any claims or hospitalization. As we approach an age where we need the services, I worry we would be denied irrespective of my lifelong record. 

3. I like that kids stayed on parents coverage till age 26. Before  ACA, I paid $400/month for my young adults on top of my own premium. So ACA saved me $4800/year/child. We are lucky that my family has been blessed with good health we never had to draw on the insurance. Today, all three kids are grown successful and paying for their own coverage. 

4. I like that pregnancy is no longer a preexisting condition requiring suplemental coverage.

5, I like that preventive checkup does not require additional cost beyond my premium. 

6, I like that there is a chance for a refund if the provider spend is below given maximum. 

7. I like that contraceptives and prescription drugs are included with the premium

Yes the ACA is not perfect as we all acknowledge. What changes do you plan to make that cannot be implemented with an amendment? Why does the law have to be repealed for changes to be made?

I hope to see you soon at a town hall meeting so you can put a face to the name .  

Sincerely 

Your constituent

 

Okey moronu. 

An Open letter to my Senator John Cronyn

I heard you say that “Although Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, it doesn’t make a darn difference. Democrats should stop being angry and rally behind the president [sic]”. Stop and rally behind a man who spent 6 years orchestrating a delegitimization of a duly elected president. A president who, unlike Trump won both popular and electoral votes by considerable margin. That kind of talk you engage in is driving people into the streets. Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote means she got more real human Americans supporting her candidacy, whose view on the direction the country takes must be considered and respected. You cannot continue to treat them with arrogant disregard and disdain.

May I ask, why are actions deemed unconstitutional overreach under the Obama administration suddenly become the presidents’ constitutional duty under Donald Trump? 

Trump has been nominating to his cabinet, people who do not meet the vast majority of real people who voted for Hillary Clinton half-way. He did not win the popular vote as you noted but he is making sure he only responds to the minority of the population that gave him the win. No attempt to reach across to the majority he lost. I can’t say whether he is just being in character (I know Donald Trump is a very vindictive man), he is unaware of the impact on the people (I doubt that, all he has to do is look on the tv) or he is just getting bad advice. 

 The nomination of Jef Sessions for instance should be disturbing to every true objective American. This man who is tagged to be the chief law enforcement officer stood by while an angry mob, including President Trump, chanted “Lock her up” without an attempt to temp that down. When asked why, he was not apologetic nor bothered by the effect on most people who gave Hillary Clinton the popular vote victory.

 The nomination Neil Gorsuch,  whom you called mainstream is an affront to all the little people. The man believes in blanket immunity for government agencies. The man believes that corporations are people who can impose reproductive choices on their employees base on the corporations’ religion. The man has a very long history of right wing religious activism that we do not need. The authors of the constitution knew 200 years ago that congress should pass no laws respecting the establishment of any religion. It means, laws must be based on what is in the interest of the people. There must never be a religious litmus test. Religion should remain a private relation between the individual and their faith object. No law must be passed that allow any person, including corporations (who Gorsuch seem to believe are people) to discriminate on the basis of religion.  

As the GOP rant and rave with righteous indignation over the questioning of Trump nominees, I will remind you that , on Jan 20, 2009 as the country celebrated the triumph of peaceful transition of power as represented by our democratic process, Republican Leadership huddled and plotted the subversion of the newly elected president who hadn’t even taken office. The GOP proceeded to execute on that plot to subvert through the promise made by the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell declared that the goal of the GOP was to make sure President Obama failed. Today, every GOP Senator tell us that Trump won and therefore his agenda is the will of the people, a deference they seem to think Obama who won both popular and electoral vote by an unprecedented margin, did not deserve.

 When Obama used executive order to shield people who arrived in the US as children, and have known no other country for 7 years or more, you Sen Cornyn and Ted Cruz led a GOP group that filed a law suit challenging the presidents authority. 

Now Donald Trump uses executive order to ban Moslems arriving in the US including those legal residents. Now you claim that it is the responsibility of the president to determine who comes in and who doesn’t, who stays and who doesn’t. 

 May I ask, why are actions deemed an unconstitutional overreach under the Obama administration suddenly become the president constitutional duty under Donald Trump?

 For almost 1 year, the GOP denied Obama’s Supreme court nominee, Merrick Garland the curtesy of a hearing for a reason even you know is blatantly unconstitutional. The excuse that we have started an election process and that, as McConnell put it, let the American people decide. That statement suggests Obama was not elected by the American people which reminds me of McConnels pledge at the start of Obamas presidency : McConnell stated that his goal was to see Obama fail and subsequently embarked on the most obstruction in the history of the United States senate.

 I can’t claim to know how to resolve the impasse but I do know that the message those people in he streets heard from the extreme obstruction of the Obama presidency, the 60 vote threshold demanded by GOP to approve Obama’s nominees, the demand that all Obama cabinet appointees be fully vetted before any confirmation hearing, but now demanding that Trump’s appointees be rushed through without completing the vetting strikes one as suggesting  that only Republican President have mandate to govern.

 My advice to you and your GOP colleagues is, cut out the double speak. Be honest for once in your life (I don’t know how you can sleep after your public utterances). Stop demanding that the majority that is upset “grow up and accept the result of the election”. Trump for years did not accept Obama’s presidency and did everything he could to delegitimize it. He has never apologized for that extremely divisive campaign he carried on for nearly 6 years. Not one GOP leader has called him on that or suggest that he offer a proper apology to the majority of Americans who voted for Obama, yet here we are, you and other GOP leaders, complaining about the resistance of a majority of Americans to Trump’s nominees who,  they see as negatively impacting their lives.

I also suggest you visit the conversation Retired Supreme Court Justice David Souter had with  Margaret Warner back in 2012 titled “Constitutionally Speaking with Justice David Souter and Margaret Warner”. It is a shame that our law makers have let partisanship slowly but surely erode the foundations of our democracy. 

 My  personal belief is that when candidates run for the office of the president of United states, they articulate a vision for America they believe will move America forward. The people choose their president based on their understanding of that vision the candidates articulated.  It is the role of the legislature to help implement that vision in the most cost effective way because that is what the people want. It is not the role of the legislature to substitute their own vision for that of the duly elected president as the GOP did for the latter  6 years of the Obama presidency.

 If at the end of a 4 year term, the people decide whether they like what the POTUS started in which case, they re-elect him/her to advance the vision further otherwise they replace the person. it is not the role of the legislature to substitute their agenda for that articulated by a duly elected president. We cannot let the egomaniacs in the legislature to subvert an elected president by substituting their own agenda or vision. 

 

In Response to Moslem Woman Asra Nomani, who voted for Trump explains

I admire this woman, Asra Nomani‘s conviction. A true liberal in every sense of the word. I do however take issue with the wide brush she used to paint Liberals here as intolerant considering she claims to be one. Yes some people disagree with you and express that disagreement in a most appalling way. Yes those people might just be fellow Liberals, but that does not justify labeling all liberals as narrow minded intolerants. 

Remember that the leadership of the Democratic Party have pledged to work with Trump on issues where they can find and indeed can reach a common ground. A very liberal and democratic stance in my opinion. 

Contrast that with the GOP leadership after 2008 election. On Jan 20, 2009, inauguration night, as we clelbrate the triumph of democracy in a peaceful transfer of power, the GOP leadership were holed up at a diner plotting subversion. Among the attendees at the subversion plot was the current speaker of the house Paul Ryan(R-WI), current House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Donald Trumps surrogate and former House speaker Newt Gingrich.  A plan later articulated by then Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell(R-KY) as the singular goal of the GOP – to make sure the President of the United States of America failes. In the midst of the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, the declared goal of a major US party was to see to it that the elected President, by an unprecedented popular vote margin of victory, fail. That he is not re-elected, to make him in the words is McConnell ” a one term president”  There was not a word of getting together to lift the country out of the world economic collapse. People at Fox network like Bill O’Reilly prayed for a terrorist attack on the homelamd so people can turn against Obama. Evangelicals like Pastor John Hagee and Pastor Stephen J. Anderson prayed asking God bring harm to Obama and his family. Senator David Perdu prayed for Obama’s days to be numbered. Stewart Shepherd on Family called on evangelicals to pray for torrential rain, as he put it “I’m talking ‘umbrella-ain’t-going-to-help-you rain,” to disrupt Obama’s inauguration

The GOP legislators executed their subversion plam plan very effectively, their focus so intense, their hatred of Obama so deep that they let nearly whole decade of extreme low (near 0%) interest rate go by without a single appropriation for infrastructure investment proposed by Obama administration nor did they propose any themselves. Their belief that any success is Obama success and cannot be allowed to stand.  Their goal, to make him look bad and incompetent. Their hatred of Obama trumped their love of country. They could care less about people recovering from a recession caused, in part, by GOP adventurism in Middle East conducting totally unnecessary Iraq war.

Their excuse,  they are concerned about national debt but they had no problem spending $750 million per day fighting the Iraq war off-book, away from view of Americans and the impact on national debt.

 Donald Trump, the 2016 president-elect spent 5years campaigning to delegitimize the presidency of Obama. GOP leadership are paraded on Fox network to disparage and demean the sitting US President. Rudy Giuliani speculated he was not raised to love America, Mitt Romney can’t really say whether Obama was a Christian or not even as they made the pastor of a church he attended the center of 2008 election campaign. John Sununu called him lazy and doesn’t know how “our system” work. Jack Welch accused the bureau of labor statistics, career civil servants, of “cooking the books”  to make Obama look good!

 It is refreshing to see that despite all of that demonization and the continued effort to delegitimize him, President Obama still called on Americans to unite behind the president-elect. Obama made time to sit with and walk Trump through his upcoming job duties above and beyond what previous incumbents have done for the incoming administration. It is refreshing that both Obama and Hillary have spoken out on the need to work with the President-elect for the sake of our country and the future of our children. 

A far cry from the treatment Obama got from the GOP and Donald Trump throughout his presidency. 

So if you are looking for a brush to paint Liberals, use Obama brush, he is our standard bearer. 

 

In Response to “Ministry of Transport – Amaechi, Still Discussing with President Buhari on National Carrier”

 

Rotini Amaechi - Minister for transport
Mr Rotimi Amaechi – Minister for transport


“The Ministry of Transport says it has commenced discussion with President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the nation has a national carrier.”

Amaechi said that a lot of investors are interested, so the government will not be fully involved but will provide policies to guide..

I hope Amaechi is not having this discussion with Buhari assuming all that is required is Buhari’s ok for work to state. The decision to have a national carrier belong to the people by way of their representatives. The plan should be vigorously debated and proper rules of engagement set. The taxpayer shall not be required to subsidize the airline in any way. It should be an independent self sustaining and tax paying entity. 

The same goes for the expansion plans for the airports  Airports and Airlines are businesses that can be and are profitable in many countries. Nigerians cannot afford to be investing annually into the same businesses with the same failed management and expect a different outcome.  Any discussion about the fate of thes two entities in Nigeria must include a total replacement and restructuring of the management  The transport ministry shall only serve in oversight capacity.  it should not be running or be involved in running any of these organizations  

Yes, Nigeria’s airports need modernization. The dark dingy passageways must be replaced by open naturally lit passageways. Nigeria is blessed with plenty of sunshine all year round and our structures are built to exclude this source of free energy to light the halls and passageways. Choosing instead to use electricity that is subsequently allowed to fall into disrepair. Yes a national carrier may be necessary but none of these can be allowed to be a sink for the Nigerian taxpayer monies. 

Nigerians cannot be expected to subsidize flying for those  who can already afford it. Nigerians cannot get back into the situation of the previous Nigerian Airways that needed new funds every year, even as they fly regularly and other local private airlines seem to thrive without that government injection of liquidity. A national carrier must be an independent entity that Nigerians will be proud to fly in and not the butt of dinner table jokes.

All that should be expected of the Nigerian people, if it is decided to in with this idea, is to give a time limited tax incentives to investors who know their business and can stand for t up. For the risk they take, they the tax breaks not direct taxpayer investment or any free stuff. Nigeria must have learned from the past madness of running charitable organizations disguised as corporations where all the charity go to a few people tasked with running the organizations. The old NEPA, NITEL, Nigeria Airways all black holes sucking up public funds without care or remorse. 

Nigeria cannot afford to let the same twig to poke it in the eye multiple times. It has to stop.

God bless Nigeria. 

In response to : Ogun plans to insure transport unions

 

Ibikunle Amosun
Governor Ibikunle Amosun, Ogun State


The Ogun State Government has urged transport unions operating in the state to embrace its ‘Welfare Insurance Policy,’ saying the scheme avails them the opportunity to save for the rainy day.”

What in the preceding statement suggest that Ogun State plan to insure transport union or contribute in any way to the insurance policy? The state is recommending that the union and its members get welfare insurance which is laudable but at not time did the state suggest it will support such a policy financially. 

Many people see insurance premiums as a free gift to insurance companies particularly when they go for years without any payout. While insurance coverage is intended to cover one in the event of the unexpected, most people don’t believe they are vulnerable.  

The proposed N60/day works out to N21,915.00 annually is quite substantial for people with meager income and if Ogun State really want to help, the state must get involved by setting rules that make people feel they are not just being taken. 

Simple to implement incentive structure like, no claim bonus if not standard must be required.  Insurance companies have a tendency to raise premiums whenever the have to make a payout so the government must come down on the side of the citizens and require insurance companies to pay up 50% premium refund in any year a payout is not made. This allows them to make 50% on premiums and incentivize the insured to be more careful to avoid running afoul of the coverage. Everybody wins.  Careful participants get rewarded for their care and attention and don’t have to be penalized for the shortcomings of the insured pool. 

 

So while I applaud the interest of the State government, I submit that the state cannot claim to be helpful if all it does is advise Union member to get the insurance but also to see to it that insurance do right by union members. 

This rejoinder is not a knock on the Ogun state government but on a reporter and his editor who reports a completely different story than their title suggest. Let’s keep it professional. 
 
God bless Nigeria. 

In Response to Armsgate : How Jonathan requested for account into which N400m was paid – EFCC

President Goodluck Jonathan


What is this, a joke? 

Details of what the embattled National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh wrote in the statement he was alleged to have torn while in custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on January 5, has surfaced.

 It is not his statement until he signs it. If he chose not to sign it, he is not answerable for its contents as he had not admitted to making those statements. This is embarrassing and these agents should hang their had in shame. If Metuh did indeed orchestrate the fraud, making up statement and attributing to him without a confession does not help the government case. Any court in its right mind would throw out that statement.  

EFCC should be basing their case on hard facts. I am somewhat intrigued by this section of e report:

“The statement further reads, “12.30 hours: Mr. Metuh Olisa began to volunteer his statement under words of caution.

15.30 hours: Mr. Metuh Olisa concluded his statement which was of four pages. I passed the statements to the team leader, CSP Ibrahim Musa, to read over and endorse accordingly but in the process of reading and after endorsing pages one and two, he swiftly tore into pieces page three of his statement which read that former President Jonathan had asked him to make available, account details owed by his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, and the debts owed him personally and some media houses.”

Who was endorsing the report, CSP Ibrahim Musa? Who tore page 3 after reading and endorsing, CSP Musa? This article is so badly written that it leaves the reader confused as to who is doing what. If Mr Olisa was doing the reading over and endorsing, and tore up page three, not page one, not two not all but only one page, maybe it contained statement he didn’t make and couldn’t in good conscience endorse it. He does not have to sign a statement he does nothing t agree with or volunteer. 

In my opinion, Prez Goodluck Jonathan should address this issue to the best of his ability not by lecturing Nigerians, they are not stupid, but by publicizing the facts as he knows them and backing whatever pronouncements he makes with hard  evidence. 

EFCC should be careful how they prosecute these cases. Prez Buhari, president of Federal Republc of Nigeria (#POTFRON) had stated in Addis Ababa that an impediment to his war on corruption is uncooperative judiciary. EFCC must not pull stunts like this if the want the judiciary to look upon them with trust. The appearance of impropriety no matter how small may sour the entire process. 

God bless Nigeria and POTFRON.