Nunes votes with GOP: Your taxes going up


In the House’s rush to pass it’s conference bill, they mucked it up and will have to vote again, after they pull items that don’t meet the rules. Our Congressman, Devin Nunes, voted right along with the rest of the GOP, and now will get to vote “aye” twice on “tax reform”.

In simple terms this means that if you are a millionaire rancher in CA-22, you’re sitting pretty, tax-wise. Everybody else, not so much.

If you’re middle income, get ready to see your taxes go up. The Republicans have been denying this is what is going to happen, but the majority of analysts, including the CBO, say otherwise. And since they’re working their damnedest to get rid of the ACA, expect your insurance premiums to skyrocket, too.

If you’re in the very lowest income brackets, expect to really feel the pinch. Trump, McConnell, Ryan, and Nunes are making sure you are squeezed so they can give even larger tax breaks to the already super-wealthy. And you can forget about health insurance coverage at all.

Fewer than 25% of Americans think this bill is a good idea, but the Republicans are wrapping it up and putting it under your tree this year anyway.

Oh, hey look! There’s Devin Nunes, ho ho ho-ing it up with the rest of the GOP. I think I see the Grinch schmoozing with them, too.

Merry Christmas, America.

The Seven Words You Can’t Say in the Trump Administration


George Carlin famously had a list – the seven words you can’t say on television. He would  list them off, and, if he were on broadcast television at the time, you’d have seven ‘bleeps’ covering them. Cable TV didn’t have that restriction, so you could listen and laugh. (If you want the list, just click on the link above. I’m not sure if Gannett and the Visalia Times Delta would appreciate some of them appearing here.)

On December 15, 2017, the Washington Post published an article listing the seven words the United States Centers for Disease Control is no longer allowed to say in it’s budget documents. Here’s that list (hopefully Gannett and the VTD won’t mind this one):







The Trump administration told the CDC, according to the Post,

Instead of “science-based” or ­“evidence-based,” the suggested phrase is “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes,” the person said. In other cases, no replacement words were immediately offered.

There’s no telling what “community standards and wishes” will result in with terms such as ‘transgender’ and ‘fetus’. I’m not going to list the possibilities here, but we can just imagine what some of the Trumpsters will come up with. Ignorance runs deep with them, and they’re proud of it.

In true Trump fashion, nobody will admit to authoring the list given to the CDC. Alison Kelly, an official with the CDC’s Office of Financial Services, would only say that she was simply relaying the information.

The chilling effect of the Trump administration’s attack on evidence-based research as a political tool is working it’s way through the scientific community already. NPR reportsthat climate scientists are discovering their grant requests don’t get approved if the term “climate change” is in the title or summary.

We’ve placed the idiots in charge, and they’re hell-bent (I can say that here, can’t I?) on destroying the government. The red-hats are cheering them on.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–

Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–Because I was not a Trade Unionist.Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–Because I was not a Jew.Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

–  Martin Niemoller (1892-1984), about the Nazis.

Let’s update those words to reflect today’s reality:

First they came for the News Reporters, and I did not speak out-

Because I was not a News Reporter.

Then they came for the Muslims, and I did not speak out-

Because I was not a Muslim.

Then they came for the Scientists, and I did not speak out-

Because I was not a Scientist.

Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.

Since they don’t want government involved in anything (except war – there’s tons of money to be made in war), cancer research could the next victim of Trumpism. After all, it’s only cell growth, and, apparently, God’s will. And we know Donald Trump is a fine, upstanding Christian. Right?

Trump’s FCC just handed the Internet to the media giants

atombombThe FCC just voted to end Net Neutrality. In a party-line vote, Trump’s minions just handed the Internet in the United States over to media moguls, who will now turn your Internet access into a mirror of your cable service.

Want access to your email? Extra. Video streaming for your business meetings? Extra extra. Netflix? Way extra, with maybe a small discount if the program or movie you’re streaming is one of theirs. Want to watch BBC Online? Sorry, not offered. Here’s Faux News, instead.

Don’t believe the lies this administration is telling you. This does not “restore” any “freedom” to the Internet. This does not lift the shackles placed on innovation and creativity so cruelly placed there by the Obama administration. All this does is allow the ISPs to drain even more money from you, and to control what you have access to online.

It hadn’t occurred to me before I saw the Tweet that mentioned it, but say goodbye to your online “adult entertainment”, too.

This latest action makes it even more clear to me: If Obama did it, Trump is going to undo it. Doesn’t matter what it is, Trump’s (and his followers) hatred of all things Obama is the only real policy this administration has.

Start deciding now which things on the Internet you’re willing to pay more for, and which you’re willing to let go. Plan on those things you want being in the most expensive plans offered, and losing the off-beat, weird and wacky. Cat videos will probably be the most expensive of all.

Thanks, Hair Furor. Your legacy of destruction continues.

World AIDS Day December 1


In honor of World AIDS Day 2017, I’m re-running my post from last year, with a few updates.

“World AIDS Day is held on the 1st of December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, held for the first time in 1988.” –

Some “fast facts” from the website:

“More than 1.2 million people in the US are living with HIV, and 1 in 8 of them don’t know it.”

“From 2005 to 2014, the annual number of new HIV diagnoses declined 19%.”

“Gay and bisexual men, particularly young African American gay and bisexual men, are most affected.” – the United States)

Currently, there are 36.7 million people world-wide living with HIV/AIDS. 1.8 million of those are children. A large percentage of those people live in sub-Saharan Africa. An estimated 35 million people have died from AIDS related illnesses since the start of the epidemic. –

With treatment, HIV/AIDS has gone from a fatal condition, to a treatable disease. Although no cure currently exists, treatment with antiretroviral medications halts the spread of the virus, and the damage done to the infected person’s immune system.

The newest wrinkle is HIV/AIDS prevention is PrEP, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. “When taken consistently, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in people who are at high risk by up to 92%. The pill (brand name Truvada) contains two medicines (tenofovir and emtricitabine) that are used in combination with other medicines to treat HIV. When someone is exposed to HIV through sex or injection drug use, these medicines can work to keep the virus from establishing a permanent infection.” – reports are now placing the number at 99%. Undetectable = Untransmittable  This updated information from the CDC since my post of one year ago: Scientific advances have shown that antiretroviral therapy (ART) preserves the health of people living with HIV. We also have strong evidence of the prevention effectiveness of ART. When ART results in viral suppression, defined as less than 200 copies/ml or undetectable levels, it prevents sexual HIV transmission. Across three different studies, including thousands of couples and many thousand acts of sex without a condom or pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), no HIV transmissions to an HIV-negative partner were observed when the HIV-positive person was virally suppressed. This means that people who take ART daily as prescribed and achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner.

Tulare County averages about 30 new HIV infections a year (2011-2013).  Condoms, regular testing, ART medications, and PrEP are all steps to take to reduce the risk of HIV infection, and to prevent the spread of the disease.

World AIDS Day is a global moment of remembrance for those who have died, recognition of those currently infected, and to focus on the continuing efforts at prevention and treatment.

From The Source LGBT+ Center’s Facebook page:

Stigma for HIV continues to be a barrier for testing and treatment. With early detection and treatment people live long healthy lives and can ultimately become HIV undetectable making it nearly impossible for them to transmit HIV. PrEP can help an HIV negative person stay negative and is up to 99% effective in preventing a new infection through sexual contact. We owe the men, women, and children who died for decades a great deal of respect and reverence along with allies, doctors, and social justice fighters that never gave up the hope. We will end AIDS. #worldAIDSday

Tulare County Health and Human Services posted this comment to The Source LGBT+ Center’s Facebook posting:

Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency HHSA stands with The Source LGBT+ Center and supports this message! Confidential HIV testing sites available at and ask your primary care physician about PrEP. Having trouble finding a physician? Call our Visalia or Farmersville Health Care Center at (559) 623-0700.

The Source LGBT+ Center holds a HIV Peer support group on the first Thursday of each month, 6pm, at the drop-in center (after hours). Contact us at 559-429-4277, or email at

Free confidential testing in Porterville at the Tulare County Public Health Department. First Monday of each month, 3pm to 4:30pm, 1055 W. Henderson, Suite 6.

In Tulare, at the Hillman Health Care Center, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Monday of the month, 4pm to 6pm. 1062 S. K St.

For more information, visit The Source LGBT+ Center’s HIV webpage at

Visit The Source LGBT+ Center at 208 W. Main Street, Suite B (downstairs in the Montgomery Square building), Visalia. Drop-in center hours Tuesday through Friday, 3pm till 6pm.

Phone: 559.429.4277

E-mail us through our webpage, here.

Facebook: The Source LGBT+ Center

Our webpage: The Source LGBT+ Center

Twitter: The Source LGBT+ Center

Instagram: The Source LGBT+ CenterImage:

Deja Vu all over again

dollarsignThe Senate GOP tax scam… er… bill… is on hold tonight. Seems the Senators are uncertain they’ve set the stage for sufficient transfers of money from poor and middle class Americans to the 1% to successfully pass the bill. Also, they may be looking for ways to throw even more than the projected 13 million off the insurance rolls before they come to a vote.

A powerful California politician was excoriated in 2010 for saying, of the ACA, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Now that’s the reality for this bill, still being re-written only minutes before it was scheduled to go to the full Senate for a vote. Strangely, though, the right wing that went nuts about Pelosi’s statement is mum on the current shenanigans taking place in Congress.

And did you see Lindsay Graham’s comments today about the media and President Trump? “You know what concerns me about the American press is this endless, endless attempt to label the guy as some kind of kook, not fit to be president.”

And did you see Lindsay Graham’s comments in 2016, about Donald Trump? “Donald Trump is not a conservative Republican. He’s an opportunist. He’s not fit to be President of the United States.” – via Twitter, 17 Feb, 2016

Yeah. Deja vu all over again.