The Greene/Vought National Divorce/Entitlement Cut Plan

Marjorie Taylor Greene is covered extensively on social media, but her often peculiar ideas are not in heavy rotation in formats such as major TV networks’ flagship news programs. Even Fox News seems to downplay many of her ideas, but she was a guest on Fox’s Hannity show recently in which her National Divorce idea was a topic.

While Greene is espousing a legal dissolution of the United States (but not really – it would still be one country, split in two completely independent parts, but still legally married to each other and sort of acting together on certain things but not on other things) … Sorry – got distracted trying to make sense of this idea.

Other GOP leaders are trying to figure out how to balance the federal budget without raising taxes or cutting defense spending. President Trump’s budget director, Russell Vought, has the plan for that – cut the Affordable Care Act and other social safety net programs so dramatically that 14.5 million more Americans than estimated by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will magically enter the workforce. Vought’s track record isn’t great. He was part of the GOP decision to ignore the CBO’s projections that the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act would add $1.455 trillion to the national debt over the following 10 years.

The tax cuts were passed and, despite a strong economy, the budget deficit grew from $666 billion in 2017 to $779 billion in 2018 to $984 billion in 2019 (+48% in two years). The tax cuts don’t appear to be paying for themselves, just as the CBO predicted.

Let’s look at combining these two GOP ideas, at least a little bit. Let’s take Greene’s national divorce idea and apply it to the majority of federal spending. Greene seems to have a true hatred of Democrats and the values they hold and believes this divorce would allow Red State Americans to live without the tyranny that comes with Democratic tax and spend policies. Vought wants cuts to federal spending and is willing to hold the country hostage over the debt ceiling in order to force them.

Therefore, it seems as if the Greene/Vought solution would be a nation in which federal spending is provided to each state via block grants using some formula which reflects the different priorities of the two mini-Americas. The Blue States would presumably want to have higher taxes and higher social safety net programs and the Red States would want low taxes and minimal assistance to lower income individuals so as to force them to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. The block grants would be intended for all non-defense spending, including entitlements, and distributed exclusively at the states’ discretion.

This could actually be done. The federal government would collect duties, fees and taxes from the residents and businesses in all states, take out the money for national defense & paying interest on the accrued debt, and divvy up the rest to state governments. State and local jurisdictions may choose to raise additional funds through taxes, etc., but those decisions are under state and local control. Doesn’t this sound like a win-win?

Now, as for the formula to determine how the federal money is distributed, the fairest thing – and Greene goes on and on about how unfair the current system is to Republicans – would be for each state to receive the same percentage from the federal government as they have paid in.

There are six states that receive less than $1 in federal money for each $1 of federal income sent to Washington. The other 44 states receive more that $1 with Kentucky receiving the most at $2.89. Because of the annual budget deficit, the current average is $1.28 paid to the states for each $1 received by the federal government.

So, let’s lock in that percentage at the start; it would approach a $1:$1 relationship as the budget gets closer to being balanced in future years. Each state receives a block grant of $1.28 for each $1 received by the U.S. Treasury from that state’s businesses and residents MINUS the proportional amount taken out for national defense and interest on the national debt. Some states – primarily high tax, democratically-run “Donor” states – are going to like this formula a lot, while several primarily republican-led states will have much less federal money to work with than they’ve been used to. Still, isn’t this the definition of a fair system?

I suspect lots of people will move to another state should something like this go into effect, which seems to be the goal of Greene’s national divorce idea. Now, how does one go about starting a moving company?

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Trump’s new outreach to Evangelical Christians (Satire)

Announcing a new outreach program to Evangelical Christians.

Jesus Christ is God’s greatest gift to Christians in America, of course, but let’s not forget that God also gave us President Donald J. Trump. Because of his promise to reshape the courts – a promise he kept spectacularly – religious freedom and protection of the unborn are all but assured.

Still, President Trump needs your help to do more. Satan is crafty and the stolen election of 2020 is one of his triumphs, but let’s make it a short-lived one. We need your help to kick out the sinners and reinstate Donald J. Trump in the oval office after the 2024 election.

When he takes up the reins of America again, President Trump will be relentless in his war on Satan and those who do his bidding. The evildoers will go to jail. The judges who enabled them will be removed. And people will be free to live their lives righteously without government interference.

President Trump needs your support to make manifest God’s plan for America.

Giving Righteous Income For Trump is a new way to help achieve God’s plan through President Trump. The comprehensive program not only collects the funds needed to defeat Satan’s minions, but accepts other forms of advice and assistance. Our GRIFT ambassadors are available 24/7 by email and text to hear your concerns and suggestions. If it’s an issue important to you, it’s important to the president.

To get started, President Trump asks that you fill out the simple form attached to this flyer, or by going to www.grift.trump and entering your information there. One of our GRIFT ambassadors will contact you shortly to see how you can join the fight against Satan.

Thank you and God bless you.

Paid for by GRIFT-ors for Trump, L.L.C. Not associated with any active political campaign.

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Is This Where We’re Heading?

Friday, June 24, 2022

<PRESS RELEASE> The Protection of Innocent Fetal Persons Act (PIFPA)

In light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, today I introduce a bill to protect our future citizens from the moment they are created. The Protection of Innocent Fetal Persons Act (PIFPA), Senate Bill No. 1494, makes common sense changes to Michigan laws to ensure fetal persons are not harmed in utero while they grow into productive members of our society.

Such harm can come from many sources, but several are easy to enforce within the framework that already exists to protect other Michiganders. Since girls and women of childbearing age do not have a 100% certain birth control method other than hysterectomies, PIPFA would apply to all girls and pre-menopausal women. Those who have had hysterectomies would be exempted, although proof of the procedure must be presented when appropriate, as would be the case for post-menopausal women.

The most serious harm to fetal persons come from alcohol and drugs, including caffeine. To ensure that no fetal person suffers from the harmful effects of these substances during their formative months, girls and women of childbearing age may not consume alcohol, legal or illegal drugs, or caffeine at any time, whether they plan to get pregnant or not. Since approximately 45% of pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, there really is no alternative to a total ban on consumption of harmful agents by those who may conceive a new, beautiful fetal person.

I’m confident a large number of my legislative colleagues will back this measure and when this bill is enacted, the penalties will fall primarily on those who serve the harmful substances to the potential mothers. Bars and restaurants would face fines and the loss of liquor licenses for repeated offences. Drug dealers – which means anyone supplying a banned substance to a girl or woman who is able to conceive – would face increased jail time and higher fines. The mothers-to-be themselves will not be subject to prosecution in most cases.

In some situations, however, there may be girls and women of childbearing age who do not have the fortitude to resist these harmful substances, and this bill creates a committee to evaluate such chronic offenders on an individual basis. The Supreme Court decision Buck v. Bell does provide the legal path forward that ensures no fetal persons would be harmed due to the actions of these repeat substance abusers.

I think we can all agree that this measure is the best way to protect fetal persons and our future Michiganders from the long-term harm of destructive substances. I encourage you all to write your representatives and senators to encourage passage of the Protection of Innocent Fetal Persons Act.

Republican Senator Buck Halliday, Michigan Senate District 39

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Save Us, Florida Voters!!!

Many Americans dread the chaos that will likely follow the end of in-person voting on November 3rd.

President Trump will almost certainly declare victory, no matter the reported vote counts in battleground states. With lies and conspiracy theories, he will fertilize the seeds he has planted – the myth of widespread election fraud – and he will encourage his strongest supporters to fight back. To some, that will mean taking up arms against non-believers; the violence could become very serious for a couple weeks.

But Florida can save us from that.

No, really. The state that gives up $6 bottles of water at theme parks and entertainment and wonder with Florida Man stories has the opportunity to save us all from a post election day disaster.

How? For that, let’s quote Republican strategist Al Cardenas, a guest on NBC’s Meet the Press. If the “president doesn’t win Florida, he doesn’t win. There isn’t a single model out there that shows the president getting to 270 electoral votes without winning the State of Florida.”

Unlike many states, Florida counts their mail-in votes first – up to 22 days prior to election day. That means that once the polls close on November 3rd, Florida quickly reports a significant portion of the total votes. Within hours – not weeks – we will know who won Florida.

And if President Trump cannot win reelection without winning Florida, that potential post-election day chaos can be nipped in the bud if Florida goes for Joe Biden.

Thank you in advance, Florida Man & Florida Woman.


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Hoarding Health

Following a Covid-19 exchange on our neighborhood’s NEXTDOOR site, I found myself viewing the right-wing source material referenced by the neighbor. I also read up on more disinformation in an NPR story about a YouTube video called Plandemic.

That got me wondering. Why would people spread this kind of propaganda guaranteed to harm those who take the bait and act on their newfound convictions? Of course, in a pandemic, many who don’t believe the disinformation will also be harmed.

One reason is obvious – money. These conspiracy theory videos that suggest drinking bleach or present made-up evidence that Covid-19 isn’t bad will make their producers money. There’s also the possibility that some of this content comes from Russian or other state actors with the goal of weakening the United States.

There’s another incentive, I think. Just as some people hoarded toilet paper, there may be some hoarding health.

It’s a weird phrase, but here’s a how-to guide.

  1. Workers have to get back on the job to restart the economy.
  2. Get people back to work:
    • convince enough of them that the media and/or democrats are lying,
    • pressure state and local leaders to expand economic activity,
    • foment revolt in states and municipalities in which leaders are resisting a return to “normal.”
  3. Use conspiracy theorist sites and Fox News to reinforce the message that the economy is more important than a few people’s lives:
    • Cite bogus studies about more people committing suicide than will die from the virus, or
    • make up extremely low mortality rates – I saw 0.0087% this week!
  4. MOST IMPORTANTLY to hoard health:
  5. Stay safe yourself and wait for herd immunity to take hold – 60% infected is usually good, but SARS-CoV-2 is new so perhaps shoot for 75%.

Then come out and resume your life. The faster you convince people to go out and infect themselves, the sooner you can be free.

In the meantime, if you are a person of means, your investments will grow as the economy restarts, so you’re able to stay safely inside your primary or vacation home and make money while you wait.

It’s brilliant, really. In essence, you’re a military leader who stays in the command headquarters while sending out the troops to make the world safe again for yourself and the other privileged uninfected.

That’s how you can hoard health, and don’t forget to start your memoirs while you’re waiting for it all to work out – work out for you, that is. #HoardingHealth

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Evangelicals: What’s God Saying with COVID-19?

Shortly after the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic, several reporters asked evangelical Christian leaders whether this was a sign of the apocalypse. Good news for most of us – it’s not.

Presuming God’s hand is in here somewhere, let’s try to guess what God is trying to tell us.

In an ends-justifies-the-means analysis, we should consider the end result of a COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Significantly reduced carbon emissions throughout the world for a substantial period of time,
  2. Perhaps a 2-7% drop in world population vs. normal population growth,
  3. Wealth is being redistributed from richer to poorer people,
  4. A realization that certain governmental systems were better prepared to handle the pandemic than others.
  5. This will surprise many, but the cost to generate electricity from solar and on-shore wind sources is now less than that from natural gas, coal or nuclear power plants ( Even with this impressive change in power generation economics, the Trump Administration has favored the dirtier, older technologies over the cleaner, newer ones.

Perhaps God is using COVID-19 to show us that we’re not doing a good job with respect to environmental stewardship.

  1. It’s difficult to determine how many people will die from COVID-19, but it is already significant. In countries that are more crowded and impoverished, especially if they have few advanced health centers, the death toll may be very high. Even in more developed countries, mismanagement of the crisis will lead to significantly more deaths than would otherwise have been the case.

Is God telling us that we need to take a step back? Are we being shown that we are ill prepared to take care of the people we already have in this world?

  1. Because of the unprecedented shutdown of business throughout the world, the standard system that developed in each country to meet the needs of its citizens is breaking down, and fast. At least in the United States, the solution is to borrow from future generations to support the newly disenfranchised.

The Trump tax cuts went largely to the wealthy and there’s good evidence to show that the wealthy do not use their tax cuts to create jobs ( One dollar distributed as food assistance for the poor through SNAP generates $1.71 of economic activity – a 71% return on investment. According to the paper noted above, $1 given in tax cuts to top 10% earners does nothing – it is just saved instead. The same is true for tax increases on the wealthy – it doesn’t hurt the economy.

The details are still fuzzy, but it appears that COVID-19 will be treated in a way similar to a single-payer healthcare system. Federal lawmakers and officials are pressuring insurance companies to waive the costs of treatment for this disease. That is another distribution of wealth, is it not? Especially if taxes will be raised on the wealthy to pay for these changes.

Might God prefer a more egalitarian system than what has become the norm in the U.S., perhaps even a single-payer healthcare system?

  1. “Maybe our biggest strength in” this country “is the rational decision-making at the highest level of government combined with the trust the government enjoys in the population.”

As you likely have guessed – regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum – that was not a modern-day quote about the U.S. and the Trump Administration. It is a quote from Professor Hans-Georg Kräusslich, the head of virology at University Hospital in Heidelberg, and the country referenced is Germany.

The countries that are handling the pandemic the best are those with a populace that does what their government says is best, sometimes due to fear, sometimes trust. That does not describe the U.S. in this day and age. Politics are the primary factor. Those on the right feel that personal and business freedom is the primary factor and those on the left don’t trust anything that guy in the oval office says.

Of course, President Trump downplayed the risks from the pandemic dozens of times – primarily, it seems, because he was concerned about a loss of wealth for the half of us who own stock – and his administration’s bungling of the testing and tracing opportunity has made this crisis so much worse than it should have been. Again, look at Germany and the several other countries that did things right.

Because of Trump, the U.S. will suffer longer and more severely from COVID-19 than had the country been led by someone trusted as much as Chancellor Angela Merkel is by the German people.

With COVID-19, is God telling us that it’s time to change federal leadership in the U.S.? To look for leaders who can bring us together?

If enough of you think that’s what God’s telling you, who knows, you may even und up with healthcare that you’re not afraid to use.

Posted in Economics, Healthcare, Make America Great Series, Religion, Trump Democrats Update, U.S. Politics, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trump’s Ventilators

I’ve been spending some time in the comments section at, and it is an interesting place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there. I have been trying to persuade the small percentage of people who are receptive to logic and facts that the COVID-19 situation is serious. It’s a rewarding experience in such back and forth common sense discussions, but sifting through the much larger number of highly partisan commenters saps my energy and I need long breaks from the website.

Many of the things that the president says about the pandemic precede him by a week or two in the Fox News comments section. The comparisons to flu and car accident deaths were there. But there’s something else that has me wondering if Trump’s odd behavior regarding ventilators might be more purposeful than it seems.

Many of the comments last week went along the lines of, “Why do anything about the virus? It only affects the democratic areas of the country.” If the president feels the same way, there’s a reason for his ventilator madness – kill off the Democrats.

Why do I call it madness? On Thursday, the president reportedly planned to announce the GM-Ventec joint venture to produce 80,000 ventilators at a cost of around $1 billion, but the plan was scrapped because of that price tag. They were just too expensive.

That evening, Trump appeared on Sean Hannity’s show and said that he doesn’t believe New York needs the 30,000 ventilators that Governor Cuomo claims are necessary. He went on to say that New York had the opportunity to buy 16,000 ventilators in 2015 “at a great price and [Cuomo] didn’t buy them.”

Let’s look at that great price.

President Trump was referring to a 272-page report produced by the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law and the New York State Department of Health in 2015. That report noted that in a severe pandemic similar to the 1918 flu, there would likely be a shortfall of 15,783 ventilators during the peak week of demand.

Syndicated columnist Betsy McCaughey – a critic of the governor – noted that Cuomo could have purchased those 16,000 ventilators at a cost of $36,000 each, but he chose not to do so.

But the president’s decision not to push through with the GM-Ventec option a couple days ago was reportedly based on costs. He apparently though the $1 billion price tag was too much.

On a per unit basis, however, that comes out to just $12,500 per ventilator – an extraordinarily good price when compared to the $36,000 “great price” from five years earlier that he mentioned on Hannity.

The only way this madness makes sense, it seems, is if the president was thinking of a different cost. Perhaps it’s not the cost of each ventilator that was on his mind. Perhaps – as with many of the people who comment at – it’s the cost of having too many viable democratic voters in November that’s the real area of concern.

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My Father-In-Law’s Obituary

Obituary Photo 1Obituary Photo 2

Joseph Frank Makowski passed from this world on Friday, October 25th, following a short respiratory illness. He died at Brookdale Senior Living Center in Portage, Michigan, just two days before his official 93rd birthday, although his recently discovered baptismal certificate shows him to have been 95½ at the time of his passing. He is survived by his three sons, Joseph, John and David, his daughter, Christina, and his brother, John, 6 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. Henrietta, his wife of 46 years, preceded him in death in 2008. His peers – – – who are we kidding? Joseph was one of a kind.

Joseph was born in the in the village of Terebejno in pre-World War II eastern Poland, now part of Belarus. With the Soviet invasion of Poland in WWII, soldiers woke his family in the middle of the night and they were deported on cattle cars to a labor camp in Siberia. Out of the more than 1.5 million Poles captured and sent to Soviet labor camps, only 160,500 survived.  Following the signing of the Sikorski-Mayski agreement, 6 foot 2-inch tall Joseph, weighing only 80 pounds, was one of the fortunate survivors to be released.

As a result of World War II, Joseph found himself in Uzbekistan, Palestine, India, Afghanistan, Africa, Italy, and France after Siberia. Christina, as a young child knowing nothing of war, would hear him talk of such exotic places and imagined her father had been an international man of mystery before choosing to marry and start a family.

Post-war, Joseph’s family were refugees without a country to return to.  The family was offered resettlement to Australia, but his mother refused the offer believing it to be the “devil’s land” and the family chose Canada instead. Joseph moved to Western New York when he married his first wife, Eugenia Slowinska, the mother of his two older sons, Joseph and John.

Less than a decade later, Joseph was a young widower with two small children when he met Henrietta Drzymkowska on a blind date.  Joseph and Henrietta were married in 1962 and raised their family of four children in rural Western New York.  He was known to many local businesses as “Joe from Gowanda” as was his habit of identifying himself on the phone.  Joseph has lived in Kalamazoo, MI near his daughter since 2006.

Joseph was a consummate napper, preferring to bask in the warmth of the sun or a fireplace.  He was a teller of tall tales, frequently chastised by his wife for exaggerating. He often began conversations with “Can’t complain,” and then go right into complaining. But complaining was a sport for him and gave him the framework to build his tales. His frugality, no doubt a result of the deprivations of war and refugee camps, was legendary. When the well at the Kalamazoo house was replaced following a lightning strike, we were told that the total electric costs for running well water for 24 straight hours was only $1. Even with that knowledge, Joseph preferred to water the garden one plant at a time with the water collected from the downspouts in 55-gallon barrels using an empty cottage cheese container. It took a while. Henrietta, on the other hand, would wake up around 4:30 am so she could run the sprinklers in the garden for hours before Joseph awoke. His near deafness meant that he would sleep through the well pump noise and they had a very productive garden. Joseph never quite understood why the garden yielded so much less after Henrietta passed.

Joseph moved to Brookdale Assisted Living 5½ years ago.  He could be stubborn – and complaining was one of his favorite pastimes – but Brookdale became home and the staff became family, nicknaming him “Papa Joe.”  He would look for ways to connect with people, speaking a few words in Swahili or whatever language he had familiarity with when discovering background of caregivers.

Also caring for Joseph in the last year or so of his life was Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. They were amazingly kind and caring, made him comfortable and were instantly responsive to his needs. Their music therapist learned several polka songs for him and his nurse, Matt, would massage lotion into his sore feet and calves and give him regular haircuts. Joseph looked forward to their visits and they were an important reason why Joseph was such a happy and loving person in the last year.

Despite difficult circumstances early in life, Joseph was generally a happy man always with a ready smile. He never spoke of his past with bitterness. He genuinely enjoyed life and he touched many lives.

A memorial mass will be held for him 11 am on November 22 at St Joseph Roman Catholic Church, Gowanda, NY.  Those wishing to honor his memory may donate to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan at

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All Hail, King Boris!

The world is awash in authoritarian leaders these days. In Turkey, the Philippines, Egypt, Brazil, Russia, the United States and other countries, the leaders of the executive branch have used a variety of techniques to limit the power of the legislative branches, and we can now add the United Kingdom to that list.

(Yes, executive power in the U.K. rests with the queen, but it is exercised by the Prime Minister and cabinet, so there!)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has suspended Parliament until mid-October in order to disrupt attempts to prevent a no-deal Brexit. When you are certain of what is best for your constituents – or at least for yourself – authoritarian leaders are prepared to make the difficult decisions.

Johnson is calculating that Brexit will be good for the U.K., and if he’s correct, he will forever be remembered as the architect of that brilliant move. The same calculation appears to be used by other modern-day authoritarian leaders – a chance to be remembered as a new Churchill or Lincoln.

If things work out, that is. I can’t help but think of another authoritarian leader who took a country in a direction that a minority of the populace favored – Adolf Hitler.

Hitler is certainly remembered, but except for a pretty small percentage of the world’s people, he is not remembered favorably.

We may not have long to wait to see how Boris Johnson and other authoritarian leaders will be remembered. Winter is coming. (Yes, that’s a Game of Thrones reference. Appropriate?)

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Reelect Trump – A How-To Guide

Many of us are concerned that the U.S. economy is a house of cards with high deficit spending as the primary structural feature, but with President Trump’s reelection tied so closely to the economy, Trump supporters have a clear choice – keep building.

If your goal is to keep Trump in office for another term, your job is to power the economy with consumption. Allow me to offer you a few tips on how to achieve this.

  1. Max out your credit cards – buy, buy, buy.
  2. Refinance your mortgage to pull out all the equity you can and buy more stuff.
  3. How about the money you have put away for retirement – that’s not helping the economy now. Take it all out and spend it.

If all of you loyal Trump supporters take these steps, the president will be able to point to a strong economy during next year’s presidential campaign and get another four years in office.

And then you can reap the rewards of his reelection, too. He’ll cut capital gains taxes for his supporters (you do have stocks to sell, don’t you?) and he’ll take steps to reduce the budget deficit by cutting unnecessary spending (you weren’t really counting on Social Security and Medicare, were you?).

Just imagine the utopia that awaits every American during Trump’s second presidential term. I think I’ll begin my consumption by constructing a bunker in the woods. I have a feeling that could become a valuable asset in a few years.

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