The Presidential Line of Succession

I’ve seen this meme or ones like it recently, and it’s quite misleading.18557060_10156192841743327_8267740641808002296_n

Someone has taken the line of succession (Vice President, Speaker of the House, Senate President, Secretary of State, etc.) and somehow has forgotten that holes can be filled in the meantime.

If Trump is impeached (Sorry — when Trump is impeached), then Pence becomes President.  He then names a new Vice President (approved by the Senate). If he names John McCain, then McCain becomes Vice President. And then if Pence is impeached, McCain becomes President, not Paul Ryan.

That’s what happened with Nixon. His Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned because he was a bigger crook than Nixon, and Nixon named Gerald Ford. Then Nixon resigned and Ford became President, and he named Nelson Rockefeller as his Vice President. We didn’t even need the line of succession law.

The only way this line of succession is important is if everyone was impeached at the same time. The reason we even have such a law about the line of succession is for the unlikely situation where there may be a terrorist attack or something and suddenly a bunch of these people die at once. We then go down that line to see who is next.

 

Peter Pan in Pink

Tired of politics today. Here’s a cute (and true) story for “Throwback Thursday.”

When I was around nine years old, I played a Lost Boy in the Virginia Museum Theater production of “Peter Pan.”

The first scene we were in involved us running around on stage, looking up and seeing Wendy flying into Neverland (off stage). “It’s a bird!” one of the Lost Boys would say. “It’s so big!” another would say. “Look how white she is!” I’d shout out.

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Me in costume backstage, doing my homework before the show

So we practiced and practiced and then the show opened and every night, I felt like an idiot saying my line. You see, in the scene, we’d take arrows and shoot them into the air and then Wendy would come down on her wires and land on the stage, where we’d realize she was not a bird. And there she would be, for everyone to see, dressed in the pink gown the costume designer gave her.

So one night about a week into the performance, when it came to my line, I shouted out “Look how pink she is!”

I was surrounded by laughter. I peeked into the audience but then realized it wasn’t coming from there — it came from the stagehands. You see, after performing a play so many times, everyone knew everyone else’s lines and it runs like clockwork — but I had thrown a wrench into the clock.

The show continued on, and after the performance, the director came up to me, while everyone was watching, and kneeled down before me. I was scared that he was mad, but he smiled and said, “Keep the line.”

So I marveled at Pink Wendy for the rest of the performances.

Top Four Reasons why we should have “Medicare for all”

1.  It will cut bureaucracy.  Right now we have a gigantic book full of regulations concerning Obamacare, and the Republicans want to destroy most of them and insert their own, and you know what? We already have all the regulations and bureaucracy in place for Medicare that has been tested for over fifty years. It’s not perfect (nothing in government or business or education or anything is perfect) but it sure is easier to deal with.

2.  It will get rid of mandatory insurance. Right now, insurance companies provide no health care. They’re a middle man standing between you and health care. Oh sure, if you want to buy extra health care to cover elective surgery or other things, you can do that now with medicare. But if we get rid of the need for health insurance companies, we can cut our health care costs tremendously, like every other industrialized country has done.

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3. It will lower costs. That’s how health care works, after all. If we spread the costs out among 350 million people or so (as opposed to the way we spread them out among much smaller insurance groups today), then we’ll reduce the average expenditure per person.

4. It will save everyone money. Right now, you’re either paying for insurance on your own (which is expensive) or your employer is paying for it. If it is government-provided, those costs will go away. Your employer should increase your salary accordingly (and you should demand as such — after all, they think that’s what you’re worth). Even if your taxes increase (and they don’t have to — we have the money, we’re just wasting it on things we don’t need like tax breaks for billionaires), they won’t increase as much as your insurance premiums are.

The fact is that this is the easiest, cheapest, and best way to provide health insurance to Americans.

(Note: Unlike Donald Trump, I know that health care is a complicated issue. This article is a very stripped down simple summary and does not cover every nuance, nor is it trying to.)

Why saying “I’ll pray for you” is insulting to non-believers

Look, I know you mean well. I know that no insult is intended. But try to look at this objectively:

Saying “I’ll pray for you” because I don’t believe in the same thing you believe in has the same affect on me as if you said, “I’ll ask My Little Pony to give you sweet dreams and chocolate.” It’s meaningless to me.

The reason it’s insulting is because what it really says is, “I pity you because you don’t share my beliefs, and therefore since I am superior to you, I will grant you this boon, you poor unfortunate soul. Thanks to me praying for you, you may escape an internal torment in Hell, you evil person. You should thank me.”9459f74d551d0038ee0551450f4099b00b42a91ad1f7dfec24adf03c6cbbf2df
In other words, the only person such a statement serves in this context is you. While you mean well, it ignores my beliefs completely, telling me that you’re completely insensitive to them. 

Someone saying “I’ll pray for you” as soon they find out I’m a non-believer is equivalent to me saying “I hope you get smarter” when someone tells me they do believe. It’s condescending and insulting to your belief, because it completely discounts it and treats it as meaningless and beneath respect.

I will gladly debate religion with anyone, but let’s not start off by insulting each other for our beliefs. 

“I’ll pray for you” also depends on the context. If you’re saying that because I’m in the hospital, then I know it means “I am wishing you well” and I am happy to receive such thoughts. I take no offense, because it means you care. But when you say it in response to learning I don’t share your beliefs, it’s dismissive and insulting.