NOTE:  As you might have guessed, my heart was overfilled with joy when I saw this headline!

Let me begin by your standard disclaimers: No, there is no solid concrete, irrefutable evidence that Trump and/or members of the Trump Team engaged in espionage against the United States and colluded with Russian agents.  No, there is no solid, concrete, irrefutable evidence that members of the Trump Team aided and abetted Russian efforts to sway the Presidential Election to Trump.  No, there is no solid, concrete, evidence that our democratic institutions have been undermined by Trump and/or Trump Team members.  We, the public, do not have any such evidence, and although I'm not quite yet prepared to bet my entire 401(k) on it, I have to assume that the FBI, the CIA and the NSA just might have such evidence. 

Naturally, one goes straight to the conclusion that the spying and the crashing and burning of the Trump Healthcare Bill is the result of secret Muslim, race-baiting, anti-American, hugely criminal, African American President Barack Hussein Obama.  (I mean what more evidence do you need of the corruption of Obama other than his middle name?)  Well, sure, that’s about as concrete as all those Evangelicals who firmly and profoundly believe that Planet Earth was created 4,000 years ago (Or was it 6,000?) and that human beings adopted Tyrannosaurus Rex's as household pets.  Right. 

But to me the most astounding “facet” of the attempt to “replace” Obamacare with the Trump/Ryan Deathcare Bill isn’t the fact that after seven years Republicans crafted just about the worst piece of legislation ever.  No.  The most astounding “facet” of the demise of the Trump/Ryan Deathcare Bill is  the rank incompetence of both the House Republicans and the Trump Administration.  It was nothing less than a cosmic shitstorm of epic proportions.  It is truly mind-boggling.  And make no mistake about it, the Trump/Ryan Deathcare Bill was a wholly Paul Ryan "product."  Yet, he has the absolute bilious gall to claim that in the Republican Party’s transition from obstructionism, the "Party Of No" and the party who couldn’t care less how many people might die from his hastily crafted piece of shit health care bill, he blames the Republican Party’s "newness to governing" for whatever the fuck they’ve been for the past eight years into a governing party who can’t govern.  Really?  This is your fucking lame-ass conclusion, your excuse, your rationalization for attempting to screw the last breath of life from 24 million of us Americans? 

There is nothing more titillating, more pleasing to my sense of fairness and empathy than the entire Republican contingent in Congress flopping around like a hooked catfish trying to come to grips with the fact that their healthcare bill is anathema to America.   House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) attempted to placate the Freedom Caucus by reducing even further the protections and benefits of Obamacare but got reamed up the ass for it by the said Freedom Caucus.  It is this reason, the Tea Party, Koch funded, Freedom Caucus's ideological devotion to Steve Bannon style governance, that shit-canned the Trump/Ryan Deathcare Bill in Congress.  Sure, it seems as if a pretty solid majority of the American public also hated the Trump/Ryan Bill but public opinion, public protest, public desires simply have no place in Ryan’s world of crushing ordinary Americans while rewarding the already wealthy.



The Toronto, Canada, school district - largest in Canada - has suspended class visits to the U.S. because, as the Director of Education, John Malloy, said "students cannot know what to expect at the U.S. border."  The school district's announcement follows on the heels of a gaggle of Canadian Nun's on their way to a charity event in the U.S., who were turned back at the U.S. Canadian border a week ago.  And then there was the retired police officer, a U.S. citizen who was detained attempting to return back home from a visit to Toronto.   He had a Muslim name.  And how many times is it now that Muhammad Ali's son has been detained by ICE?  

If you lived in D.C. as I do, you would understand just how important are Middle School and High School class trips to local our economy.  Just last weekend, we were nearly trampled by a group of 200 or so youngsters hailing from who knows where as we were attempting to enter the ever popular National Museum of the American Indian.  And just last night, our favorite downtown, free street parking spot - half a block from our favorite movie theater - was blocked by a line of four of those giant tour buses.  The parking spot is pretty much unrecognized being Downtown at 10th. and E Streets, just half a block from the House Where Lincoln Died.  It's hard to discern since, in quite typical fashion here in D.C., there are a dozen signs that lend an air of confusion and basically hides the opportunity to park for free after 6:30 PM to all but the most dedicated urban parkers.   The line of giant tourist buses?  They were in the process of unloading about 400 pushing, shoving and squalling youngsters into the Hard Rock Cafe.  (I'm not sure why this is the ultra preferred dining venue for the 10 to 16 year old set, but it is.) 

Our local tourist economy welcomes just over 21 million folks from around the country and around the world every year.  For D.C., tourism is second only to government as our biggest revenue generator bringing in some $7 billion annually.   I mean we''re not talking small change here.  A couple of weeks ago I ran into an article that revealed that future tourist bookings were down nationally by about 30% or nearly one third.   The World Travel and Tourism Council estimates that in 2015 - prior to the Muslim ban - tourism generated $1.6 trillion and supported around 7.6 million jobs.   This too is no small change to the national economy. 

Apparently all the geniuses lounging around the White House West Wing don't seen to fully grasp how valuable tourism is with it's interrelated threads of Motel 6 hotel bookings, the aforementioned Hard Rock Cafe and a gazillion other eateries around the country that tourists patronize (spend money) for breakfast, lunch and dinner; fees for attractions, (not here in D.C. - all the important ones are free - at least for the time being!) tour bus operators, taxicab drivers, pedicab drivers right on down to all the money that's spent in those God-Awful tourist trap shops full of cheesy kotchies  (mugs, tee-shirts, post cards, fake campaign buttons, name plates, etc.) to say nothing of the purchase of diapers for all the under 2 year sets of kids being pushed around in gigantic baby strollers.   

Slashing 30% off the 2015 figures, gives you half a trillion dollars less in revenues and a drop in associated jobs by two and a half million.  So while Trump is running around celebrating the 500 jobs he saved from moving to Mexico at Carrier Air Conditioning, his stupid Muslim ban is having disastrous effects over the entire country. 

You know something?  I suppose,  just like with our health care system:


Yeah, like who could possibly have known that health care and tourism could be so complex?  

Have A Good Day and Kiss a Tourist.  We need them. 


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