Friday, March 17, 2017

A Close Look at Our Old U.S. Refugee Admissions Program

In Fiscal Year 2016, the United States welcomed 84,995 refugees from around the world.  In Fiscal Year 2017, which began on Oct. 1st, the United States was supposed to welcome another 110,000 refugees; however, President Donald Trump has limited the number of refugees to the United States from around the world to 50,000 for Fiscal Year 2017.

According to The New York Times, more than 37,000 refugees have already entered the United States since the 1st of October, leaving only 12,700 slots remaining under President Trump's limit for the remainder of this fiscal year.

Are the purposes of President Trump's ban on travel and his limits on the Refugee Admissions Program purely to enhance security for the United States, or are they simply a means to fulfill a campaign promise to ban Muslims from the United States?

Are the hoops and hurdles of security procedures under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, which take anywhere from 18 to 24 months to complete, already stringent enough?

You be the Judge:

U.S. Refugee Admissions Program

Application and Case Processing
When UNHCR — or, occasionally, a U.S. Embassy or a specially trained nongovernmental organization — refers a refugee applicant to the United States for resettlement, the case is first received and processed by a Resettlement Support Center (RSC). The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) funds and manages nine RSCs around the world, operated by international and nongovernmental organizations and one U.S. interests section. Under PRM’s guidance, the RSCs prepare eligible refugee applications for U.S. resettlement consideration.
Some refugees can start the application process with the RSC without a referral from UNHCR or other entity. This includes close relatives of asylees and refugees already in the United States and refugees who belong to specific groups set forth in statute or identified by the Department of State as being eligible for direct access to the program.
The RSCs collect biographic and other information from the applicants to prepare for the adjudication interview and for security screening. Enhanced security screening is a joint responsibility of the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security and includes the participation of multiple U.S. Government security agencies.
Officers from the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) review all the information that the RSC has collected and also conduct an in-person interview with each refugee applicant before deciding whether to approve him or her for resettlement in the United States.
All USCIS-approved refugees undergo a health screening to identify medical needs and to ensure that those with a contagious disease, such as tuberculosis, do not enter the United States. Finally, the RSC requests a “sponsorship assurance” from a U.S.-based resettlement agency that is experienced in providing assistance to newly arrived refugees. Most refugees undergo a brief U.S. cultural orientation course prior to departure for the United States.
Those refugees who are approved by USCIS receive assistance upon arrival in the United States through the Department of State’s Reception and Placement Program – a cooperative public-private program made up of a number of participants. The support of millions of Americans is fundamental to the program’s success. Though Congress mandated the program, it is local communities that have ensured the success of the resettlement program by welcoming and helping refugees from around the world.
United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) is comprised of:
  • The Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) of the U.S. Department of State.
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
  • The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Five international or nongovernmental organizations operating Resettlement Support Centers around the world under the supervision and funding of the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) of the U.S. Department of State
  • Nine domestic nongovernmental organizations with a total of about 350 affiliated offices across the United States.
  • Thousands of private citizens who volunteer their time and skills to help refugees resettle in the United States.
The total processing time varies depending on an applicant’s location and other circumstances, but the average time from the initial UNHCR referral to arrival as a refugee in the United States is about 18-24 months.

I copied and pasted the above information from the Department of State website just in case the information on the website is deleted by the Trump Administration.


Friday, March 10, 2017

The Unaffordable American Health Care Act

On Oct. 16, 2015, Rep Tom Price [R Ga.] introduced H.R. 3762, a bill that would effectively defund the Affordable Care Act.

On Jan. 08, 2016, President Barack Obama vetoed the bill.  And he provided his reasoning in a message to the House of Representatives:

Nevertheless, with H.R. 3762, the Republicans clearly demonstrated that there was a path to repealing the Affordable Care Act if a Republican was elected President of the United States of America in November 2016.

Shit happened.

Donald Trump was elected President of the United States.

And now the Republicans are gutting the Affordable Care Act, and trying to replace it.

With few exceptions, the American Health Care Act, as House Speaker Paul Ryan dubs it, isn't much different than H.R. 3762.  And how it will affect health care coverage and insurance premiums won't be much different than what the Congressional Budget Office  reported on January 17, 2017 concerning the effects of H.R. 3762.  Millions of people will lose their health care coverage.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Do You Really Think Flynn Discussed Sanctions with Russia On His Own?

                                      Dec, 22, 23, 24

Dec. 29, 2016

                                              Feb. 15, 2017

                                                      Feb. 16, 2017

Gotta stop those leaks!  America doesn't need to know what's going on!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Misogynist

I offer this poem, written by Austin Dobson in 1874, as a token of solidarity with today's Women's March on Washington, and in cities all around the world. It is a message for all those Americans who voted to elect the 45th President of the United States of America.


When first he sought our haunts, he wore
His locks in Hamlet-style ;
His brow with thought was 'sicklied o'er,'–
We rarely saw him smile ;
And e'en when none was looking on,
His air was always woe-begone.

He kept, I think, his bosom bare
To imitate Jean Paul ;
His solitary topics were
Æsthetics, Fate , and Soul ;–
Although at times, but not for long,
He bowed his Intellect to song.

He served, he said, a Muse of Tears :
I know his verses breathed
A fine funereal air of biers,
And objects cypress-wreathed ;–
Indeed, his tried acquaintance fled
An ode he named 'The Sheeted Dead.'

In these light moods, I call to mind,
He darkly would allude
To some dread sorrow undefined,–
Some passion unsubdued ;
Then break into a ghastly laugh,
And talk of Keats his epitaph.

He railed at women's faith as Cant ;
We thought him grandest when
He named them Siren-shapes then 'chant
On blanching bones of Men' ;–
Alas, not e'en the great go free
From that insidious minstrelsy !

His lot, he oft would gravely urge,
Lay on a lone Rock where
Around Time-beaten bases surge
The Billows of Despair.
We dreamed it true. We never knew
What gentler ears he told it to.

We, bound with him in common care,
One-minded, celibate,
Resolved to Thought and Diet spare
Our lives to dedicate ;–
We, truly in no common sense,
Deserved his closest confidence !

But soon, and yet, though soon, too late,
We, sorrowing, sighed to find
A gradual softness enervate
That all superior mind,
Until,–in full assembly met,
He dared to speak of Etiquette.

The verse that we severe had known,
Assumed a wanton air,–
A fond effeminate monotone
Of eyebrows, lips, and hair ;
He read 'The Angel in the House' !

Nay worse. He, once sublime to chaff,
Grew ludicrously sore
If we but named a photograph
We found him simpering o'er ;
Or told how in his chambers lurked
a watch-guard intricately worked.

Then worse again. He tried to dress ;
He trimmed his tragic mane ;
Announcing at length (to our distress)
He had not 'lived in vain' ;–
Thenceforth his one prevailing mood
Became a base beatitude.

And O Jean Paul, and Fate,, and Soul !
We met him last, grown stout,
His throat with wedlock's triple roll,
'All wool,' enwound about ;
HIs very hat had changed its brim ;–
Our course was clear,––WE BANISHED HIM !

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Presidential Thank You

This is the third and last letter I have received from "My President."  Thousands of Americans will receive this letter from their President thanking them for writing him.  And to him, I say, "Thank you for being 'My President."

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

How the Affordable Care Act Really Became Unaffordable

Donald Trump tweeted this morning that the Democrats are to blame for the massive premium increases in the cost of Obama Care.

And that the Republicans must be careful: "the Dems own the failed ObamaCare disaster..."

If Marco Rubio were a Democrat, that might be true...

Republican researchers actually found a way to make the Affordable Care Act unaffordable two years ago.  And Marco Rubio introduced the seemingly unnoticed bill as a rider to the Omnibus Government Spending Bill.

The rider bill prohibited the Department of Health and Human Services from using government funds "to bail out" failing health insurance companies.

When the Affordable Care Act was created, insurers had no idea how much it would cost to insure the people who signed up for Obama Care. To entice the insurance companies to keep premium payments reasonable, the government created a Risk Corridor Program.  This program was set up to reimburse insurance companies who lost money during the first few years of Obama Care.  The funds for the Risk Corridor Program would come from either the excessive profits of successful insurance companies or from the government itself.   Senator Rubio's bill effectively killed the Risk Corridor Program by prohibiting the use of government funds to "bail out" failing insurance companies.

And insurance companies were fleeing from Obama Care as fast as they could. Some insurance companies folded, while others raised their rates a few months before the election.  Insurance companies lost 8 billion dollars.  So surely, the companies that survived would raise their premiums high enough to make a profit and then some.

And whose fault was it?  It had to be the Democrats!

And whose fault is it still?

Donald Trump wants you to think the Democrats own it...