Cooper: Gut wrenching

Cooper: Gut wrenching

I hope by the time this column is published, I will no longer have to double up on the daily probiotics I take. Seems the bad bacteria in my digestive system is having a party in response to the election and managing to overwhelm the good bacteria. The balance of bacterial power is definitely off.

I’ve written about these clever little bugs before and how, according to studies, they can influence our emotions. I must admit they seem to know what’s going on better than my elite brain or mind center which is in a state of confusion.

Our country is going to experience a big change in that one political party will control the House, Senate and Presidency. Since most of our media are addicted to conflict and gossip spurred on by the viewing public, most of us find it difficult to sort facts from fiction.

I know from experience that the only way I will clear confusion and know my course is to understand the facts and implications for me, others, our community and our country.

Clearing confusion

The last time I felt it in my best interests to increase my understanding of a major transition bound to change my life was when I came to grips with the fact I was on the cusp of old age. Yikes, did that realization bring on a myriad of feelings!

I realized that despite a career in health care devoted to programs to support the care, treatment independence and dignity of older folk facing serious health issues, that I knew little about adjusting to this final life transition.

In this case, I decided it was in my best interests to understand aging as well as I could, especially how it related to maintaining quality of life among the many losses that aging brings. I researched natural aging, talked with other women and interviewed professionals working in the field.

Early in the process, I turned what became a three-year inquiry into a book about women and aging. Mission accomplished. I finally got it.

I don’t have three years before the arrival of the political transition from what some have called “the status quo” to a “greater” America. Proceeding forward, my first step into the future was to go directly to the legislative agenda outlined in the House proposed budget for 2017. Once there, I quickly realized that it would take me three years to understand the budget in all its meaning, let alone convey to readers.

Check out to see what I mean.

However, one can readily see the philosophies behind the budget, none of which is a surprise. First up, the budget points to the need to reduce duplication of anti-poverty programs (Page 6) and calls for support of self-sufficiency through eliminating dependence on government.

I was particularly interested in infrastructure (Pages 18-19) because I believe that infrastructure investment is necessary to maintain our communities and to jump-start jobs, wages and the economy. The House budget seems to believe the same and that it is best done by using innovative funding mechanisms such as private and public partnerships instead of dipping into the general fund to supplement fees paid by transporters who use the highways.

Transferring control from the federal government to the states was a general theme in infrastructure and in other programs such as Medicaid. I recall the shift that took place decades ago when tax revenue from wealthier states was redistributed to poorer states to increase access to programs like health care in poorer states.

I wonder if the shift back means wealthier states will keep their tax revenues. Interesting thought.

I was somewhat surprised by the boldness of the proposed budget around energy (Pages 17-18). The budget calls for energy development and innovation to be done through the private sector. “The budget encourages further oil and natural gas exploration both onshore and offshore, and on both private and public lands.”

It calls for reforming and streamlining — possible code for eliminate — research and development programs across the Department of Energy, including “green” energy programs. The Environmental Protection Agency role is reduced to enforcing regulations as passed by Congress and no longer rewriting or interpreting them.

Unless mentioned in a part of the budget I didn’t read, climate change is not a factor in the budget.

Clearing the ‘Blue Air’

Since there is no budget or field map for the “blue air” that characterized the campaign rhetoric of our about to be President, I’ve heard or seen nothing that tells me obscene language, humiliation of individuals and groups of people, especially those not in agreement with or critical of him, will stop.

I did go on to see what all the fuss is about given the website’s former executive has been appointed a close advisor to the President-elect and rumored to hold all kinds of discriminatory views. The site has a point of view which it promotes. Clearly the site was having fun poking at news reporters/commentators from MSNBC by showing them eating crow.

Republicans didn’t escape what seemed to be warnings. One article alleged that Paul Ryan, who was just reelected as Speaker of the House, and other Congressional leaders, were “trying to distort Donald Trump’s “America First” mandate on trade and immigration to comply with the globalist agenda demanded by the party’s major donors.” Whatever that means.

Articles about ethnic groups are featured at Breitbart. I read a couple of articles. One that got my attention referred to data recently released by the FBI about hate crimes and reported that the blue states of California, Washington, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts had the highest rates of hate crimes. The explanation of why populous states with large cities would have greater numbers than say North Dakota was left to the reader’s imagination.

The website was spinning so what’s new under the sun. MSNBC and FOX News are known to do the same. The blatant assault on our sensibilities and the demeaning of those less powerful that rolled from the mouth of our next President wasn’t spin. It had nothing to do with political correctness. It was abuse. It was wrong. It should not be left to define our country.

I believe in redemption but not without a sincere expression of remorse and recanting the behavior. Mr. President-elect, I’m waiting.

It’s gut wrenching.

Bertha D. Cooper is retired from a 40-plus year career as a health care administrator focusing on the delivery system as a whole. She still does occasional consulting. She is a featured columnist at the Sequim Gazette. Reach her at

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