I’m not sure if this is a snarky snippet or a mini rant … I’m leaning toward mini-rant, but I’ll let you decide. I know that by the time I finished writing it, there was smoke coming out of my ears, and my throat was sore from incessant growling. Aren’t you glad you don’t have to live with me?
Rogue cops … or is this the wave of the present?
Y’know … I have long said that most police officers are good people doing their best to keep the public safe, and that there were only a few rogue cops giving them all a bad rap. Today, I’m not so sure about that. From an article in The Washington Post …
“Police swarmed an impromptu field station in Asheville, N.C., on Tuesday, dispersing medics who had gathered in an alley to treat protesters.
The officers, wearing riot gear and carrying shields, violently dismantled the station. Police can be seen stomping on the provisions and stabbing water bottles in video and images captured by journalists at the Asheville Citizen Times.”
Sean Miller, a student at University of North Carolina at Asheville who spoke on behalf of the medics, told the Citizen Times that about a dozen people — including doctors and first responders — were at the medical station when police suddenly arrived. The medics moved the station to a public park after the police smashed about $700 worth of eyewash, food and other supplies.
This reminds me of something I would expect to see in a movie about Nazi Germany, not the former United States of America.
Sure, just trash the environment, Donnie!
Yesterday, Trump signed another one of his executive orders, this one calling on agencies to waive required environmental reviews of infrastructure projects. Environmental reviews. Waived. So, if a project will contaminate the water source that serves a community of thousands of people … oh well. If a project will completely eradicate a species of rabbits that live in its path … so what? This is Donald Trump’s land, after all, Donald Trump’s water and air supplies … none of the rest of us matter one whit!
The stated goal is to fast-track big new infrastructure projects to boost the economy, but in truth it is yet another bonus for the fossil fuel industry. Trump’s order directs federal agencies to look for ways to avoid time-consuming processes and build transportation and energy infrastructure, including highways, oil and gas pipelines, and fossil fuel export terminals.
Usually big projects like these require long approval processes under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). President Nixon signed NEPA into law in 1970. It requires agencies to examine the environmental impacts of their proposed actions and consider alternatives. It also gives people a chance to see how a project might affect them and weigh in on what decision the government should make. If a project affects an endangered animal or plant the Endangered Species Act might also be involved. Nixon may have been a crook, but he hads a hell of a lot more conscience than Trump has!
Another one takes a stand …
I am not a fan of Senator Chuck Grassley. He has been in the U.S. Senate since January 1981, nearly 40 years, and before that he served six years in the House of Representatives. He has an ‘A’ rating from the NRA, which tells you a lot right there, and after Trump took office and almost immediately fired James Comey, Grassley told people to “Suck it up and move on.”
But yesterday, he did something that I have to applaud. He announced that he is blocking Trump’s nominations of Christopher Miller to head the National Counterterrorism Center and Marshall Billingslea to be the State Department’s undersecretary for arms control and international security, pending explanations by Trump for the firing of a number of Inspectors General. He said he will not allow consideration of Miller’s nomination to proceed until the White House provides answers on Trump’s firing in April of intelligence community inspector general Michael Atkinson. In addition, he said Billingslea’s nomination cannot proceed until Trump explains why he terminated State Department inspector general Steve Linick last month.
In recent months (since February, when the Senate, including Grassley, gave Trump a free pass by refusing to convict him of the well-proven impeachment charges), Trump has fired five Inspectors General. In addition to Atkinson and Linick, he has pushed out Glenn Fine, chairman of the federal panel Congress created to oversee his administration’s management of the government’s $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package. He removed Christi Grimm as principal deputy inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services, after Grimm’s office criticized the administration’s response to the pandemic. And he replaced the acting inspector general at the Department of Transportation.
Says Grassley …
“Though the Constitution gives the president the authority to manage executive branch personnel, Congress has made it clear that should the president find reason to remove an inspector general, there ought to be a good reason for it. The White House’s response failed to address this requirement, which Congress clearly stated in statute and accompanying reports.”
This time, anyway, I’m proud of Grassley … it apparently takes a lot of courage to stand up to the bully in the White House … courage that very few of them seem to have.
They’re spending our tax dollars on WHAT???
You remember that $2 trillion bill Congress passed back in late March? Some taxpayers received $1,200 from the bill, some small businesses received some money, large chunks went to corporations affiliated with Trump & his cronies, but much of the money that was allocated to the Pentagon to “battle the coronavirus pandemic” has been spent on things that have literally not a damn thing to do with providing medical equipment or helping people in any way.
The Washington Post received a copy of the Pentagon’s spending plans to use the money. To date, of the $10.5 billion they received, they have spent only $2.65 billion. Most disturbing though, are some of the things they are spending the money on, such as submarine missile tubes, space launch facilities, and golf course staffing. GOLF COURSE STAFFING??? And just what earthly purpose in battling the coronavirus pandemic do submarine missile tubes and space launch facilities have??? Are they going to torpedo the virus, or send those who contract the virus into outer space? Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
Take a look at the article in The Post … it is guaranteed to make smoke start pouring out of your ears!