Just a few little tidbits of snark tonight …
Yesterday evening, I saw a tweet by Trump claiming how great the jobs numbers were, per the report issued yesterday morning by the Bureau of Labour Statistics. Sigh. Why is he so utterly ignorant that he cannot understand anything? Why do I keep having to explain the most basic concepts to he and his followers?
According to the report, issued a day early due to the fact that Friday is a federal holiday, 4.8 million jobs were added in June. Trump took that ball and ran with it, but wait! Those aren’t new jobs! Those were a percentage of the jobs that were lost in March, April and May! Those are simply a result of some businesses re-opening and calling back their staff, or hiring new employees to replace staff who cannot or will not return. 1.4 million jobs were lost in March, and 20.8 million in April, so that 4.8 million jobs added in June is but a drop in the bucket compared to what has been lost. Annnnnd … with businesses in many states, particularly restaurants and bars, the category where the most jobs were added, now closing again, some of those 4.8 million people are already out of work, once again.
And what credit Trump thinks he deserves is beyond me. What he does deserve credit for, however, is forcing the country to re-open too soon and thus we are now seeing the highest ever single-day new cases, with the last two days each topping 50,000, yesterday at 57,236 new cases. Place the onus where it belongs.
As I’m certain you’ve all heard by now, Trump’s niece, Mary L. Trump, has written a tell-all book about Trump and the Trump family, titled Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man. The book is due out at the end of this month … maybe … probably. It has already climbed to the top of the bestseller list, based on preorders.
Trump claims that his niece and the rest of the family were forced to sign non-disclosure agreements that would prohibit her from publishing the book. Say what??? Who makes their own family sign an NDA? And … if a person has nothing to hide, nothing to be ashamed of, why would he want to duct tape the mouths of his family? All valid questions, yes?
Three days ago, Judge Hal Greenwald of the New York State Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order pending a hearing scheduled for July 10th to decide whether Ms. Trump’s book violated the non-disclosure agreement she signed with other members of the Trump family in connection with a dispute over the estate of Fred Trump Sr., the president’s father. Then on Wednesday, New York State Supreme Court Justice Alan Scheinkman said Judge Greenwald had erred on Tuesday by issuing a broad restraining order that prohibited publisher Simon & Schuster from printing or distributing copies of the book.
“S&S is not a party to the settlement agreement and this Court perceives no basis for S&S to be specifically enjoined. Unlike Ms. Trump, S&S has not agreed to surrender or relinquish any of its First Amendment rights.”
Judge Scheinkman left in place, however, the order against Mary Trump and “any agent” of hers, leaving some uncertainty about whether Simon & Schuster is still covered by the order or would be risking contempt of court by moving forward with plans to release the book. Yesterday, Mary L. Trump asked the New York Supreme Court to lift the restraining order against her, saying in an affidavit that she was misled by the family into signing a confidentiality agreement in an inheritance case two decades ago. I imagine that with the holiday weekend, it will be next week before the next chapter of this saga is decided. Frankly, an NDA signed twenty years ago should be null and void by now, anyway. My best guess is that the book will be released on July 28th as scheduled, Trump will fume, fuss, and threaten everybody with every sort of lawsuit, and We the People will have our worst nightmares about the Trump clan confirmed.
Perhaps you remember Hurricane Dorian, the devastating Category 5 Atlantic hurricane, that became the most intense tropical cyclone on record to strike the Bahamas, and is regarded as the worst natural disaster in the country’s history. Well, maybe you don’t remember, unless you lived in an affected area. But, I bet you remember Trump’s major gaffe and his redrawing of the map with a Sharpie, which quickly became known as ‘Sharpiegate’.
Trump claimed that Alabama was at risk … it wasn’t. When the National Weather Service (NWS) corrected him, he took a copy of the map showing the hurricane’s anticipated trajectory, and using a Sharpie marker, extended the cone of uncertainty to include Southern Alabama, much as a 5-year-old child would do.
Two days later, on September 6, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) published an unsigned statement which supported Trump’s initial claim that Alabama was a target of the storm and criticized the Birmingham NWS office for denying it. It was later revealed that NOAA had been ordered to issue such a statement by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
Okay, so it’s just another sign of the utterly stupefying ignorance and corruption of the person in the Oval Office and his henchmen, and since it was almost a year ago, most of us have put it out of our mind. But now it’s back in the news again. There was an investigation into the meddling of the Commerce Department and Wilbur Ross into the affairs of the National Weather Service. The investigation is complete, and the final report is ready to be issued, except … Wilbur Ross has halted the release of the report.
The inspector general for the Commerce Department, Peggy Gustafson, sent a memo to Secretary Wilbur Ross on Wednesday evening expressing “deep concern” that the department is infringing on the office’s independence by preventing the release of a final report on the investigation of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration statement about Hurricane Dorian in 2019. Not only that, but Ms. Gustafson posted the memo to the Office of the Inspector General’s website, a very rare public airing in a dispute between an agency inspector general and a Cabinet secretary. How much do you want to bet that Trump fires Ms. Gustafson within a week, as he has so many other inspectors general?
A redacted summary report was issued on June 26th, with promise of a full, unredacted report on Monday, June 29th. That didn’t happen, however. In short, the summary concluded that the Commerce Department ran a “flawed process” that did not sufficiently engage NOAA and went against the interests of the agency and the National Weather Service, which it oversees, not to mention the safety of the people.
All this because the megalomaniac in the Oval Office could not simply admit that he made a mistake. How much has this all cost We the Taxpayer? Two U.S. senators, one a democrat and one a republican, sent a letter to Secretary Ross Thursday, expressing bipartisan concern about the alleged obstruction.
“We expect you … to immediately rectify the issues outlined by the DOC OIG that are preventing the completion of the Evaluation of NOAA’s September 6, 2019, Statement About Hurricane Dorian Forecasts.”
Stay tuned, folks … we haven’t heard the end of this yet.