How Mitch McConnell Killed The Senate

On occasion, I share with you the work of Robert Reich.  Mr. Reich has served under three U.S. presidents of both parties and is a wise man who sees things as they are and isn’t afraid to call a spade a spade.  In the following essay, he analyzes the ways in which McConnell is changing not only the Senate, but the whole of the U.S. system.  I think his words are worth sharing …

 

Robert Reich-4How Mitch McConnell Killed The Senate

by Robert Reich

Congress has recessed for two weeks without passing a desperately-needed disaster relief bill. Why not? Because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell didn’t want to anger Donald Trump by adding money for Puerto Rico that Democrats have sought but Trump doesn’t want.

America used to have a Senate. But under McConnell, what was once known as the world’s greatest deliberative body has become a partisan lap dog.

Recently McConnell used his Republican majority to cut the time for debating Trump’s court appointees from 30 hours to two – thereby enabling Republicans to ram through even more Trump judges.

In truth, McConnell doesn’t give a fig about the Senate, or about democracy. He cares only about partisan wins.

On the eve of the 2010 midterm elections he famously declared that his top priority was for Barack Obama “to be a one-term president.”

Between 2009 and 2013, McConnell’s Senate Republicans blocked 79 Obama nominees. In the entire history of the United States until that point, only 68 presidential nominees had been blocked.

This unprecedented use of the filibuster finally led Senate Democrats in 2013 to change the rules on some presidential nominees (but not the Supreme Court) to require simple majorities.

In response, McConnell fumed that “breaking the rules to change the rules is un-American.” If so, McConnell is about as un-American as they come. Once back in control of the Senate he buried Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court by refusing even to hold hearings.

Then, in 2017, McConnell and his Republicans changed the rules again, ending the use of the filibuster even for Supreme Court nominees and clearing the way for Senate confirmation of Trump’s Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

Step by step, McConnell has sacrificed the Senate as an institution to partisan political victories.

There is a vast difference between winning at politics by playing according to the norms of our democracy, and winning by subverting those norms.

To Abraham Lincoln, democracy was a covenant linking past and future. Political institutions, in his view, were “the legacy bequeathed to us.”

On the eve of the Senate’s final vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act in July 2017, the late John McCain returned to Washington from his home in Arizona, where he was being treated for brain cancer, to cast the deciding vote against repeal.

Knowing he would be criticized by other Republicans, McCain noted that over his career he had known senators who seriously disagreed with each other but nonetheless understood “they had an obligation to work collaboratively to ensure the Senate discharged its constitutional responsibilities effectively.”

In words that have even greater relevance today, McCain added that “it is our responsibility to preserve that, even when it requires us to do something less satisfying than ‘winning’.”

In politics, success should never be measured solely by partisan victories. It must also be judged by the institutional legacy passed onward. The purpose of political leadership is not merely to win. It is to serve.

In any social or political system it’s always possible to extract benefits by being among the first to break widely accepted norms. In a small town where people don’t lock their doors or windows, the first thief can effortlessly get into anyone’s house. But once broken, the system is never the same. Everyone has to buy locks. Trust deteriorates.

Those, like Mitch McConnell, who break institutional norms for selfish or partisan gains are bequeathing future generations a weakened democracy.

The difference between winning at politics by playing according to the norms and rules of our democracy, and winning by subverting them, could not be greater. Political victories that undermine the integrity of our system are net losses for society.

Great athletes play by the rules because the rules make the game. Unprincipled athletes cheat or change the rules in order to win. Their victories ultimately destroy the game.

In terms of shaping the federal courts, McConnell has played “the long game”, which, incidentally, is the title of his 2016 memoir. Decades from now, McConnell will still be shaping the nation through judges he rammed through the Senate.

But McConnell’s long game is destroying the Senate.

He is longest-serving leader of Senate Republicans in history but Mitch McConnell is no leader. He is the epitome of unprincipled power. History will not treat him kindly.

♫ Listen To The Music ♫

There are hundreds, if not thousands of songs in the world of ♫♪♫ that I love, and yet some nights I find myself at a loss for one that I haven’t already played since I began posting music last July (at the suggestion of one of my first blogging buddies, Mr. Militant Negro) last July.  Exhaustion, coupled with the dark cloud over my head these days, I suppose, keeps me from immediately being able to think of another favourite of yore.  So, when somebody mentions or requests a song that I do like, I jump on it!  Tonight’s song came about just so.  David, who wasn’t all that thrilled with Michael McDonald’s I Keep Forgettin’ a few nights ago, mentioned that he likes Listen to the Music by the Doobie Brothers.  And so, when I was feeling really down tonight, considering just skipping the music post altogether as I sometimes do, I found this tune floating around in my head.  So, here we are …

The song, released in 1972,  was written by the band’s lead vocalist Tom Johnston, who also played guitar on the track. This was the Doobie Brothers’ first big hit  According to Johnston …

“It was all based around this somewhat Utopian view of the world. The idea was that music would lift man up to a higher plane, and that world leaders, if they were able to sit down on some big grassy knoll where the sun was shining and hear music – such as the type I was playing – would figure out that everybody had more in common than they had not in common, and it was certainly not worth getting in such a bad state of affairs about. Everybody in the world would therefore benefit from this point of view. Just basically that music would make everything better. And of course I’ve since kind of realized it doesn’t work that way.”

As to how he came up with it …

“I was sitting in my bedroom in San Jose. I was doing what I always do, I had been up playing guitar for hours. It was like 2 or 3 in the morning. I had the opening riff to it, and I think I figured out all of the chord changes as well. I called Teddy (producer Ted Templeman), woke him up, and played it for him over the phone, and he was less than enthusiastic. I think it was because I woke him up. But he said, ‘Well, yeah, it might be pretty good. Needs a couple of changes.’ But we didn’t ever change anything. It stayed the way it was, the way I had it. The chord changes and everything we made are the same. In the studio, the bass part was added by Tiran (Porter), drums were added by Mike (Hossack), and Pat (Simmons) came up with a couple of parts and put in that banjo at the end. And it was the second time anybody had ever used something like phasing on a record. First time was ‘The Big Hurt’ by Toni Fisher. But things like ‘Long Train Runnin’,’ I said, ‘You’re nuts. It’ll never be a single.’ And it was.”

Without further ado … this is for you, David …

Listen to the Music
The Doobie Brothers

Don’t you feel it growing, day by day
People getting ready for the news
Some are happy, some are sad
Woah, gotta let the music play

Mhm
What the people need is a way to make them smile
It ain’t so hard to do if you know how
Gotta get a message, get it on through
Oh now momma don’t you ask me why

Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
All the time

When I know you know baby, everything I say
Meet me in the country for a day
We’ll be happy and we’ll dance
Oh, we’re gonna dance our blues away

And if I’m feeling good to you and you’re feeling good to me
There ain’t nothing we can’t do or say
Feeling good, feeling fine
Oh, baby, let the music play

Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
All the time

Like a lazy flowing river
Surrounding castles in the sky
And the crowd is growing bigger
Listening for the happy sounds
And I got to let them fly

Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
All the time

Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
All the time

Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music
Woah, oh listen to the music

All the timeSongwriters: Tom Johnston
Listen to the Music lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

She … She Said WHAT???

Ms. Sarah Huckabee Sanders sold whatever soul or conscience she once may have had long ago, perhaps on May 5, 2017 when she held her first White House press briefing, standing in for then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer.  Mr. Spicer ultimately had the good sense to realize that he would not be able to sleep at nights if he continued telling the outrageous lies demanded by Trump, for he was possessed of a conscience.

Sarah-cartoon-2I largely ignore Ms. Sanders, for she is naught but a mouthpiece, says what she is told to say, and I cannot stand to look at her facial contortions nor hear her whiny voice.  However, this past weekend she was on a tear, and dear friend Ellen fed me just enough tidbits to pique my curiosity, so I had to go see for myself.  Sigh.  Where is that blood pressure medicine???

How doth she offend me?  Let me count the ways …

During an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox ‘News’ Sunday

Sarah-Sanders-Chris-Wallace“I don’t think Congress — particularly not this group of congressmen and women — are smart enough to look through the thousands of pages that I would assume that President Trump’s taxes will be.  My guess is that most of them don’t do their own taxes, and I certainly don’t trust them to look through the decades of success that the president has and determine anything.”

Grrrrrr.  Any single member of Congress is more qualified to review those taxes than Ms. Sanders, and we don’t need ‘thousands of pages’.  We’re only asking for six lousy years’ worth!  And Sarah … “success”???  The ‘man’ with more than 5,000 lawsuits in his career?  Think about that one, sweet cheeks.

“[Trump] is a person and a president of law and order. That’s his entire focus since coming in is actually restoring law and order to this country. … The president has asked them to do everything they can and everything they’re allowed to do under the law to stop the massive crisis we have at our southern border. It’s the same thing he says publicly day in and day out.”

Grrrrrrrrrr.  Law and order???  Did she really say ‘law and order’?  Trump believes himself and his minions to be above the law.  He incites violence, defends lawless organizations such as white supremacists and neo-Nazis, and she says he’s about law and order?  There was no crisis at the southern border until Trump fabricated one, then started stealing children from their parents and tossing them into cages, not even bothering to keep track of where they were!  Just last week Trump privately urged acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Kevin McAleenan, to close the border and told him that he would issue a pardon if McAleenan ran into any legal troubles for doing so.  How is this ‘law and order’???Sarah-cartoonOn This Week with George Stephanopoulos …

Regarding Trump’s ignominious, hateful tweet about Representative Ilhan Omar:

“It’s absolutely abhorrent the comments she continues to make and has made and Democrats look the other way. I find what her comments to be absolutely disgraceful and unbefitting of a member of Congress and I think that it’s a good thing that the president is calling her out for those comments, and the big question is why aren’t Democrats doing it as well.”

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.  If you could be bothered, Ms. Sanders, to read the entirety of Representative Omar’s CAIR speech, perhaps you could better understand that the single sentence your boss chose to focus on was taken completely out of context and that there was not a damn thing wrong with what she said!  She did something you never do … she told the truth!  Your boss put her life in danger, with a childish, juvenile act more befitting a 9-year-old than a 72-year-old who happens to be, for better or for worse, the leader of a nation.

Sarah-Sanders-3I’m certain that if I wished to dig deeper, I could find even more, but already I had to take a break from writing this post to de-stress by washing a sink full of dishes … don’t worry, I only broke a couple.  The job of a White House press secretary is to serve as a liaison between the president and the press.  Ms. Sanders is, rather, a puppet … a mouthpiece, who is so pre-programmed that when she is asked a question, the best she can do is condemn the reporter who asked it.  I suppose that if one lacks intelligence, the best defense is a good offense, and Ms. Sanders has that one down pat – she is very offensive.

HELP!!! — Part I

People who are not consumed by greed or blinded by Trumpism understand that the human race is racing toward self-extinction as a result of careless lifestyle habits in the industrial age.  It isn’t just one single thing, but a conglomeration of many things, the extraction and burning of fossil fuels, increasing use of plastics, increased consumption of beef and pork, overpopulation, far too many vehicles on the roadways, and more.  Credible climate science tells us that we have a very narrow window of time to take major steps to control and reverse the damage being done to the atmosphere.  And yet, while many countries are heeding the call, the United States is not, as a nation, taking the warnings seriously.

Point in case is this headline from ThinkProgress:

Republicans push anti-wind bills in several states as renewables grow increasingly popular

In regions like the South, the potential for renewable energy abounds. That isn’t going over well with fossil fuel interests.

Data shows that renewable alternatives to energy sources like coal are increasingly cheaper, in addition to helping offset greenhouse gas emissions. But as they continue to gain prominence, power sources like wind are becoming a popular target for those with a vested interest in fossil fuels. Now, opponents are using everything from national security arguments to targeting tax incentives in order to hobble wind power.

North Carolina is one of several states in which lawmakers are pushing new proposals to undercut wind energy. State Senator Harry Brown has proposed Senate Bill 377, the ‘Military Base Protection Act’, that posits that wind farms pose a national security risk and would essentially outlaw wind farms built on land within 100 miles of the state’s coast.

North Carolina’s Amazon Wind Farm, the first large-scale wind farm in the state, went through years of review and permitting studies, in addition to coordinating with the U.S. Navy and Department of Defense. Proponents of renewable energy say arguments about national security are just another way for fossil fuel interests to dissuade potential wind and solar investments in the state.

Folks, I don’t care if you’re republican or democrat, Christian, Jew or atheist, you are a member of the human race, and as such ought to care a bit more than this about our home.  Members of Congress, state legislatures, and voters need to wake the heck up!  CEOs of fossil fuel interests need to take their heads out of their patooties and realize that all that lovely money they are making isn’t going to do them a damn bit of good when they’re dead!  And dead is where they, their children, and their children’s children are going to be before the end of this century if this greed and ignorance continues!

An environmental firm, Energy Innovation in partnership with the grid analysis company Vibrant Clean Energy, issued a report on March 24th.  Their findings …

America has officially entered the “coal cost crossover” – where existing coal is increasingly more expensive than cleaner alternatives.  Today, local wind and solar could replace approximately 74 percent of the U.S. coal fleet at an immediate savings to customers. By 2025, this number grows to 86 percent of the coal fleet.

There is no longer any justification for the fight against renewable energy, and yet corporate greed and politicians in the pockets of the fossil fuel industry are trying to keep this nation from moving ahead.  Trump has claimed that there was a “war on coal” and that he is ending it, even calling for a bail-out of the coal industry.  There is no “war on coal”, but there is a battle to save the human race from extinction – a near certainty if we do not act soon.

Take Iceland, for example.  They are the country that generates the most clean electricity per capita on earth, with almost 100% of its energy coming from renewable sources.  Sweden, Costa Rica, United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark … the list goes on of countries that are taking climate change effects seriously and being proactive in the fight to save lives, to save the planet.  The United States does not even come close.  There are states, cities and even some companies that are doing their part, but the effort needs to be wide-scale, it needs to start at the federal level.

I wish to leave you with something to think about.  Look ahead just a few years.  Many countries will have, through great effort and planning, ceased drilling, mining, or using fossil fuels, but instead will be relying 100% on renewable energy sources.  They will have become carbon-neutral, have stopped using single-use plastics, and found innovative ways to clean up the air and coastlines.  The United States may be the only nation that is doing … nothing.  Now, our pollution doesn’t just affect us, but affects the entire globe.  If you were, say, Germany or the United Kingdom, how would you feel about this?

fat-baronI can foresee a time when the European Union joins with other nations to offer an ultimatum to the United States that, if ignored, could lead to all-out war.  I wonder if the fat coal and oil barons will still think their profits are so all-important?  Frankly, if they were smart men, they would have seen this coming long ago and began investing their resources into renewables, phasing out the coal mines and oil fields.  But they are not intelligent beings, only greedy ones.  And they don’t give a rat’s you-know-what about you or me, or even their own grandchildren.

It’s time to get serious about this, folks … matter of fact, it’s way past time.  Stay tuned, for I am not finished!solar-energy

♫ The Twelfth Of Never ♫

The “Twelfth of Never” is an expression that defines the date of a future event that will never happen at all.

This song was written in 1956 and recorded by Johnny Mathis the following year.  Mathis did not like the song at first, saying …

“I didn’t like it because it was all so repetitious, and nothing seemed to happen. And I was really Joe College at that time. I was right out of college and I was hot to trot. I wanted to do something, you know, rah-rah-rah, something earth-shattering – at least pyrotechnical.”

Twelfth of Never
Johnny Mathis

You ask me how much I need you, must I explain?
I need you, oh my darling, like roses need rain
You ask how long I’ll love you, I’ll tell you true
Until the Twelfth of Never, I’ll still be loving you

Hold me close, never let me go
Hold me close, melt my heart like April snow

I’ll love you ’til the bluebells forget to bloom
I’ll love you ’til the clover has lost its perfume
I’ll love you ’til the poets run out of rhyme
Until the Twelfth of Never and that’s a long, long time

Until the Twelfth of Never and that’s a long, long time

Songwriters: Jerry Livingston / Paul Webster
Twelfth of Never lyrics © Guy Webster/Webster Music

‘Joyful’ Monday

Jollys girlfriend JoyfulGood morning, folks … c’mon in … please forgive the mess … the kitties decided to shred a couple of cardboard boxes last night, and I haven’t had a chance to vacuum yet.  I’m sad to tell you that Jolly is still not up to himself, but his girlfriend Joyful, to whom I introduced you back in October, has volunteered to fill in for him!  I couldn’t have done it without her!

Now, I let Joyful help me prepare the snacks for this morning, so I know you’ll all be nice and overlook a few … um … shall we say … burnt offerings.  (I made the coffee myself) Grab a snack and let’s get this week off to a happy start, shall we?

coffee            juice box               tea-2


This really happened in China last week.  A woman named Li had just withdrawn ¥2500, an amount of yen equal to about $371 USD from an ATM machine, and as she turned to leave, a man named Deng came up behind her, armed with a knife, and demanding she hand over the cash she had just received.  She did as told, but when he counted the cash, Deng apparently wasn’t satisfied and told her to go back into her account to withdraw more.  Apparently, Li had withdrawn all, or mostly all, of the funds she had, and when Deng saw the balance in her account, guess what he did?  He started laughing.  And then, he handed the money back to Li.  Now, we don’t know what was said because all we have is video footage, but I can imagine him saying, “Here, lady, you need this more than me!”

Deng surely must have known he was on candid camera, and that is how police caught up to him.  Almost makes you feel sorry for him, doesn’t it?


Now, imagine that you are house-sitting for a friend and you suddenly hear strange sounds coming from one of the bathrooms.  That is exactly what happened to a woman in Portland, Oregon.  Now, I have to ask, why does anybody need a ‘house-sitter’?  I can understand a pet-sitter, for pets need to be fed, groomed, pottied, and kept an eye on, but a house isn’t going anywhere, it doesn’t eat, it doesn’t poop!  Anyway, this woman was house-sitting, when she heard really odd noises coming out of the bathroom.  The door to the bathroom was closed, but she could see movement under the door, so she drew the conclusion that there was a thief in the bathroom.  And she did what anyone would do, right?  She called the cops!  (Note, here, that I am an aberration and likely would have opened the bloomin’ door, because … a), I’m not right bright, and b) why would a burglar be holed up in the bathroom???!)

Well, the cops show up in force, guns drawn, and burst into the bathroom … to find …criminal roombaYep, one of those Roomba thing-a-mah-doos that vacuums the floor by itself.  Apparently, this Roomba decided the floor had become dusty … now who in the heck vacuums the bathroom, anyway?  According to Sergeant Danny DiPietro …

“In 13 years, this is my first Roomba burglar.”


It’s been a while since I’ve done a piece with some funny road signs …

road-1                       road-2road-3road-4road-5road-6road-7road-8

road-9road-10


Yo … Joyful … I’m struggling here … what do you have to share with our friends?

Jollys girlfriend Joyful

I gots some cartoons, ‘cuz Jolly tol’ me dey like cartoons.  Okay?

Okay, Joyful … take over for me … show us what you’ve got!

toon-1toon-2toon-3toon-4Those were great Joyful!  Thank you, honey!  Now go back and see to Jolly … here, take him a fresh cup of tea …

cuppa tea

Wait … I gots one more thing I liked, ‘k?  Lookie …cat-dog-meme.pngAwww … that’s so cute, Joyful!  Thank you!


Folks, I’ve got just one more thing for this morning … it’s a short one, but so funny it even made me laugh!


And that’s a wrap for this Monday, I’m afraid.  Without my Jolly … well … I’m just not very good at this on my own.  I hope you all have a wonderful week, and please, take a smile on your way out to share with somebody who might need one this week.  Love and Hugs from Filosofa, Jolly and Joyful!Monday-basket-smiles

Small & Feeble Minds …

I live in a community that is probably 35% refugees from Middle-Eastern countries.  Our neighbors to the right are refugees from first Iraq, then Syria and have become our closest friends.  We share meals and holidays, share our cultures, laughter and love.  In the days following 9/11, another Iraqi family down the street whose daughters were friends with Miss Goose came to our door asking if there was anything they could do for us and saying how very sorry they were for what had happened.  I was so touched.  The police had to place patrols in the parking lot of the local mosque 24/7, for the Muslim community began receiving threats.  It was a tough time for us all … including our Muslim brothers and sisters.

We’ve come a long way since September 11, 2001.  Or have we?  Last November, the people of this nation elected three Muslim women to the U.S. House of Representatives, which would seem to indicate that we are moving … have moved … past the bigotry and Islamophobia that seemed in some ways to define the days and weeks after 9/11.  However, at least one person in this nation seems to have a problem with those women, one in particular.  The person I refer to is Donald Trump, and the newly-elected representative is Ilhan Omar, a representative from the state of Minnesota.Ilhan-Omar-Time-magIt all started back in February when Ms. Omar made a comment criticizing Israel’s occupation of Palestine.  House Minority Leader and member of the House Freedom Caucus, Kevin McCarthy, jumped all over her comment, saying it was even worse than Representative Steve King’s support of white supremacy.  He claimed her comment was ‘anti-Semitic’ (it was not), and rallied the forces of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) to condemn Ms. Omar.  What happened next was a series of back-and-forth that isn’t worth the time and space to relate here, but suffice it to say that Ms. Omar made quite clear that she was not speaking against the Jewish people, but against the state of Israel overstepping its bounds by occupying Palestine.  For the record, I agree with her.

“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country. I want to ask why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the NRA (National Rifle Association), of fossil fuel industries or Big Pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobbying group that is influencing policies?”

Then last month, Ms. Omar once again came under fire after giving a speech at an event hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), where she was speaking in response to the two mosque shootings in New Zealand, speaking about the lingering fear directed at Muslims since 9/11, and the rights Muslims have to speak out about being viewed with suspicion.

“CAIR was founded after 9/11, because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties. Many people expect our community to feel like it needs to hide every time something happens. But repeatedly we have shown them that we are not to be bullied, not to be threatened, we are not to be terrorized, we are strong and resilient, and we will always show up to be ourselves because we know we have a right to a dignified existence and a dignified life.”

Many of us knew this would get worse, we finally have a leader, a world leader, in the White House who publicly says ‘Islam hates us,’ who fuels hate against Muslims, who thinks it is okay to speak about a faith and a whole community in a way that is dehumanizing, vilifying and doesn’t understand — or at least makes us want to think he doesn’t understand — the consequences his words might have.”

And once again, the republicans and Donald Trump were off the rails, with one comment I read even referring to CAIR as a ‘terrorist organization’.  There is no need for me to repeat all the ignorant comments that came out of the depths of ignorance, but one person took the hate and bigotry a step further, possibly even putting Ms. Omar’s life in danger.  That person is Donald Trump.

On Friday, Donald Trump who calls himself a ‘president’, took one small portion of Ms. Omar’s speech out of context and re-tweeted a doctored video that I will not replay here, for it denigrates every citizen of this nation, including Representative Omar, but suffice it to say that it attempts to show her as being dismissive of the lives that were lost on that tragic day.  This is the work of a small and feeble mind.  When the ‘man’ at the helm of a nation of more than 300 million people resorts to such juvenile tactics, he incites violence by the other small and feeble minds in the nation.  Who, really, is the terrorist here?  It seems to me the one who calls himself a ‘president’ is as much a terrorist as were Mohamed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi, and Ziad Jarrah.

Predictably, the republicans and conservative media outlets went wild.  Ms. Omar has already been the focus of threats, including one by a Trump supporter who was recently arrested.  On April 7, Patrick Carlineo Jr., an ardent Trump supporter, was arrested for making violent threats in a phone call to Omar’s office. According to the criminal complaint, on March 21, Carlineo told one of Omar’s staff: “Omar’s a fucking terrorist. I’ll put a bullet in her fucking skull.”

Is this really the sort of nation we want to be?  Is this how we want to be viewed as a society?  The majority of us are capable of thinking for ourselves, reading or hearing Ms. Omar’s speech and understanding that it was a plea for inclusiveness, a condemnation of bigotry.  Sadly, however, there are people in this nation who, rather than use their own minds, prefer to believe what they are told.  In truth, we should be able to believe what the president of the country tells us, but under the current regime, it has been proven thousands of times that he lies to suit his own purposes.

I have the utmost respect for Representative Ilhan Omar, and if anything happens to her, her blood will be on the hands of one Donald Trump.  It’s time, people, to wake up and oust this abomination who some call ‘president’.

♫ I Keep Forgettin’ ♫

Tonight I am tired and was just settling down after washing a mountain of dishes to decide on the song for the day, but my mind wasn’t cooperating.  Then all of a sudden, as if dropped onto my dashboard by karma, came a comment from friend Patty with a suggestion …

“How about,  I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near) by Michael McDonald? I love that one!!!!”, said she, and so it shall be!

Michael McDonald recorded this with his sister Maureen McDonald providing background vocals. It was featured on If That’s What It Takes, his first solo album away from The Doobie Brothers.  Greg Phillinganes, Steve Lukather and Jeff Porcaro of the band Toto played the clavinet, guitar and drums respectively. Noted bassist Louis Johnson laid down the song’s pronounced bassline.

This song was written by the legendary songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, and was originally recorded by R&B singer Chuck Jackson in 1962. The song was also recorded by The Checkmates Ltd. and The Hi-Fi’s before Michael McDonald put together a new version of the song with Ed Sanford of Sanford And Townsend. It was the first solo hit for McDonald.

And without further ado … here you go, Patty!

I Keep Fogettin’ (Every Time You’re Near)
Michael McDonald

I keep forgettin’ we’re not in love anymore
I keep forgettin’ things will never be the same again
I keep forgettin’ how you made that so clear
I keep forgettin’

Everytime you’re near
Everytime I see you smile
Hear your “hello”
Saying you can only stay a while

Hey, I know that it’s hard for you
To say the things that we both know are true
But tell me how come

I keep forgettin’ we’re not in love anymore
I keep forgettin’ things will never be the same again
I keep forgettin’ how you made that so clear
I keep forgettin’

Everytime I hear
How you never want to live a lie
How it’s gone too far
And you don’t have to tell me why

Why you’re gone and the game is through
If this is what’s real, if this is what’s true
Tell me how come

I keep forgettin’ we’re not in love anymore (baby)
I keep forgettin’ things will never be the same again
I keep forgettin’ how you made that so clear (yeah, baby)
I keep forgettin’

Don’t say that, don’t say that, don’t say that
I know you’re not mine anymore, anyway, anytime
But tell me how come

I keep forgettin’ we’re not in love anymore (How come I)
I keep forgettin’ things will never be the same again
I keep forgettin’ how you made that so clear
I keep forgettin’ (baby)

Everytime you’re near (I keep forgettin’ we’re not in love anymore)
Everytime you’re near (I keep forgettin’ things will never be the same again)
Oh Baby (I keep forgettin’ how you made that so clear)
Everytime you’re near (I keep forgettin’)

Songwriters: Jerry Leiber / Mike Stoller
I Keep Fogettin’ (Every Time You’re Near) lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Filosofa’s BIG Announcement!

Okay, folks … here is my big announcement:

I’ve decided to run for President of the United States in November 2020! 

Um … don’t everybody wear your hands out applauding now … well, a little bit of applause might be nice … okay, I’ll settle for those few chuckles I heard.

Now, I can’t afford a huge campaign, and I will NOT take a single dime from any business or lobbying interest, so that puts me at a disadvantage before I even get to the gate. However, I do have a few advantages over the rest of the pack, but I’ll get to those in a minute.

First, a few of my highest priorities:

  • Environmental
    • The United States will immediately, the day after I take office, rejoin the Paris Accord
    • All regulations on the fossil fuel and auto industries that were revoked by my predecessor will immediately be re-instated
    • I will petition Congress for emergency funding to re-build the Environmental Protection Agency and will nominate a conscientious person as director of that agency
    • We will enhance our renewable energy resources and provide incentives for companies to develop new sustainable energy sources
  • Constitutional Issues
    • I will support freedom of the press to the fullest, even when I don’t like what they say about me – the free press is our only hope for remaining a free people
    • Separation of church and state will be the law. There is no place for religion in government, and this government will support no particular religion over another
    • I will petition Congress for a ban on all assault weapons, and for expanded background checks, as well as training and licensing in order to obtain any sort of firearm
  • Education
    • All funding for the Department of Education will go toward public schools where all children will be treated equally; taxpayer money will NOT be used for ‘charter’ schools that benefit only the few
    • I will propose that Congress introduce legislation to provide free college tuition for a minimum of two years to all students whose annual family income falls below $100,000
    • School curriculums will be evaluated and re-designed as necessary in order to provide students with a well-balanced education that includes both career training and a liberal arts education
    • Religion will not be taught in public schools. Parents who wish their children to obtain religious training may send their children to religious schools at their own expense
  • Health Care
    • No person in the country will be without affordable healthcare. Most will pay according to their ability to pay, without such payment placing undo hardship.  Those who cannot afford to pay will receive free healthcare
    • There will be an ad hoc committee to study prescription drug costs and appropriate caps will be put on all pharmaceuticals
  • Taxation
    • The tax brackets will be expanded for those earning over $100,000 per year. Those whose net worth is $1 million or more will fall into the highest income tax brackets, to be determined before year end
  • Economy
    • Unfettered capitalism will cease to exist. My administration will place a higher value on human life than on GDP
    • The Chairman of the Federal Reserve will decide at what point it is prudent to raise or lower interest rates without coercion from myself or others. This is not a political agency, but one based on the best interest of the nation
    • We will aim for a balanced budget, or at least reduce the deficit by 20% each year, and will not increase the national debt beyond its current levels
  • International Relations
    • We will begin re-building trust among our allies in whatever way possible
    • We will hold Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman accountable for the brutal murder of our journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year by severing any arms agreements, and imposing other sanctions as seen fit
    • There will be NO wall on our border

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but merely the top bullet points of my platform.  Now, what do I bring to the table, since it damn sure isn’t money or fame?

Honesty and integrity, for starters.  I will take not a single dime from any organization that seeks special favours or sees their donation as creating an obligation.  I will not lie … if I cannot tell you something, I will simply say that I cannot discuss it, but I will not lie or over-inflate my achievements.  I will demand the same from any cabinet members that I select.

Compassion and humanity.  I will put the people of this nation … all the people … ahead of profit.  One thing this means is that I will never demean or mock another human being.  We’ve had enough of that to last a lifetime.  I will not tolerate bigotry in any form. The emphasis of this government will be people, not weapons of war, not profit for the biggest corporations, but the well-being of people.

Literacy.  Unlike my predecessor, I have studied politics and history all my life, hold a B.S. in both Accounting and Political Science, and an M.A. in International Relations.  I have read the U.S. Constitution at least 50 times in the past 30 years and have taken a number of classes in Constitutional Law.  I have studied past presidents.  And I can write more than 5 words without a spelling error.  In other words, I know the difference between ‘origins’ and ‘oranges’.

Common Sense.  I am smart enough to realize that there are many, many things I will not know, but unlike my predecessor, I am willing to seek the advice of those who do know those things.  I am also smart enough to realize that sometimes we all make mistakes, but the important thing is to admit those mistakes, then take steps to rectify the errors.  This I will do.

And that, my friends, is all I have to offer.  Now all I have to do is find a running mate who shares my values and vision.  Any takers?

Snarky Snippets … Version MCXII

I used to do Snarky Snippets once every couple of weeks.  Now, it’s more like several times a week.  There is just so much …


Who could blame him?

Yesterday, a man in a wheelchair tried to set fire to himself outside the White House gates. The man lit his jacket, officers immediately responded, extinguishing the fire and giving the man first aid, the man was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries yada, yada, yada.

A “suspicious package” was found near the area … turned out to be the man’s backpack.  The White House was put on lockdown because the Idiot-in-Chief was there, even though it was obvious there was no threat to him.  And thus ends the story, right?

So why did the guy do it?  There comes a point where hopelessness leads to not caring anymore which leads to … this.  A man who figures life isn’t much worth living any more, and whose fault is it?  Donald Trump’s.  And so … let’s put an end to it, but let’s make sure Trump knows that this blood is on his hands, that he is responsible for the death.

The official story, by later today or tomorrow, will be that the man had a history of mental illness.  I’m betting not.  I’m betting that he’s given up on the hope of seeing this country rise above the abomination that is Donald Trump, decided it’s not worth sticking around to watch the final chapter, but wants Trump to know … as if Trump had a conscience and could understand human pain, the suffering of humanity.


Score one for Maxine Waters

Steve Mnuchin … just seeing his picture makes me want to relieve him of that smirky little smile he always seems to wear.  For any who are unaware, Mnuchin is Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, another of Trump’s boot-lickers.

Well, on Tuesday he met his match in the persona of one Representative Maxine Waters!

Waters-Mnuchin

Mnuchin had been testifying before the House Financial Services Committee, when he decided he had enough and cited a meeting with a “foreign leader” as his reason for needing to leave.  Ms. Waters, chairperson of the committee, asked Mnuchin if he could give the committee another 15 minutes so members who had been waiting for their five-minute turn could ask him questions.  He again cited the importance of his meeting.

Finally, Ms. Waters said, “If you wish to leave, you may.”  Well, Mnuchin was caught off-guard by that, apparently, and responded with …

“Please dismiss everybody. I believe you are supposed to take the gavel and bang it.”

WHOA-DEE … You could have heard a pin drop, for about 3 seconds, until Representative Waters said …

“Do not instruct me as to how I am to conduct this hearing.”

Mnuchin stayed the extra 15 minutes and then told Waters, “I look forward to being back in May, and we will work on a date.”  Waters responded, “Thank you very much.”

The lady has class!


He just keeps coming back …

Ol’ Roger Stone just won’t go away and stay gone.  On Friday, his lawyers asked a federal judge to dismiss Stone’s indictment for lying to Congress and obstructing justice and to order that Stone receive a full unredacted copy of Mueller’s recently completed report.  Say WHAT???  We the People are as unlikely to see it as a man is likely to give birth, but Roger Stone thinks he deserves a copy?  Yo … Roger!!! You can read the heavily-redacted version in the New York Times the same as the rest of us! At least, I suppose they let you read the Times in prison.

“No other person, Committee, or entity has Stone’s constitutionally based standing to demand the complete, unredacted Report,” said the lawyers.

bullshit


A new bromance for Trump?

Trump has found himself another strongman dictator to love … what a surprise, eh?  This time it is Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, a ‘president’ in name only, but in reality, a dictator who is in the process of making changes to Egypt’s Constitution that will make him a de facto dictator for life, while permanently enshrining military control over Egypt’s political system. He continues to hold tens of thousands of political prisoners, including at least a dozen U.S. citizens.Trump-al-SissiSo, how did Trump respond when al-Sissi arrived at the White House for a visit on Tuesday?

“I think he’s doing a great job. I don’t know about the effort. I can just tell you he’s doing a great job. Great president.”

The Egyptian president, naturally, returned the compliment …

“Let me emphasize, Mr. President, that the relations have not been better over the years of our bilateral relationship, and that is why I’m extending, Mr. President, to you our thanks … All the credit goes to you, Mr. President.  Thank you very much for your support on all fronts.”

Feeling sick yet? 🤢 Trump also took the opportunity to lie and whine to al-Sissi …

“We are building a lot of wall, and we are being very strong on the border. But we are bucking a court system that never, ever rules for us, and we are bucking really bad things with the Democrats in Congress not willing to act. Nobody can believe these decisions we’re getting from the 9th Circuit. It’s a disgrace.”

And al-Sissi sat smiling at Trump, for he has had his own troubles with judges who were trying to thwart him by upholding the law.  President al-Sissi’s answer to his troubles was to change the law.  Think about that one for a minute.


Okay folks, I’ve vented enough for one day.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend … I’ll be back!