BAH HUMBUG!

I looked in the mirror this morning … I try to avoid doing that, but this morning I had something in my eye, and I had no choice.  I asked the person I saw there to please move out of my way so that I could see myself to check out my eye.  Then I realized the person I saw there, the person with deep gouges around her mouth, sad downturned eyes with dark circles ‘neath them, and a perpetual scowl on her mouth was, in fact, me.  And I got angry … not that I really look much different than I did three years ago, but … I have a perpetual sadness coupled with intense anger that wasn’t there before.  I growl a lot, even when I’m drifting off to sleep, I hear myself growling.  Every day, there is something new to growl about, so … since I don’t like to growl alone, here are my two for today …


Steven Mnuchin – Bastard of the Year

This isn’t the first time, nor will it likely be the last, that Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s Secretary of Treasury, has come onto my radar and caused my blood to boil.  This time, however, he has crossed a line … has unfairly criticized a 15-year-old girl who is trying her best to wake us up, to save the world, to save us from ourselves.  Obviously, I am speaking of the young environmental activist from Sweden, and Time Magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year, Greta Thunberg.

One of the things Ms. Thunberg has advocated is for investors to take their money out of fossil fuel stocks, invest instead in companies that are working to make renewable energy sources more efficient, more prominent, and less costly.  Apparently, Mr. Mnuchin owns stock in oil and/or coal companies, for he took umbrage and he did so in his usual snide, nasty manner …

“Is she the chief economist or who is she? I’m confused. After she goes and studies economics in college, she can come back and explain that to us.”

Bastard.

Now interestingly, someone with even higher credentials in economics than Mnuchin disagrees with ol’ Stevie.  That someone is Laurence D. Fink, the founder and chief executive of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with nearly $7 trillion in investments.  In his annual letter to the chief executives of the world’s largest companies, Mr. Fink outlined some of the ways in which climate change is changing our world and then said …

BlackRock announced a number of initiatives to place sustainability at the center of our investment approach, including: making sustainability integral to portfolio construction and risk management; exiting investments that present a high sustainability-related risk, such as thermal coal producers; launching new investment products that screen fossil fuels; [emphasis added] and strengthening our commitment to sustainability and transparency in our investment stewardship activities.

Ms. Thunberg responded to Mnuchin on Twitter …

Thunberg-Time“My gap year ends in August, but it doesn’t take a college degree in economics to realise that our remaining 1,5° carbon budget and ongoing fossil fuel subsidies and investments don’t add up.  So either you tell us how to achieve this mitigation or explain to future generations and those already affected by the climate emergency why we should abandon our climate commitments.” 

My suggestion to Mnuchin is that perhaps he is the one who needs to go back to college and study a bit of climate science.  Y’know … people who are squawking about how to do what is needed to help stop the destruction of life on earth would cost too much, would interfere with world economies … they really need to sit in a quiet room and think for a few hours.  THINK, people!  What the hell is the economy going to matter if you cannot breathe the air, find potable water to drink, and sufficient food to eat???  In fact, the economy will be completely irrelevant at that point, but will have already crashed by then anyway.  Damn capitalists have a one-track mind and that includes Mnuchin and his effing boss!

mnuchin-wife-2

Steve Mnuchin and wife (apparently, like Melania, she doesn’t own a bra)

Oh, and by the way … a bit off-topic, but in case you were wondering, poor Mnuchin is practically on the welfare rolls, having a net worth of over $300 million.  His wife, Louise Linton, recently came under criticism for bemoaning the fact that they now have to pay more in taxes, and then bragging about her name-brand designer clothing on social media.  Nice people, those Mnuchins … I have more respect for Greta than Stevie.  Heck, I have more respect for a cockroach than I do for the Mnuchins.  BAH HUMBUG!


And in other environmental news …

On Thursday, Trump signed his long-promised regulation to remove millions of miles of streams and roughly half the country’s wetlands from federal protection, the largest rollback of the Clean Water Act since the modern law was passed in 1972.  Why?  Because the wealthy dudes who own the agriculture, home-building, mining, and oil and gas industries matter more than We the People, matter more than the wildlife that depend on those wetlands for their very survival.

Heretofore, the law required those industries to obtain permits to discharge pollution into waterways or fill in wetlands, and imposed fines for oil spills into protected waterways.  According to Janette Brimmer, Earthjustice attorney who fought for the Clean Water Act after the Cuyahoga River fire in 1969 …

“President Trump’s administration wants to make our waters burn again. This all-out assault on basic safeguards will send our country back to the days when corporate polluters could dump whatever sludge or slime they wished into the streams and wetlands that often connect to the water we drink.”

Even the EPA’s own scientists disapprove of this move, saying that in addition to potentially losing fully half of the nation’s wetlands, as much as 94 percent of Arizona’s waterways could lose Clean Water Act protection under the regulation, as well as 89 percent of Nevada’s.

Environmental groups are already planning lawsuits, and rightly so.  But, do you realize that NO administration in the history of this nation has been embroiled in as many lawsuits as Trump???  And guess who pays for all those lawsuits, my friends?  Not Donald Trump or EPA head Andrew Wheeler.  Not the rich bitches who got a huge tax cut in 2017.  Nope … me and you, the very people who are struggling to pay our rent and buy food, despite Trump’s claims that we are so much better off.  BAH HUMBUG!


Stay tuned this afternoon for Part III of mine and Jeff’s project, Discord & Dissension — Where do we go from here?

And Then There Were Two … More … Snarky Snippets

I have just two bits of snark … well, actually I have around 15, but I won’t make you listen to them all …


Remember when almost immediately after moving into the White House, Trump initiated a travel ban on people from seven predominantly Muslin nations?  The courts struck it down almost as quickly as he initiated it, and after much back and forth, he got some watered-down version of it.  Well, now he is considering another travel ban, this one expected to be implemented next Monday, to mark the 3-year anniversary of his original travel ban.  I am thoroughly confused by the countries he intends to include in this ban:

  • Belarus
  • Myanmar (also known as Burma)
  • Eritrea
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Nigeria
  • Sudan
  • Tanzania

I can see not one shred of justification for banning people coming from a single one of those nations, can you?  However, it is interesting to note that four of those countries are African nations.  Hmmm … nah, surely fair and equitable Trump wouldn’t discriminate based on something like skin colour … would he?  Yes, of course he would, and my guess is that for those four nations, that is precisely his reason.

I have read no less than 7 articles on this topic, trying to get a feel for the method behind the madness.  One article promised …

Trump’s call to dramatically expand the travel ban, explained

… but it lied … it explained nothing that I didn’t already know from the other articles.  Now, back in 2018, the Supreme Court affirmed that Trump has broad authority to restrict immigration where national security demands it. But to the best of anyone’s knowledge, these countries do not pose any threat to national security.  Every time somebody in Trump’s cadre mentions the threat of terrorism from the outside, I want to scream, for the terrorism we have experienced in the last several years has been domestic terrorism … homegrown nutcases.

So, I still puzzle over the connection of these seven nations, and why on earth he wishes to ban people coming to the U.S. from those countries.  I also, at this point, puzzle over why anybody from any other nation would even want to come to the U.S.  Take my word for it, folks … if you don’t have a good reason, you’d be better off going to almost anywhere but here!

It is interesting to note, however, that other, similar nations … nations where Trump, Inc. has businesses, say hotels, golf courses and the like … nations like Turkey, Egypt, Azerbaijan, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Suadi Arabia are never mentioned in talk of a travel ban.  Hmmmmm …

This has largely flown under the radar, in the shadow of the impeachment trial and Trump’s trip to Davos, but I think it bears watching.


Yesterday, our friend Scott (sklawlor) sent me an article about a proposed bill in the Kentucky State Legislature, Senate Bill 89 that would give police new powers to stop people on the street and demand that they identify themselves and explain their actions, rather like New York’s stop-and-frisk laws that ended two years ago.  The program was highly discriminatory, with officers stopping disproportionately larger numbers of African-Americans and Hispanics than others.

By the end of the day, the Kentucky Senate bill had been withdrawn, but it left a bad taste in my mouth and disturbed both Scott and me that after the experience with stop-and-frisk in New York, any lawmakers would even consider such legislation.  So, I did a bit of digging … and … I was truly shocked to find that no less than 24 states … nearly half the states in the nation … have some form of “stop-and-identify” statutes!  So, in the following states, if you are walking down the street, you can be stopped by a police officer and forced to show identification and explain why you are walking down the bloody street!

Arizona Ari. Rev. Stat. Tit. 13, §2412 (enacted 2005) & Tit. 28, §1595
Arkansas Ark. Code Ann. [1]§ 5-71-213 – Loitering
Colorado Colo. Rev. Stat. §16-3-103(1)
Delaware Del. Code Ann., Tit. 11, §§1902, 1321(6)
Florida Fla. Stat. §901.151 (Stop and Frisk Law); §856.021(2) (loitering and prowling)
Georgia Ga. Code Ann. §16-11-36(b) (loitering)
Illinois Ill. Comp. Stat., ch. 725, §5/107-14
Indiana Indiana Code §34-28-5-3.5
Kansas Kan. Stat. Ann. §22-2402(1)
Louisiana La. Code Crim. Proc. Ann., Art. 215.1(A); La. Rev. Stat. 14:108(B)(1)(c)
Missouri (Kansas City Only) Mo. Rev. Stat. §84.710(2)
Montana Mont. Code Ann. §46-5-401
Nebraska Neb. Rev. Stat. §29-829
Nevada Nev. Rev. Stat. §171.123
New Hampshire N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §594:2, §644:6
New Mexico N.M. Stat. Ann. §30-22-3
New York N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law Laws of New York → CPL §140.50 (requires suspicion of crime)
North Carolina State v Friend + N.C. Gen.Stat. § 14–223
North Dakota N.D. Cent. Code §29-29-21 (PDF)
Ohio Ohio Rev. Code §2921.29 (enacted 2006)
Rhode Island R.I. Gen. Laws §12-7-1
Utah Utah Code Ann. §77-7-15
Vermont Vt. Stat. Ann., Tit. 24, §1983
Wisconsin Wis. Stat. §968.24

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause.  After one lawsuit, Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, made its way to the Supreme Court in 2003, the Court upheld the legality of officers stopping people so long as there was “reasonable and articulable suspicion of criminal involvement”.  Well, that’s probably fair enough … if you’re skin is pale and you speak flawless English.  But if you are black or brown, or speak with an accent … how fair do you suppose it is?

An August 16, 2019 article in the Los Angeles Times says that getting killed by police is a leading cause of death for young black men in America.

My friend Rob, an African-American, told me a couple of years ago that about half the time he drives downtown, he is pulled over for no reason or some minor reason … something a white person almost certainly would not have been pulled over for.  His son has been stopped more in the few short years he’s been driving than I have been in my entire lifetime.  After the blatant racism that has resulted in killings of unarmed black men by police – Michael Brown, Walter Scott, Alton Sterling, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Freddy Gray and more – do you trust police to act only when there is “probable cause”?

I don’t.


Okay friends … now that I’ve given you something to frown about, let me finish by giving you something to laugh at … well, sort of anyway.

Good People Doing Good Things — Everyday People

I didn’t have to look far before finding some good people this week …


We’ve all heard of the huge bushfires that are engulfing Australia and the loss of wildlife.  Last I heard, it was estimated that some one billion animals had died.  Owen Colley, a 6-year-old from Hingham, Massachusetts, was upset to learn about the Australian bushfires two weeks ago, his mom Caitlin Colley said. He asked if any animals had been hurt in the fire and his mom said yes.

Quiet, he left the room and drew a picture of a kangaroo, a koala and a dingo in the rain. The picture represented his wish for Australia, a wish for rain and wildfire relief, his mom said.

“It was really the first time Owen had made a wish for something other than Lego or something other than himself. We asked him if he wanted to help and … together we came up with this. We could make some clay koalas and give them in response to donations from friends and family.”

Owen-Colley Owen started making little gray koalas out of clay and his parents set up a way for people to donate to Wildlife Rescue South Coast, a wildlife rescue group in New South Wales. The Colley family is sending one of Owen’s koalas to each person who donates $50 or more. So far, he’s made about 55 clay koalas.clay-koalasAs of last Thursday, Owen has raised more than $100,000 for the rescue group in just a few weeks, his mom said. It started with $1,000 in donations via Venmo in an Instagram post, which was their fundraising goal. It got so big that the family launched a GoFundMe campaign.

A little thing by a little guy with a big heart.


Rayden Jones is a pizza delivery driver for Happy’s Pizza in Port Huron, Michigan.  One day last week, he was delivering some pizzas to a local school, and when he returned to his car … it was gone!  His means of earning a living … gone!

Turns out, a woman with a mental condition had stolen Rayden’s car and gone for a joy ride.  Shortly, a man named Kevin Lindke was driving home from work when he saw a swerving car take the wrong ramp onto a freeway. Lindke dialed 911 as he followed the car and described the situation to police dispatchers.

The woman who stole the automobile eventually smashed into another vehicle before abandoning the totally-wrecked car on the side of the road. She took off running with Lindke in hot pursuit.  After catching up to her, Lindke convinced her to stay and wait for police.

The next morning, in a follow up call with the police, Kevin learned who the car belonged to.  As it happened, Kevin was preparing to sell his minivan … but instead, he gave it to Rayden!  Take a look …

Again … a small thing to Kevin maybe, but a huge thing for Rayden.


Jessica Benzakein entered the foster care program when she was twelve years old and remained in the system until she turned 18 and was no longer eligible.

Benzakein spent many holidays as a young woman wishing for a family—so when she finally had a house of her own in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she decided to open her heart and home to foster kids and siblings who were enduring the same struggles she had as a child.  About five years ago, she took in six boys — siblings Will, 17, Carter, 14, Sidney, 13, and Buddy, 8, and brothers Kendrich, 6, and T.J., 4. Jessica-kidsThe boys instantly became close with Benzakein’s biological children, Eli, 14, and Brenna, 9, whom she shares with her ex-husband, and they became one big (really big) happy family.

But, with the uncertainties of the foster care system, and Will nearing the age where he would be taken off the foster care rolls, Jessica decided to make certain the children would never be separated, would always have a ‘forever home’, and on Friday, January 3rd, she completed the adoption of all six boys! Jessica-kids-2

“Everybody tells me how lucky these kids are and what a good thing I did. But … I’m going to cry … they grounded me. I went through my 20s thinking I didn’t really need a family. But I did.”


Okay, folks, I had another ‘good people’, but I am short on time tonight, as I’m running behind on the next stage of mine and Jeff’s project, which I need to send him later today.  There’s always next Wednesday!  Meanwhile, remember to be one of those good people, okay?

Snarky Snippets Hot Off The Press!

Yesterday I had a bad case of mind bounce … it happens every so often … and the best I could do was an afternoon re-blog.  Today, however, I am back on my game and filled with snark!  Here are just a few of the things flying about on my radar today.


He should have stayed home …

Every time Trump is allowed to travel abroad and attend international conferences or events, I cringe.  Not because I fear he will embarrass us … there is never a doubt but that he will … but because I wonder how much long-term damage he will do to our relationships with the rest of the world, how much more he will tarnish the image of the U.S. in the eyes of the world.

This week, he is in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum.  This year’s forum is focusing on seven themes: Fairer economies, better business, healthy futures, future of work, tech for good, beyond geopolitics and how to save the planet. Young climate activists and school strikers from around the world will be present at the event to put pressure on world leaders over that last theme.  In my opinion, that last one is about the only one that really matters, for if we do not address climate change, none of the rest will be required 100 years from now.

But, of course, Donald Trump feels differently.  He boasted that his support for the coal and oil industries meant the US was self-sufficient in energy.  He attacked climate activists …

“To embrace the possibilities of tomorrow, we must reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse. They are the errors of yesterday’s fortune tellers and we have them and I have them and they want to see us do badly, but we don’t let that happen.”

Greta Thunberg, who was also invited and is attending the forum, was apparently one of those “perennial prophets of doom” to whom he referred, as he later said he didn’t know much about her other than that she seemed “very angry”.  She’s not the only one!

Beyond that, he tooted his horn a lot, bragging about the economy, about trade deals, even claiming he would soon be making a “very good deal” with Boris Johnson of the UK, and even had the unmitigated gall to claim proudly that the U.S. is the #1 producer of oil and natural gas – definitely not a boast-worthy claim, whether true or not.

Then, of course, he was asked about his impeachment, and he used the opportunity to whine …

“It’s just a hoax. It’s a witch hunt that’s been going on for years, and frankly, it’s disgraceful.”

Oh, and he also claimed that he and his minions are preparing another “middle-class tax cut”, that he will announce details in 90 days, but that he will only enact it if he is re-elected, the republicans gain control of the House, and hold the Senate.  Well duh … that’s the only way he’ll get any legislation passed, but … ain’t gonna happen, Donnie boy!  And, his last so-called middle-class tax cut actually hurt the middle class and gave the tax cuts to the wealthy 1% and corporations, many of whom pay less in taxes than you or I do.

So, once again, We the People ask forgiveness of our friends across the pond, for the abomination we unleashed on the world in 2016.  Sigh.


And in other news …

Kellyanne said WHAT???

Trump’s mouthpiece, Kellyanne Conway, once again opened her rather large mouth … a mouth that seems to be completely detached from anything remotely resembling a brain.  It was during a news conference yesterday, Martin Luther King Day, and Kellyanne was asked why Trump’s public schedule of events on Monday did not include any functions meant to commemorate Dr. King.

kellyanne“The president … agrees with many of the things that Dr. Martin Luther King stood for and agreed with for many years, including unity and equality. And he’s not the one trying to tear the country apart through an impeachment process and a lack of substance that really is very shameful at this point. I don’t think it was within Dr. King’s vision to have Americans dragged through a process where the president is not going to be removed from office, is not being charged with bribery, extortion, high crimes or misdemeanors.”

Somebody really needs to shut this woman up, for she knows not what she says … she just opens her mouth and out comes stupid.


The hovering dentist

Dr. Seth Lookhart is was a dentist in Anchorage, Alaska.  One of his patients was a woman named Veronica Wilhelm, who one day needed a tooth extracted.  Simple procedure, right?  Well … Dr. Lockhart performed the procedure … while on a hoverboard!  But wait … that’s not even the worst of it!

First, he sedated Ms. Wilhelm, filmed himself extracting the tooth while on his hoverboard, and … wait for it … sent the video clip to at least eight of his friends!

Turns out this wasn’t his only crime, for he has been billing Medicaid for types of expensive sedation not typically covered by private insurance.  His misdemeanor medical assistance fraud offenses carry a possible sentence of up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $25,000 and he could be ordered to return funds to the state of Alaska Medicaid program and his former business partners.


Okay, folks, that’s all I’ve got for today … time to go look in on the impeachment trial …

The Week’s Best Cartoons ⚡ 1/18

Once again, our friend TokyoSand has found some great political cartoons! They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and these pictures surely fit that bill. Thank you, TokyoSand, for digging these up!

Political⚡Charge

img_3538 By Christopher Weyant

Maddening. Insightful. So, so very spot on.

The best editorial cartoons express a strong opinion, and in so doing, make us feel something emotionally. This week, these were the cartoons that made me stand up and take notice. Which ones grab you the most?

McConnell Readies for the Trial

By Phil Hands, Wisconsin State Journal

By Matt Davies, Newsday

By Kevin Kal Kallaugher,Kaltoons

By Steve Sack, Star Tribune

By Lalo Alcaraz

img_3532

By Nick Anderson

Impeachment & the GOP

By Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Bill Bramhall, New York Daily News

By Ann Telnaes, Washington Post

By Matt Davies, Newsday

By Repeat1968

By Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

And Other News

By Steve Sack, Star Tribune

By Matt Davies, Newsday

By Matt Davies, Newsday

By Matt Wuerker, Politico

By Mike Thompson, Detroit Free…

View original post 33 more words

Jolly Monday — Squirrels ‘n Hugs!

jollyHi … it’s me, Jolly!  I’m lettin’ gwammie sleep dis morning ‘cause she’s weally tired, but she’ll prolly be up inna few minutes.  I’m not ‘lowed to use da stove or oven after … welllll, you ‘member what happened last time, so I jus’ went out an’ got some donuts an’ Starbucks, if dat’s okay.  Oh … and Benjamin’s juice boxes … or is it milk now?  Anyway … go gwab a snack an’ I’ve found some things!

donuts-2donuts-1donuts

coffee-Starbucks

juice boxes

Benjamin’s juice boxes — but he’ll share if you ask nicely!


Now, do you like some cartoons?  I found some …

toon-1toon-2toon-3toon-4


And den I found …

JOLLY!!!

Uh-oh … sounds like gwammie’s up … see ya bye  💨Monday-sleepy-2Oh … hi … I’m so sorry … I was really exhausted and … I see Jolly started without me … he should have woken me.  Just let me throw some clothes on …

Okay … again, I’m really sorry!  At least Jolly bought donuts and … Starbucks???  Now where did he get the money, I wonder?  Oh well, let’s get this show on the road!  Tomorrow there are two national days that I want to celebrate today, for they are both very ‘jolly’ sort of days!


A little birdie told me about this first one, Squirrel Appreciation Day … who knew? Let’s learn a bit about the day …

squirrel-appreciationIn 2001, wildlife rehabilitation specialist, Christy Hargrove, founded National Squirrel Appreciation Day in Asheville, North Carolina. Christy created this day to encourage kind attitudes towards our bushy-tailed neighbors by setting out food and water for squirrels, and even allowing them to play with that bird-feeder you normally don’t want them touching. We might generally look at squirrels as being an unnecessary nuisance, but their existence is actually beneficial to the environment, and in urban areas, assists in park beautification. Albeit by accident, squirrels plant seeds (initially meaning to store away nuts to come back to when they’re hungry) which eventually grow into trees, thus assisting with forest renewal. They’re natures gardeners!

And some fun facts about squirrels …

  • The front four teeth of squirrels grow about 6 inches a year. It’s only the squirrel’s constant gnawing that keeps them under control.
  • A group of squirrels is called a scurry.
  • There are 265 squirrel species all over the world.
  • There are 44 species of flying squirrels.
  • Wild squirrels will eat out of a human’s hand.
  • Grey squirrels will build nests called dreys, high up in trees.

Some special tips for feeding squirrels in your backyard …

Many people leave out a birdbath filled with water for squirrels in the backyard because squirrels are always in need of a clean source of water. Many people will also leave out a variety of nuts for the squirrels in their backyard. These nuts include acorns and hazelnuts. Some people also plant a variety of trees and shrubs to give squirrels in their backyard the cover and food sources they need. Some of these trees and shrubs include oaks, pines, hazelnut bushes and smooth sumac trees.

And a few special squirrel pictures …

squirrelsquirrel-1squirrel-3squirrel-4squirrel-7squirrel-8squirrel-9squirrel-17squirrel-26squirrel-babysquirrel-bobtail

If you just can’t get enough and want more adorable squirrel pics, head over to Bored Panda

And wouldn’t you know … I just happened to come across a video about a most delightful squirrel named Gibby … take a look!


Now, I mentioned two special days tomorrow … the second one is National Hug Day!  Some calendars refer to it as National Hug Day, while others call it National Hugging Day … either way, the concept is the same.  According to the National Day Calendar people …

National Hug Day or National Hugging Day occurs on January 21st and is officially recognized by the United States Copyright Office but is not a public holiday. The purpose of the day is to help everyone show more emotion in public. The only way to celebrate the day is by offering a hug to anyone and everyone you want.hugsWhether you hug a family member or a stranger, the mental and physical health benefits are the same. From the day we are born, hugs or touch improve our sleep. Hugging, like cuddling, releases oxytocin. On its own, this hormone provides tremendous health benefits. Not only does it give us feel-good hormones, but it reduces pain. Receiving a hug helps reduce stress, lowers blood pressure and lowers the risk of heart disease. It also eases anxiety.

Now, if that isn’t enough reason to hug someone today, then I don’t know what is!  And just in case you don’t have enough hugs to go ‘round … here’s one from me to you that you can share!hug-2


Now, I see that Jolly found a few cartoons … not the ones I would have chosen, but I do encourage him to think for himself, to use his own creativity.  Anyway, here are a few funny ‘toons ‘n memes to bring a chuckle …

meme-1meme-2meme-3toon-5toon-6toon-7


And finally, I came across this short ‘snow art’ video that I thought was just too cool to pass up!

 

jolly


Now, friends, remember that tomorrow is National Hugs Day, and go out there and hug some people … see how great it feels, and see if you can bring a smile to someone’s face that matches that gorgeous smile on your face.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa and Jolly!

A Few Mini-Rants …

I am growling today.  Every headline I read raises my hackles and makes me wish I had never heard of the United States, let alone have to live here.  Typically, I blame 90% of it on Donald Trump, and certainly he deserves the lion share, but I also have to blame the blind 40% of this nation that still … STILL … after the corruption, the childish temper tantrums, the shredding of the Constitution and the ill will he’s brought from our allies … they STILL effing love him!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr …


Ditch the veggies – give the kids burgers instead!

Donald Trump’s main mission in life, it would seem, is to attempt to erase President Obama from the annals of history.  It must be miserable to be so jealous of one man.  Granted, Obama was far wiser, much better looking, had integrity, dignity, spoke well, and had a genuinely beautiful family … all those things that Trump lacks.  But, his envy is costing us in so many ways.  First, there was the rollback of all the environmental regulations that had been put in place during Obama’s tenure to try to do our part to combat climate change.  Then, there was the rollback of law enforcement oversight to try to better screen and train law enforcement officers as we hoped to reduce the tragic shootings by police of unarmed black men.  Then there was the utterly ludicrous pulling out of the Paris Accords and the terrible decision to leave our allies holding the bag on the Iran nuclear deal.  And all for one reason and one reason only:  because he is jealous of President Obama.  But this latest …

You may remember that Michelle Obama’s key initiative during her time as First Lady was fighting childhood obesity and providing better nutrition in school meals.  A worthy endeavour, indeed.  Well, that’s the latest thing being rolled back.  Yes, pick your jaws up off the floor, but the USDA Deputy Under Secretary Brandon Lipps proposed new rules for the Food and Nutrition Service that would allow schools to cut the amount of vegetables and fruits required at lunch and breakfasts while giving them license to sell more pizza, burgers and fries to students.

Why, you ask?  Well, the gobblety-gook explanation Mr. Lipps gave was something about having to provide students with two bananas to meet dietary guidelines.  Okay … sooooo … bananas are cheap … what’s the problem?  Well, the real problem is that it was under Obama that we began taking school nutrition seriously, and both Obamas were instrumental in providing more healthy foods and less fat to kids in school.  Can’t have that now, can we.

Another likely reason is the potato lobby that has been pushing for this change, and that the potato industry was behind a change that happened quietly last March making it easier to substitute potatoes for some fruit in weekly breakfast menus.  Once again, corporate profit over the well-being of people.  Sigh.


Senator Martha McSally, bitch extraordinaire

The incident in and of itself was bad enough.  A CNN reporter, Manu Raju, asked Senator McSally a legitimate question …

Raju: Senator McSally, should the Senate consider new evidence as part of the impeachment trial?

McSally: You’re a liberal hack. I’m not talking to you.

Raju: You’re not going to comment, Senator?

McSally: You’re a liberal hack, buddy.

Whoa!  McSally is quite a step down from her predecessor, the late Senator John McCain.  McCain once interjected when, at a campaign event while he was running against Barack Obama, a fan was being critical of Obama, calling him an “Arab” among other things.  McCain did not let the woman finish, but took the microphone from her and said, “No, ma’am. He’s a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that’s what this campaign issue is all about.”  And here is his successor calling a reporter a ‘liberal hack’ simply because he asked a very valid question.  Yes, that would have been bad enough, but …

McSally was so proud of her behaviour that she put a video of the incident on Twitter.  And, McSally’s re-election campaign is already using the incident as a fund-raising tool!

McSally-tweet

Now, McSally faces re-election later this year, as she was only appointed to finish the term vacated by reason of John McCain’s death.  She ran for the other Senate seat from Arizona in 2018, but lost to Kyrsten Sinema.  And, she wasn’t even Governor Doug Ducey’s first choice to fill McCain’s seat … he initially chose Jon Kyl, but Kyl resigned due to health concerns.  With such low values as she has shown, I don’t care if it’s Moe from the Three Stooges running against her, I hope she loses big-time.  Where is the decency in politics today???  Oh … I guess she’s just following this example …Trump-mocking-reporter


A great bunch of people … NOT!

Yesterday, Trump announced that Alan Dershowitz; Ken Starr, the independent counsel during President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial; former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi; as well as  Robert Ray, who succeeded Starr at the Office of the Independent Counsel during the Clinton administration; and Jane Raskin, who helped defend Trump during the Mueller probe, would join White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump’s personal attorney Jay Sekulow in defending the president on the Senate floor.

I don’t know much about some of them, but let me share with you what I do know.  For one thing, Dershowitz, Starr, and Ray have made roughly 300 appearances on Fox News in the past year, which should tell you something about their integrity right there.

Ken Starr was named the 14th president of Baylor University in Waco in 2010 and chancellor in 2013. After the mishandling of campus sexual assault allegations, he was ousted as president in 2016 and resigned as chancellor and law professor shortly after, cutting all ties with the university.

Alan Dershowitz defended Trump’s ol’ buddy Jeffrey Epstein in his sex abuse cases, and was himself accused by no less than three women.

Pam Bondi was Florida State Attorney General back in 2013 when her office was investigating the now-defunct Trump University on charges of fraud.  Donald Trump wrote a check for $25,000 to Bondi’s re-election campaign and suddenly there was no longer an investigation.

So, Trump has a fine, upstanding legal team.  Doesn’t matter, does it, since the jury reached their decision before there was even a case to try.  Welcome to the tinpot dictatorship of America.


I shall now retire to my dark tower to growl in private and practice howling at the moon.  Have a fine weekend, if you can.

Snarky … grrrrrr … Snippets

I thought I had gotten rid of most of the snarky yesterday afternoon, but it turns out I had more.  And one of my beloved readers said that yesterday’s snarky snippets were too mild and asked if I was coming down with something.  So, let me see if I can do better today …


Send Lindsey to Siberia … please!

Lindsey-Graham-2-facesYesterday, after Nancy Pelosi appointed the seven impeachment managers who will prosecute the case against Donald Trump, the seven hand delivered the two articles of impeachment to the Senate.  Weasel Lindsey Graham, he who cannot remember which side of the fence he sits on, had this to say …

“The best thing for the American people is to end this crap as quickly as possible, to have a trial in the Senate, bipartisan acquittal of the president. And on Feb. 4, when the president comes into the House chamber to deliver the State of the Union, he will have been acquitted by the Senate.”

Lindsey-Graham-2NOT SO FAST, you little jerk!  The president having already been impeached, this is serious business and you get paid to take it seriously.  Obviously, Lindsey is not qualified to sit on the jury, for he has already shown bias.  Can you imagine during jury selection for a murder trial, if a potential juror said “let’s just end this crap quickly and acquit him”?  Get him out!  Send him … and Moscow Mitch along with him … to Siberia … without winter coats!

Now, there isn’t much hope that the Senate will ultimately convict and evict Trump, but there is now some ray of hope that they will be forced to allow witnesses and testimony, which Mitch had initially said he would not allow.  Republican Senators Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lamar Alexander, and Lisa Murkowski appear to be willing to call witnesses, including John Bolton.  Two other senators have indicated that they are not willing to rush the trial just to have it done with before Trump’s State of the Union on February 4th.


Lies, lies, and still more lies …

Trump and his tweets … don’t believe a single thing that comes out of his mouth or his tweety-thumbs.  A few examples from yesterday …

Trump: I was the person who saved Pre-Existing Conditions in your Healthcare.

False. In fact, Trump has done everything he can to undermine protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions, from spending two years trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s protections, to authorizing the sale of short term health plans that don’t have to cover pre-existing conditions so Americans unknowingly lose their protections.

Trump: …if Republicans win in court and take back the House of Representatives, your healthcare, that I have now brought to the best place in many years, will become the best ever, by far.

False. The Trump Administration is currently in the courts trying, yet again, to get the entire Affordable Care Act struck down, which would mean 20 million Americans lose their care and all the protections put in place, including protections for pre-existing conditions, would go away — immediately.

Trump: I will always protect your Pre-Existing Conditions, the Dems will not!

False. Trump STILL hasn’t put forward a health care plan that would do anything other than make millions of Americans lose their care and mean worse health insurance for millions more. He’s had three years to do it.


Send Junior to fight the fires …

Much of Australia is being devastated by the bushfires that have been burning out of control for weeks now.  I hadn’t heard much news on this side of the pond about what the U.S. was doing, other than having sent firefighters, so I went in search of.  Now, between the Soleimani assassination, Iran’s missiles fired in retaliation, impeachment, and the downed Iranian jetliner in Iran, the Australian fires and most everything else have been relegated to the back pages, so I turned to sources outside the U.S.

What I found was that Trump had “sent love” to Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison.  That was about it for Trump’s response.  Go figure.  But Junior had his say … a chip off the ol’ lying block, Junior falsely claimed that the fires were all a result of arsonists, not climate change.

After Junior’s tweet, conservative media outlets quickly picked up and amplified the story. They championed it as finally revealing the true cause of the catastrophe, not to mention undermining the legitimacy of climate change and adding that extra thrill of a conspiracy theory.

But Junior’s wasn’t the only conspiracy theory, nor even the worst of the lot.  One conspiracy bizarrely claims bushfires have been lit to clear a path for high-speed rail down Australia’s east coast. Others baselessly claim Islamic State is instructing its followers to wage war on the country with fire, that Chinese billionaires are using lasers to clear the path for new cities, or that eco-terrorists are trying to spur action on climate change by manufacturing a catastrophe.

Anything to keep from having to admit that climate change is a real threat and that if we don’t change our ways, we will destroy all life on this planet.  Prime Minister Scott Morrison, like Donald Trump, is largely a climate denier, always seeking other excuses.  Animals are dying by the thousands, people’s homes are being destroyed, and the only thing people can seem to think about is making up trashy conspiracy theories?  Some days I hate humans!


Well, I’ve got my blood pressure up and heart racing now, plus I’ve likely worn the lettering off another key or two on my laptop, so I think I shall stop snarking … there, was that snarky enough for everyone?  Oh, one aside … today is National Nothing Day.  According to the National Day Calendar people …

“The observance was created as a day to provide Americans with one National Day when they can just sit without celebrating, observing or honoring anything.  While it may be a good day to celebrate nothing at all, we suppose putting nothing in a glass and setting it on a table might suffice for celebration. You might leave your diary page blank on every January 16th. Don’t mark anything on the calendar on the 16th, either. It would be interesting to see what would happen if you sent a blank email dated January 16th. How many replies would you get saying, ‘There’s nothing here.’ 

For people whose birthday lands on January 16th, wrap an empty box. That should elicit and a nothing response appropriate for the celebration.  When asked, “What are your plans, today?” your response should definitely be, “Nothing.” What else would your answer be on a day like today? Now that we think about it, “Nothing” works well as an answer when recognizing the day.”

So, have a Happy Nothing Day!

Past Due Snarky Snippets!

It’s been a while since I’ve let loose with a string of snarky snippets, and the snark is building up … I noticed steam coming out of my ears as I was brushing my teeth this morning!  So …


Just one more lie …

One of Trump’s campaign “promises” was that he would bring troops home from the Middle East.  So why, some have asked, did we recently deploy 2,000 troops to Saudi Arabia.  When Trump was asked that question, he responded …

“Saudi Arabia, at my request, has agreed to pay us for everything we’re doing.  I said, ‘Listen, you’re a very rich country. You want more troops? I’m going to send them to you, but you have to pay us.’ They’re paying us. They’ve already deposited $1 billion in the bank.”

Trouble is, that appears to be untrue according to the Pentagon …

“Consistent with the president’s guidance to increase partner burden-sharing, the Department of Defense has engaged Saudi Arabia on contributing to US activities that support regional security and dissuade hostility and aggression. The Saudi government has agreed to contribute to the costs of these activities, and discussions are ongoing to formalize these contributions. Contributions of this nature do not lead to the deployment of additional US forces, and they do not drive DoD to take on new missions or responsibilities.” – Pentagon spokesperson, Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich

“Discussions are ongoing” is quite different from Trump’s unequivocal claim that Saudi Arabia had “already deposited $1 billion in the bank.”  I’ve heard a few question just whose bank account that check was deposited into.  I find it rather unconscionable that Trump happily sends troops to a country that is not an ally, and whose Crown Prince ordered the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year.  Trump refused to hold the Saudis accountable then, and now he is sending troops and lying about the justification, just as he lied about the justification for ordering the assassination of Iranian General Soleimani.


Poor little ousted CEO …

In light of Boeing’s recent and ongoing crisis (see Expendable Lives), the company fired Chief Executive Dennis A. Muilenburg.  He will not receive any additional severance or separation payments in connection with his departure, and Boeing said he had forfeited stock units worth some $14.6 million.  Wow, pretty tough, eh?  Why, he might need to apply for food stamps and housing assistance, yes?  NO!

Muilenburg still walks away with other stock and pension awards totaling some $62.2 million!  AND … Boeing’s new chief executive, David Calhoun, will receive a $7 million bonus if he is able to get the 737 Max, which has been grounded since March, safely flying again.  Seems to me that Boeing has far more money to burn than it has compassion or conscience for human lives.


An apology … of sorts

Last week, Representative Doug Collins of Georgia made the following remark in an interview on Fox News …

“Nancy Pelosi does it again and her Democrats fall right in line. One, they are in love with terrorists — we see that. They mourn Soleimani more than they mourn our Gold Star families who are the ones who suffered under Soleimani. That’s a problem.”

What a nice man … NOT.  Two days later, he managed an apology, of sorts …

“Let me be clear, I do not believe Democrats are in love with terrorists, and I apologize for what I said earlier this week.  The comment I made on Wednesday evening was in response to a question about the War Powers Resolution being introduced in the House and House Democrats’ attempt to limit the president’s authority.”

This morning, when she opened her floor speech, Pelosi graciously accepted Collins’ apology …

“As I enter into the conversation, I want to thank the distinguished gentleman from Georgia for his apology for his ridiculous remarks about me and House Democrats. Thank you, we accept your apology, Mr. Collins. Now I want to go the purpose of why we are on the floor today.”

Pelosi-clapSpeaker Pelosi does have a way of making her point while at the same time being gracious, rather like her applause at the beginning of Trump’s State of the Union Address last year!  I like that woman!


And speaking of that bill …

Last week, after Trump nearly started a new war in the Middle East by ordering the assassination of an Iranian general without informing Congress nor seeking their advice, a number of members of Congress realized the danger Trump poses to this nation and that his power needs to be reined in.  Thus, the House proposed and passed a bill to curtail his war-making powers.

Most of us didn’t think the bill stood a chance in the Senate, where Mitch McConnell seems to be running a dog-and-pony show, but … today it appears that at least the requisite four republican senators have found the courage to stand and do the right thing!  What changed?

A few things, I think, contributed to the change of heart.  First, the classified, closed-door briefing last week from the president’s national security team. White House officials at the briefing, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, cautioned lawmakers not to question Trump’s judgment on Iran.  Then there is the fact that Trump keeps changing his story about the justification for the assassination, and when he finally couldn’t keep his stories straight, he simply claimed …

“It doesn’t really matter, because of his horrible past.”

But, before you get too excited about the possibility of this actually passing the Senate, remember that the odds of Trump signing the bill into law are slim-to-none, and it is unlikely that either House or Senate would be able to provide a 2/3 majority to override his veto.


Okay … so that’s enough snark for one day!  I’ll be back soon!

A Bit Of Fun …

When you wake up even more tired than you were when you went to bed an hour before, it’s time to lighten things up a bit with some humour, don’t you think?  Dear friend Ellen, who knows me quite well by now, realized this morning that I was in need of a few laughs and she sent me a few video clips to watch.  I watched.  I laughed.  And now I want you, my friends, to laugh also.

The other one is not “embed-able”, but here is a link to the Trevor Noah clip

I hope you had at least a chuckle … you don’t want to forget how to use those smile muscles in your face … too much frowning leads to permanent scowl lines!