Fools Rush In …

It’s really too bad that fools and idiots don’t come with some physical identifying feature, such as a hooked nose, or green ears … something!

KempBrian Kemp looks like a normal person.  Kemp is running for governor of Georgia this year and is, or at least claims to be, a big Trump supporter.  Apparently the feeling is mutual, for Trump supported Kemp over the current Lieutenant Governor, Casey Cagle, causing Cagle to lose the primary last month by a landslide.  Both Kemp and Cagle were lukewarm about Trump in the beginning, but now … funny, but for some reason they were in a competition to see who could most slavishly support Trump.  Oh … could that be because Trump’s approval ratings among Georgia Republicans are above 80 percent?

So, who is Brian Kemp and what does his platform look like?

Who is Brian Kemp?kemp-gun-JakeKemp has served as the Secretary of State of Georgia since 2010, first appointed by then-Governor Sonny Perdue, and later that year was elected to the position, and re-elected in 2014.  He would be up for re-election this year were he not running for governor.  He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture – I fail to see how that qualifies him for a governorship, but hey … it’s more education than the president has!

Kemp also had a rather unremarkable stint as Georgia State Senator from 2003-2007.

As Secretary of State, Kemp was responsible for a major data breach in 2015 when his office erroneously distributed personal data (including Social Security numbers and dates of birth) of 6.2 million registered Georgia voters, more than 95% of all registered voters in the state. This data breach occurred when the office sent out a CD with this information to 12 organizations that purchase monthly voter lists from the office.  The office of Secretary of State did not publicly acknowledge the mishap until the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the class-action lawsuit against the office as a result of the data breach.  The breach cost taxpayers $1.2 million in credit monitoring services for those whose data had been compromised and $395,000 for an audit into Kemp’s handling of the unauthorized data disclosure.

In 2016, as evidence mounted that Russian hackers were attempting to disrupt the 2016 elections, President Obama directed his Department of Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson to work with states to secure their voting systems as “critical infrastructure.”  Secretary of State Kemp refused, later justifying his decision by saying, “I think it was a politically calculated move by the previous administration.”  He also claimed the effort violated state’s rights.

So, we can see that Kemp is one of those who, no matter how much evidence is presented, will argue until he turns blue, simply because he didn’t like Obama.  Care to make a wild guess why?

What does Brian Kemp stand for?

You may remember that back in May, I included a snippet about Kemp in a post because of a campaign ad he had run where he had pointed a gun at a young man who wanted to date his daughter. In case you need to refresh your memory, here is the clip again …

“I’m a conservative businessman with a 4-Point Plan to put hardworking Georgians first. I’m also the proud father of 3 teenage girls. Here’s the thing: If you want to date one of my daughters, you better have respect for women & a healthy appreciation for the 2nd Amendment.”

Well, then …

kemp-Trump-endorsesGeorgia is a red state … republicans control the state legislature, as well as the governor’s office, but not necessarily because there are more republicans in Georgia. Georgia is a red state because of voter suppression, and quite likely were it not for voter roll purges, refusing to register voters until after an election, and the use of investigations to intimidate groups registering minorities to vote, there would at the very least be a significantly higher number of democrats in office.

Whites make up less than 60 percent of the state’s population but more than 90 percent of people who voted Republican in the primary. The state’s gerrymandered districts, drawn and redrawn by the Republican-dominated Legislature, mirror the inordinate and disproportionate power of this constituency.kemp-deportKemp’s platform seems to consist of three major things:  deport immigrants, protect the 2nd Amendment, and keep minorities away from the polls.  As Secretary of State, Kemp initiated investigations into organizations that registered nearly 200,000 new Asian-American and African-American voters — efforts that resulted in the first majority-black school board in a small town.  Although Kemp’s investigations yielded no charges, indictments or convictions, there was a strong intimidation feature with Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents knocking on doors, some of those people who were erroneously investigated losing their jobs.

In addition, Kemp kept thousands of the newly registered minority voters off the voter registration rolls. Why?  Because …

“Democrats are working hard, registering all these minority voters that are out there and others that are sitting on the sidelines. If they can do that, they can win these elections in November.”

Perish the thought, eh?  Kemp has also blocked nearly 35,000 people from the voter rolls because of misplaced hyphens or a typo on the voter registration card that didn’t precisely match the spelling of the name at the driver’s license bureau.  Mostly African-Americans, it just so happens (60%), but also Latinos and Asian-Americans.  In fact, since 2012, the number of registered voters in Georgia has actually decreased!  Oh yes … and those warnings about the vulnerability of the voting machines in his state?  No worries … Kemp has successfully ignored those pesky warnings, even though the machines, which run on Windows 2000, leave no paper trail; as a result, there is no way to verify whether the counts are accurate or whether the vote has been hacked.kemp-abramsIn November, Kemp will be running against Stacey Abrams, a woman and an African American.  As of the latest RealClearPolitics (RCP) average poll, Abrams and Kemp are tied neck-and-neck with each having 45% of the votes.  Kemp has, it seems, taken every possible step to ensure that the majority of voters will be white republicans.  I sincerely hope his efforts all come to naught, and I want to see his face on the night of November 6th, when he is told it is time to concede to Ms. Abrams.  I just hope he leaves his gun at home!

A Dirty Game

There have been cases where a house or other structure became so infested with vermin that it was not salvageable and had to be razed, then re-built.  That may well be the case with the federal government of the United States.  As the craziness that defines the current administration multiplies exponentially, breeding evil offshoots like the dame of all conspiracy groups, QAnon, the damage and infestation seems irreparable by any means short of “kill it and let’s start over”.

Donald Trump has, yet again, decided that he is perfectly willing to shut down the government until he gets his way … a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border.  And it appears that his followers support him 100% in this!  Here are the questions I would like to ask of any who support this irresponsible notion:

  • What good do you believe will be accomplished by spending billions of dollars to build that wall?
  • Why do you feel personally threatened by immigrants?
  • Has an immigrant from South or Central America, or even Mexico, ever threatened you personally, or a member of your family?
  • Do you know any immigrants?
  • Are you willing to have money come from your paycheck to finance “the wall”, especially after you were initially told it wouldn’t cost you a penny … that Mexico was going to pay for it?
  • Would you prefer to pay for the wall than to improve our education system, or provide healthcare and food for needy children?

Our government, folks, is badly broken.  The idea behind having three separate branches of government was that no one branch could dominate, no one person or political party could have absolute control of the decision-making process.  But that system of ‘checks and balances’ is no longer functioning as it was intended.  Why?

There are a variety of reasons, but I believe the main one at this juncture is that we have elected a president who sees the entire nation as his very own personal kingdom.  He believes his power is, or at least should be, absolute.  He does not see himself as a president, at least not by the definition as spelled out in the Constitution, but rather as a dictator.  Under ideal circumstances, Congress would be applying the brakes to many of his bad moves, but we have a Congress divided strictly along party lines and in the pockets of wealthy, greedy corporations, men and women who are completely unwilling to work together in the spirit of compromise for the betterment of the people who live here and pay the taxes that fund their salaries.  In other words, loyalty to the political party has superseded dedication to the people who live here. And the political party is loyal only to their wealthy, greedy donors.

The threat of a government shutdown is one that Trump has used at least twice before and personally, I find it both tiresome and juvenile.  It is a bullying tactic.  Congress could, if only they would, override any veto of a budget without wall funding, but the damn republicans in Congress are too afraid of Trump and his minions to do the right thing.  They are too afraid of Trump to work for us, the very people who elected them to serve in the House and Senate.

Yesterday, I wrote a post about labels, and cautioned that judging an entire group based on the actions of only some is wrong.  But at this point, it seems that we can safely conclude every republican in Congress is in the pocket of big corporations and lobbying groups, for there are only 2 or 3 who have voted against what Trump wanted, and those only a few times.  The NRA, Exxon, General Motors, Murray Energy Corporation and many others are the ones who control the votes of the republicans in Congress.

Now, if you doubt that Trump’s threat to shut down the government is not done in the spirit of game-playing, consider this:

Donald Trump says he remains “a little bit torn” about whether it would be better to shut down the government before or after the midterm elections in an effort to secure funding for his long-promised border wall.

Trump said Thursday at a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, that while many in the party disagree, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh and Fox News personality Sean Hannity share his belief that a fall shutdown would be politically advantageous for Republicans in the midterms.

Trump says that he’s “a little torn myself” but that he “would personally prefer before.” He adds, “Whether it’s before or after, we’re either getting it or we’re closing down government.”  – The Washington Post, 02 August 2018

Whoa!  Many in the party disagree … in truth, the majority of the country disagrees, but hold the presses, because as long as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity agree, it must be the right thing, eh?  It’s all a big game to him, folks.  A game where the only thing that matters is that Donald Trump wins, and the rest of us are naught but pawns being pushed around on the board.  Thing is, unlike Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit, this is real life and the stakes are real lives.

Our government is broken, my friends, and the only means we have to try to put it back together is to make a clean sweep and take the trash out in November.

What Is This QAnon Group All about?

For a week or so, I have been seeing snippets about a new conspiracy theory and its followers, called QAnon, or simply ‘Q’ for short. I dismissed the group out of hand, for I see it as some ridiculous thing created by ignorant people who have nothing better to do with their meaningless little lives. I still see it that way, but can no longer simply ignore it, for like other conspiracy theories that have come before, there is a very real danger that it will lead to violence. Our friend Gronda has provided some excellent information about what Q is, so please take a few minutes to read her post. One phrase, in particular, caught my eye: “… have come to believe that observable reality is false and the QAnon narrative is real.” Sounds rather like Trump when he told his followers not to believe what they are seeing and hearing, but only to believe what he tells them is real. Up is down and hot is cold. The games people play. Thank you, Gronda, for helping us to understand a bit about this bunch of nuts!

Gronda Morin

Image result for PHOTOS OF QANON FLORIDA TRUMP RALLY

On August 1, 2018, Justin Bank, Liam Stack and Daniel Victor of the New York Times penned the following report, “What Is QAnon: Explaining the Internet Conspiracy Theory That Showed Up at a Trump Rally” (“Do you remember Pizzagate? It’s a little like that: a web of baseless conspiracy theories. And its supporters were highly visible at an event for the president in Florida.”)

“Those watching President Trump’s rally in Tampa on Tuesday couldn’t help but be exposed to a fringe movement that discusses several loosely connected and vaguely defined — and baseless — conspiracy theories.”

Image result for PHOTOS OF QANON

“In one shot on Fox News, the president was partially obscured by a sign in the crowd reading “We Are Q.” In another shot during the president’s speech, a sign promoting the debunked Seth Rich conspiracy theory, with the hashtag #Qanon, came into focus in the center of…

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The Rich Get Richer …

In a recent tweet, Donald Trump claimed, “I will keep fighting for the American people!”  Donald is not particularly literate, and thus his words often need some translation.  In this case, the translation only requires the addition of a single word:  wealthy.  “I will keep fighting for the wealthy American people!”  And by default, the rest of us can go to hell.  If you’ve been awake for the past 18 months and kept your eye on the ball, this will come as no surprise.  The 40% or so who still think Donald Trump is the greatest thing since sliced bread will, no doubt, continue to ignore the writing on the wall.

You will remember that last year Congress passed a tax bill that included tax cuts for the wealthy, but did very little for the average wage earner.  And the wealthy were happy, for they heard the ‘ka-ching’ of still more money hitting their bank accounts, so they donated some of that money to republican candidates so the republican candidates could buy more air time on national television to stay in office and ultimately give those wealthy people even more advantages.  It’s a vicious circle.

But apparently the glow of their tax cuts wore off, and now they want even more.  And guess what?  Trump and his minions want to give it to them!  Now, members of Congress are cognizant of the fact that there is an election in less than 100 days, and they don’t want to rock any boats right now by giving the wealthy more money, for they understand that the rest of us also get to vote on November 6th.  So, Trump & Co have found a way to do their reverse Robin Hood act without the blessings of Congress, and certainly without the blessings of We The People!

From The Washington Post

The Treasury Department is considering a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans through a change that would not need approval from Congress, officials said, a move that would follow a package of tax cuts last year that also benefited the super-rich.

The agency is studying whether to allow investment income, known as capital gains, to be adjusted for inflation in a way that shields more of it from taxation. Most capital gains are paid by wealthier Americans, who disproportionately hold large portfolios of investments.

A brief explanation of capital gains …

When you sell stock, you likely realize either a capital gain or loss, which is the difference between the amount for which you sold it and the amount you initially paid for it.  If you paid $1,000 for 25 shares of XYZ stock in the year 2000, and you just sold it for $900, you have a capital loss of $100.  Conversely, if you sold that same stock for $1,100, you have a capital gain of $100 which is subject to income taxes.

MnuchinBut what Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury Department, is suggesting is that the basis, or what you paid for that stock, should be adjusted for inflation in the calculation of capital gains.  Thus, it could be argued that the $1,000 you paid in 2000, adjusted for inflation, is equivalent to $1,100, thus wiping out your capital gain and BINGO — you now owe no taxes on that gain!  Now, when you consider that for the wealthy those capital gains may be in the millions of dollars, well you can only imagine how much they would save in taxes.  You and I won’t benefit more than a few dollars, if that, but people like Donald Trump, Betsy DeVos, and a host of others, stand to save hundreds of thousands in taxes.

The wealthiest 1% of American households own 40% of the country’s wealth.  That share is higher than it has been at any point since at least 1962, according to a study by economist Edward N. Wolff.  Meanwhile, you and I struggle to pay the bills and put food on the table, keep the 10-year-old car running for another year, and cut corners wherever we can.

Trump’s policies and the December donor tax cuts have already plunged the nation into deeper debt and increased the deficit.  This move further reduces the income without doing a single thing to reduce expenses.  And it can all be done without Congressional approval.  If you ever had any doubt whether Trump had the good of the nation and its people in mind, this should convince you.

Oh … and would you be interested in knowing Steve Mnuchin’s net worth?  $400 million.  Personally, if this is what Donald Trump means when he says he will “keep fighting for Americans”, I wish he would just stop fighting.  The wealthy, under Trump, are having a field day, but eventually, as those of us whose brains have not been replaced with dollar signs know, eventually the party comes to an end.  Debts come due and there are very real consequences when there is no money in the treasury to pay those debts.  And what about the rising poverty rates in this nation?  How do you explain to a poor person that you are cutting their food stamps because the rich people are paying less taxes and, well, sorry but there just isn’t enough money for you to feed your children?

That “great economy”, that rise in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that he keeps bragging about?  Guess what, folks … it doesn’t mean a damn thing for the average citizen in the U.S.  Sure, unemployment is low, but wages haven’t risen.  Many lower income people still have to work 2 or even 3 jobs just to buy food and keep a roof over their heads!  But by all means, let us make the wealthy even wealthier.

Russian Infiltration Of Word Press Blogs

Blogger-friend Xena has written a post that is so important I had to share it with you. You may remember the one I re-blogged earlier today from Gronda regarding Russian trolls and bots. This post details some of the ways in which Russia has infiltrated WordPress blogs, and it is truly eye-opening, so please take a few minutes to read. Thank you so much, Xena for all the work you have put into this excellent post, and for your permission to re-blog!

We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident

In spite of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell warning Russia to “quit messing around in our elections,” Russians have not stopped.  They continue their influence and propaganda.  With social media such as Facebook and Twitter taking note and making changes, Russian propagandists have turned to Word Press blogs.

Earlier this year, I received notifications from Word Press for email followers.  I didn’t pay much attention to the first one because there are people who follow this blog via email who do not have Word Press accounts to comment.   When I received two more notifications on the same day, and they too had Outlook email addresses, I knew that was not usual.  I checked a Word Press forum and found that others were experiencing the same and were concerned about it.

A thread in one Word Press forum began in January 2018.   Also in January, a blogger named Ray wrote…

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Get Educated As To How Russian Trolls Operate In The USA To Suppress The Vote

There is a lot of talk these days about the Russian interference in our last (2016) election and that the intelligence community has already seen credible evidence that the Russians are also planning to inject their presence into our mid-terms in November. If you aren’t worried, you should be. But how, exactly, do the Russians influence the vote? That has been somewhat hazy to many, but friend Gronda has some clarification for us. Please take a few minutes to read this post and check out the short videos she includes. You won’t regret it! Thank you, Gronda, for all your hard work on this and for letting me share it!

Gronda Morin

1EarthUnited  who is a member of my blogging family has recently been taking on the personality of a Russian troll.

History:

Until relatively recently, she would comment on my posts with a point of view of a conservative with conspiracy theory leanings. This was okay with me as she was representing a point of view of peoples who I know and am fond of, except we rarely go down that route of discussing politics when we get together. She has consistently exhibited a strong antipathy towards the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to where she would refer to old conspiracy theories which have been debunked numerous times by credible fact-checking sites. Again, for me this was nothing new. She would use references that are rated high in fake content like WND, Horn news. (FOX TV, Infowars, Breitbart) are examples of right wing media outlets that are also rated high…

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No Dancing in the Streets … Sorry.

I’ve noticed the almost exponential spread of a misconception being bandied about on social media the past few days and thought it would be a good idea to clarify before there is premature dancing in the streets.  The misconception is that if Trump were to be impeached and removed from office, Pence and the rest of his appointees would also be automatically removed from office.  Sounds like a truly wonderful idea, doesn’t it?  Much as I hate to have to take those happy smiles off your face, I have to tell you folks … it just ain’t so.

I understand where the confusion comes in.  Remember that when the Constitution was drafted, the framers were trying to keep it short and simple, for they wanted every man (women didn’t count back then) to be able to read and understand it.  If we were writing the document today, lawyers would be involved and it would no doubt turn into a few million words, rather than the mere 7,591 words it is now, including the amendments.  So, in keeping the document short and readable, there are some segments that, on the surface, may seem to mean something that they do not.  Article II, section 4 is one such:

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

First of all, it should be noted that while the House of Representatives may formally ‘impeach’ a president, this alone does not call for a removal from office.  Remember President Clinton?  The Senate basically acts as the jury once the House has voted to impeach, and if the Senate finds the president or other officer guilty with a 2/3 majority, in other words a vote of 67 senators, then and only then is that person removed from office.  And only the person convicted of treason or another impeachable crime is removed, not the entire bunch of ‘em.

The tricky word that has given people hope we might do a thorough cleaning of the White House is that word ‘and’.  “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers …”  Replace ‘and’ with ‘or’, and you get a better picture of what the framers were trying to say.

If you think about it, it wouldn’t make sense to remove the vice president and the rest of the crew from office if the president were convicted and removed from office.  In the case of Trump & Co, yes, it might make perfect sense, but in most cases it is highly unlikely that the entire crew was guilty just because the president was.  And, can you imagine what chaos it would cause?  Just the removal of the president would likely set the nation reeling for years.  So no, there is no clean and legal way to “throw da bums out” all at once.

Something else to think about, as we call for impeachment.  If the House impeached Trump today, we would still have him as president a year from now, because with the current makeup of the Senate, 51 republicans, 47 democrats, and 2 independents (who generally vote with the democrats), and given the fact that they are not only split along party lines but rent along party lines, there is no way in heck they would garner a 2/3 majority to remove him from office.  It’s one of those situations where “Be careful what you wish for …” applies, for in all likelihood there will be only one chance to impeach Trump.  Let us not waste it at a time when he will not be judged guilty by the senate and nothing will change except that the process will have wasted a ton of time and money.  And frankly, while I really hate to burst everyone’s bubble – including my own – I don’t think that even with the best possible outcome in November, Trump will be removed from office by impeachment.  The numbers just don’t add up.

There are 35 Senate seats up for election in November.  Of those, 26 are already held by democrats, leaving only 9 seats currently held by republicans that could be switched to democrats.  If every seat were filled with a democrat, the makeup of the Senate would be: 58 democrats and 42 republicans.  Enough for a simple majority, but not enough for a 2/3 majority.

The only hope, and it is one I still think could happen, is if the evidence that Trump committed treason is so overwhelming that even the republicans in the Senate are ready to shove his patootie out the door.  This, of course, would require that they dig deep and find both a pair of cojones and a conscience.

I apologize for bursting everybody’s bubble today, and I still believe that Trump needs to be removed from office and soon, before he does more damage to our system of government and our nation as a whole.  But we need to be realistic, too.  Sorry …sad-2

When They Go Low …

Okay, folks … we need to do better.  Midterm elections are in just under four months, we have some inherent advantages going into the elections, but we also have some significant disadvantages, and we are shooting ourselves in the foot!

This morning’s Washington Post reports that members of Trump’s staff are being subjected to public humiliation, taunts, hecklers and even thinly-veiled threats.  Those who engage in such behaviours are doing two things:  they are lowering ‘us’ to ‘their’ level, and they are damaging the image of all democrats.

Mind you, I understand the urge.  Donald Trump is disgusting, as are the majority of his staff and cabinet members, not to mention a large number of the members of Congress.  Together, they have made a mockery of all we thought this nation stood for, and they are seemingly intent on destroying the U.S. Constitution within four years. The desire to confront and denigrate them is one we can all relate to.  BUT … in this case, the old saying ‘fight fire with fire’ is wrong and is going to cost the nation if this insanity continues.  Sure, it may be fun to yell at Kellyanne Conway, telling her she should ‘be ashamed’, but what does it gain, really?

First, there was the owner of the Red Hen restaurant who asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her family to leave.  A week ago, a teacher interrupted her lunch at a restaurant to tell Scott Pruitt — eating with an aide a few feet away — that he should resign as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.  On at least two occasions, demonstrators have assembled outside the home of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.  Two weeks ago, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen walked out of a downtown Mexican restaurant after demonstrators followed her inside to rail against the administration for separating children from migrant parents. “Shame!” the protesters shouted while Nielsen remained in her seat, her head down as she typed messages on her smartphone.

Then last month, Congresswoman Maxine Waters issued the following plea:

“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them!”

Predictably, Trump shot back by calling her a low-IQ person, as he always does when he doesn’t know what else to say, and then claimed that she had called for harm to his supporters, which was not true, but when did Trump ever let a little thing like the truth get in his way?  Still, Ms. Waters was wrong and those who are taking her words literally and acting upon them are also wrong.  What is the difference, I ask you dear readers, between what Ms. Waters said and the times Trump has said similar things at his rallies?  There is no difference and two wrongs do not make a right.

We are playing right into the hands of the Trump administration and the GOP.  Newt Gingrich was buoyed by the very public protests, saying, “They should take solace in the fact that we must be winning, since these people are so crazy. They used to be passive because they thought they were the future. Now they know we’re the future, and it’s driving them nuts.”

The November mid-terms hold enough challenges for democrats as it is.  There are gerrymandered districts, designed to concentrate the minority vote into only a few districts.  There are challenges such as states trying to pass stricter and more restrictive voter ID requirements.  Polling places are being reduced and the hours cut back, especially in areas where there is a concentration of poor or minority voters.  At least one state has passed a law making it legal to remove voters from the rolls if they have not voted for the last two years.  And then there is the anticipated interference by Russia, which has been verified by officials throughout the security community, but little appears to be being done to stop it.  With all these challenges, we do not need to act like 10-year-old children and tarnish our image, for you know that the COP will pounce on any opportunity to highlight our mistakes.

We all have a voice and we should use it.  Write OpEds, write a blog, reach out to the opposition, help your local party canvass the neighborhood, and most important of all, use your voice to VOTE on November 6th.  Use your voice wisely, for if you don’t, we may all stand to lose our voices.

I have no respect or tolerance for the likes of Conway, Sanders, Miller, Nielsen or any of the other sycophants who slavishly follow Trump.  BUT … I believe that no matter how obnoxious they are, they are entitled to a personal life without being provoked and harassed because of their job. The vast majority of Trump’s more well-known staff and cabinet members do not deserve the positions they hold.  They do not deserve their hefty salaries that are paid from our tax dollars.  However they also do not deserve public harassment and their families should always, always be off-limits.  Democrat or republican should not matter … we are human beings and adults, let’s try to act like it?

Afternoon Snarky Snippets …

Call it mind-bounce, call it angst, call it fed-up-with-Trump syndrome … whatever it is, it is interfering with my ability to settle in on a single topic today, so I decided to vent on a few topics.  Sometimes getting some of the detritus out of the way helps me focus.


First, the good news …

Eight of the boys who have been trapped in a cave in Thailand since June 23rd have been brought out to safety!  Four boys and the coach remain in the flooded cave and it is hoped that they can be rescued tomorrow.  The boys are being kept in quarantine in a hospital to ensure they haven’t picked up any diseases.  rescueI am disturbed, however, by the fact that they have not yet been allowed to see their parents.  It seems unnecessarily cruel to both the children and the parents, and the parents do not even know which boys have been rescued and which remain in the cave. Psychologists already anticipate that the boys are likely to suffer from short-term psychological symptoms.  I am not a psychologist, but just from the standpoint of a human and a parent, it seems that the most important thing at this point would be reuniting the boys with their parents, letting them feel secure in the embrace of their moms and dads.  But what do I know, right?

Anyway, I am thrilled that the eight boys so far have been rescued and seem to be in good health overall, and hope that the other four and the coach will be brought to safety tomorrow.


Scott Pruitt – one final bootlicking …

As we all know by now, Scott Pruitt resigned his position as head of the Environmental Protection Agency last week amid numerous major scandals.  His resignation letter is something to behold, a true work of … I don’t even know the word for it.  Here, in all its glory, is the letter, with my snarky remarkys in blue

“Mr. President, it has been an honor to serve you in the Cabinet as Administrator of the EPA. Truly, your confidence in me has blessed me personally and enabled me to advance your agenda beyond what anyone anticipated at the beginning of your Administration. Your courage (you have GOT to be kidding!!!), steadfastness and resolute commitment to get results for the American people, both with regard to improved environmental outcomes (define ‘improved’, please?) as well as historical regulatory reform (reform = destruction), is in fact occurring at an unprecedented pace and I thank you for the opportunity to serve you and the American people in helping achieve those ends.

That is why it is hard for me to advise you I am stepping down as Administrator of the EPA effective as of July 6. It is extremely difficult for me to cease serving you in this role first because I count it a blessing (define ‘blessing’?) to be serving you in any capacity, but also, because of the transformative work that is occurring. However, the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us (Awwwww, pobrecito).

My desire in service to you has always been to bless you as you make important decisions for the American people. I believe you are serving as President today because of God’s providence (spare me the bullpoop!!!). I believe that same providence brought me into your service. I pray as I have served you that I have blessed you and enabled you to effectively lead the American people. Thank you again Mr. President for the honor of serving you and I wish you Godspeed in all that you put your hand to.”

PruittDoes anybody else feel ill?  You may notice that he didn’t even mention any of the scandals surrounding him?  Happily, the 14 or so investigations of ethics violations will continue and he remains under the gun.  If it is found that he is guilty of ethics violations, it will be up to Attorney General Jeff Sessions to decide whether to prosecute.  Anybody want to guess how that is likely to go?


Even his friends don’t like the tariffs …

Even some of Trump’s closest allies in Congress are unhappy about the trade tariffs he unleashed last month.  Senator Orrin Hatch, a close ally of Trump’s, reportedly said of the tariffs, “I’d like to kill ’em.”  Republican senators say they can’t get the president to comprehend that his tariffs offensive could upend the mid-term elections. Commodity prices in the heartland are sagging, U.S. allies are retaliating with tariffs of their own — and GOP leaders are fretting that the booming economy is about to go into a pre-midterms nosedive.

My response to all that is, “you reap what you sow”.  The republicans in Congress have blindly followed and supported Donald Trump through some of the most abhorrent decisions ever made by a U.S. president.  They have shoved aside their constituents in favour of the upper echelons that Trump so loves.  And so, when it comes home to roost, when the voters in their states finally say “ENOUGH!!!”, I will have not one shred of empathy for these jerks.


The games people play …

Paul Manafort’s trial is scheduled to begin later this month.  Any bets as to whether it will or not?  Thus far, Manafort has asked for a delay and a change of venue.  Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman and a subject of Robert Mueller’s investigation, since he has close and proven ties to a number of Russians, is accused of both bank and tax fraud.

Paul Manafort.In requesting the move and the delay, Manafort’s attorneys cited intense negative publicity surrounding his prosecution by special counsel Robert Mueller. Yes, well???  You play, you pay … eventually.  I am ready for somebody … anybody … to start facing the consequences of this huge criminal scandal that handed the 2016 election to the least qualified candidate imaginable.  I suspect that once the first one falls, the rest will follow.  We may need to build a new federal penitentiary to hold them all!  Frankly, I will be doing the Snoopy Happy Dance in the middle of the street!


And thus concludes my mini-rants for today.  I shall now go clean a bathroom or two and think about preparing supper later on … lemon-chicken, broccoli and wild rice is on the docket for tonight, and I will be teaching Miss Goose how to make the chicken.  Perhaps someday she can fix supper and I can take a nap!  Have a great evening, friends!

“How do we make people vote?”

The mid-term elections are now less than four months away, and those of us who are determined to get the boot-lickers out of Congress and elect men & women who are willing to rein in Donald Trump, to hold him accountable for his actions and sometimes be willing to ‘just say no’, are concerned. We are hopeful in some of the up-and-coming candidates, we are hopeful because democrats are in the majority, albeit a silent majority sometimes, of voters. But we are also concerned because far too many people do not bother to vote, for one reason or another. My usual tactic is to be a bit of a bully, trying to guilt people into casting a vote. But fellow blogger Tokyo Sand suggests that another way might be more effective, and in many cases, I am inclined to agree. Please take a minute to read this excellent post and give it some thought! Thank you Tokyo Sand for such an excellent post and your generous permission to share.

Political⚡Charge

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“How do we make people vote?”

It’s the question of the moment, isn’t it. I get this question a lot. There are millions of us who hate the direction this country is going, and understand that the solution is to vote the Republicans out of office.

We know there are more registered Democrats than Republicans. We also know there are a lot of Independents who could be voting for the Democratic candidates, too.

This country needs a constellation of solutions to tackle our atrocious turnout rates, but what we need is something you and I can do today. Right now. What steps can we take immediately to help us get what we desperately need in November, i.e. votes.

After receiving an odd bit of inspiration, I’ve realized that “How do we make people vote?” is the wrong question. Really wrong.

When you “make” someone do something, you’re forcing them…

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