Please Mayor Bloomberg, Don’t do it

Jeff shocked me today by posting not one, but TWO posts! This one … he speaks for me with every single word. We do NOT need wealthy businessmen running our government … men who have never in their entire lives known what it’s like to have to beg for someone to help you pay the rent, or make a choice between paying the electric bill or taking your sick kid to the doctor! Thank you, Jeff, for this timely and apropos post!

On The Fence Voters

Instead, how about an effort to end homelessness?

So now Michael Bloomberg is considering a run for the presidency. Please, Mr. Mayor, do us all a favor and un-consider.

I’m sorry. I’ve had about enough of billionaires with political aspirations. Look, I admire what many of these guys have accomplished in life. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have donated billions of their fortunes to worthy causes. And Bloomberg himself has donated to many charities. I do not begrudge them for making a ton of money. It’s not their success that turns me off — whining about paying a bit more in taxes? Oh yeah, that does it.

Have we not learned anything at all? The idea that people can dip into their massive fortunes to, in a sense, try to buy themselves into political office is unseemly and just plain wrong. It’s something we need to fix as part of…

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Snarky Mini-Snippets To Start The Weekend!

snarky-2Today, I had a bunch of snark-buildup, but all just little things, small thoughts (no comment from the peanut gallery about small minds –> small thoughts!) that only warrant about a paragraph each, so I went with calling them mini-snippets.  Besides that, it’s housecleaning day, so my time to write is somewhat limited … somebody’s got to keep this place from being condemned by the city!


What is this with the republican loons, from Trump and his family, to Fox News, to the republicans in Congress running around saying that the ongoing impeachment process is naught but an attempt to overturn the 2016 election???  No, dear misguided republicans, it is not an attempt to ‘overturn’ an election that happened three years ago.  It is an attempt to remove from office the most corrupt and dangerous president who has ever been in the Oval Office.  It is an attempt to restore some semblance of order to our federal government.  It is an attempt to save what shreds are left of our democratic system.  Got it?  Does that register?  I, for one, am sick and damn tired of hearing that sorry attempt at a defense.


Now it comes out that not only did Trump attempt to blackmail Ukrainian President Zelenskyy in order to force him to announce an investigation of presidential candidate Joe Biden, but also his former nemesis Hillary Clinton.  WTF???  Why Hillary Clinton?  My best guess is that he is still so embarrassed by the fact that she won nearly three million votes more than Trump did in the 2016 election that he will not leave her alone until he takes his last breath!  Vindictive, ignorant, jealous … what a waste of space on earth is Donald Trump.  If he spent half as much time studying the briefs his staff provide him, trying to understand how our government works, actually reading the Constitution, why we might actually have a president.  As it is, we have a very ignorant and dangerous juvenile delinquent in an old man’s body.


Trump has been ordered by New York Judge Saliann Scarpulla to pay $2 million in damages for misusing funds from a tax-exempt charity — taking the charity’s money to pay debts for his for-profit businesses, to boost his 2016 campaign and to buy a painting of himself.  A painting of himself?  Blech.  In addition to the $2 million, Trump also agreed to disburse the $1.8 million remaining in the foundation to a set of charities, and to shutter it for good.  Funny, isn’t it, that the man who claims to be president of the country, a man who holds our lives in his hands, bilked people out of millions of dollars, spent them on himself rather than such things as helping the poor, or veterans, and yet he remains in office.  What a low this nation has sunken to.


bloombergFormer New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is apparently throwing his hat in the ring for the 2020 presidential election, after saying he would not do so earlier this year.  Bloomberg is another billionaire businessman, folks … just about the last thing we need at this point.  At least he does have some governing experience and has a bit of a brain in his head, unlike the incumbent, but still … we do not need somebody with such great wealth that he cannot even begin to appreciate the problems of the average person struggling to provide for their families.  Not, mind you, that any of the top candidates in this race are living below the poverty level:  Elizabeth Warren’s net worth is estimated at $12 million, Joe Biden’s at $1.5 million, and Bernie Sanders’ at $1.9 million.  Still, they are peons as compared to Bloomberg.

Trump, by the way, has already picked his nickname for Bloomberg:  Little Michael.  He says Bloomberg won’t do well because he has “some personal problems”, and that there is nobody he’d rather run against.  Personally, I think he’s jealous because Bloomberg has more money, with a net worth of $51.5 billion, than he does.


Ol’ two-faced Lindsey Graham is back on the radar (did he ever leave it?)  Lindsey is so certain that the impeachment process against Donald Trump is without merit that he now says he will not even bother to read the evidence, the pages of testimony that has provided proof that Donald Trump broke the law.  Talk about hypocrisy!  Look what Lindsey had to say back in 1999 after Bill Clinton had been impeached by the House and was facing trial in the Senate:

“So, the point I’m trying to make is: You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic, if this body determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role … because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”

Yes, Lindsey … let us ‘cleanse’ the Oval Office, let us restore some honour and integrity to the office.  And speaking of honour and integrity, Lindsey … where is yours???


Seems that there are millions of people out there, mostly republicans, who claim to think that everything Trump has done is ‘okay’.  Obstruction of justice in trying to shut down the very legitimate Mueller investigation into Russian interference in our 2016 election.  Obstruction of justice in refusing to allow government employees to honour subpoenas by the House investigative committees.  Blackmailing the Ukrainian government to help him against a competitor in the 2020 election.  Threatening and bullying political opponents.  Removing almost every environmental protection that was on the books and selling off our national land to the fossil fuel and logging industries. Lying on a daily basis to cover his own a$$.  And much, much more, yet all of it is ‘A-okay’ with those 40% or so of people who still sing Trump’s praises.  Let me just throw out a single question here:  What if it was President Barack Obama who had done even a small percentage of those things?


Well, those little mini-snippets should give you something to ponder on this weekend, eh?  And to start the weekend off on a humorous note, here’s Seth Meyers …

This Cannot Become “Normal”

I came across this OpEd in the New York Times by one of my favourite opinion writers, Nicholas Kristof, earlier today.  It is a prescient warning that I think is worth sharing.


Don’t Let Trump Make You Numb to What’s Unacceptable

Our species has an ability to adapt. Now’s not the time.

nicholas-kristof-thumblargeBy Nicholas Kristof

Opinion Columnist

  • Nov. 6, 2019

The problem with being a frog in a beaker is that you may not notice the water temperature rising to a boil.

Humans, too. In New Delhi, people get used to air that is filthy. In Syria, to checkpoints. In Angola, to corruption. In China, to propaganda. And in America, we risk becoming numbed to a political, social and moral breakdown.

Scandal and dysfunction dribble out from Washington day by day, numbing us so that we may forget just how unprecedented and outrageous the trends are. It was only five years ago that Fox News was deploring a “shocking” and “desperate” presidential scandal that Republican Representative Peter King described as inexcusable: Barack Obama wore a tan suit! Now we can’t even keep track of how many countries President Trump has asked to do him political favors.

I’ve been traveling abroad, so I’ve been asking journalists and officials how they see America, and from a distance they offer blunt assessments. “If your president isn’t a Manchurian candidate,” one senior European official said, “he’s doing a pretty good imitation of one.”

In 2016, Obama’s passivity and Republican intransigence may have allowed Russian cyberattacks to swing the presidency to Trump (there’s no way to be sure, but that’s what the forensic work of Kathleen Hall Jamieson suggests). Yet despite improvement, the United States still doesn’t have an adequate strategy to foil Russian or Chinese interference in the 2020 election.

Trump is a hero of many evangelical Christians who previously emphasized the importance of personal values and restoring “honor and dignity” to the White House. Meanwhile, he is on his third wife, has cheated on all three and has been accused of sexual misconduct by 25 women. And Trump tweeted a supporter’s praise likening him to “the second coming of God.”

Since taking office, Trump has made more than 13,400 false or misleading statements, according to a Washington Post database. The Post found that he has recently accelerated his falsehoods to a rate of 22 per day, more than one per waking hour. (I’ve covered many world leaders, and the only two whom I consider pathological liars are Trump and former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.)

Trump has declared “I am the chosen one.” His press secretary last month spoke of “the genius of our great President.”

Trump, who according to a Times investigation is wealthy partly because of fraud, pledged to fight corruption and “drain the swamp.” Since then, he has lost more first-term cabinet members to scandal than any president in history.

 “I’m not going to have time to go play golf,” Trump said before his election. In fact, he has visited golf clubs approximately 224 times since taking office, including more than three months in total at Mar-a-Lago. These vacation trips have cost taxpayers more than $100 million.

Trump’s mother was an immigrant, as are two of the women he married (his current wife may have been undocumented). Yet he has ripped children from parents at the border, and his administration has argued that detained immigrant children do not need soap or toothbrushes.

We haven’t even gotten to Trump trying to buy Greenland, marching into women’s changing rooms to admire undressed teenagers, borrowing Stalinist language to denounce the press as the “enemy of the people,” claiming that climate change is a Chinese conspiracy, banning Muslims or diverting money to build the wall that Mexico supposedly would pay for.

Oh, and that multibillion-dollar wall is now being cut open by smugglers with $100 saws.

Yet America’s dysfunction goes beyond Trump, and it will outlast Trump, even as it is aggravated by him.

American kids ages 1 through 19 are 57 percent more likely to die than those in other advanced nations, according to a study in the journal Health Affairs. That’s partly because the United States is virtually alone in failing to provide universal health coverage: Trump didn’t create that problem, but he did magnify it so that the number of uninsured children is now increasing.

Longstanding economic inequality in the United States, exacerbated by Trump’s tax cuts and other policies, is staggering. A single hedge fund tycoon, James Simons, made $1.6 billion last year, or more than $4 million each day — yet the United States has 100,000 children who on any given night are homeless. Since 2000, 61,000 foster kids have simply gone missing. Girls and boys are sold by pimps for sex in every American city.

America is not, as President Trump once called it, a “hellhole.” It is a nation of enormous strengths and resources, but we need to muster them now. A merit of our species is that we are adaptable and resilient and can get used to almost anything.

But we should never get accustomed to all this. Let’s not let ourselves be numbed by the daily drip into accepting a level of Trumpian dysfunction that should always be unacceptable.

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A Day Made For … Snarky Snippets!

Wow, folks … just when you think it can’t get any more chaotic … it does!  My phone has been abuzz today with breaking news updates from several media outlets, every time I pull up either The Washington Post, Politico or the New York Times, there is something else that demands to be read, and my email box has been overflowing every time I’ve checked it.  I almost wish for a nationwide power failure so I could catch my breath!  I said ‘almost’, for we are expecting ❄️ snow ❄️ today, so I really don’t want to be without heat.


Karma is a …

Back in November 2017, two years ago, I did a post called More Bits ‘N Pieces From Filosofa’s Mind … rather a precursor to my Snarky Snippets feature.  In that post, one of the ‘bits ‘n pieces’ was about a woman named Juli Briskman who bravely dared to flip the finger at Donald Trump’s motorcade as it passed by her while she was riding her bicycle.  This picture went viral …girl on bikeMs. Briskman lost her job over that picture, but yesterday, she got a new job!  She won a seat on the Loudoun County (Virginia) Board of Supervisors — ousting a Republican in the process!  Says Ms. Briskman …

“It’s feeling fantastic, it’s feeling surreal. The last two years have been quite a ride. Now we’re helping to flip Loudoun blue.”

And, to put the icing on the cake, the district to which she was elected happens to include a golf course owned by none other than a certain Donald Trump!  You know what they say about karma …


Score one for justice … for now, anyway

Two thumbs up to U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer in Manhattan.  Yesterday he struck down Trump’s so-called ‘conscience rule’, that would have given health care providers the right to refuse birth control, sterilization, abortions, and other treatments to patients if said health care providers claimed that those treatments were ‘against their personal/religious beliefs’.  It would have also allowed health care providers to refuse treatment to members of the LGBT community if they believed homosexuality to be fundamentally wrong.  In other words, there was really no line … doctors, nurses and others could have refused treatment on nearly any grounds or no grounds, simply by claiming that to offer treatment would go against their religion.

The rule would have required clinics and research institutions that receive federal funding from programs including Medicare and Medicaid to “submit written assurances and certifications of compliance” with federal religious-freedom and conscience-protection laws to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in order to receive federal funding.

This, in Trump’s view, is expanding the rights of religious freedom.  Judge Engelmayer saw it a bit differently, however …

“The Court has found that HHS’s stated justification for undertaking rulemaking in the first place—a purported ‘significant increase’ in civilian complaints relating to the conscience provisions—was factually untrue.”

He went on to say that the rule was “shot through with glaring legal defects.”  It is the opinion of this writer that if a person’s religious convictions are such that there are certain procedures they are unwilling to perform, or certain groups of people they are unwilling to treat, then that person does not belong in the health care field.  Period.  It is rather like … if you don’t like children, don’t become a teacher.  This rule was religious freedom run amok … it was set to cost lives, to take away the rights of others.

The Department of Health and Human Services, along with the Justice Department, say they are ‘reviewing’ the judge’s 147-page decision.  My best guess is that they will file an appeal.  Sigh.  You all do realize who’s footing the bill for all these lawsuits and appeals, right?


Only in Alabama …

Who could forget Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions, commonly known simply as Jeff Sessions, racist extraordinaire, right?  He was a U.S. Senator from Alabama for twenty years, starting in 1997, and ending in 2017 when he stepped down to accept the position of U.S. District Attorney.  In his early years in Alabama … 1986, to be exact … then-President Ronald Reagan considered appointing Mr. Sessions to a federal court judgeship, but Sessions’ nomination was not confirmed in light of prior, documented racist remarks.

Sessions didn’t last too long as Attorney General … about a year, until 2018 when he resigned at Trump’s request.  Trump had wanted to fire him ever since Sessions, in a rare moment of integrity, recused himself from the Mueller investigation.  Trump had hoped that he could coerce Sessions into firing Robert Mueller and ending the investigation.  Anyway …

It is expected that any day now, Sessions will officially announce that he is running for his old Senate seat against incumbent Doug Jones, who beat out another racist jackass, Roy Moore, in 2017.  And, to add to the drama, Roy Moore is also planning to run for that seat again next year!  If Alabamans vote for either Sessions or Moore, then I think we should get our chain saws out and cut the whole state of Alabama out of the U.S. … let it drift over to the other side of the big pond!  Oh, my head.  🤯


Jaw-dropping news!

Is it possible, just possible, that Attorney General William Barr found his cojones?  Barr has slavishly done Trump’s bidding since the day he took his seat in the Department of Justice, not seeming to mind that he looked like a fool, a wuss, a pansy.  Perhaps he has finally gotten tired of it all?

Turns out that in late September, Trump requested that Barr hold a news conference declaring that Trump had broken no laws during that now famous July phone call in which he pressed his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter.  Nothing surprising there, but now for the jaw-dropping part … Barr refused!

According to The Washington Post

“In recent weeks, the Justice Department has sought some distance from the White House, particularly on matters relating to the burgeoning controversy over Trump’s dealings on Ukraine and the impeachment inquiry they sparked.”

Perhaps Mr. Barr is beginning to envision his entire career going up in flames if he continues to pander to the madman in the Oval Office?  Time will tell.


As always, I could go on … I had a few more snippets … but, the clock is telling me that it’s time to wrap this up and move on, so until next time …Trump-king

New Poll spells trouble for Dems

I was pondering on a similar post, when Jeff’s post popped up in my inbox. He has said it better than I could have. This is not the news you want to hear, but it is the news you NEED to hear, for next year’s election is not, as some believe, a sure thing. Thank you, Jeff, for this analysis … though it may not be what we hope to hear, it is certainly information that we should be thinking about.

On The Fence Voters

Trump still competitive in battleground states

There’s roughly a year to go before we decide who will become President of the United States on January 20, 2021. Recent polls telling us who’s up and who’s down rarely cause a rise to my blood pressure.

Until the one that just came out, that is.

The New York Times/Sienna College poll, released yesterday, should be a wake-up call to all of us who think that Donald Trump is a disaster for America. The idea that he could win again, even with all we know about his presidency, is beyond frightening. However, when you look at the results of the poll, the warning signs are flashing loudly.

But many may ask, “What’s the big deal? All the top tier Democrats are leading Trump overall nationally, some by nearly ten percentage points.” That’s true. Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders all lead Trump…

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Snarky Snippets ‘N Mini Rants

Filosofa may have mostly come out of her funky mood, but now she’s just flat-out mad.  Why?  Most everything, that’s why!  We still have the Oaf in the Oval spouting inanities, the unconscionable members of Congress who are too dedicated to their own self-interest to be concerned about ours, California is being devastated by horrible fires while our government fights for the right to further destroy this planet we call home.  And that’s just for starters …


Profit over the environment — Again!

Donald Trump and his band of merry republicans have been robbing from the poor and giving to the rich for long enough now.  Remember the Keystone Pipeline?  In a nutshell, it has been one of the most controversial infrastructure proposals in the history of this nation, largely over environmental concerns.  The main issues are the risk of oil spills along the pipeline, which would traverse highly sensitive terrain, and 17% higher greenhouse gas emissions from the extraction of oil sands compared to extraction of conventional oil. In 2015, President Obama, caring about the environment, vetoed the bill allowing construction to proceed pending further environmental studies, and it has been a battleground ever since.  Last fall, a federal judge in Montana halted the project, after finding that Trump’s administration had not done the proper environmental reviews.

But, not to be outdone by a mere court order, last March Trump signed one of his infamous ‘executive orders’ allowing the project to move forward, despite protests by environmental groups.  Well, guess what, folks … on Tuesday that pipeline sprung a leak.  It happened in North Dakota where some 383,000 gallons of crude oil is now covering a half-acre of wetlands, killing whatever wildlife called it their home.  Way to go, Trump … another epic failure in your [lack of] environmental policy.

In the words of Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders …

“This is what happens when we have a president who ignores scientists and puts short-term fossil fuel profits ahead of the environment and the future of the planet.”


Your tax dollars … buying religion whether you want it or not

paula-whiteHer name is Paula White and she is a televangelist located in Florida.  Well, she was located in Florida … now she is located in Washington, D.C., working at the White House, her salary paid by our tax dollars!  I am not religious, certainly not a believer in that which Ms. White calls ‘faith’, so why should I have to pay her salary?  Has nobody in this bloody administration read the U.S. Constitution???  You know, that document that effectively calls for a separation between ‘church’ and ‘state’?

According to a “White House official”, White will work in the Office of Public Liaison, which is the division of the White House overseeing outreach to groups and coalitions organizing key parts of Trump’s base. Her role will be to advise the administration’s “Faith and Opportunity Initiative”, which Trump established last year by executive order and which aims to give religious groups more of a voice in government programs devoted to issues like defending religious liberty.  Again … where is the separation between church and state???  Religion is not supposed to affect public policy!  Government programs are supposed to represent and assist ALL people, not only those of a specified religion!  What about Hindus, Jews, Muslims, agnostics, and atheists???  And what about those groups who are determinedly discriminated against by the religion Trump & White are pandering to, such as members of the LGBTQ community?

Political analysts see this move as Trump trying to ensure he keeps his evangelical base happy in the months leading up to the 2020 election.  He has taken repeated steps to ensure they turn out for him again — by issuing executive orders, making cabinet appointments, and nominating federal judges that pass muster with the religious right. On a range of issues from abortion rights to tax exemptions for churches, Trump has tried to grant Christian conservatives their policy wishes whenever legally and politically feasible.

But what about the rest of us?  Evangelicals do not constitute a majority in this nation, and the rest of us pay taxes too!  I want my money back, for I am getting literally not one damn thing in return for it.  Ms. White isn’t too bright, either, for here’s what she says of Trump …

“He’s in total control. He’s not at all impulsive — he’s so far ahead of everyone, very much a strategic thinker.”

What a crock of you-know-what!


Reverse Robin Hood … again!

Remember December 2017 and the tax cuts that benefited the wealthy and corporations?  As a result, companies like Exxon-Mobil, Amazon and others pay less taxes than you do.  As a result, our national debt is now a staggering $22.9 trillion, and the national deficit was, as of September 30th, just shy of $1 trillion.  Way to go, Trump …

Well, it doesn’t end there.  For you see, the tax cuts were structured in such a way as to help only the wealthiest in the land, but he sold the public such a snowjob that his base genuinely believed that he was doing it to help them.  And they still largely believe it, even though they have hard proof in front of them that they did not, in fact, benefit.  So, since that worked so well, and since Trump is heading into next year’s election with several strikes against him, he has decided to re-play December 2017 with yet another round of tax cuts for the wealthy sometime ahead of the election.

Now, here’s the thing … even if the tax cuts were to help the lower-and-middle income groups, it is a bad … really, really bad idea.  We owe money … trillions and trillions of dollars … more money than you and I could even imagine.  And, we are spending more than we are taking in.  WHO in their right mind thinks the best idea is to cut our revenue???  Au contraire, we need to be raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy, not cutting them for anybody.  If you or I managed our budgets and debt as poorly as Trump is managing this country’s, we would be in debtor’s prison!  It is poor stewardship, it is … it is stupid!  But then, look who we’re talking about.


And then there’s …stage-hook

… wait … I’m not dooooonnnnne

A Unique Halloween Message

Our friend Nan received the most creative fund-raising message from her Senator, a democrat, that I have ever seen, and I just had to share it!

Nan's Notebook

The following is a message I received from my DEMOCRATIC Senator. I thought it was pretty clever. 

Halloween is special. From the Jolly Rancher to each Sour Patch Kid kid out there, everyone enjoys setting aside their cares, spending a bit of their hard-earned Payday to spread a little Almond Joy to their friends and neighbors.

This year, however, I have to admit, I’m a little distracted. Because our country has Mounds of Goobers who are putting our future at risk.

That’s why 2020 is so important. We must take back the Senate together, with Whatchamacallit — grassroots support. Take 5 and chip in before the stroke of midnight.

Let’s connect the Dots:

Climate chaos is melting the Sno Caps, threatening to turn our world into an Atomic Fireball.

Trump’s Airheads Xtremes are putting a Crunch on the Constitution.

The Republican spending Spree on the ultra-wealthy defies Riesen.

The Whoppers get worse by the day.

That’s why we need a few Life Savers right now, Nan.

We don’t need 100 Grand from one Mr. Goodbar.

We…

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Dear Mr. President: It didn’t have to be this way

Our friend Jeff over at On the Fence Voters has truly outdone himself tonight! He has written an open letter to Donald Trump that I could never have written, for my temper gets in the way and before I know it, I am speaking in @#$%& symbols! Thank you, Jeff, for so eloquently stating what we are all feeling … and, of course, for your generous permission to re-blog!

On The Fence Voters

An open letter to the President

Hello, Mr. President. I saw you went to a World Series game, expecting to be welcomed with open arms. Basking from the news that our special forces had eliminated the leader of Isis, surely, our great leader would be greeted with cheers, bells, and whistles.

Sorry, Mr. President, the people at the game weren’t in the mood.

Frankly, the majority of Americans aren’t in the mood either. After nearly three years of constant gas-lighting and destruction of our democratic norms, the masses are restless and ready for your departure, one way or the other.

Indeed, not everyone feels this way. You still have a solid 35 to 40% of the public firmly in your corner, according to most polls. You’ve not deviated from your divisive governance and racial scapegoating, which appeals to many of your supporters. But, you’ve done nothing to court the rest…

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Disenfranchising Young Voters …

The percentage of college students who cast votes in 2018 was more than double that of 2014, the last mid-term election prior to 2018.  Why?  Two major reasons:  school shootings and the environment.  The February 2018 shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, was a turning point for young people around the nation.  They were tired of seeing their friends die needlessly because of reckless, largely unregulated gun laws, or rather lack of laws.  A few activists from Parkland took the lead and motivated many more.

And then came a young girl in Sweden, Greta Thunberg, and she gained a voice that would be heard ‘round the world, and what she said with that voice was that we, the adults around the globe, have done a lousy job taking care of our planet, and that we have jeopardized hers and other young people’s futures and … she wasn’t going to take it lying down!  And her voice carried, touching the hearts and minds of young people in every nation, including the U.S.

Because of these two things, young people today are far more invested in the political process, far more aware of what is being done, who will do things to improve the situation, and they are, most importantly, voting in numbers never seen before among their age group.  My hat is off to all those who are using their voice and their vote to do what we oldsters should have been doing for decades now.  But …

Not everybody is pleased by this new wave of political enthusiasm among the youth of the country. Young people, concerned about the proliferation of guns and the destruction of the environment, are typically more likely to vote for a democratic candidate, which has thrown the Republican Party into a tailspin and led them to find new ways to disenfranchise the young voters.

The Texas Legislature has outlawed polling places that do not stay open for the entire 12-day early-voting period.  Many college campuses set up temporary early-voting sites for the convenience of the students.  However, they have neither the funding nor the need to keep those sites open for the entire 12 days, and therefore will not be allowed to have them this year.  Many students who live in campus housing do not have their own transportation and may well find it difficult to get to the polls in order to vote.  In Texas, this will affect nine of the eleven campuses of Austin Community College, as well as six campus polling places at colleges in Fort Worth, two in Brownsville, on the Mexico border, and other polling places at schools statewide.

It isn’t only Texas … Republican politicians around the country are throwing up roadblocks between students and voting booths.  In New Hampshire, a Republican-backed law took effect this fall requiring newly registered voters who drive to establish “domicile” in the state by securing New Hampshire driver’s licenses and auto registrations, which can cost hundreds of dollars annually.  Six in 10 New Hampshire college students come from outside the state, a rate among the nation’s highest. As early as 2011, the state’s Republican House speaker at the time, William O’Brien, promised to clamp down on unrestricted voting by students, calling them “kids voting liberal, voting their feelings, with no life experience.”  Say WHAT???

Florida’s State Legislature reinstated a 2014 law that the Courts struck down at the time, outlawing early voting sites at state universities, with an additional caveat that all early voting sites must offer “sufficient non-permitted parking” – something that is in short supply at most universities.

North Carolina Republicans enacted a voter ID law last year that recognized student identification cards as valid — but its requirements proved so cumbersome that major state universities were unable to comply. A later revision relaxed the rules, but much confusion remains, and fewer than half the state’s 180-plus accredited schools have sought to certify their IDs for voting.

Wisconsin Republicans also have imposed tough restrictions on using student IDs for voting purposes. The state requires poll workers to check signatures only on student IDs, although some schools issuing modern IDs that serve as debit cards and dorm room keys have removed signatures, which they consider a security risk.  The law also requires that IDs used for voting expire within two years, while most college ID cards have four-year expiration dates. And even students with acceptable IDs must show proof of enrollment before being allowed to vote.

Tennessee does not recognize student ID cards as valid for voting, and legislators have removed out-of-state driver’s licenses from the list of valid identifications.  Tennessee ranks 50th in voter turnout among the states and the District of Columbia. Only Texas’ turnout is worse.

In almost all of these cases, the excuse given for the tougher restrictions is that they are trying to cut down on voter fraud, but that argument lacks teeth, since widescale voter fraud has been proven to be virtually non-existent.  It is simple common sense that making voting convenient improves turnout.  When polling places are closed, hours restricted, photo IDs required, turnout will suffer.  What a message we are sending to our youth when we make it so hard for them to vote that many will throw their hands up in frustration and become lifelong non-voters!

One final thought.  The states where the barriers are rising fastest are in political battlegrounds and places like Texas where one-party control is eroding.  My thought is that if the Republicans have, as they claim to, the best ideas, the best platforms … then why do they need to cheat in order to win?

The young people in this country today are our hope for the future, for a future with clean air, potable water, arable land for growing food, and fewer guns in the hands of the wrong people.  If we discourage them today, what is the message we are sending?  Think about it.

Snarky Snippets To Start The Week

I’ve got an abundance of angst built up these days, and there’s really only one way to alleviate it … share it!


Persona non grata?

There are two ice skating rinks in Central Park that have been owned by Donald Trump since the 1980s.  As is the case with most things owned by Trump, his name was all over them … on the ‘Welcome’ signs out front, the boards around the rink, the sign where skates are rented, and even the staff’s uniforms. ice-rinkWell, while the Trump Organization still owns the rinks, you won’t see Trump’s name prominently displayed these days.  Turns out, he was bad for business!  When a Washington Post reporter visited Wollman Rink on Tuesday, the only prominent appearance of the Trump name was on the Zamboni ice-resurfacing machine.

According to an employee speaking on the condition of anonymity …

“It was hurting business. A lot of the schools, you know, liberal private schools up here, come to parties up here. That was a big income earner up here Monday and Tuesday night.”

ice-rink-2.jpg

The tarp wasn’t quite long enough to cover the whole thing!

As much as Trump loves seeing his name plastered all over everything he owns, it isn’t only the skating rinks that have taken his name down.  Three hotels and six Manhattan residential buildings not owned by Trump, but whose owners once paid to display the Trump name, have now removed “Trump” from their buildings.

It is reported that Trump’s hotels in New York, Chicago and Doral, Florida, have seen a significant drop in business since he took office.  I wonder if they will soon have his name removed as well?


Delinquent debt?

It has long been reported that Donald Trump defaults on his debts.  Throughout his tenure as a real estate developer, he has reportedly failed to pay contractors and others on a regular basis.  Some things never change.  His campaign, in other words he, owes money to at least twelve U.S. cities that has gone unpaid.

The largest is to El Paso, where he owes $569,000, and the smallest is Burlington, Vermont, where he owes a paltry $8,000.  Some, such as Spokane, Washington and Tucson, Arizona, were incurred for campaign rallies held in those cities during his 2016 campaign, while others like El Paso are for rallies held since becoming president.

debt-mapThe Republican Party claims to have raised more than $300 million in the first nine months of this year alone, and yet … they cannot pay the $1.7 million he owes to various cities around the nation?  Earlier this month, when he announced plans to hold a rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota, that city attempted to get paid in advance, but to no avail.  He now owes Minneapolis $530,000 … more than half a million dollars!

I would suggest to all cities that in the future, unless his campaign pays up front, just skip the extra police protection … let him provide his own … or not.


Booooooooooooooooo!

Trump decided to attend game #5 of the World Series between the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros yesterday.  He and Melania, along with their entourage of Secret Service, showed up shortly after the first inning, and they sat in the Washington Suite, joined by a number of other politicians including the @#$% Lindsey Graham, Steve Scalise, @#$% Matt Gaetz, @#$% Mark Meadows, and other boot-licking republican congressmen.

After the third inning the Nationals, as is their tradition, performed a salute to veterans, and the crowd was cheering.  Until … the screens in the stadium switched to Donald and Melania Trump in the stands and the tone shifted from applause to loud boos throughout the stadium.  And then … the fans began to chant … “Lock him up.  Lock him up!”  Then during the fifth inning, two men sitting behind home plate held up signs that read, “Veterans for Impeachment”.World-series

Now folks, what the heck did he expect?  It wasn’t one of his rallies where he pays people to attend and cheer him while wearing their ugly red hats.  He is under investigation for criminal acts and is likely to be impeached.  Did he really expect a standing ovation?  Does he truly think he is that well-loved?  Sheesh.  As far as I’m concerned, he got exactly what he deserved.


Well, that’s enough snarky for one day.  More to come!