Damn You, Mitch McConnell – Part II

Every other November, we go to the polls and we vote.  We vote for people to represent us in both state and federal legislatures.  We vote for the person whose values we believe to be most nearly aligned with our own.  We vote for the person who we believe will make the best decisions for the people in this nation … all 330 million of them, not just the white ones, not just the Christian ones, not just the straight ones … ALL of them.

I am fortunate, for my local polling place is within walking distance if I so choose, but many people must juggle work and family to travel long distances, often using public transportation, in order to vote.  Many decide it’s not worth the effort, but those who do make the effort deserve high fives.  And they deserve to have their votes counted fairly, to have their voices heard.

We, collectively, vote for 100 senators, two from each of the 50 states.  We, the taxpayers, pay the salaries of these 100 senators, an annual total of $17,438,800, but in addition we pay for their travel, many of their meals, and other expenses related to serving in the Senate.  We pay for their medical care.  And I don’t suppose any of us would begrudge the senators their $174,000 salary plus perks … if they did their job.

As it happens … for all the effort we go to in electing them, and for all the money we spend to support them … we in fact have only one senator at this time.  Oh sure, your state has two people you elected, and they go sit in the Capitol most days, sometimes maybe they even come back to their home states and sit in their offices and talk to the media or an occasional constituent.  But … they are senators in name only.  They are collecting their salary, traveling on our dime, and not doing a damn thing to earn any of it, for they have ceded their roles in the senate to one, single senator … and a lousy one at that … Senate Majority Leader Addison Mitchell McConnell, aka Moscow Mitch.

I did not vote for Mitch McConnell, and unless you live in Kentucky, neither did you, and yet our very lives rest in his soiled hands.  Last time McConnell was re-elected, he received 213,753 votes, or less than 6/1000 of the total of the population of the United States.  We did not choose him and he does not represent us!  And yet, in his own words …

“I’m the one who decides what we take to the floor, that’s my responsibility as the majority leader, and we will not be having this on the floor of the Senate.”

Those “this” things he won’t be having on the floor of the Senate have thus far included bills to reopen the government when Trump shut it down over his hideous ‘wall’, bills to fix partisan and discriminatory gerrymandering, bills to protect the Mueller investigation, bills to remove big money from elections, bills on universal background checks, bills to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, environmental bills, and much more.  In fact, the Senate has only managed to pass 34 bills all year thus far, for such things as:  changing the name of a federal building in Utah; providing an honourary title to a member of the military; clarifying the grade and pay of podiatrists of the Department of Veterans Affairs, etc.

Meanwhile … McConnell is adamantly refusing to schedule ANY election security bills, many of which have bi-partisan support and have already been passed by the House of Representatives.  Foot doctors are more important to the U.S. Senate than our rights to a fair and honest election!

Now … the thing that many people don’t realize is that the Majority Leader’s ability to control what the Senate will consider to such an unconscionable degree is not … I repeat not … a written rule, but rather a long-standing precedent.  Put simply, party leaders are powerful because rank-and-file senators defer to them to manage the institution how they see fit. This deference is not mandated by the Senate’s official rules. Rather, it is simply grounded in its past practice.  Of the forty-four Standing Rules for the Senate, only ten even mention the majority and minority leaders. And those ten rules do not grant the leaders any real power vis-à-vis the rank-and-file.  Under the rules, all senators are essentially equal. That is, no senator is more powerful than another.

The question, then, is why aren’t the senators that were elected by We the People doing their job?  Why are they content to allow Mitch McConnell to single-handedly declare that it’s okay if Vladimir Putin uses his money and technology to rig the election next year?  What hold does Mitch have over them?  Have they forgotten that oath they took when they were sworn into office?  Have they forgotten to whom they owe their very jobs?  Or maybe the real question is … to whom are they beholden, of whom are they afraid?

Any senator can put a bill on the schedule to be discussed, not only Addison McConnell.  Listen up, Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown … get off your lazy asses and put election security at the front and center of your priority list or answer to your constituents.

I know you are all tired of hearing me say, “write a letter”, “make a phone call”, but this is just too important … what’s at stake here is the future of this nation, for if we cannot have a free and fair election in 2020, my best guess is that we aren’t likely to ever see another in our lifetime.  Take another look at the Reagan quote at the top of this post. Please take a few minutes to either write or call both senators, republican and democrat alike, and let them know in no uncertain terms that you demand they stand up to McConnell.  And then, write a letter to the editor of your local paper and let your community know that your senators are being well paid for sitting on their fat patooties thinking about foot doctors instead of fair elections!  Please … do it for all of us, for your kids, grandkids, puppies … do it for all the people who have fought throughout the history of this nation to give us the right to be heard.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ceremonially swears-in to another term as Vice President Joseph Biden reads the oath of office in the Old Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington

Addison Mitch McConnell takes the Congressional Oath of Office, January 2015

Damn You, Mitch McConnell – Part I

Mitch-McConnellAddison Mitchell McConnell is the very definition of corruption.  Last Friday, Dana Milbank wrote an opinion column in The Washington Post titled “Mitch McConnell is a Russian Asset”.  The column so incensed McConnell that he went on a 30-minute tirade on the Senate floor yesterday, referring to the column as “modern-day McCarthyism”.  To Mr. McConnell I would say this:  If it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck.

It is a proven fact that the Russians did interfere in our 2016 election and that without their assistance it is unlikely that Trump could have won enough votes to win the electoral college (remember that he lost the actual vote by nearly 3 million)Proven. Fact.  So, why would anybody who is elected to protect and preserve this nation, its Constitution, and its people, refuse to take steps to prevent intrusion by a foreign adversary?  Why???  Think about that one.  Meanwhile, since Mr. Milbank’s column annoyed ol’ Mitch so much, I present it here and will offer my own, as well as others’ views in Part II of this post tomorrow.


Mitch McConnell is a Russian Asset

Dana-MilbankBy Dana Milbank, Columnist, July 26

 

Mitch McConnell is a Russian asset.

This doesn’t mean he’s a spy, but neither is it a flip accusation. Russia attacked our country in 2016. It is attacking us today. Its attacks will intensify in 2020. Yet each time we try to raise our defenses to repel the attack, McConnell, the Senate majority leader, blocks us from defending ourselves.

Let’s call this what it is: unpatriotic. The Kentucky Republican is, arguably more than any other American, doing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bidding.

Robert Mueller sat before Congress this week warning that the Russia threat “deserves the attention of every American.” He said “the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in our election is among the most serious” challenges to American democracy he has ever seen. “They are doing it as we sit here, and they expect to do it during the next campaign,” he warned, adding that “much more needs to be done in order to protect against these intrusions, not just by the Russians but others as well.”

Not three hours after Mueller finished testifying, Mark Warner (D-Va.), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, went to the Senate floor to request unanimous consent to pass legislation requiring presidential campaigns to report to the FBI any offers of assistance from agents of foreign governments.

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) was there to represent her leader’s interests. “I object,” she said.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) attempted to move a bill that would require campaigns to report to the FBI contributions by foreign nationals.

“I object,” said Hyde-Smith.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) tried to force action on bipartisan legislation, written with Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and supported by Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), protecting lawmakers from foreign cyberattacks. “The majority leader, our colleague from Kentucky, must stop blocking this common-sense legislation and allow this body to better defend itself against foreign hackers,” he said.

“I object,” repeated Hyde-Smith.

The next day, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the minority leader, asked for the Senate to pass the Securing America’s Federal Elections Act, already passed by the House, that would direct $600 million in election assistance to states and require backup paper ballots.

McConnell himself responded this time, reading from a statement, his chin melting into his chest, his trademark thin smile on his lips. “It’s just a highly partisan bill from the same folks who spent two years hyping up a conspiracy theory about President Trump and Russia,” he said. “Therefore, I object.” McConnell also objected to another attempt by Blumenthal to pass his bill.

Pleaded Schumer: “I would suggest to my friend the majority leader: If he doesn’t like this bill, let’s put another bill on the floor and debate it.”

But McConnell has blocked all such attempts, including:

A bipartisan bill requiring Facebook, Google and other Internet companies to disclose purchasers of political ads, to identify foreign influence.

A bipartisan bill to ease cooperation between state election officials and federal intelligence agencies.

A bipartisan bill imposing sanctions on any entity that attacks a U.S. election.

A bipartisan bill with severe new sanctions on Russia for its cybercrimes.

McConnell has prevented them all from being considered — over and over again. This is the same McConnell who, in the summer of 2016, when briefed by the CIA along with other congressional leaders on Russia’s electoral attacks, questioned the validity of the intelligence and forced a watering down of a warning letter to state officials about the threat, omitting any mention of Russia.

No amount of alarms sounded by U.S. authorities — even Republicans, even Trump appointees — moves McConnell.

On Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray — Trump’s FBI director — told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Russians “haven’t been deterred enough” and are “absolutely intent on trying to interfere with our elections.”

This year, National Intelligence Director Daniel Coats — Trump’s intelligence director — told the Senate Intelligence Committee that “foreign actors will view the 2020 U.S. elections as an opportunity to advance their interests. We expect them to refine their capabilities and add new tactics.”

And on Thursday, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a bipartisan report finding that “Russian activities demand renewed attention to vulnerabilities in U.S. voting infrastructure.”

The committee concluded that “urgent steps” are needed “to replace outdated and vulnerable voting systems.” (The $380 million offered since 2016 is a pittance compared with the need.) “Despite the expense, cybersecurity needs to become a higher priority for election-related infrastructure,” the report concluded.

But one man blocks it all — while offering no alternative of his own.

Presumably he thinks whatever influence Russia exerts over U.S. elections will benefit him (he’s up for reelection in 2020) and his party.

“Shame on him,” Schumer said on the Senate floor this week.

But McConnell has no shame. He is aiding and abetting Putin’s dismantling of Americans’ self-governance. A leader who won’t protect our country from attack is no patriot.

Snarky Snippets or Mini Rants?

I warn you, I am in a very foul mood tonight, and these snarky snippets are likely more like mini-rants.


Those Trumpians are real winners, eh?

We have heard of Trump’s … er, shall we say dislike … for Representative Ilhan Omar from Minnesota, and those of us with any sense see his tirades for what they are … the juvenile, racist rantings of an ignorant fool.  But here’s something to give you a chuckle.

Danielle-Stella

Danielle Stella

The pro-Trump person who was hoping to vie for Representative Omar’s congressional seat in 2020 is named Danielle Stella, a 31-year-old special education teacher.  Ms. Stella is a supporter of QAnon, the conspiracy theory group, if that tells you anything.  Well … turns out that twice this year, she has been arrested for shoplifting!

In January, she stole 279 items valued at $2,327.97 from a Target store in Edina, Minnesota, and in April she was accused of stealing “tick spray and other items” from a Cub Foods grocery store.  What a fine, upstanding citizen, eh?  She may be a thief, but … it won’t matter to republicans who will prefer her over Ms. Omar because why?  Because her skin is white, because her parents are of European ancestry, and that is all that matters to the vast majority of republicans today.

Oh yeah, and while Stella is busy referring to Ms. Omar as a “witch” and a “criminal”, she herself had a DUI in 2009, along with a charge of fleeing from the police!  A fine lot they are.  Their “leader” has been a criminal since he was old enough to walk, and the followers figure it’s okay for them to steal from a Target store because they are privileged and … white.

And on a related note, some jerk named Chris McDonald is calling for Representative Omar to have her citizenship revoked and be charged with treason.  My response to him is that he should have his license to be a part of the human race revoked.  (I warned you I was in a bad mood)


Another winner, friend of da trumpeter …

Jeffrey-Epstein

Jeffrey Epstein

Jeffrey Epstein … you all remember him, right?  The abhorrent sex trafficker who seems to somehow believe himself to be above the law?  Oh, that’s right … that’s a given among those in Trump’s “circle of wealth”.  Anyway, the first news I saw yesterday morning was that he was found unconscious in his jail cell with marks on his neck that seemed to indicate a failed suicide attempt.

Funny, though … it wasn’t big news, was more or less swept under the carpet.  Wonder why?  Oh yeah, that “wealthy privilege” thing again, the same thing that enabled him back in 2008 to serve his 13-month sentence in an unlocked cell, to which he only returned at night, spending his days “working” at his own company, hobnobbing with rich associates, etc.

Later in the day yesterday, it was finally reported that Epstein claims to have been beaten up, although he apparently had no cuts or bruises on his face.  And, he has been placed on suicide watch.  Given the number of young lives he has ruined, I think they should give him a good sharp knife with his supper and let him have at it.  Assuming that he did attempt to strangle himself, wouldn’t that indicate that he likely figures he’s going down for a long time this time, most likely without that VIP treatment he received last time?


Hey!  Where’s ours?

Human-rights-wealthy.JPGOn Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) levied a $5 billion fine on social media giant Facebook for taking liberties with our privacy – our personal information, including our phone numbers.  Okay, fine, but it seems not to have really fazed the company, for there was barely a blip in the value of their stock, and by Wednesday it was at an all-time high.  Now, why do you think investors didn’t lose confidence when informed of the fine?  Largely because this is the 21st century, the age of electronic spying, and it barely raises an eyebrow anymore.  This is the age of a wealthy madman in the White House and crimes among the wealthy are given mostly a wink-wink and not much more.  After all, those big corporations that pay no taxes are “trickling down” all that money to we the little folk, right?  WRONG!!!

But the thing that galls me the most about this is that the FTC is fining Facebook, Facebook will presumably pay the FTC, an agency of our federal government, but … where is ours?  WE were the ones whose information was misused, sold to advertisers who now bombard our phones with robocalls day and night.  WE are the ones who suffered … where is our share of that $5 billion?  Instead, it will go into the federal coffers so that Donald can play a few extra rounds of golf, eat another steak or two on our dime, and Junior or Ivanka can travel halfway around the globe when I can barely afford a trip to the grocery store!end-of-worldFor the record, Facebook’s revenue last year was $56 billion.  That’s $56,000,000,000.  And do you know what they paid in taxes?  Put it this way … thanks to Trump’s donor tax cut in 2017, Facebook’s effective tax rate dropped from 43% in 2017 to 16% in 2018.  There is doubt whether they actually paid any, and I don’t have time to research it, but I do know that in 2013, they actually received a refund!

I want a slice of that $5 billion they are paying to the FTC!


Okay, enough of my ranting for tonight.  Go find something pleasant to read.  I recommend my friend Anne Lawson’s Art blog to bring you a bit of peace to counteract my snark.

Snarky Snippets From The Bouncing Mind

Good Sunday morning, my friends!  I haven’t unleashed my snarky side for several days now, and it’s bubbling over.  So, what better way to start Sunday than with a few snarky snippets?


Election security?

While Mitch McConnell continues to refuse to even allow the Senate to consider election security bills that have passed the House already for fear it would upset the tender feelings of Trump, there are some positive things happening in the area of election security.  Tentatively.

The intelligence community (IC) is picking up slack where the Senate is falling down on the job.  Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats has installed a new czar to oversee election security efforts on a large-scale basis.  His choice is Shelby Pierson, an intelligence veteran.  According to Coats …

“Election security is an enduring challenge and a top priority for the IC. In order to build on our successful approach to the 2018 elections, the IC must properly align its resources to bring the strongest level of support to this critical issue. There is no one more qualified to serve as the very first election threats executive than Shelby Pierson, whose knowledge and experience make her the right person to lead this critical mission.”

It’s good to know that somebody in our federal government ‘has our back’… but wait.  You will note that in the first paragraph, I added “tentatively”.  There’s a reason for that.  See, Donald Trump doesn’t want to talk about election security, doesn’t want to hear about it.  Why?  Because, it was the very lack of adequate election security that enabled him to be placed, albeit not elected, into office.  The proven Russian interference, without which it is highly unlikely he would be sitting in the Oval Office today, is a sore spot, a blow to his ego.

Former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said she was told to keep any efforts at election security “below his level”.  Never mind that when it comes to the security of the nation, his personal feelings ought not to matter … everyone in his administration is so scared shitless of him that they will go to great lengths to hide things from him. trump tantrum

Consider this … earlier this month, it was reported that no less than five people in Trump’s administration said (anonymously, of course) that he is eager to tell Dan Coats to “hit the road, Jack!”  If that should happen, then all bets on election security are off.  This wouldn’t be the first time Coats has butted heads with Trump.  He has been critical of Trump’s relationship (bromance?) with Russia’s Vladimir Putin (who hasn’t?) and he told a Senate panel that North Korea is unlikely to be willing to give up their nuclear weapons, contrary to Trump’s claims and his relationship (another bromance?) with Kim Jong-un.  We now know that Coats was right, Trump was wrong, but that does put Coats in an awkward position.

Speculation is that Trump is considering replacing Coats with Fred Fleitz, former chief of staff to National Security Advisor John Bolton.  Fleitz met with Trump recently, and has made no secret that he would like to scale back the Office of the Director of National Security significantly.  If that happens … there can be no doubt that election security will become the lowest of all priorities, if it doesn’t fall off the bottom of the priority list altogether.


Partisan … straws???

You’ve heard, unless you’ve been living on a desert island without communication for the last few years, about the effort among environmentalists to reduce and eventually cease the use of single-use plastics, right?  Plastic straws are one of the worst culprits, for they are so numerous, they do not decompose or biodegrade, therefore they stay in landfills, or worse yet end up in oceans, and unlike some other plastics, there is a relatively simple solution … good old-fashioned paper straws!  But guess what, folks?

Paper straws are ‘liberal’, read democratic, and therefore plastic straws are republicans!  Who decided this?  Well, none other than Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale.

Parscale

Brad Parscale

“I’m so over paper straws, and I’m sure you are too. Much like most liberal ideas, paper straws don’t work and they fall apart instantly. That’s why we just launched our latest product – Official Trump Straws. Now you can finally be free from liberal paper straws that fall apart within minutes and ruin your drink.”

Um … I remember the 1950s, before the advent of plastic straws, when all we had were paper straws and they worked very well, thank you.  However, if there is anyone reading this who really wants to make sure they are getting bona fide republican straws, you can head on over to the Donald Trump campaign store (yes, there really is such a thing … where do you think people get all those ugly red hats?) and pick up a 10-pack of reusable plastic straws, which are red and emblazoned with “TRUMP” in silver, for a mere $15. trump-straw-2What a deal, eh … $1.50 for one lousy straw that … who could put something in their mouth with that word on it???  Oh, and shipping takes two weeks.  Meanwhile, try explaining to your grandchildren why your use of a plastic straw was more important than their life.  Oh, and one other thing … there is yet a third option … you can pick the cup up, bring it to your lips, tilt it a little bit, and drink without any straw!  What a novel idea, yes?


“We will do our best to go on without him …”

Trump was scheduled to attend the 110th annual national convention of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People) this weekend.  Historically, presidents of both parties have spoken and attended a Q&A session at the annual meeting of the oldest civil rights organization in the United States.  As a candidate in 2016, he declined an invitation to attend.  Trump declined to attend the convention in 2017 … no reason given.  But this year, he had accepted the invitation … until he found out about the Q&A session.

“I very much wanted to go, but we had a date. The date got changed and unfortunately they wanted to do it in the form of a question and answer.”

The date was set far in advance and did not change.  Nor did the format, but he thought he would just give a speech and leave.  In light of his recent racist tirade that is largely dominating the media these days, he was apparently afraid to face questions by a civil rights group.

Wendell Anthony, the NAACP Detroit Branch President, said …

“He blew an opportunity quite frankly, but we will do our best to go on without him.”

Dripping sarcasm … I love it!  He continued …

“There is a format; every candidate has said that he or she would be glad to participate in. It’s beyond us as to why that would be of some discomfort for the president. We are American citizens. We have a right to question our presidents and ask the leader of the free world what our future will be.”

Absolutely.  If Trump wishes to continue playing ‘president’, then he must play by the rules of the game … oh wait … for him, there are no rules, right?  Take heart, however, for intelligent people who know how to speak and have something of importance to say will be there:  Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker, Stacey Abrams, Rashida Talib and Bernie Sanders, to name a few.  Who needs Trump anyway?

The interesting thing is that this wasn’t widely published in the media.  I only saw it on BET’s website and a local Detroit station.  Puzzling.  Muzzled?  Chicken?


Well, that’s your daily dose of snark for this Sunday … now go have some fun, enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Republican Party: Rigging is better than conforming

When Trump was electorally elected (never forget that he actually lost the election – lost the vote of the people by nearly 3 million votes), I said it was a pushback against the country having had an African-American President for 8 years. But, given Trump’s bluster, his nastiness, his dishonesty, his schoolyard bullying ways, I thought it would not be long before Republicans began leaving the GOP in droves, thus forcing the party to change its ways, to move back more to the center of political ideology and distance itself from Trump. Shows what I know, eh? That didn’t happen, still hasn’t happened, and the GOP has sacrificed any shred of integrity it may have once had to rig and skew next year’s election. Jeff over at On the Fence Voters has written a well-researched piece and included a link to a documentary that is an eye-opener. Thanks, Jeff, for your hard work on this post and permission to share it with my friends & readers.

On The Fence Voters

How Obama’s election prompted a desperate power grab

A few days ago, I happened to watch the new documentary called Rigged – The Voter Suppression Playbook, which you can now catch on Amazon Prime. It deals with how the Republican Party began a systematic voter suppression and gerrymandering extravaganza not long after an incident that occurred in 2008.

Af first I wasn’t sure what event they were talking about. Let’s see, what event transpired in 2008 that would have inspired such actions?

Oh yeah! The black guy won.

Now it makes sense. It must have been as if one of the Tsunami Warning sirens, which are sometimes tested out here in the Pacific Northwest, blasted so loud to every member of the Republican hierarchy, that it became an ‘all hands on deck’ response. Or, maybe it was like the loud signal we sometimes hear on the local newscast when…

View original post 1,621 more words

Bad People Doing Bad Things …

red circleLook at the circle above.  What colour do you see?  What?  Red?  No, I call that blue … definitely blue.  You still claim it’s red?  Then you will not be allowed to speak about the colour of the circle, for your view does not match my own, and thus is wrong.

Dr. Rod Schoonover was a senior intelligence analyst with the U.S. State Department and is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.  Last week, Dr. Schoonover left the employ of the State Department.  Why?  Because he is a scientist.  Because he looked at that circle and called it red, even though Donald Trump and his administration warned him to say it was blue.  And then, Trump taped his mouth so he couldn’t say it was red.  And Dr. Schoonover decided he had enough and resigned his position.Rod SchoonoverDr. Schoonover was invited to speak before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on June 5th about the security risks the United States faces because of climate change.  The Trump administration, according to leaked internal memos, tried to force Dr. Schoonover to change his prepared speech, but the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research refused and ultimately he was allowed to speak before the committee.  However, when it came time to publish his written testimony, the administration blocked it.

Why? Because it did not match the Trump administration’s views.  According to Myron Ebell, who was once considered to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before Trump settled on Scott Pruitt, Trump’s re-election campaign consultants told him …

“We have polling showing that you need to stress your environmental accomplishments and not start controversial things that will get you bad press, like going after climate science.”

Let that one sink in for a minute, folks.

Policy decisions and governance are now being mandated by Donald Trump’s campaign for next year’s election.  Not the welfare of the country and its people, not our safety and well-being, but what will play well in the rallies, what his ‘base’ wants to hear, what will give him the best chance to spend an additional four years destroying our nation, our lives.

One of the statements White House officials objected to was this observation:

“Absent extensive mitigating factors or events, we see few plausible future scenarios where significant — possibly catastrophic — harm does not arise from the compounded effects of climate change.”

On Monday, July 8th, Trump did, in fact, give a speech where he stated that his White House was working “harder than many previous administrations” on the issue of the environment, adding: “Maybe almost all of them.”

Given that he has spent his entire two-and-a-half years in office destroying environmental regulations, pulling out of the Paris climate accord, encouraging the fossil fuel industry, destroying wildlife protections, opening federal lands to drilling and mining, environmentalists’ jaws dropped when they heard his speech.  We shouldn’t be surprised … the man has yet to speak an honest word!

The environment and climate change should not be … should not be an issue of partisan politics!  And yet … it is.  According to a recent survey, 81% of Democrats said climate change was “very important,” compared with more than the 56% of independents and a measly 26% of Republicans.  Yo Republicans!!!  Wake up and remove your head from your arse!!!  You are killing us!

Daniel Q. Greenwood, Trump’s deputy assistant in the White House office of legislative affairs, said that Schoonover’s written testimony was unacceptable because …

“The testimony still has serious concerns with internal components and focuses heavily on the science. Because it doesn’t reflect the coordinated IC position, or the administration’s position, there is no way this can be cleared ahead of the hearing.”

It focuses too heavily on the science???  And it doesn’t reflect the administration’s position. Apparently, Dr. Schoonover didn’t read the republican’s bible that states, “Ye shall put forth no facts, but only whatever fantasy his Trumpship wishes on any given day”.

You can see and download the .pdf file of Dr. Schoonover’s written assessment, with comments and suggested changes written by Trump lackeys.  It is said that most of the comments came from William Happer, a ‘theoretical physicist’ and White House adviser on the National Security Council who denies the established scientific consensus on global warming.  Certainly that makes him uniquely qualified to edit a scientific document on climate change, doesn’t it?

Wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, droughts, melting ice caps, algae blooms, a declining bee population … all far in excess of what has been the normal range.  Where I live, we have had “air quality alerts” every day for the past two weeks, and today for the first time ever, I received an “excessive heat warning”.  This coming weekend, I will not be able to leave my house because the temperatures are expected to be around the 100° (F) mark (38° C), and I cannot survive in such.  I have lived in this general area since 1987 and have never once seen temps reach 100°.  In fact, as a rule, I can count on my fingers the number of days the temps are over 90°.

Bottom line — climate science is unpopular with Trump’s base, and there is an election in just over 15 months, so the entire planet must be doomed to the whims and vagaries of an uneducated group of people who like Donald Trump because he says there is no such thing as climate change … and oh yeah, besides that he’s gonna build a damn wall and have Mexico pay for it.

‘Toons To Brighten Your Sunday …

It’s Sunday afternoon, and I decided that instead of something dark and depressing, I would give you something to chuckle about … ‘TOONS!  Well … now that I think about it, some of these might be a bit dark and depressing … but at least there’s an element of humour in them.


The most crucial issue facing the nation … the globe … today is the environment, and frankly the U.S. is doing damn little to improve it.  Still, the cartoonists find food for the grist mill …

environmentenvironment-2environment-4Tom Toles Editorial Cartoon - tt_c_c190708.tifCOLORenvironment-7


Ol’ Jeffrey Epstein, the monster who has committed heinous crimes against women and children, who got off with a slap-on-the-wrist once before, who has long been a close personal friend of another sex abuser who happens to sit in the Oval Office, has once again been arrested for sex-trafficking, and so is back in the news …

epstein-1epstein-2epstein-3


Although Trump claimed this week that he is giving up the fight to have a question about citizenship added to the 2020 Census, I suspect we haven’t heard the end of it.  

census-1census-2Trump Census Policye6f3115c63a069634c132d373fa843cdcensus-5


There was never any doubt that Trump would run for re-election in 2020, especially given that he registered to do so on the day of his inauguration in 2017!  

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The thing that I find most frightening about the Trump presidency circus is the fact that he believes himself to be above the law, his hand-picked Attorney-General, William Barr, confirms that he is above the law, the Senate allows him to be above the law, and the republicans both in and out of government see nothing wrong with him being above the law …

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And I end with a few random ‘toons just for kicks …

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Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

A Fresh Batch Of Snarky Snippets

Some days just seem to be meant for a fresh batch of cookies snarky snippets, and today is such a day.  The stranger times and people get, the snarkier I seem to feel.  So, fasten your seat belts … or leave them off so you can run away quickly if needs be.


Da Book of Trump???

You may want to get your sick-bags for this one.  Remember Miriam Adelson?  She and her husband Sheldon are friends (aka donors) of Donald Trump and during his 2016 campaign they donated millions to assist in the potential destruction of the United States.  It is estimated that the Adelson’s gave more than $110 million to the GOP during the 2016 election campaign, most going to Trump.  In return, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom last November, for … well … assisting in the destruction of the nation.Trump-AdelsonBut all of that is water either under the bridge, or over the dam, whichever expression you prefer, for today, Miriam Adelson is back in the news, praising Trump and taking it one step further.  She wrote an OpEd piece that was published in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, in which she praises Trump …

“We are now at platinum — a miracle of preciousness, radiance, and endurance. And the man who most deserves credit for this is President Donald J. Trump.”

🤢

Adelson cited many reasons why she credited Trump with improving relations with Israel, including formally recognizing Jerusalem as the nation’s capital, and declaring the Golan Heights to be Israeli territory, in his view. The withdrawal by the U.S. from a nuclear agreement with Iran was also brought up by Adelson as to why Trump was the best president for Israel. It should be noted that the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement has every likelihood of leading to World War III, but … oh well, as long as Trump and the Adelson’s are happy, right?  But the crowning absurdity of her piece was …

“Would it be too much to pray for a day when the Bible gets a ‘Book of Trump,’ much like it has a ‘Book of Esther’ celebrating the deliverance of the Jews from ancient Persia?”

A ‘Book of Trump’ addendum to the bible.  Think about that one.  Now, I don’t know much at all about the bible, and I realize that it is written by many different men at various times, but … a ‘Book of Trump’???  Surely even the evangelicals must be incensed over that one, right?  Right?  Sigh.  It matters not to me who puts what into the bible, but it does matter to me, should matter to all of us, that this would give Trump the acclaim he seeks to call himself ‘Supreme Leader’, and we would be doomed for the rest of our lifetimes, ‘til somebody knocked him off his golden pedestal.

Some people just got no sense!


He lies … and lies … and lies some more

trump-pinocchioYou’d think I would be used to it by now, wouldn’t you?  But no, I’m not, for I still shook my fist at my laptop’s screen as I looked around for something to throw, all the while feeling rather ill.  Yes, of course this has to do with Donald Trump … was there ever any question?  Well, happens that some of his advisors have determined one area he is not polling high in is the environment.  Sooooo … determined to fix that, Trump gave an hour-long speech on … what a wonderful steward of the environment he has been, and what a great job … nobody has ever …

🤢

Trump called himself a protector of public land. Does a ‘protector’, open up public lands to drilling?  Does a protector sign off on the largest rollback of federal land protection in the nation’s history?  He repeatedly cited his desire for clean water, but the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is rolling back an Obama-era clean-water regulation of pollution in streams and wetlands.

He described himself as a champion of the oceans.  Does the champion of the oceans open up the entire United States coastline to offshore oil and gas drilling?

Does a protector pull out of the Paris Climate Accords that every single nation on the globe has signed, only so that he can de-regulate industries in the U.S., increase carbon emissions, and be accountable to nobody?  Does a person who gives even a little damn about the environment, threaten punishment to those who are attempting to cut back on fossil fuels and turn to renewable energy sources?

Does this fool on the hill realize that the United States is THE LARGEST EMITTER per capita of CO2, the main pollutant that is destroying the air we breath, causing global temperatures to rise, sea temperatures to rise to the point that the arctic ice is melting, causing extreme weather everywhere, and ultimately causing the planet to no longer be inhabitable by any lifeform that requires clean air and potable water.  Donald Trump did not create the current crisis … and make no mistake, it IS a crisis … but he is singlehandedly working to ensure the destruction of the environment such that the Earth will no longer sustain life.  And he brags about his environmental record?  How. Dare. He???  Noted presidential historian, Douglas Brinkley said …

“It is an utter farce for the president to talk about America’s environmental leadership, when he has been a champion of the polluters.”

Damn straight.


Baby Trump on Amazon?

It came to my attention yesterday afternoon that Amazon carries mini-versions of the baby Trump blimp, so of course I had to check it out, right?  ‘Tis true!  They have a variety of the blimps in sizes ranging from 21 inches and upward.  They even had one filled with catnip, so the furry babes can have fun shredding his face!  They have coffee cups, t-shirts, and all sorts of toys and novelties based on the baby trump blimp!  Here are a couple of my favourites …

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While that is not all the snarky I have built up, it is all I have time for right now. However, never fear, I shall return!  A promise or a threat?  It’s all in the perception.

An Important Message … That Nobody Heard

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

One of life’s unanswered philosophical questions.  Last month, a big tree fell in the forest, and nobody heard, nobody listened.  It was not widely reported in any of the major news outlets, there was no notable discussion in blogdom … it was a warning destined to go unheeded, to die of neglect.

The ‘tree’ was a white paper issued by the Department of Defense titled Russian Strategic Intentions.  It is a 150-page, 25-chapter document that outlines Russia’s aggression, which includes the use of propaganda and disinformation to sway public opinion across Europe, Central Asia, Africa and Latin America, and the U.S.  It assesses Russia’s intentions in an attempt to understand what drives its strategy, outlines a range of malign activities attributed to Russia in regions as diverse as Africa and the Arctic and lays out ways the United States could strengthen its response.

The study addresses what it refers to as Moscow’s “gray zone” activities — the emboldened attempts by Putin’s regime to undermine democratic nations, particularly on Russia’s periphery, using means short of direct military conflict.

“These activities include threatening other states militarily, or compromising their societies, economies, and governments by employing a range of means and methods to include propaganda, disinformation, and cultural, religious, and energy coercion.”

‘Compromising their societies’ and ‘propaganda, disinformation’, does any of this sound familiar?  Does anybody recall that every U.S. intelligence agency, bar none, has confirmed Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, with the intent of securing the election of Donald Trump?  Does anybody recall the Mueller report, a 2-year study that verified Russian interference in the election on behalf of Donald Trump – meddling of which Trump and his campaign were well aware?  Does anybody recall that just recently Trump said if somebody came to him with ‘dirt’ on his opponent, he would accept it?

The paper also raises alarm about what the authors view as a burgeoning anti-American alliance by Russia and communist China, who have traditionally been fierce competitors, but may now see mutual benefit in an alliance against the U.S. and its allies.

Now why was a report with such important information, such relevant conclusions largely ignored?  Why didn’t it receive headline status at The Washington Post and the New York Times?  Perhaps only because the average reader is bored with that which he doesn’t believe has a direct and immediate impact on his own life.  But, one has to wonder if reader apathy/ignorance was the only reason, or if there was a more sinister attempt to ‘bury’ the story?  Yes, I understand that I may be seeing shadows where there are none, but in the current climate, can you blame me?

The ramifications of this report are many, but two stand out:

  • The U.S. is ripe for the pickings, as they say, in our 2020 elections. The Russians will use every toy in their large toybox, pass up no opportunity to ensure that Trump stays in office for another four years.  Thus far, thanks to the ignorance of Trump supporters and the malevolence of Mitch McConnell and others in Congress, we are leaving ourselves wide open for Russian interference.
  • The U.S. was once a trusted ally, well-respected and sometimes even liked, among nations in the Western world. We are rapidly losing that reputation under the current administration, and it is disturbing that Trump & Co pander to the strongarm leaders like Putin, Kim, Duterte and Bolsonaro, while denigrating the leadership of our allies.  We once accepted responsibility for supporting and aiding our allies, but that has rapidly changed under the present administration, and we can no longer be counted on, no longer trusted.

I found it deeply troubling that last month while Trump was in Osaka for the G20 summit, he joked with Putin, saying, “Don’t meddle in the election, president”, with a wink-wink and a grin.  Putin chuckled.  This is no laughing matter, folks.  Without Putin’s interference three years ago, we would now have a wise, intelligent President Hillary Clinton.  Without Putin’s interference next year, we might once again return to a position of respect in the international community, but if we continue to ignore Russia’s influence, the world will be left open to the equivalent of Soviet dominance.

Putin has long worked toward restoring a Soviet-style empire, and if his power, his theft of democratic processes is allowed to continue unchecked, the world becomes a lot less safe.  We cannot afford to ignore this, cannot be so apathetic to it that our free press no longer even bothers to report such things.  The world is changing, and Putin is perfectly positioned to take advantage of those changes to put much of the new world order under his domination. Did you ever ask yourself why Putin went out of his way to put Trump in office?  Because, in the absence of any great intelligence or understanding of world affairs by Trump, Putin knew he could control Trump like a puppet and enlist his assistance in his grand plan.

We must wake up, we must see what’s happening and make our opinions known.  We must hold the free press accountable to tell us all the news, else they may someday cease to be the free press, just as we may someday cease to be free to voice our opinion.  Free speech is rather like many other things:  use it or lose it.

Shared Words … Shared Feelings

I wasn’t going to have an afternoon post today, for I have an overwhelming amount of things I must get done today, but then my friend Herb tagged me on something on Facebook this morning, and as I read it, I realized it sums up what the majority of people in the U.S. are feeling these days.

A Message to Trump Supporters
by Mike Miller

‘A message to all tRump supporters:

When this national nightmare is over….and it WILL be over, hopefully sooner rather than later….and the country is returned to normalcy, order is restored, and patriotism and common sense replaces bigotry, hate and stupidity, don’t expect to regain the stature you once enjoyed as a citizen and return to the society you ransomed to placate your hate. Everything this country once stood for….everything better men and women than you sacrificed their lives to protect and preserve….everything we held dear to our hearts, was cast aside, thrown away, denigrated, defiled, stepped on, ridiculed, and despised by you in order to support the most corrupt, dishonest, fascist traitor to every occupy the people’s house. 

When our free press told you the truth about him, you rallied behind his cries of “fake news” and supported his attack on our free press. 

When fake “chrisitan” religious frauds attempted to hijack religious freedom in order to force feed their own deluded brand of bigotry and hate disguised as “christian values” you stood by and let them stoke your inbred prejudices.

When the same mindset that turned Germany into Nazi Germany in the 1930’s tried to establish a foothold here, you again showed your true colors and instead of quashing it in its tracks, you abandoned the spirit of this country, forgot history, and allowed its hatred and division to seep into our society. 

When healthcare was taken away from the most at-risk of our society, you allowed it to happen.

When children were denied food and healthcare, you supported it.

When innocent African-Americans were murdered by law enforcement, you remained silent, only to finally raise your voices in disgust and hatred when they knelt in protest.

When children were murdered in schools and sane gun legislation was called for, you sided with the gun lobby and decided that the murder of school children was more favorable than sensible gun laws.

When hard-working, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens were denied their constitutional and human rights simply because of who they chose to love, you allowed discrimination and hate to overtake your sensibility and relegated them to second-class citizenry, using YOUR “religious freedom” as the rationalization for the hatred you hid behind.

When environmental policies that demanded clean water and clean air were thrown aside in order to coddle to the monetary interests of the polluters, you remained silent.

When policies that assisted the homeless, the elderly, the needy, the hungry, the veterans, the retired, and the sick were systematically nullified and terminated in order to transfer that tax money into the pockets of billionaires, you turned a blind eye to their struggles. 

When children seeking refuge were taken from their parents and housed in cages, instead of outrage you supported the victimization and maltreatment of refugees seeking asylum. 

When the reputation of this country and our commitment to our steadfast allies were trashed in order to appease our most rabid enemies, you supported the traitors who betrayed the country and everything we once stood for. 

In every instance where compassion, civility, sympathy, acceptance, inclusion, humanity, fairness, justice, and respectability were needed, you supported the policies and the people who showed no compassion, no civility, no sympathy, no acceptance, no inclusion, no humanity, no fairness, no justice, and no respectability to anyone whose very existence they disregarded and refused to legitimize. 

So again, when this is finally over, don’t expect to be accepted back into the society of the REAL Americans you stabbed in the back simply to legitimize your own prejudices.

At every turn….at every chance….at every opportunity, when you were called on to support the foundation and pillars that this country was built on, you looked the other way and were willing to support those who were tearing down those pillars and destroying that foundation. You had no qualms about sacrificing this country to justify your own intolerance. When the choice was to support your country and its constitutional guarantees for everyone, or support the traitor who has worked tirelessly to destroy those constitutional guarantees, you chose the corrupt wannabe dictator over the constitution. Please know that there are many of us, this person especially, who truly love this country, and are intelligent enough to see the damage your misguided support of this administration has reaped. I, for one, will NEVER FORGET and NEVER FORGIVE you for the choice you made and what that choice did to this country.’

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