Still More Snarky Snippets …

Will there ever come a day that I can read a news story and not want to throw something?  I wonder.  I had a greater plan for today, but as you may have noticed, my plans often go awry.  Today, I slept too late to finish the post I started last night, so instead, I bring you more snarky snippets …


Abandoning ship?

Donna-BrazileDonna Brazile has long been associated with the fight for liberal causes.  And yet, this week Ms. Brazile joined none other than state television network, Fox ‘News’.  Why?  Brazile is far above the likes of Jeanine Pirro or Ann Coulter.  I first saw Ms. Brazile on This Week with George Stephanopoulos many, many years ago, and she impressed me with her intelligence, knowledge, her ability to speak well on nearly any topic and the warmth she projected.  So why would she align herself with a network known for its extremely right-leaning views, and outright conspiracy theories?

“I know I’m going to get criticized by my friends in the progressive movement for being on Fox News. My response is that, if we learned anything from the 2016 election, it is that we can’t have a country where we don’t talk to those who disagree with our political views. You can be darn sure that I’m still going to be me on Fox News.”

Hmmm … that almost makes sense.  We do have to talk to each other, to try to understand those on the “other side” of the aisle.  Perhaps this should be looked upon as an opportunity for Trump’s supporters to actually hear a reasoned voice, a logical opinion for a change.  I simply have no respect for Fox at this point, and do not trust them or their motives.  I will reserve judgment until we see the results.  Will Fox allow Ms. Brazile to “still be me”?  I have my doubts, but time will tell.


Score one for Planet Earth!

Judge-Rudolph-Contreras.jpgThumbs up for Judge Rudolph Contreras of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia who ruled against the Trump administration and in favour of the environment.  Judge Contreras concluded that the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) “did not sufficiently consider climate change” when making decisions to auction off federal land in Wyoming to oil and gas drilling. The judge temporarily blocked drilling on roughly 300,000 acres of land in the state.

While the judge did not void the leases, what his decision does is to force the BLM to perform environmental impact studies on hundreds of projects currently under way in Wyoming.

The Interior Department began to take into account the climate impacts of federal oil, gas and coal leasing toward the end of President Obama’s second term, but Trump jettisoned those plans almost immediately after taking office.

No doubt Judge Contreras’ ruling will be appealed and will work its way up the judicial ladder, but it is a start … a step in the right direction.


Two peas in a pod …

two-peas-in-a-pod.pngYesterday, Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, visited Donald Trump in the White House.  Bolsonaro had nothing but the highest praise for our Idiot-in-Chief:

“It gives me great pleasure to be here in the United States, to take part in this visit, after decades on end of anti-U.S. presidents in Brazil. We will certainly work toward the benefit of our two nations. Just as [Trump] wants to have a ‘great’ America, I…also want to make sure we have a great Brazil. We have a great deal in common. I have been highly criticized because of this but I will not, of course, deny what I do think. … I’m willing to open my heart up to him and do whatever is to the benefit of both the Brazilian and the Americans.”

Pity the poor people of Brazil!  I cannot help but wonder if Bolsonaro’s election was bought and paid for by Putin, just as Trump’s was.

Bolsonaro-Trump.jpg

Two peas in a pod — Bolsonaro & Trump

Since Bolsonaro took office, police in Rio de Janeiro have averaged more than three killings a day, and residents have accused the police of brutality, including waging unauthorized sniper campaigns and firing indiscriminately from a helicopter.

Bolsonaro’s embrace of fiery populist rhetoric has also frequently boiled over to galvanize supporters into acts of violence, specifically targeted at opposition supporters and the media.  Sound familiar?  During the Brazilian election last November, the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism documented more than 140 cases of violence against reporters, mostly by Bolsonaro supporters.  Sound familiar?

On Monday night, Bolsonaro appeared on Fox ‘News’, and said …

“The vast majority of potential immigrants do not have good intentions.”

Sound familiar?

“Brazil and the United States stand side-by-side in their efforts to ensure liberties in respect to traditional family lifestyle, respect to God, our creator against gender ideology or politically correct attitude and against fake news.”

Sound familiar?  Pity the people of Brazil … and we of the United States.


And that, folks, is a wrap.  Have a great rest of the day!

The Hope For Our Future …

The best news of the week was brought to us by students skipping school!  That’s right … kids from 123 nations chose to take a stand, to make their voices heard about climate change, so they played hookey, skipped school and engaged in peaceful protest on Friday.

Last October, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that without dramatic change, global emissions are set to rise to a level that would usher in catastrophic consequences in just over a decade. Exactly one month later, the historic Camp Fire broke out in Paradise, California, claiming 85 lives and destroying more than 15,000 structures.

There are three types of reactions to this:  1) those who still claim to deny that human activities are destroying our atmosphere, 2) those who agree and somewhat understand that climate change is indeed a very imminent threat, but do nothing, and 3) those who are doing something, either making changes in their own lifestyle, lobbying Congress to take action, or speaking out loudly enough to get the attention of the first two groups.  These kids are in the 3rd group!

The young people understand, for they are not blinded by the things we are … convenience, laziness, and greed.  They also realize that it is their future, far more than ours, that is threatened.  It is reminiscent of the young people who turned into activists for gun control after the Parkland school shooting in February 2018, but on a much grander scale.

Around the world, students in 123 countries will not be attending classes in protest, instead taking to the streets to demand their leaders take meaningful action to address climate change.  In the United States, the Youth Climate Strike group, founded by three young women from Colorado, New York, and Minnesota, has helped organize strikes in over 100 cities across the country.

One such group, Minnesota Can’t Wait, is co-founded by Isra Hirsi, aged 16, who just happens to be the daughter of freshman congresswoman Ilhan Omar.  When asked why she and her group were participating in Friday’s protest, she had this to say …

“Because you need dramatic action for dramatic change. And it’s really important, especially in the United States, when we probably are the biggest contributors to climate change in this entire world, to take that action and to show our politicians that younger people really care about this issue from all different communities and all different places and we want to do something about it, and we’re not going to stand idly by [while] you [are] not doing anything.”

Thunberg

Greta Thunberg – Stockholm, Sweden

The youth climate strikes began last September, when Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, stopped going to school on Fridays. She quickly became known for skipping school to protest outside the Swedish Parliament, all in an effort to draw attention to climate change and demand her government implement policies in line with the Paris climate agreement. Since then, students of all ages and from most nations have been striking to demand action on climate change.

It is estimated that 1.4 million young people took part in the protests.  According to Greta Thunberg …

“This movement had to happen, we didn’t have a choice. We knew there was a climate crisis … We knew, because everything we read and watched screamed out to us that something was very wrong.”

They could see what our leaders in Washington D.C. cannot see, that ‘something’ is ‘very wrong’.  I give two thumbs up to these young people who are determined to make themselves heard for the future of this planet … for their future!  I will let them tell you of their efforts through pictures from around the world yesterday.

Capetown-SA

Capetown, South Africa

Delhi-India

Delhi, India

Dresden-Germany

Dresden, Germany

Dublin-Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

Edinburgh-Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland

Lisbon-Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

London-England

London, England

Prague

Prague, Czech Republic

Quezon-City-Philippines

Quezon City, Philippines

San-Francisco

San Francisco, California, USA

Seoul-2

Seoul, South Korea

Stockholm-Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden

Sydney-Australia

Sydney, Australia

Taipei-Taiwan

Taipei, Taiwan

Tokyo-Japan

Tokyo, Japan

Washington-DC

Washington, D.C., USA

Perhaps we could all take a page out of these kids’ books?  Great jobs, young people!  I’m proud to know that you are the future of our planet … perhaps there is hope after all!

Cory Booker: The 7 Issues Guide

Today I am happy to bring you the next in TokyoSand’s series, The 7 Issues Guide, which is introducing us to the democratic candidates running in the 2020 presidential election. Today’s piece is about Cory Booker, the U.S. Senator from New Jersey. Now, I like Cory Booker, he has many times stood up for what he believes in, and he generally shares my beliefs. He does, however, have a bit of controversy in his background, but I suspect we won’t find a single candidate who doesn’t. Thank you, TokyoSand and your diligent volunteer helpers, for all your hard work in preparing this series.

Political⚡Charge

booker2Let’s get to know Cory Booker!

The Democrats have a big field of candidates running for President in 2020. To briefly use a sports analogy, I see our candidates as the starting players on the Blue team, each bringing their own unique strengths to the table in a bid to take our country in a very different direction than the one we’re on today.

But as we well know from 2016, the media (and especially social media) gets fixated on non-substantial issues that take up all the oxygen. Plus, they don’t give the candidates the same treatment or the same amount of airtime.

In order to help voters get to know the Democratic candidates, I’ve enlisted the help of a team of terrific volunteers who have helped gather quotes and information about what the candidates have said or done in regards to the 7 issues that midterm voters identified as…

View original post 1,905 more words

Mindless Slaughter 😿

Could somebody tell me, please, who put humans in charge of deciding which species belongs where, and how many should be allowed to live? Humans themselves have grossly overpopulated this planet to the point where in some areas, there are not sufficient resources such as water and food, to support the population.  But humans think it is their right to determine how many wolves or moose should be in a given area?  Why do humans always have to manipulate, to be in control?  Who the Sam Heck left humans in charge of this planet?  A planet, I might add, that they have done a lousy job of caring for.

Read the following sentence from an article in the Anchorage Daily News

“The ADF&G [Alaska Department of Fish and Game] is charged, by the Board of Game and the Alaska Legislature, to manage moose numbers in Unit 13 at the optimum harvest level for the hunting public.”

moose-hunterHumans believe it is their right to “manage” the number of moose to make certain there are plenty for those damned hunters to kill, come fall – or whenever hunting season is in Alaska!  But wait … it gets even better.

Somebody in Fish & Game, or in the legislature, thinks that when the moose population drops, it is a result of wolves and/or bears killing the moose.  They don’t know for sure, but they think so.  They have determined what is the ‘ideal’ number of wolves in one particular area of Alaska referred to as Unit 13, and that magic number is between 135 and 165.  This year, however, somebody determined that there are between 350 and 550 wolves in Unit 13, and they are concerned that the wolves will dine on the moose and … aw, golly gee, the hunters will be unable to kill moose!aerial-killing-wolvesSo … guess what they are doing to “manage” the number of wolves?  It’s called ‘aerial wolf hunting’, and it is exactly what it sounds like … killing wolves with high-powered rifles from airplanes.  For no reason other than that hunters want to be able to kill moose!  Back when Sarah Palin was Governor of Alaska, she encouraged aerial wolf hunting, and even offered cash incentives!

Congress passed the Federal Airborne Hunting Act of 1972, which made it illegal for hunters to shoot animals from a plane or helicopter.  However, once the Fish & Game guys determine there are “too many” wolves, then the government gives special permission for this mass slaughter. spirit wolfBut, here’s the catch … how do you know how many wolves there are?  Again, quoting from the article in the Anchorage Daily News

“In recent years, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has been able to do population surveys and provide estimates that are a bit more reliable than those of the past. However, one needs to remember that although Unit 13 has boundaries, the wolves do not. [Emphasis added] Obviously real populations are difficult to accurately pin down.”

I’ve got news for these bloomin’ eejits … the wolves and moose were there long before humans were, and hopefully will still be there long after!  They co-existed in nature without any manipulation by humans! People are the interlopers here, folks, not the wolves and not the bears … people.

Now, if we wish to take this a step further, to extrapolate some data here … as I mentioned in the beginning, humans have already overpopulated the earth.  There are currently 7,558,988,647 humans on this planet as of the moment I am writing this, approximately 1:00 a.m.  You can check for yourself.  Go ahead … see how much it has increased since this writing.  It is estimated that by the end of the century, at current growth rates, there will be more than 11 billion humans on earth.  Such population cannot be maintained given the rapid depletion of non-renewable resources or given the degradation of the capacity of the environment to give support to the population.  (Makes the anti-abortion crowd look rather silly, doesn’t it?)

So, what do you think?  Humans have already proven that when it comes to making babies, they think more is better, so they aren’t likely to police themselves.  Personally, I think China had the right idea with their ‘one child’ policy.  But, given humans’ disdain for the lives of wolves, deer, and a host of other beautiful animals, what would you say to instituting a ‘predator management program’ similar to that in Alaska in order to thin the human population?

Now, before any of you start beating the keyboard sending me comments asking me if I’ve lost my marbles, yes, I am being facetious and no, I would not condone the random killing of humans simply to thin the pack.  But there are two points I am trying to make here:

  1. Humans do not have some superiority that gives them the right to kill animals for sport. They damn sure don’t have the right to decide how many of a certain species should be allowed to live in a specific area.  The critters were here long before we were, they are far more beautiful, and far more self-sufficient than we are.  Leave them alone!!!
  2. You’ve heard the expression about making sure your own house is clean before you go about criticizing somebody else’s? Same applies here.  We are doing a crap job of taking care of this planet.  We spew toxins into the air, water and ground as if they would simply dissipate.  They don’t.  We spray chemicals on our food … chemicals that then contaminate our water sources.  We are, whether the climate deniers would agree or not, destroying the only home we will ever have.  No, folks, there is no home for us on Mars, or Saturn or the moon.  Earth is it … and we are killing it.

I am appalled by the story about killing hundreds of wolves from airplanes just so there will be enough moose for hunters to kill and mount the heads over their fireplaces, bragging to their amigos.  Want to impress your friends?  Do something good like join Jimmy Carter in Habitat for Humanity and build houses for poor people.  Volunteer at your local homeless shelter.  That impresses me much more than the head of a moose who gave his life so you could brag.howling wolf.jpg

DOA … Dead On Arrival

Fortunately, since we have a caveman at the helm, the president does not write the budget – Congress does.  The president can submit his proposal, his request or wish list, but at the end of the day, it is Congress who writes the budget.  Thankfully.

This week, Trump gave his wish list to Congress, and as we all suspected, it is atrocious.  In short, he wants to take as much as he can possibly take from We the People and give as much as he possibly can to his wealthy cronies, raising the already-staggering deficit in the process.  Let’s take a look at some of the most egregious items, shall we?

  • First, there is “the wall”. Since he couldn’t bully Congress into giving him the $5.7 billion he asked for to start work on the wall, he is now asking for $8.6 billion!  And this guy is supposed to be a master dealmaker?  The art of compromise is entirely lost on him!
  • Then there is the environment. His proposal is to cut funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by 31%.  It would cut the EPA’s Global Change Research office, which exists to provide scientific information to policymakers about the threats posed by climate change, as well as a number of other programs involving clean water and air.
  • Along similar lines, he proposes massive cuts to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) renewable energy and energy efficiency budget … some 70%!!! The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which falls under the DOE, provides hundreds of millions of dollars a year in grants and other financial assistance for clean energy, has financed research into technologies ranging from electric vehicles to energy projects powered by ocean waves. It has been credited with financing research to help make the cost of wind power competitive with coal, and cutting the costs of LED lighting.

Note that Trump has repeatedly vowed to zero out federal spending on clean energy research and development, while doing everything in his power to promote and even subsidize the fossil fuel industry.  The only conclusion that can be drawn is that either he truly desires the destruction of the human race, or he is really that damn stupid.

  • He proposes to cut safety net programs such as food stamps, Medicaid, and housing assistance, all programs that low-income families depend on for their very survival. In spite of inflation, he proposes to freeze the maximum Pell Grant for low-income college students.
  • He has also proposed to cut Medicare … that benefit that we all paid into every single paycheck of our lives … by $845 billion over the next ten years! And … he plans to cut $25 billion from Social Security … again, a program that we all paid 6.2% of our gross pay into every paycheck we ever earned in our entire lives!

Note that in 2016, when he was still a wanna-be, he said, “I’m not going to cut Social Security, like every other Republican, and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.” More damn lies! 

  • He also proposes to cut the Department of Housing and Urban Development by 16 percent and the Education Department by 12 percent.
  • He does, however, wish to increase the defense budget by $750 billion (that’s in addition to the $8.6 billion for his damn wall).

No part of the plan addresses increasing revenue, and in fact it extends the tax cuts for the wealthy that were passed in December 2017.  It is by no means a balanced budget, and will absolutely, without question add to the national debt and deficit, both of which are already out of control, by trillions of dollars.  What happened, I would ask, to those fiscal hawks that put Obama down for eight years for not balancing the budget, for deficit spending?  Yo!  Republicans!  Can y’all hear me out there in la-la land???  This ‘man’ you all think so much of, that you’re willing to lose friends over, is going to cut Social Security … the money you have saved for your retirement since the first day of your first job.  Are you going to continue to sit on those fat, white posteriors and not even raise a stink?

But, there is good news.  And that is …

Trump’s budget proposal does not stand snowball’s chance in hell of passing Congress!  Not even a slight chance.  Even the republicans don’t like it!  It is naught but his pie-in-the-sky wish list.  However … what it does do is it speaks volumes about Mr. Trump’s priorities, and his lack of concern for the people who put him into office.  A president is elected, in theory, by the majority of the voters.  In Trump’s case, he was not elected by the majority at all, but was nearly three million votes short of it.  One might think that would make him work a lot harder to win over those of us who did not vote for him, but instead, he devotes seemingly every waking moment to finding ways to stab us in the back.

We’re tired of it.  Instead of working with Congress to attempt to develop a budget that benefits the nation and its people, he is submitting a proposal that his own advisors have told him will not fly.  He is working against the very people he swore to represent.  His priorities are a wall, his rich cronies, his Star Wars-type toy, a ‘Space Force’, and other useless crap, for lack of a better word.  Meanwhile, the poor and middle class, the 99% of the nation, will suffer if he gets his way.  Those are his priorities, folks.  His budget proposal tells us exactly where we stand … out in the cold.

Warren Davidson’s Newsletter

Yesterday, I received a routine newsletter from my representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, Warren Davidson.  I have little or no respect for this man or his policies, did not vote for him and would not vote for him if he were the only candidate on the ballot.  However, I receive his newsletter because a) one needs to keep tabs on what one’s elected officials are doing, not that you can believe a word they say, and b) I like to annoy the heck out of him by responding to each one.  Below is his latest newsletter …

Warren DavidsonDear Friends,

Congressman Davidson voted against H.R. 1, the For the People Act, as this deceptively labeled legislation would put our free and fair elections system under federal control, infringing on several Constitutional rights. H.R. 1 is the top item on Speaker Pelosi and House Democrat’s policy agenda for the 116th Congress. Congressman Davidson introduced several amendments to H.R. 1 that would protect free speech, uphold states’ rights, and defend nonprofits from political targeting by the IRS. He led a debate on these amendments this past Thursday on the floor of the House.

Addressing anti-Semitic Comments

On Fox News Radio Congressman Davidson also reacted to anti-Semitic remarks recently made by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar this week. He told host Todd Starnes that America is not an anti-Semitic country, yet Congresswoman Omar has continued to make anti-Semitic remarks. Congressman Davidson said that if there is any place where these comments would be out-of-line, it would most certainly be the Foreign Affairs Committee, of which Congresswoman Omar is a member.

New Executive Order Aimed at Lowering Veterans’ Suicide

President Trump recently signed an executive order aimed at decreasing the number of veteran suicides and creating a task force of state and local groups to raise awareness of the crisis. The new task force created by the executive order will create a grant system like the Housing and Urban Development VA Supportive Housing program, which provides funding for state and local programs that help homeless veterans and their families find permanent housing.

Davidson Receives Defender of Economic Freedom Award

The Club for Growth recognized Congressman Davidson this week for his consistent defense of economic freedom and pro-growth policies in Washington. This year, only 25 Members of Congress (20 House members and 5 Senators) will receive the Award.

Second Amendment Visit

Congressman Davidson met with a group of gun owners in West Chester this past week where he discussed two gun control bills, which he opposed in the House. He spoke with the group about how these bills would have made it harder for law-abiding citizens to purchase, own, carry and use a firearm.

Thank you for taking the time to keep up with the work I am doing on your behalf in Washington and at home in Ohio. I encourage you to stay connected with our office through my website , Facebook , Instagram , and Twitter pages. It is an honor to represent you.

Sincerely,

Warren Davidson

Member of Congress

Don’t you hate it when someone refers to themself in the third person? So much more I could have said, would have liked to say, but short, sweet and to the point is always best … these guys have short attention spans.

Davidson won in a special election in June 2016 to replace John Boehner after Boehner resigned. He then won again in 2018 by a 68.76% margin … obviously my neighbors have no sense.  He is a member of the ignoble House Freedom Caucus, that most radical of all conservative elements in Congress.  They aren’t even well-liked or respected by their own fellow republicans.

Predictably, Davidson is anti-women’s rights, anti-LGBT rights, opposes the use of renewable energy, has an “A” rating from the NRA, wishes to repeal ACA (Obamacare), supports maintaining a “numerically superior” nuclear arsenal, supports Trump’s border wall and a ban on Syrian refugees, supports a “Judeo-Christian” national code of morality, and more.  In other words, he is against We the People and for a Christian/military complex.  To put it kindly, he is a fool of the most dangerous sort.

I responded briefly, touching only on two of the issues raised in his newsletter …

Mr. Davidson,

I just read your latest newsletter and I have a few questions.  Are we, the people you are elected and paid to represent, supposed to applaud you for voting against legislation that would serve a number of purposes, including taking some of the corruption out of the election process?  And are we to applaud you for opposing sensible gun legislation that might … just might save some lives?  Thus far, you are the antithesis of what this nation needs and what the majority of We the People want.  You’ve licked the boots of Trump and of the NRA for long enough, Mr. Davidson.  Unless you show some accountability and responsibility, I will work as hard as I can to see that you are voted OUT of Congress next year.

Jill Dennison, tax payer, citizen, VOTER

Do you get periodic newsletters via email from your senators and representatives?  If not, you should sign up for them, if for no other reason than to let them know you are watching, you are aware, and you will not tolerate any b.s.

Elizabeth Warren: The 7 Issues Guide

Today I present to you the fourth in the series by TokyoSand titled The 7 Issues Guide. This time she introduces us to Senator Elizabeth Warren. I’ve always thought that Warren has sound ideas, that she is more about the people of this nation than some. However, I would note that the Senator has a few issues that I believe will make her candidacy very difficult. One of those is the same issue that Hillary Clinton had, that she is not considered to be particularly “personable”. However, she has a solid platform, and that should matter more than personality. Thank you, TokyoSand and your diligent volunteers, for this excellent series, and for your generous permission to share!

Political⚡Charge

Screen Shot 2019-03-03 at 8.29.43 PM

The Democrats have a big field of candidates running for President in 2020. To briefly use a sports analogy, I see our candidates as the starting players on the Blue team, each bringing their own unique strengths to the table in a bid to take our country in a very different direction than the one we’re on today.

But as we well know from 2016, the media (and especially social media) gets fixated on non-substantial issues that take up all the oxygen. Plus, they don’t give the candidates the same treatment or the same amount of airtime.

In order to help voters get to know the Democratic candidates, I’ve enlisted the help of a team of terrific volunteers who have helped gather quotes and information about what the candidates have said or done in regards to the 7 issues that midterm voters identified as the most important. I hope…

View original post 1,798 more words

Who Knew Phil Was Republican?

Punxsutawney Phil Arrested For Fraud

Groundhog Phil(Punxsutawney, PA) Western Pennsylvania was in shock today, in addition to being snowbound, after news leaked that Punxsutawney Phil has been arrested for fraud. This follows a lengthy investigation during which it emerged that he deliberately predicted an early summer despite knowing winter was far from over in order to manipulate betting markets. He did not act alone, but in concert with criminal elements out of Ohio who placed huge long-odds wagers on an early summer prediction.

To his credit, local residents say Phil had resisted such pressures for years, carrying out his predictions in a faithful manner despite the promise of huge payoffs if he were to fix the result. Sadly it appears he finally gave in to temptation and deliberately predicted an early summer when he knew almost for a fact that bitterly cold temperatures would still be arriving well into April and beyond.

Those close to him say they were not so surprised to hear he would be indicted as he had been on the decline for some time. Rumors of meth addiction, so often the downfall of those who feel trapped in rural areas, abounded – and there was also a string of dysfunctional relationships with questionable types who appeared to be more attracted to Phil the celebrity instead of the friend they knew.

He also felt under immense pressure due to the rise of a new generation of meteorologically-gifted rodents such as Staten Island Chuck, and was utterly despondent to hear about the growing popularity of Balzac Billy (a.k.a. the Prairie Prognosticator) in Alberta, Canada, who is not even a groundhog, but a man in a costume.

He is expected to be formally arraigned tomorrow once it’s warmed up a bit.

Just A Snarky Snippet Sunday … BAH!

We had plans to go to out to dinner, then a trip to the Fresh Market, and then perhaps the bookstore today.  Instead, I am sitting here watching it snow.  Bah, humbug.  Thus, I am feeling an urge to write a few little snarky snippets …


From ostrich to orange …

This jacket belongs to Paul Manafort. ostrich-jacketIt is made of ostrich skin … an ostrich died so that Mr. Manafort could have this jacket.

ostrich

Ostrich

This jacket cost Mr. Manafort $15,000. Yes, folks, fifteen thousand U.S. dollars to kill an ostrich or two and stitch them together for a jacket for a narcissistic crook.  Manafort spent more than $400,000 … nearly a half-million dollars … on his personal wardrobe in one single year!  I spend, on average, $60 per year on mine!  Other items included a $9,500 vest made from ostrich and a $18,500 jacket made from python skin.  Seems he liked to go about wearing the skin of animals that were killed for no other reason than for his pleasure, though I cannot see what pleasure anyone gets from wearing the skin of an animal, for knowing that they are responsible for an innocent critter being murdered.  At any rate … here is what Mr. Manafort’s wardrobe looks like now …prison-garb

And no animals had to be killed for this one.


Dumb, dumber and dumbest …

Roger Stone is not too bright, but then, anybody who has a life-size tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back cannot be said to be among the best and brightest. stone-angryStone is in a heap of trouble, but either he is truly too stupid to realize that he may well spend the rest of his life in prison wearing an outfit to match Manafort’s, or he honestly believes that Trump will pardon him and he can get on with his merry little life of crime.  You may remember that he was under a partial gag order by Judge Amy Berman Jackson to keep him from discussing his case in public venues, but then he posted this picture …berman… on Instagram and earned himself a full gag order with the judge stating in no uncertain terms that Stone “is prohibited from making statements to the media or in public settings about the Special Counsel’s investigation or this case or any of the participants in the investigation or the case.”

Apparently, though, Stone either does not understand what this means, or thinks himself to be above the law, it came to the attention of Judge Jackson that Stone has written a book that is ready for “imminent general release”, and that he had failed to inform the Judge of this minor little detail.  Judge Jackson has now issued a new order requiring Stone’s lawyers to identify “the specific date of the ‘imminent general release’ of the book,” and to explain “why this matter — which was known to the defendant — was not brought to the Court’s attention” during previous filings of during the hearing regarding the Instagram post.”

Stone-orange-suit

Couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.


Bad taste?  Or reality?

Donald Trump didn’t invent bad taste, but he is about the biggest offender of the 20th and 21st centuries.  His bad taste and really lousy judgment have opened the door, and people are streaming through that door at an unprecedented rate, as you can see every day on any of the media sites.  So, is it any wonder that artist Jim Denomie painted this …

Denomie-Standing-Rock

Standing Rock 2016

Denomie says his painting “Standing Rock 2016” is an imagined landscape inspired by protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

“I have a history of painting about history. And I saw this as history in the making. I’ve learned over my experience making paintings especially about important events that I receive information from the spirit world. It comes to me from somewhere, I don’t know exactly where — but I often come away from these paintings with a better understanding of the story or the events.”

In the painting, the Missouri River glows Technicolor orange and pink. The attack dogs have been given two heads — an allusion to Cerberus, the dog in Greek mythology that guards the gates of Hades. President Trump is seen groping Lady Justice, while former President Barack Obama is portrayed as a sitting duck. Men in suits clink martini glasses and smoke cigars. Brightly colored frogs emerge from the river, and what appear to be spirit creatures float in the sky above. It’s as though both the natural and spiritual worlds are joining the protestors in the fight to protect the land.

Minnesota State Representative, Josh Heintzeman, took umbrage with the painting, saying …

“On public display today, funded by your Legacy Art’s board, at a cost of $10,000. There’s a number of very controversial depictions but President Trump’s is especially offencive [sic]. If “artists” create this kind of thing on their own time fine, but not on my dime.”

First, Mr. Heintzeman, it isn’t “on your dime”, second Trump brought this very image upon himself with his own words and actions.  Nobody, not even the most slavish of Trump’s supporters, can possibly deny that.  Go get a life, Heintzeman … personally I think this painting is quite representative of the world we live in today, thanks in part to you and your ilk.


And with that, I need to step back for a few minutes before I throw something, for my computer has re-booted itself twice while I was writing this short piece!  I think somebody has cast a spell on it!  Have a great rest-of-Sunday!

Julian Castro: The 7 Issues Guide

This is the third of TokyoSand’s excellent series that introduces us to the many candidates who will be running on the democratic ticket for the office of president next year. So far we have met Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar, and today we will meet Julian Castro. This is an excellent series providing valuable information about the candidates all in one place, so I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read it. Thank you again, TokyoSand, for this post and permission to share it!

Political⚡Charge

castro Photo Credit: Bahram Mark Sobhani

The Democrats have a big field of candidates running for President in 2020. To briefly use a sports analogy, I see our candidates as the starting players on the Blue team, each bringing their own unique strengths to the table in a bid to take our country in a very different direction than the one we’re on today.

But as we well know from 2016, the media (and especially social media) gets fixated on non-substantial issues that take up all the oxygen. Plus, they don’t give the candidates the same treatment or the same amount of airtime.

In order to help voters get to know the Democratic candidates, I’ve enlisted the help of a team of terrific volunteers who have helped gather quotes and information about what the candidates have said or done in regards to the 7 issues that midterm voters identified as the…

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