Saturday in the park (a muddy one to ponder muddy agreements)

Our friend Keith has invited us to join him on his Saturday afternoon muddy stroll as he ponders this ‘n that. Let’s take him up on his offer, shall we?

musingsofanoldfart

The weather report for Saturday is better than our rainy Friday. Even if the sun emerges through the morning clouds, it may leave very muddy walking paths. So, as I take a muddy stroll, join me as I ponder a few muddy things.

Agreements between multiple parties are hard and take work. They are not perfect, but they provide opportunities to improve them. Leaving them when your co-signers ask you not to must be for very important reasons. Under the tutelage of the current US president, previous agreements are “disasters,” primarily because he did not work on them. Another key reason is multiple party agreements require give and take and focus on relationships.

Early on, the US pulled out of an agreement called the Trans Pacific Partnership with Asian countries, the US, Australia and Canada. It was an imperfect agreement, but was defined to better enable competition with China. What…

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My Own Hypocrisy

On June 14th 2017 I wrote a post about Michael Bloomberg.   It was actually a ‘good people’ post.  Here are a few of the things I said about Bloomberg, some two-and-a-half years ago …Wed-Bloomberg

  • Many outside the New York area may not be aware of how much good Bloomberg does, but over his lifetime he has given away more than $4.3 billion!
  • I have always had rather a soft spot for Mr. Bloomberg, knew he was a good man, but even I had no idea just how much he has given back to the world.
  • The majority of his contributions are in the fields of Environment, Public Health, the Arts, Government Innovation, Education, Women’s Economic Development in Africa. Mr. Bloomberg has also signed the Giving Pledge started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, vowing to give away at least half of his wealth over the course of his lifetime.

Then I went on to list some of his causes in the fields of the environment, education, public health, women’s economic development, the arts and more.  I wrote …

  • One thing that makes Bloomberg stand out in the crowd of wealthy philanthropists is that he is willing to try new things rather than, like some, wait for what they think will be the perfect organization and miss a lot of opportunities along the way.
  • Bloomberg is human, so I am certain that he wasn’t always right, either, but overall I believe he was a good mayor and is a good human being.
  • Bloomberg, in addition to being a philanthropist, is two things: a politician and a very successful businessman.  In recent months, we have had every reason to trust neither politicians nor businessmen, but Mr. Bloomberg is the exception.

And I concluded, back in 2017, with …

  • He is living proof that politicians and businessmen CAN also be good people. I thought it important for us to remember that, especially now.

And then, in a response to a comment by Roger, I wrote …

“I would love to see him run on a democratic ticket, however … I would surely support him!”

Fast forward to November 12th 2019, nearly a year-and-a-half later, when I wrote a post titled Please Mayor Bloomberg, Don’t Do It where I re-blogged one of Jeff’s posts and in my intro blurb, I said …

“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!”

Left to my own devices, I would not have remembered what I said about Mr. Bloomberg in June 2017, nor likely what I said just over a month ago.  I am old with a calcified brain, remember?  But, our friend rawgod asked me, a few days ago …

“Today is Jan. 1, 2020. Bloomberg is running for the Dems, as you hoped. But I have not heard his name much on Filosofa’s Word. Has something changed? Or do you still believe he is a good person for the Oval Office?”

And I had to find out what he was talking about, for I had all but forgotten that Michael Bloomberg was once my ‘good people’ and that I had said I would support his candidacy on the democratic ticket.

So, now I ask myself the tough question:  Am I a hypocrite, or has my view changed, and if so … why has it?  What has changed?  Is my reversal valid?

Well, the answer isn’t going to be found in any of my usual sources, such as The Washington Post, the New York Times, The Guardian, or Politico … the answer will have to come from some soul searching, some pondering.  And here are the results of such pondering and musing …

  • I think that when I responded to Roger that I would “love” to see him run on the democratic ticket, I was caught up in the mood of the moment, having just researched all the philanthropic works Mr. Bloomberg has done.
  • I am certain that he would make a better president than Donald Trump could ever think about being.
  • That said, I do not think he is the man I want to see win the nomination to be the democratic candidate. Why?
    • Because for the past three years, we have watched the wealthy take over this nation, make decisions that in no way, shape or form helped the average person.
    • Because the more I see, the more I am convinced that we need in the Oval Office somebody who can honestly understand the plight of the average person, and I find it hard to believe that someone born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth can truly relate to We the People.
    • Because as Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg was responsible for the long-standing “Stop-and-Frisk” policy that was used to discriminate against African-Americans and other minorities, though he has recently apologized for that.

There are still things I like about Mr. Bloomberg’s platform …

  • Gun control – he supports universal background checks, an assault weapons ban and a crackdown on gun trafficking.
  • Climate change – he upholds the Paris Accord and is a proponent of action to combat climate change, though not to the extent I might like.
  • Civil and LGBT rights – he is supportive of both.
  • Women’s rights – he claims to believe that reproductive choice is a fundamental human right.

But, he does not support raising taxes on the wealthy, which I believe is critical to reducing our national debt and deficit.  He is not strong enough on environmental and other issues.  I would not vote for him at this point, though I might have in 2017, as I told Roger.  That said, I would vote for him if he were to become the democratic nominee, but I see the chances of that being slim-to-none, for he is polling at only around 5% and is not even on the ballot in a number of states.

The Democratic Party really needs to pull itself together, to stand behind the strongest candidate and soon, in order to unseat the incumbent, for if they keep backstabbing and eating their own, they are doomed, and will doom the citizens of this nation to an almost-certain autocratic regime.  Michael Bloomberg is not the solution, though through his philanthropy he can continue to make a positive difference in this world.  Not all of us can be president.

So, am I a hypocrite, or have circumstances merely led to an evolution of my thoughts?  I leave it to you to decide.  Jerry?  Roger?  Keith?  David?  Ellen?  Jeff?  Scottie?  Nan?  Padre?  John?  Let me know what you think, for I’m truly not sure.

A Few New Year ‘Toons …

Typically, I only do a post of ‘toons once every ten days or so, and since I just did one last Saturday, you may be surprised to see another so soon.  Two reasons … these are timely and will lose their ‘flavour’ in another few days as the world moves on, and second, I am still doing research for the post I was planning for this afternoon … I slept too late this morning and am behind … er, behind-er than usual!

But first, I have a short Seth Meyers clip that I hope you’ll watch … it’s funny as heck, but also rather uplifting!  Thank you, Colette, for sending me this!


The cartoonists had fun with the New Year … lets take a look …

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new-year-1new-year-2new-year-3new-year-4new-year-5Trump-new-year

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♫ Imagine (Again) ♫

Now, I know that I played this song three times during 2018 and once during 2019.  And, I know that a couple of my beloved friends/readers to not care much for John Lennon.  But, I have a reason for playing this one tonight, so please … bear with me.

I just finished catching up on comments to my last few posts, and before that, I spent a couple of hours on my ‘good people’ post.  And a few things came to me during the course of those two things.  I sense in the comments a lot of hopelessness among you guys.  Oh, don’t get me wrong … I’ve been down in the rabbit hole more times than I can count … there have been days that I considered jumping off a cliff, and there will no doubt be such days again.  But, it disturbs me to feel that some of you have given up hope that we can turn things around in this nation … in the world.

I have been so hopeless so many times in the past three years that I’ve perfected my plan to jump off a cliff if needs be, but as yet I still have hope that we can turn things around.  We will never live in a perfect world, for humans are the most flawed species on earth!  But, we can make it better.  If I didn’t believe that, I would not be sitting here writing this tonight.

And so, I ask you, dear friends, to listen to this song … really listen … even if you don’t like Lennon, or you’re tired of me playing it … just listen.  Let the words of hope wash over you.  It’s a new year, and yeah, I know that the markings on a calendar are a contrivance of humans and have no meaning in the grand scheme of things, but … let’s start 2020 with at least a tiny shred of hope that we can make a difference.  If we can’t make a difference, if you truly think we are just doomed … then why do you love the ‘good people’ posts so much?  You love them for the same reasons I do … because they give us hope for the future … for humanity.  Now, don those headphones, sit back and close your eyes, and just absorb the music, okay?  Love ‘n hugs!

Imagine
John Lennon

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky

Imagine all the people
Living for today (ah ah ah)

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too

Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

Songwriters: John Winston Lennon
Imagine lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Downtown Music Publishing, BMG Rights Management

A royal push for climate change action

What better way to close out one year and begin a new one than with a bit of good news? Our friend Keith has kindly provided us with just the thing to let us believe that perhaps there is hope for humans after all. Thank you, Keith!

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Strong on the heels of Greta Thunberg’s visit to the United States and United Nations climate change conference in Spain, a royal member of the UK family is making a very public statement backed with funds to match. In an article by Simon Perry in People Magazine, of all places, a very important global mission was revealed in an article called: Prince William Unveils Ambitious New Environmental Mission: ‘The Earth Is at a Tipping Point and We Face a Stark Choice’.

The first three paragraphs from the article (see link below) are as follows:

“On Tuesday, the royal unveiled a multimillion-dollar international award to harness the best ideas for tackling the biggest environmental challenges in the world.

William, 37, has set his sights on spending the next decade rewarding visionaries and innovation. Called Earthshot, it will be awarded to five winners a year for the next decade, generating what…

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A Few Snarky Snippets To End The Year

One might think that Filosofa would run out of snark eventually, mightn’t one?  But nooooo … it seems to reproduce itself.  Well, in truth I mostly blame the idiots in Washington and the fools who sent the idiots to Washington, but you already knew that, didn’t you?  So, here we are … on the cusp of entering a new year and a new decade, and do you think they could give us a little break?  No, of course not …


Say WHAT???

The headline read …

Trump, Obama tie for Americans’ most-admired man

Surely you jest?  NOBODY in their right mind admires Donald Trump!!!  According to the pollster Gallup …

Barack Obama and Donald Trump are tied this year as the most admired man. It is Obama’s 12th time in the top spot versus the first for Trump. Michelle Obama is the most admired woman for the second year in a row.

Gallup-poll

After Obama and Trump, no other man was mentioned by more than 2% of respondents. The remainder of the top 10 for men this year includes former President Jimmy Carter, businessman Elon Musk, philanthropist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Pope Francis, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, California Rep. Adam Schiff, the Dalai Lama, and investor Warren Buffett.

Trump is more popular now than he was in the past two years, with a 45% job approval rating, among his best as president. Coincident with the rise in his job approval rating, the 18% of Americans currently naming Trump as the most admired man is also up, from 13% in 2018 and 14% in 2017.

I’m thoroughly confused how a president who was just impeached can have an increase in his approval rating and be named “most admired man”.  It becomes apparent that there is a disconnect in this nation, that either people have come to like being shafted, or they are really not smart enough to understand the things that Trump has done.  Sigh.  I give up trying to figure this out.


Van Who?

United States Representative Jeff Van Drew from New Jersey decided with a snap of his fingers to switch parties in the middle of his term.  The once-democrat is now a republican, presumably the catalyst having been the impeachment of Donald Trump.  Now, it happens sometimes, but frankly I think Van Drew needed his head examined.

Van-Drew

Has nobody ever told him that plaid and stripes don’t go together?

First of all, he is a freshman in the House of Representatives … this is his first term.  His district, as most of the rest of his state, is predominantly democratic.  He had few qualifications for a seat in Congress, as his only formal education was a degree in dentistry, and for most of his career, he was … a dentist.

When Van Drew announced his intention to vote against impeachment, most of his staff resigned and he saw his support immediately begin to plummet into the 20 percent range.  Best I can figure, this was the sole reason for his party switch, which makes no sense.  The theory behind the party system is that one joins either party based on shared values and ideology.  Now, is Van Drew a democrat at heart, or a republican?  Or, as my instinct says, an opportunist who has no core beliefs, no values, and will go to whichever side seems most profitable.  Since there are three other republicans running for the seat in his district next year, my best guess is he shot himself in the foot by changing parties.  At least, I certainly hope so, for he is a man without values … we don’t need any more of those.


Kudos to Greta … once again!

Thunberg-TimeYesterday, Greta Thunberg was interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Today program, where she was asked what she thinks of the criticism she has come under from the likes of Donald Trump.  Her response is so much more mature than anything that has ever come out of Trump’s mouth …

“Those attacks are just funny. Because I mean they obviously don’t mean anything. Well I guess of course it means something. It means that they are terrified of young people bringing change, which they don’t want. But that is just a proof that we are actually doing something. And that they see us as some kind of threat.”

Thunberg did not meet with Trump when she was in the U.S., but when the BBC Radio interviewer asked her what she would have said to him if she had met with him, she responded …

“Honestly, I don’t think I would have said anything because obviously he’s not listening to scientists and experts, so why would he listen to me? So I probably wouldn’t have said anything, I wouldn’t have wasted my time.”

👍👍


And, while I still have plenty of snark left to impart, I have other things I must attend to, and I’m sure you do too!  I shall return later today with some introspective musings to close the year.  Have a wonderful day!toon.png

Two Of The Worst Things …

The end of not only a year, but a decade fraught with troubles lends itself to musings and ponderings.  If I put my mind to it, I could come up with at least 50 things Donald Trump has done in his three-year tenure that are wrong, disgusting, destructive, and pose a threat to either the nation’s internal or external security.  But, there are two that stand out most, that are so incredibly cruel or stupid that my jaw still drops when I think of them.


The first is the policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the southern border, then putting the children in detention centers where even their most basic needs are often not met.  This is, as much as any, a crime against humanity and one that, while the people of this nation were up in arms over for a time, seems to be largely forgotten today.  It has taken a backseat to impeachment and most everything else.  When was the last time you read an article or heard a news story about the children who may never be reunited with their parents? caged-kidI do not know how many children remain separated from their parents and housed in detention centers along the southern border … I’ve read a few estimates, but none seem to be certain … perhaps Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have lost track, just as they’ve lost track of the whereabouts of these kids’ parents.  But, whether it’s 20 or 2,000 … while you and I were enjoying unwrapping presents and later a Christmas feast with friends and family, this is how the innocent children in the detention centers spent Christmas …caged-kids-xmasThe United States of America … land of opportunity, land of milk and honey … but only if your skin is the right colour.caged-kids-drawing.png


The second thing is the damage Trump has done to the environment … damage that, to a large extent, can never be reversed.  Trump, as we all know, has a serious ego problem … his ego is the most bloated part about him, and that’s saying a lot.  Trump’s ego seemingly demanded that Trump do everything he could to erase the legacy of the positive things that were done by his predecessor, President Barack Obama.  Three of the things President Obama was most noted for were environmental regulations, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and formation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  Trump has attempted to demolish all three of those, but the area in which he has been most successful is that of environmental regulations. pollution-2A New York Times analysis, based on research from Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School and other sources, counts more than 90 environmental rules and regulations rolled back under Trump.environmental-rollbacksFor a detailed analysis of each, refer to the article in the Times.

Trump’s unconscionable rollback of these regulations benefits the fossil fuel industry and the logging industry barons, but harms this nation, its people and its precious resources, such as breathable air, potable water, safe food, national monuments, and wildlife.  More importantly, his actions are hastening the crisis that scientists are predicting.

The latest United Nations report on climate change issued last month paints a grim picture for the future of life on planet Earth.  In a statement announcing the findings, Inger Andersen, executive director of the U.N. Environment Program, said …

“Our collective failure to act early and hard on climate change means we now must deliver deep cuts to emissions. We need to catch up on the years in which we procrastinated.”

Roughly 20 percent of the world has already warmed to troubling levels. Slowing future warming will require monumental changes, such as phasing out gas-powered cars, halting the construction of coal-fired power plants and overhauling how humans grow food and manage land.  And yet, Donald Trump continues to claim that climate change is all a hoax and has convinced a large number of his followers.  I recently (and regrettably) engaged in a conversation with one such person and … let me tell you, it’s a waste of precious breath, for Trump has brainwashed them to believe that he is smarter than all of the scientists in the world.  Quite a feat, eh?


As I said at the beginning, there are many, many things that Trump has done that have, in one way or another, brought harm to this nation and to We the People, but these two stand out as being the most inhumane on a large scale.  These two alone have greatly reduced the respectability of this nation around the world.  And fully 40% of the people in this nation continue to applaud.  Sigh.

Ignorance Is NOT Bliss!

Yo … republicans!  Gather ‘round here for just a minute … I want you to listen to this bit from a speech your so-called president gave on Saturday …

“We’ll have an economy based on wind. I never understood wind. You know, I know windmills very much. I’ve studied it better than anybody. I know it’s very expensive. They’re made in China and Germany mostly — very few made here, almost none. But they’re manufactured tremendous — if you’re into this — tremendous fumes. Gases are spewing into the atmosphere. You know we have a world, right? So the world is tiny compared to the universe. So tremendous, tremendous amount of fumes and everything. You talk about the carbon footprint — fumes are spewing into the air. Right? Spewing. Whether it’s in China, Germany, it’s going into the air. It’s our air, their air, everything — right? So they make these things and then they put them up. They are noisy. They kill the birds. You want to see a bird graveyard, go under a windmill someday. You will see more dead birds than you’ve ever seen in your life.”

“I know windmills very much.  I’ve studied it better than anybody”???  What the hell does that even mean???  Trump claims that he doesn’t drink alcohol, but I’m not so sure I believe that, for he sure sounded like an old drunk to me!  He uttered 156 words that made not one little bit of sense, that had absolutely no meaning, except to prove his utter ignorance, for not one single thing he said is true!!!  And some of you guys still think he’s the greatest thing since sliced white bread???

The stupidity is astounding, would be astounding coming from anybody, but … the leader of a nation of some 330 million people?  No … just no.  But wait … it gets even worse.

He was speaking to approximately 5,000 high school and college students at the Turning Point USA conference in West Palm Beach, Florida.turning-point.pngAlso in attendance were Don Junior, Melania, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Dinesh D’Souza, Ted Cruz, Matt Gaetz, and Rudy Giuliani.  What a bunch, eh?  What is most disgusting, though, is that these young people, the future of this nation, were wildly enthusiastic about Trump’s message.  The topic that seemed to get the loudest applause, and a standing ovation, was when he bragged about turning away asylum seekers and exaggerated the amount of new border wall that his administration has built.  They repeatedly jumped to their feet, at one point chanting, “Four more years.”  And the part that should give you cold chills came when Trump yelled …

“From now on, start yelling 16 more years.”

This is not the first time he has hinted at or alluded to serving more than the maximum two terms.  This is not the first time, nor is it likely to be the last, that he has given the distinct impression that he will not leave the Oval Office without a fight, that he sees himself as a “ruler for life”.  The U.S. Constitution places certain limitations on the power of the presidency, but Donald Trump has shown disdain for the very document he took an oath to uphold.  Sure, there are ‘checks and balances’, but again, he has already broken those in more ways than one.  And he has his slavishly loyal supporters in Congress who refuse to do their job and rein in his power.

There are so many reasons that Trump must go, or we will find that by the end of his second term he has managed to destroy whatever was once good about this nation. And there is no reason he should be re-elected … not one single reason.  If the republicans put him back in office, it may well be the darkest day in the history of this nation, and will certainly be the darkest day for the future of the nation.  Read that bit of his speech from Saturday again and tell me if you think this is a person suited to lead.

Robert Reich: Make America Decent Again

When I first read Robert Reich’s latest column, I wasn’t sure I agreed with him, but the more I’ve thought about it, what he says makes a great deal of sense.  Take a look and let me know your thoughts …


Donald Trump fears only one Democrat: Warren Sanders

By Robert Reich

Robert Reich-4There aren’t 20 Senate Republicans with enough integrity to remove the most corrupt president in American history, so we’re going to have to get rid of Trump the old-fashioned way – by electing a Democrat next 3 November.

That Democrat will be Warren Sanders.

Although there are differences between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, I’m putting them together for the purpose of making a simple point.

These two have most of the grassroots energy in the 2020 campaign, most of the enthusiasm and most of the ideas critical for America’s future.

Together, they lead Joe Biden and every other so-called moderate Democrat by a wide margin in all polls.

That’s because the real political divide in America today is establishment versus anti-establishment – the comparatively few at the top who have siphoned off much of the wealth of the nation versus everyone else whose wages and prospects have gone nowhere.

Warren and Sanders know the system is rigged and that economic and political power must be reallocated from a corporate-Wall Street elite to the vast majority.

This is why both Warren and Sanders are hated by the Democratic establishment.

It’s also why much of the corporate press is ignoring the enthusiasm they’re generating. And why it’s picking apart their proposals, like a wealth tax and Medicare for All, as if they were specific pieces of legislation.

And why corporate and Wall Street Democrats are mounting a campaign to make Americans believe Warren and Sanders are “too far to the left” to beat Trump, and therefore “unelectable”.

This is total rubbish. Either of them has a better chance of beating Trump than does any other Democratic candidate.

Presidential elections are determined by turnout. More than a third of eligible voters in America don’t vote. They go to the polls only if they’re motivated. And what motivates people most is a candidate who stands for average people and against power and privilege.

Average Americans know they’re getting the scraps while corporate profits are at record highs and CEOs and Wall Street executives are pocketing unprecedented pay and bonuses.

They know big money has been flooding Washington and state capitals to cut taxes on corporations and the wealthy; roll back health, safety, environment and labor protections; and allow big business to monopolize the economy, using its market power to keep prices high and wages low.

Most Americans want to elect someone who’s on their side.

In 2016 some voted for Trump because he conned them into believing he was that person.

But he’s given big corporations and Wall Street everything they’ve wanted: rollbacks of health, safety, and environmental protections, plus a giant $2tn tax cut that’s boosted stock prices and executive pay while nothing trickled down.

Trump is still fooling millions into thinking he’s on their side, and that their problems are due to immigrants, minorities, cultural elites and “deep state” bureaucrats, rather than a system that’s rigged for the benefit of those at the top.

But some of these Trump supporters would join with other Americans and vote for a candidate in 2020 who actually took on power and privilege.

This is where Warren and Sanders come in.

Their core proposals would make the system work for everyone and alter the power structure in America: Medicare for All based on a single-payer rather than private for-profit corporate insurance; a Green New Deal to create millions of good jobs fighting climate change; free public higher education; universal childcare.

All financed mainly by a tax on the super-rich.

They’d also get big money out of politics and rescue democracy from the corporate and Wall Street elites who now control it.

They’re the only candidates relying on small donations rather than trolling for big handouts from corporations, Wall Street and the wealthy – or rich enough to self-finance their own campaigns.

Only two things stand in their way of becoming president.

The first is the power structure itself, which is trying to persuade Democrats that they should put up a milquetoast moderate instead.

The second is the possibility that as the primary season heats up, supporters of Warren and Sanders will wage war on each other, taking both of them down.

It’s true that only one of them can be the nominee. But if the backers of both Sanders and Warren come together behind one of them, they’ll have the votes to take the White House and even flip the Senate.

President Warren Sanders can then start clearing the wreckage left by Trump, and make America decent again.

Snarky Snippets To Kick Off The Weekend!

I am filled with snarky today … it is flowing from my ears, my very pores.  The republicans have gone beyond ridiculous in their objections to the impeachment process, are doing their level best to make it seem like a three-ring circus, and the low growl in my throat is a constant these days.  So, to take our minds off the buffoons like Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes, et al, here are a few snippets unrelated to impeachment


Pardon pen over-inked!

Matt-Bevin

Matt Bevin

In the Kentucky governor’s race last month, the incumbent, republican Matt Bevin, was defeated by Andy Beshear, a democrat.  Bevin did not go gently into that good night, for he claimed there were voting ‘irregularities’, and for a time it appeared he would force a vote in the State Legislature.  He ultimately conceded when he realized that there was absolutely no evidence of any ‘irregularities’.

But still, Bevin was determined to go out with a bang, and that he did.  From the time that Bevin conceded the election to Beshear on November 14th until the date of Beshear’s inauguration on December 10th, Bevin issued pardons for some 428 people.  The list includes a man convicted of reckless homicide, a convicted child rapist, a man who murdered his parents at age 16 and a woman who threw her newborn in the trash after giving birth in a flea market outhouse.Bevin-pardonsIt is not unusual for governors to issue pardons as they leave office, but pardoning murderers and child rapists is definitely outside the norm.

Among those pardoned was Brett Whittaker, a man who was convicted on two counts of murder for killing a pastor and his wife while driving under the influence in 2011, and Dayton Jones, who was convicted in the sexual assault of a 15-year-old boy at a party.  And there was Patrick Brian Baker, who was convicted in 2017 of reckless homicide, robbery, impersonating a peace officer and tampering with evidence for his role in a 2014 home invasion that resulted in the death of Donald Mills.  It’s almost as if Bevin sought the worst of the worst to pardon, his way of giving a middle finger to the people of Kentucky.


Congratulations to Greta, another black mark for Trump

A 16-year-old girl with Asperger’s Syndrome from Sweden is this years’ Time Magazine Person of the Year!  That’s right, Time Magazine chose Greta Thunberg, the young climate activist who has brought awareness to the ongoing climate crisis to so many people, for their coveted Person of the Year award.  She is the youngest person to earn the title in the magazine’s 92-year history.Thunberg-Time.jpgBut, apparently Donald Trump thought that he should be ‘person of the year’, and he couldn’t keep his mouth shut, or rather, his thumbs still.

Trump-tweet-Thunberg

What kind of ‘man’ denigrates a 16-year-old girl who is trying to raise awareness about a serious problem affecting the whole world?  Certainly, this is not the sign of a ‘man’ who ought to hold a position of power, if he cannot even treat people like Greta with a bit of decency and respect.  To her credit, Greta altered her Twitter bio …thunberg-twitter-bioFor my part, I congratulate Ms. Thunberg and thank her for doing more than her share to bring awareness to people around the globe, and apologize to her for the poor manners of the person sitting in the Oval Office.


They are “devastated”?

One week ago today, three U.S. servicemen lost their lives and eight were wounded by a Saudi wielding a 9mm Glock 45 pistol in a killing rampage in Pensacola, Florida, that the FBI says is being investigated as terrorism.PensacolaThere are many unanswered questions, but the fact is that three are dead at the hands of a Saudi national.  We remember the killing of Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, killed on orders by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. We remember that 15 of the 19 hijackers who changed our lives on 11 September 2001 were from Saudi Arabia.  And then, we hear the ‘president’ of the United States respond …

“I spoke with the King of Saudi Arabia.  They are devastated in Saudi Arabia.  We’re finding out what took place, whether it’s one person or a number of people.  And the King will be involved in taking care of families and loved ones.  He feels very strongly.  He’s very, very devastated by what happened and what took place.  Likewise, the Crown Prince.  They are devastated by what took place in Pensacola.  And I think they’re going to help out the families very greatly. But, right now, they send their condolences.”

Trump-bin-SalmanI imagine they are about as devastated as they were by Mr. Khashoggi’s murder.  But to the point, does he expect us to feel sorry for the poor, ‘devastated’ Saudi dictators?  Not a word from Trump about the threat of terrorism, or a shred of curiosity about motives and whether the Saudi officer was radicalized and by whom, or a thought about what Saudi Arabia could do to help investigate the shooter, or perhaps a lament that the killer, a guest of the United States, would carry out such a horrific assault on his hosts, or even a worry about where the 21-year-old officer got the weapon.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Zilch. It seems that he is more concerned with the Saudis than with the people he was hired to protect and represent.

Trump’s love affair with the likes of Vladimir Putin, Mohammed bin Salman, Jair Bolsonaro and other strongmen dictators is appalling … and dangerous … and disgusting.


Well, folks, it’s Friday afternoon … so, have a great weekend … if you can.