Snarky Snippets — Two Of ‘Em!

Just a couple of snarky snippets to share with you today, for my mind has not yet stopped bouncing about from pillar to post.


Let ‘em all go free …

Remember Flint Michigan and the water crisis?  I first wrote about it in January 2016 when children in Flint were found to have high levels of lead in their blood, which was eventually traced to the water, and in late December 2015, residents were warned not to drink the water, cook with it, or consume it in any way.  The city, in an effort to save money in 2014, had switched from the Detroit water system to using water from the Flint River, without the proper testing, and the result was toxic levels of lead in the water. At least 12 people died from an outbreak of Legionnaire’s Disease as a result of the contaminated water.  It is now more than three years later, and the water is still not safe to drink, still does not meet federal standards.

Fifteen state and local officials, including emergency managers who ran the city and a member of the governor’s cabinet, had been accused by state prosecutors of crimes as serious as involuntary manslaughter. Seven had already taken plea deals. Eight more, including most of the highest-ranking officials, were awaiting trial.  And then, in a jaw-dropping move yesterday, prosecutors dropped all charges against officials accused of ruining the community’s drinking water and ignoring signs of a crisis.

Why??? The answer is simple:  politics and … well, politics.  Michigan’s Republican attorney general in 2016, Bill Schuette, appointed a team that began investigating and announcing criminal charges, however they apparently didn’t do much of an investigation.  After three years, the cases were moving at a crawl.  Then, in 2018, a new attorney general took office, Dana Nessel, a Democrat.  New prosecutors assigned by Ms. Nessel expressed concern about evidence collection and decided to drop the charges and open a new investigation. Flint-protestThree years … who knows how much money wasted … and not a single prosecution, not a single person has spent a single day in jail.  Even the seven people who had made a plea deal had not yet been sentenced.  Understandably and justifiably, the people of Flint are disgusted and out of patience.  Although a new investigation has been promised … every promise that has been made to the people of Flint thus far has been broken, and they still do not have potable water, so why should they believe this promise?


You will NOT be missed, Sarah …

Sarah-Sanders-2It was announced yesterday that White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders till be leaving at the end of June.  Mind you, it’s been some 94 days since she last held so much as a press briefing, so nobody knows quite what she has been doing for the past three months anyway.  But, if you want a good laugh, consider this … she said she hopes to be remembered for her transparency and honesty!  🤣🤣🤣  She has been anything but transparent or honest, and has been naught but a paid mouthpiece for whatever gaslighting Trump ordered her to do.  Surely she has told nearly as many lies as Trump himself, and she is one of the ones who claimed that “God wanted Donald Trump to become president.” 

Trump announced Sander’s departure … via tweet, of course …

“After 3 1/2 years, our wonderful Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be leaving the White House at the end of the month and going home to the Great State of Arkansas. She is a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job! I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas – she would be fantastic. Sarah, thank you for a job well done!”

Sarah-cartoon-2I don’t know whether she actually plans to run for governor against incumbent Asa Hutchinson, whose term will end in 2022, but nothing would surprise me these days.  One could hope that the good people of Arkansas have better sense.

Fox ‘News’, meanwhile had this to say …

“Sanders did her job, just not the role the liberal press demanded. She served as President Donald Trump’s press secretary, not the ally journalists wanted to help them oust Trump. Instead of celebrating a woman rising to such an important role, both news and entertainment media mocked her looks, her job performance and, even, her honesty.”

Did you expect otherwise?  I wonder who Trump will find to replace her?  She’s leaving some pretty big shoes to fill …


That’s all I’ve got for today folks!  Hope you all have a great weekend!

OBSTRUCTION!!!

Donald Trump is playing games with our lives.  Today, in a strictly retaliatory move against Congress and We the People, he played that tired old “executive privilege” card.  Congress had made known earlier this week its intent to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for failure to answer the subpoenas they were issued by the House Oversight Committee to release certain documents.  Trump threatened that if they did so, he would invoke ‘executive privilege’ on the documents the committee had requested regarding how a citizenship question came to be added to the 2020 census form.  Just a few hours ago, Trump acted on his threat and invoked that ‘executive privilege’ that he has so often used and abused.

Congress has not only a constitutional right, but a constitutional mandate to investigate, to find the truth. That truth is being hidden, kept from Congress, purloined from the public.  This move reeks of dictatorship, of an authoritarian government, one where the ‘man’ at the top considers himself to be a supreme leader, rather than a democratically elected public servant.

Trump’s refusal to allow documents to be released, his threats and bullying key witnesses to keep them from testifying before Congress is nothing less than obstruction of justice.  The Mueller report laid out nearly a dozen proven instances in which Trump had obstructed, or attempted to obstruct, the ongoing investigation. Nothing has changed … he is still obstructing justice and has become even more blatant about it, for nobody and nothing to date has stopped him.  His minions, his boot-lickers both in the cabinet, the White House staff, and in Congress have lied and covered for him, have pointed the finger of blame in every direction except the right one, and thus we now have a dictator who believes that he has the right to hide the truth, to trample the Constitution for his own purposes.

Trump is a ‘fake’ president and is leading this nation down a dark path.  Yes, folks, he most definitely IS guilty of obstruction of justice, as recently as five hours ago!  We the People are being increasingly kept in the dark, being given only the tidbits that Trump wants us to have.  Do you know when was the last time Sarah Huckabee Sanders held a White House Press Briefing?  March 11th … 92 days ago!  More than three months.  During that time, she has been a regular on Fox News, but has disappeared from the legitimate press.  Not, mind you, that she ever told the truth anyway, but still …

As for William Barr and Wilbur Ross … I would like to see them both cited for contempt of Congress and given 24 hours to comply, else be arrested and put in jail just as you or I would be in similar circumstances.  As for Trump … he claims the Mueller report exonerated him.  It did not.  He claims “no collusion, no obstruction”.  He lies … he is guilty of both, but Mueller’s hands were tied, so he tossed the ball to Congress.  Now Trump and Co are trying to tie Congress’ hands.  If that isn’t obstruction, I don’t know what is.

Chris Britt / Illinois Times

R.J. Matson / Roll CallNick Anderson cartoonAdam Zyglis / Buffalo NewsJeff Danziger cartoon

Da Snarky Snippets Keep On Coming

Believe it or not, just a few years ago I was a mild-mannered person who rarely engaged in being snarky, or bouts of temper … yeah, right, who do I think I’m kidding?  Anyway, today I find that I have plenty of little snippets upon which to unload my snark.


Trump vs CNN – round #14

On Monday, little Donnie took umbrage … again … over CNN’s coverage of his _____________ (fill in the blank).  Could have been his proposed tariffs on imports from Mexico, could have been his meddling in the affairs of the UK, or perhaps his juvenile criticisms of London Mayor Sadiq Khan, or any number of other things he has done or said.

CNN is not alone in critiquing Trump’s words and actions, and they are not alone in drawing Trump’s ire, for he has frequently called out the New York Times and The Washington Post, calling them ‘fake news’, ‘failing’, and more.  But, he seems to have taken a particular dislike to CNN, and today he crossed a line.  Well, in truth, he has crossed many lines in the past and I’m inclined to say that every time he opens his mouth, he crosses a line.  However today, he called on the U.S. public to boycott AT&T, the parent company of CNN.  This, my friends, is unconscionable.

It is neither the job nor the right of the president to attempt to bring down a company simply because they don’t agree with him.  And it is damn sure not his right to attempt to manipulate the press … the FREE press.  Hell, the majority of people in the nation don’t agree with him … what’s he going to do … call on his shrinking base to ‘de-friend’ us on Facebook? In the opinion of historian Jon Meacham, who has written biographies of several presidents …

“For a president to call for punitive action against a corporation in an effort to shape news coverage is, to say the least, highly unusual. It’s the kind of behavior more commonly associated with authoritarian regimes, not democratic ones.”

More commonly associated with authoritarian regimes … what have I been saying for two years now?


Get em, Tiger!

“Unfortunately, your actions are part of a pattern. The Trump administration has been engaged in one of the most unprecedented cover-ups since Watergate, extending from the White House to multiple federal agencies and departments of the government and across numerous investigations.”

The above is an excerpt from letters written to both Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross yesterday by Elijah Cummings, Chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee.  Both Barr and Ross have defied the panel’s subpoena for information about efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

Last week, we learned of a plot, if you will, to redistrict (gerrymander) political maps that would be “advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites”, based on answers to a proposed citizenship question on the upcoming (2020) census form.  The information came to light following the release of documents belonging to the late Thomas Hofeller, a major republican strategist.

The republicans, from Donald Trump down to the lowliest cabinet member, are engaging in a dangerous game of cat and mouse in order to preserve their “dominance” in our government.  I hope that if Barr and Ross do not turn over the requested information, they both land behind bars in orange jumpsuits.  The same goes for Mnuchin, Trump, and all the others who think they are above the law.  It’s time to restore law and order to this damn country!


Jared Kushner deserves a medal … for ignorance

KushnerThere is likely a reason why Jared Kushner, son-in-law and boot-licker of Don Trump, doesn’t do many interviews … his utter ignorance and stupidity come out … in spades.  On Sunday, an interview he did with Jonathan Swan of Axios was aired.  A couple of snippets …

The first was about the false claim by Trump that Obama was not born in the U.S.

Swan: Was birtherism racist?

Kushner: Um, look, I wasn’t really involved in that.

Swan: I know you weren’t! Was it racist?

Kushner: Like I said, I wasn’t involved in that.

Swan: I know you weren’t! Was it racist?

Kushner: Um, look, I know who the president is, and I have not seen anything in him that is racist. So, again, I was not involved in that.

Swan: Did you wish he didn’t do that?

Kushner: Like I said, I was not involved in that. That was a long time ago.

Then when asked about his father-in-law’s ‘values’, or lack thereof …

Swan: Has your father-in-law ever challenged your values?

Kushner: Um, in what regard?

Swan: Well I mean when you were on the campaign you had Access Hollywood? There’s been other things you’ve had to deal with since then. I mean, like, it’s a sensitive question, but I mean it in the sense of you’re a son-in-law, you’re a husband, you’re a senior advisor. Does it make it sometimes harder to, to tell him the truth?

Kushner: No, I think he, he respects people who are willing to be honest with him. When I do disagree, you’ll never read about it in the press and I won’t say it publicly but I will say there’s a lot more things I agree with him on than disagree.

Swan: So you agree with him on economics and foreign policy. Where do you stand on abortion?

Kushner: Again, I was not uh the person who was elected.

Such brilliance, yes?  No wonder he has been put in charge of a Middle-East peace plan!  If you’re interested, you can find the full transcript in .pdf form here.


A royal welcome …

Donnie is over in the UK this week, sure to cause more problems than he solves.  But the Brits know how to make a guy feel welcome.  The baby blimp will fly later today, but here are a few pictures from yesterday’s many protests …

protest-1protest-2protest-3protest-4protest-5protest-6protest-grassProtest Against Donald Trump's State Banquet in LondonProtest Against Donald Trump's State Banquet in LondonProtest Against Donald Trump's State Banquet in London

I guess that proves how much everybody loves him across the pond, eh?


Well, I think that’s it for this morning.  Have a great Tuesday!

Where Do We Draw A Line?

The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, and in recent times that has been challenged and the limits sorely tested.  It is a slippery slope, one fraught with the danger of going a step too far in censuring free speech, but it is the opinion of this writer that there must be a line … somewhere.  Last night I came across one of the right-wing pundits who I believe has crossed the line no matter where the line is.  His name is Josh Bernstein, and he is an online commentator.  His online show is called, predictably, the Josh Bernstein Show.  His bio says he is an anthropologist, writer, news anchor, political analyst, and more, but I rather doubt most of that, and don’t have time to spend trying to confirm or deny.

What brought him onto my radar was his call for Trump to “sharpen up them guillotines” to use on special counsel Robert Mueller in response to Mueller’s comment during his public statement on Wednesday that “If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”  Bernstein went into attack mode, accusing Mueller of taking bribes.josh-bernstein.png

“How much were you paid to do that press conference? All of you are just disgusting, despicable excuses for human beings and, honestly, I hope you all go down. Treason. President Trump said treason. Guess what? I agree with that. … You know what they do for treason? U.S. Code 18 § 2381. They put you to death, that’s what they do. Let’s sharpen up them guillotines, let’s bring out Old Sparky, let’s make sure that those lethal concoctions are ready to go, because you people deserve it!”

Now, we’ve all become used to the hate speech that emanates from both sides of the political spectrum, but most viciously from the far right, and most of us take it with a grain of salt these days.  But I sense a more ominous tone here.  The danger is not in him saying it, but in people hearing it, and some people hearing it as a call to action.

If this were an isolated episode in Mr. Bernstein’s hate speech, I might be more inclined to chalk it up to the ravings of a lunatic and move along, but it is one of many.  In January, he had this to say about democrats …

“Democrats don’t care about Americans, they don’t care about their security, they don’t even care about their paychecks.  The bottom line is, and I hate to say this, these are the types of people that Americans fought against in World War II. These are the ones who should be sterilized so we can start over.”

In October, after Alex Baldwin made a statement that through the electoral process, we need to effect a change in government, Bernstein called him treasonous and said he should be banned.  He went a bit further, though …

“These idiot liberals, these morons that want to bring us down to a third-world level, these people should be locked up for treason. Liberals like to say, ‘Well, it’s very patriotic to say something nasty about your own country.’ You know what? No it’s not. It’s treasonous.”

He has called for all Muslims to be ‘eradicated’ …

“These people need to be eradicated from Western Europe, they need to be eradicated from the United States, they need to be eradicated, I would say, pretty much from everywhere, because they have shown time and time again—whether you’re a peaceful Muslim, whether you’re a radical Muslim—you’ve shown time and time again that you just cannot deal and cope with being in a civilized society. So we’ve got to do something about it.”

I could go on and on, but you get the idea.  Why is this man allowed to say these things on the airwaves?  Because of the 1st Amendment right to free speech.  I think by now you all know that I fully support the right to free speech and freedom of the press.  But, I’ve said more than a few times, with every right comes an accompanying responsibility to use that right with conscience.  Josh Bernstein is taking his right, but not exercising his conscience.

Picture a white supremacist, or a hater of gay people, or an Islamophobe sitting at his computer one night, watching one of Bernstein’s videos calling for the execution of President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Robert Mueller, or just ‘liberals’ in general.  The man has a few guns, maybe a few beers under his belt, and decides to take up the gauntlet.  I don’t need to paint the picture, do I, for we’ve seen it far too many times already.

Remember last October when Cesar Sayoc sent pipe bombs through the U.S. mail to a number of prominent Democrats and Trump critics, as well as CNN?  Fortunately, he was stupid, the bombs were discovered, and nobody was hurt.  But, what about next time, or the time after?  Remember the mosque shootings in Philadelphia last year and New Zealand this year?  What inspired those killers?

I think that the time has come to draw a line somewhere.  Alex Jones’ conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook school shooting has had terrible consequences for the families of children who died in that horrific event.  In December 2016, Edgar Maddison Welch entered Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., armed and planning to kill whomever he came across.  His inspiration was the conspiracy theory that would become known as Pizzagate.

Words have consequences.  While I would not wish to stifle the ability of the press or anyone else to speak freely and offer an opinion, I think we must draw the line at calling for the death of another.  Mr. Bernstein just happened to cross my radar, but how many more are out there calling for the death of an individual or a group that we don’t know about?  I think that when you allow a right or a privilege to be abused, it ultimately ceases to be a right.  Think about it.

Just A Few More Snarky Snippets

My friends … I don’t even know where to begin today.  When they say, ‘truth is stranger than fiction’, they aren’t kidding!  Nobody, in their wildest dreams, could have written the script for the madness and mayhem that is the federal government of the ‘United’ States today.


Good grief …

good griefFirst on the agenda is the fact that Trump’s approval rating has climbed.  He still hasn’t hit 50%, but according to the latest Gallup poll, he is at 46%, while according to the FiveThirtyEight aggregate of polls, he has climbed to 42.7, a 1.5% jump since last Thursday.  Why?  The only thing I can figure out is because his base, who largely do not bother to investigate facts, believe him when he says the Mueller report “completely exonerated” him.  It didn’t, and in fact it pointed out at least ten instances where he was guilty of obstruction that would have landed him in jail if he were not president.  But, Trump supporters don’t read the report.  They also don’t question why he is going to so much trouble to keep Mueller, McGahn and others from testifying if he believes he is exonerated.  They don’t ask why he isn’t encouraging those testimonies that would show us mean ol’ liberals just how innocent he is.

What’s even more concerning is that the jump in his approval rating is not necessarily among republicans but rather democrats and independents!  Among Democrats where Trump’s job approval has improved the most month-to-month, just 4% approved of the job he was doing in March compared to 10% who said the same in April. Independents went from 33% job approval for Trump in March to 39% in April.  Now, I don’t put much faith in the numbers of the polls, for each is biased in its own way, but it’s the trend that is relevant.  What the Sam Heck has he said or done that has democrats swaying in his favour?  Anybody?


Can he do that?

President-Elect Donald Trump Holds Meetings At Trump Tower

Judge Napolitano

Second, let’s talk about freedom of the press, shall we?  Remember a week or so ago Gronda wrote a piece about Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, Senior legal analyst for Fox News, who wrote an OpEd whereby he opined that Trump is, in fact, guilty of obstruction of justice and should be charged as such.  Trump, needless to say, was not happy with the man who he once referred to as a “very talented legal mind”.  I made a comment at the time on Gronda’s post that I wondered how long it will be before he is relieved of his duties at Fox.  And now, Trump is hinting at just that just that to happen.

Trump retweeted an obscure Twitter account on Sunday morning …

trump-re-tweetIf Trump were just anybody, one might overlook it and say he was just blowing off some steam.  But, for better or for worse … mostly worse … he is the president of a nation of some 330 million people and thus is to be held to a higher standard than Joe Blow. This one bears watching, my friends, for this is about more than a difference of opinion or a dispute between Trump and the judge … this one may set a precedent in terms of freedom of the press.


And about those pesky subpoenas …

Last Thursday, Trump said he did not believe he would allow former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify to committees in Congress, saying McGahn had already spoken to the special counsel on the Russia probe.

“I would say it’s done. I’ve had him testifying already for 30 hours.”

I am not a lawyer and hesitate to make a proclamation about what can or cannot be done, but I’ve done a bit of research and as best I can tell a private citizen, which McGahn is and Mueller will soon be, does not have to take orders from the ‘man’ in the Oval Office.  Now, if he were being asked to testify about state secrets or the location of nuclear weapons stashes, that would be a different story.  But, McGahn is being asked only to clarify and elucidate his previous testimony before the special counsel.

Trump is also attempting to keep Mueller from testifying.  It was assumed that Mueller would resign from the DOJ in April, and I have no idea why the delay, unless it is for this very reason, to keep him from testifying.

And Attorney General William Barr has both ignored the summons to testify before the House Judiciary Committee last week, and refused to release the unredacted Mueller report as requested by subpoena by the deadline yesterday.

Mick Mulvaney, acting as White House Chief of Staff, said in early April that the democrats would never see Trump’s tax returns.  This was in response to a subpoena for six years’ worth of returns, something that every other president since Reagan has submitted voluntarily.  Then yesterday, Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin refused to allow the Internal Revenue Service to release Trump’s tax returns.

ENOUGH!!!!!!!!

Either Donald Trump wants to be the president or he does not.  He cannot be considered the leader of this nation if he cannot even be held accountable to We the People who are paying his salary.  And before any of you say, “but he doesn’t take a salary” … yes, he does receive a salary.  If he donates it somewhere, that is his choice, but he does receive a salary of $400,000 per year.  As comedian Seth Meyers said, Trump should pay his taxes instead of donating his salary. And what are we getting in return?  Obstruction of justice, corruption extraordinaire, destruction of our environment, an average of twelve blatant lies each day, incited divisiveness of our nation, and a ‘man’ who believes himself to be above the law of the land.

Imagine what would happen if either you or I simply ignored or willfully defied a subpoena? Anybody know how to bake a cake with a saw in it? We do not have a president, folks, we have an autocratic wanna-be dictator who has trampled our Constitution, has trampled our democracy, and is trampling on our lives.


And now that I have managed to raise your blood pressure by at least 30 points, I shall leave you to ponder while I go clean my kitchen.  I had a bit of a cooking mishap this evening and there are grease and rice sticks all over the place!  Ever deep fry rice sticks?  I’ll tell you all about it later.

A Terrorist By Any Other Name …

On February 15th, just over two months ago, Christopher Paul Hasson, a U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant and white supremacist was arrested after federal investigators uncovered a cache of weapons and ammunition in his Maryland home.  His plan was, in his words …

“I am dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the earth.”

Christopher-Hasson

Christopher Hasson

Hasson had a ‘hit list’ that included almost every journalist who has been critical of Donald Trump, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and most of the democratic candidates for president in 2020, among others.  He had been searching the internet for the home addresses of two Supreme Court justices.

Now, if Mr. Hasson had been an immigrant from anywhere in the Middle East, he would have been labeled a terrorist and treated accordingly, right?  But … Hasson is Caucasian, and thus rather than calling a spade a bloody shovel and charging him with domestic terrorism, what did the Department of Justice do?  They charged him with weapons and drugs violations … not plotting to murder, not terrorism, just weapons and drugs.  But wait … now for the really great news …

Judge Charles Day

Judge Charles Day

On Thursday, United States magistrate Judge Charles Bernard Day of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland decided to grant bail to Mr. Hasson and release him from jail pending trial.  If he had been charged with domestic terrorism, as would have been right and proper, he would not be eligible for bail or release, but since he wasn’t, his public defender argues that her client hadn’t made any direct or specific threats to harm anyone. She said prosecutors are seeking to punish Hasson for “private thoughts” that he never shared.

“They have not come forward with evidence that Mr. Hasson is a domestic terrorist because he is not.”

But listen carefully now to a part of her reasoning … she compared Hasson’s racial slurs and targeting of Democrats and the media to similar views that Trump has taken and said his hit list “looks like the sort of list that our commander in chief might have compiled while watching Fox News in the morning.”

Does anybody care to give me that argument again that Donald Trump’s horrendous attacks on those he perceives as his ‘enemies’ are not causing harm?  NEVER in the history of this nation have we had a president who bullied as he does, who referred to our free press as “the enemy of the people”, and who threatened any and all who cross him.  NEVER! 

When Trump was asked his opinion of the Hasson case, he replied that he thought it was ‘sad’.  When asked if he believed some of his harsh language might have played a part in Hasson’s plot, he replied that his “language is very nice”.

Joe Scarborough of Morning Joe is one of the names on the list.  His wife and fellow anchor, Mika Brzezinski, is understandably upset, saying …

“I think Trump’s doing this. How can I not do that math in my mind that the attorney general is making a clear decision here to make sure the lives of people who are being targeted continue to be in danger because they will not put together the pieces of this case? A stockpile of weapons, a list of people that he wants to kill. Are you serious? There’s no way not to let this guy walk? You’ve got to be kidding me.”

Oyer also said Hasson has had a lifelong interest in firearms and likes to hunt and target practice. She said the number of guns he owned isn’t unusual in North Carolina, where he lived for years before moving to Maryland.  Oh for Pete’s sake … give us credit for not being totally stupid, Ms. Oyer!

Hasson-stash

Part of the stash found in Hasson’s home

And thus, because Hasson was not properly charged, he will likely walk out of jail one morning next week, a free man, at least until his trial.

Hasson pleaded not guilty last month to charges of illegal possession of firearm silencers, possession of firearms by a drug addict and unlawful user, and possession of a controlled substance. He faces a maximum of 31 years in prison if convicted of all four counts in his indictment.  Thirty-one years.  And a conviction on all counts seems unlikely at this point, even though the evidence is plentiful.  But think about something else.  Even if Hasson is sentenced the full 31 years … wait for it … Donald Trump could pardon him.

I shall leave you to ponder on that one.

Couple of Things You May Have Missed …

Stepping away from the chaos that has everybody mesmerized, I find that there are other things happening that nobody seems to have noticed.  I am determined to write about something other than Trump, Mueller, Barr and others for at least one post.  It’s already causing my blood pressure to be through the ceiling and my mood to be pitch black.  But, do you know how hard it is in the U.S. mainstream media to find anything that does not even mention Trump?  Damn. Near. Impossible.  Anyway, here are a couple of things you may have missed …


Free Press endangered …

Reporters Sans Frontières, or Reporters Without Borders, issued their annual report last week, and predictably the United States did not fare well.  Oh sure, our reporters are safer than those in, say, Saudi Arabia, but we have lost ground and gone from being considered “satisfactory” to “problematic”.  Out of the 180 countries ranked by the group, the U.S. dropped to #48 this year.

“Never before have US journalists been subjected to so many death threats or turned so often to private security firms for protection.”

Ten journalists have been physically attacked so far this year, and 89 since Trump took office in 2017.  When Trump called the media “the enemy of the people”, he opened a can of worms. reporters-safety.pngIn January, reporter Tina-Desiree Berg was interviewing people outside of a regional meeting of the California Democratic Party when a woman upset by her questions stole her phone and hit her.  Just this past Tuesday, Tennessee Highway Patrol threatened several reporters with arrest and blocked them from continuing reporting while they were covering a sit-in protest outside Governor Bill Lee’s office in Nashville.

Then there was the pastor of Relentless Church in Greenville, South Carolina, who threatened …

“I cut people. I got a knife right in that pocketbook. Greenville News, come on. We done went through this. I’m still here, and guess who else is still going to be here?”

Apparently, she failed grammar in school.  Relentless Church’s new leaders, pastors John and Aventer Gray, had recently been the subjects of investigative reporting by Greenville News, which wrote in January 2019 how John Gray lives in a nearly $2 million home funded by the church. In another piece, Greenville News covered lavish personal purchases he made for his wife.Capital Gazette killingsAnd then, of course, there was the mass shooting on June 28, 2018 at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland, where five people, four of them journalists, were killed and two others injured.  The gunman, Jarrod Ramos, was upset with the paper’s reporting of his court case, among other things.

We live in troubled times, times when we cannot trust our federal government, for there is more corruption among the nation’s leaders than at any other time in history.  Our last bastion of defense against the top leaders seizing power and taking our voice away is the free press.  You may not always agree with them, and there are times they don’t get everything right, but they are what keeps this nation relatively free from oppression and dictatorship.  Honour them, respect the job they are doing, and yes, call them on the carpet when they screw up, but always … always support our free press.free press


Vigilantes, not ‘patriots’ …

The man’s name is Larry Mitchell Hopkins. He has been operating under the alias of Johnny Horton, Jr., and has a FaceBook account under that name, used mostly to spread hate and collect donations.  He is the self-professed ‘leader’ of a band of vigilantes who operate under the name of “United Constitutional Patriots (UCP)”.  This group, based in New Mexico and denounced by the ACLU as “racists and armed vigilantes”, has been seizing children and their parents in a stretch of the New Mexico desert near El Paso, then handing them over to Customs and Border Patrol.  They are not operating under the authority of any department or agency of the United States government, but merely have taken it upon themselves to terrorize migrants crossing the border in New Mexico.

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, as well as the state’s two democratic Senators, Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich have condemned the group and its actions, saying it is unacceptable and must stop immediately.  However, republican Gavin Clarkson, a former Trump administration employee who now happens to be running for the U.S. Senate next year, met with masked members of the group in March and praised their efforts. UCPThe group claims to be sanctioned and working closely with Border Patrol, which if true, is in violation of the law.  Border patrol agents deny that such a relationship exists, but … border patrol agents are seen in the periphery of several videos the group has uploaded.  The group also claims to be a 501(c)(3) non-profit.  They are not.  However, that doesn’t stop them from soliciting donations.

Larry-Hopkins

Larry Hopkins

Back to the ‘leader’ of this group, Larry Hopkins.  He has three previous felony convictions dating back to 1996. In 2006 he was convicted for impersonating an officer and felony firearm possession.  He is a conspiracy-theorist who claims to be in direct and frequent contact with Donald Trump.  Yesterday, Mr. Hopkins was arrested by the FBI on charges of firearms possession by a felon.  Further charges are expected to be brought.

The FBI began investigating Hopkins after receiving reports that the United Constitutional Patriots were targeting Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton and George Soros for assassination because “these individuals’ support of Antifa.”  If no other charges are brought, Mr. Hopkins could face up to 10 years in prison.  Think about it … ten lousy years for terrorizing small children and their parents seeking asylum in the U.S.  Ten lousy years for promoting hate and plotting to murder prominent and innocent U.S. citizens.

The group, UCP, meanwhile remains active, refusing to break camp.  According to the spokesman, Jim Benvie, they have no intention of stopping their activities.  PayPal and GoFundMe have both banned the group, making it harder for them to collect donations, and Union Pacific railroad has stopped them from trespassing on their land.  I don’t understand why only Hopkins was arrested … they are all operating outside the law and should be stopped, one way or another.


And that’s all I have for this morning, folks.  Here’s a thought for you, though …human-spirit

A New Batch … Hot Off The Press!

Some days I think I have turned into a huge cynic, a shrew, and I remonstrate with myself about it.  Now, I’ve told you before about these three-way conversations with Me, Myself, and I, right?  Well, in this particular conversation. Myself convinced Me that it wasn’t my fault I was turning into an untrusting, cynical human being, and I thanked Myself, while Me felt a bit hurt and left out.  Confused yet?  Welcome to my mind!  Anyway … today I am feeling like a bit of mockery at the expense of Trump & Co., for they deserve it, and it makes me happy.  So … snarky snippets it is!


And the award goes to …

Donald Trump has mentioned a few times that he believes he will be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.  It galls him to no end that his nemesis, President Obama, earned the award, and he has not a snowball’s chance.  However, there is one person in our government today who is being honoured with a prestigious award.  Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, is to be awarded the 2019 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. Nancy-PelosiCaroline Kennedy, the daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, said in a statement Sunday that Ms. Pelosi is “the most important woman in American political history.” Pelosi is being honored because of her efforts to pass former President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care law and for helping Democrats reclaim control of the U.S. House during last year’s elections.  Kennedy said Pelosi “leads with strength, integrity and grace under pressure.”

The award will be presented to Pelosi on May 19 during a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.  I smile thinking of what Trump must have said when he first heard this news.  😊

trump tantrum


And speaking of awards …

The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation, founded in 2014, advocates for the safety of journalists and the release of Americans held hostage abroad.  Each year at its annual dinner, the foundation issues a “hostage freedom award” to someone for “courageous work for hostage recovery, press freedom, and humanitarian efforts”.  This year, the award was initially planned to go to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but the foundation changed its mind because of what it felt was an inadequate response by the administration to the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Pompeo did not take the loss of the award with good grace, however.

“I regret that there was pressure applied by the media for that award to be withdrawn.”

Ultra-conservative Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen did not miss an opportunity to accuse and abuse the media, saying that the award was rescinded only because “media partners’ promised to boycott the event if Pompeo got the award”.

If you can’t somehow blame the democrats, then blame the media, eh?  However, the foundation published a “Letter to the Editor” of The Washington Post on Friday …

“The decision with respect to the James W. Foley Hostage Advocate award was mischaracterized in Marc A. Thiessen’s April 4 column … While it is accurate that our foundation intended to present our hostage freedom award to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and we extended the invitation to him on Nov. 19, 2018, we ultimately decided we could not present the award as planned because of the dramatic change in circumstances when the Trump administration did not press for genuine accountability from the Saudi government for the brutal murder of Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi. We communicated the reason for this decision to the secretary’s team on Jan. 11.

Our decision had nothing to do with whether we received media pressure. In addition to advocating for the safe return of U.S. hostages abroad, the protection of free speech and promotion of journalists’ safety are key pillars of our foundation, and this award would have been in conflict with that key principle.”

Simple, straightforward, and honest, but Pompeo exhibits the same character flaw that his boss does … he is a sore loser.  Suck it up, Mike.


Even dumber than Kellyanne …

Donald Trump has a ‘campaign press secretary’.  I had never seen her until yesterday when she swooped across my radar.  As I read the headline, I thought … this one is even dumber than Kellyanne!  And that, folks, is a tough act to follow!

Her name is Kayleigh McEnany and she is actually just about to become 31 years of age, though I wouldn’t have guessed it based on what I’ve seen so far.  I think you can see, even before I go any further, why Trump chose her for his campaign press secretary.

She even looks a bit like Kellyanne … that is, before Kellyanne aged 40 years in a month from having to go behind her boss and pick up his messes. McEnany-3But to the point.  McEnany has pulled some dumber-than-dirt moments in the past year or so, but this one takes the cake.  Yesterday, following the lead of Trump and Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, McEnany claimed that Trump should not be forced to release his tax returns to Congress.  She said that Congress doesn’t have a legitimate reason to ask for them.  (Forgive her, but she’s likely never heard of the word ‘ethics’ before).  Her reasoning?  Because Congress isn’t asking for the tax returns of other presidents.  Let that one sink in just a minute, folks.

“Ironically, the only person whose tax returns they’ve asked for — the only president — is Trump. So it’s a sham reasoning.”

Oh, Kayleigh … please … do go back to school!  I hear they offer GED courses at most community colleges?  You’re definitely not ready for this job!

McEnany-4

Wow!  Really???

Now, as we all know, every other president starting with Nixon has released their tax returns voluntarily, so Congress never had a need to demand them.  And even if that weren’t the case … none of those other guys are president today!

President Barack Obama released his tax returns for every year between 2000 and 2015. President George W. Bush released his returns for 2000 through 2007. President Bill Clinton made public his returns from 1992 to 1999 (and then his wife, 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton released their returns from 2000 to 2016).  And Trump?  Not. One. Single. Year.

If you ask me, Trump is down to dredging the bottom of the barrel to find people willing to work in the chaos that defines the current administration.


And on that note, I shall go see what other mischief I can dig up.

They Just Keep Coming … Snarky Snippets

While I’ve always been known for having a quick comeback, and rarely at a loss for words, sometimes snarky, acerbic words, I have never in all my life had as much cynicism and snarkiness bubbling from my being as I do these days!  I hope you aren’t tiring yet of snarky snippets, for they just keep rolling right off my fingertips!  Whatever will I do if things ever return to a semi-normal state in this world?sarcasm-quote-1


Surely you jest!

This morning, when I opened The Washington Post’s website, the first headline I saw was this:

With social program fights, some in GOP fear being seen as the party of the 1 percent

And I darn near choked on my coffee!  “Seen as the party of the 1 percent”?  No, they are the party of the 1%!

“A spate of policy moves in recent weeks by Republican lawmakers and Trump administration officials has driven the party’s agenda hard to the right, giving new fodder to Democratic presidential candidates eager to shift the national debate to such issues as health care and jobs ahead of the 2020 election.

The administration’s budget released this month, for example, includes massive rollbacks of programs including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security Disability Insurance, as well as cuts to the Special Olympics, Meals on Wheels, and programs related to autism and other developmental disabilities.

The policy blitz reflects the deeply conservative agenda at the core of Trump’s administration. It is led by many influential aides and appointees who are unflinching ideologues, even as Trump prefers to call himself a “nationalist” or a businessman with “common sense.”

Coupled with fallout from the 35-day government shutdown that ended in January and a GOP tax plan that delivered major benefits to the wealthy, Republicans once again find themselves on the defensive — fending off Democrats who say they’re not just the party of Trump but also of the rich and powerful.”

class-systemThus far, ever since 2010, I have not seen so much as an ounce of compassion for those who are, shall we say, less than wealthy, from the Republican Party.  I think that what Bill O’Reilly said after the Las Vegas massacre speaks their motto best:  “This is the price of freedom.” No, republicans, this is the price for letting a bunch of greedy, wealthy old men run the country.


Who does he think he is???

Did you hear that Trump wants The Washington Post and the New York Times to have their Pulitzer prizes rescinded?  Why?  Because the joint prize was awarded for their coverage of the Mueller investigation.  Ahem. Who does he think he is and in what country does he think he is living?  Would one of his staff please slap his face a few times and wake him up?

“So funny that The New York Times & The Washington Post got a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage (100% NEGATIVE and FAKE!) of Collusion with Russia – And there was No Collusion! So, they were either duped or corrupt? In any event, their prizes should be taken away by the Committee!”

fascism.jpgThe New York Times’ communications team tweeted: “We’re proud of our Pulitzer-prize winning reporting on Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. Every @nytimes article cited has proven accurate.”

Don Junior re-tweeted Trump’s tweet … of course … he is naught but a parrot.


NEVER another Trump in the White House!!!

Kushner IncSpeaking of Junior … a new book was published two weeks ago by British-born author Vicky Ward, titled Kushner, Inc., about Jared and Ivanka’s “rise to power”.  I have not read the book, nor am I likely to, but one thing I found interesting in the synopsis I read is that Junior and Ivanka are in a bit of a dispute … over which will be the next Trump in the White House.  I was horrified!  One Trump in the White House has been one too many!  NEVER AGAIN!!! 

According to the summary of the book …

“Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are the self-styled Prince and Princess of America. Their swift, gilded rise to extraordinary power in Donald Trump’s White House is unprecedented and dangerous. In Kushner, Inc., investigative journalist Vicky Ward digs beneath the myth the couple has created, depicting themselves as the voices of reason in an otherwise crazy presidency, and reveals that Jared and Ivanka are not just the President’s chief enablers: they, like him, appear disdainful of rules, of laws, and of ethics. They are entitled inheritors of the worst kind; their combination of ignorance, arrogance, and an insatiable lust for power has caused havoc all over the world, and may threaten the democracy of the United States.jared-ivankaWard follows their trajectory from New Jersey and New York City to the White House, where the couple’s many forays into policy-making and national security have mocked long-standing U.S. policy and protocol. They have pursued an agenda that could increase their wealth while their actions have mostly gone unchecked. In Kushner, Inc., Ward holds Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump accountable: she unveils the couple’s self-serving transactional motivations and how those have propelled them into the highest levels of the US government where no one, the President included, has been able to stop them.”

Go figure.


Betsy, Betsy, Betsy … 🙄

Ms. DeVos may have been thrown under the bus regarding her budget line that would have de-funded the Special Olympics, but that doesn’t stop her from coming up with still more really ridiculous ideas.  The latest?  She has decided, contrary to decades of study and data, that a higher student-to-teacher ratio (ie., larger classes, fewer teachers) is actually better for students.  But then, remember, this is the same woman who long ago advocated guns in classrooms in case of a bear attack!

“There is no evidence that the Federal taxpayer investments in existing professional development programs or class-size reduction have meaningfully improved student outcomes. In fact, students may be better served by being in larger classes, if by hiring fewer teachers, a district or state can better compensate those who have demonstrated high ability and outstanding results.”

When asked where she got that information, DeVos was unable to cite any research or study.  Take a look for yourself

And THIS is the Secretary of Education???  Seriously???  Oh my aching head.


Okay folks, I’ve taken up enough of your weekend, so I now return you to your regularly scheduled … or preferably spontaneous … weekend activities!  Have fun!