Just Don’t Answer …

Last week, the Supreme Court did its job.  It told the Trump administration that it would not approve of Trump’s ignominious citizenship question on the 2020 census form, for it is basically a poorly-disguised attempt to discriminate against Hispanics for political gain.  I agreed with that assessment and the Court’s decision, though I did not agree with Chief Justice John Roberts giving Trump lawyers an opportunity to come up with a better ‘rationale’.  In other words, “go think up a more credible lie”.citizenship questionThe Justice Department appeared ready to give up the ghost and sent word that they were conceding and would abide by the decision of the Supreme Court.  But then, apparently Trump threw a royal tantrum, and within hours, the Justice Department was back in the news saying that no, they decided to pursue the matter, and that all lawyers would be required to cancel their Fourth of July plans to spend the day ‘brainstorming’ to come up with that ‘better rationale’.

Apparently, all the king’s lawyers and all the king’s men couldn’t put together a plausible excuse as to why they want to add the loaded citizenship question to the census.  Now here comes the part that should sent chills down your spine.  Trump announced that he is considering an executive order to circumvent the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, the final authority on all legal questions and disputes.  He is considering an executive order to add the citizenship question.  He is considering an executive order, in essence, to say that he, Donald J. Trump, is the only and final law, and that no other laws apply to him.

Think about that one for a minute.

I said long ago that his use of executive orders was not only excessive, but bordered on being illegal.  But, if he chooses to go this route, there is one last option:  Congress can overturn an executive order by passing legislation that invalidates it.  But, of course, there’s the rub.  The Senate is having a “let’s sit on our asses and not pass a damn thing” session, and even in the House, it is doubtful that any such legislation could attain a veto-proof (2/3) majority because the House Freedom Caucus would no doubt vote against any such legislation.

And so, I say to you, my friends … if Trump signs an executive order demanding that a citizenship question be included in next year’s census, then there is no law that applies to Donald Trump.

Think about that one for another minute.

What do you have when a person at the head of government is not constrained one bit by anything … not the legislature, not the highest court in the land?  What you have is not a president, nor a prime minister, what you have is a dictator or a king.  Since Trump has no royal blood, he cannot be a king, and so … Heil Herr Trump.

I urge you, if the question is on the census form next year, to skip over it … DO NOT ANSWER IT!  Most people in the U.S. who are reading this blog are citizens, most born in the U.S., but it doesn’t matter … DO NOT ANSWER THAT QUESTION!  I definitely will not answer it.  I have skipped questions in prior year’s census that I felt were invasive or just flat out none of their damn business, and I absolutely will not answer this one!

Good News/Bad News

The good news is I’ve got my re-blog button back, and I am told that my ability to re-blog other’s posts has been restored as well, though I haven’t tested that yet.  Apparently during the muck-up the other night, WordPress installed some plug-ins, unbeknownst to me, and they were interfering with several things.

The bad news is that to fix the problem, WordPress had to restore my blog to a point before the troubles started, which was June 30th, so all my posts from yesterday and today are …

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As well as comments, etc., etc.  WordPress had me export the data to a file, which I did, then she reset my blog, but when I imported the data, an error occurred, and after working for 3 hours to get it resolved, I finally gave up.  So … I can recreate those posts, but I’m not sure I have the energy left to do so.  I may re-create “Killing Children”, for that was an important one, but I’m not sure yet.

I shall start fresh tomorrow.  Thanks for your patience … hopefully this is the end of this nightmare.  Sigh.

Humour To End The Week …

It’s Friday … finally!  The end of a loooooong week for us all.  Let’s start the weekend off on the right foot … let’s laugh at some of the stupidity of our government.  We can effect change over time, but there is no immediate solution, so that which you cannot change … you laugh at!


One of the two biggest stories of the week was Trump kicking off his 2020 campaign.  Now, I don’t understand why this is a big deal, considering he registered to run for re-election on the very day he was inaugurated after stealing his first election!  But, a big deal was made by the trumpians, so it made the news.

2020-Trump2020-Trump-22020-Trump-3Bruce Plante Cartoon: Trump launches 2020 Campaign2020-Trump-52020-Trump-6


And the democrats mostly launched their campaigns already, though with somewhat less fanfare …

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COLOR


The second big news item was the escalation of tensions between Trump and Iran.  Note that I did not say ‘between the U.S. and Iran’, for this attempt to bully Iran into a war is solely a creation of team Trump-Pompeo-Bolton … the rest of us have no interest in starting a new war in the Middle East, especially one that is built on lies and false premises.

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The immigrant situation at the southern border continues, or perhaps worsens as Trump announced that he is going to deport some 11 million immigrants … the fact that it isn’t true matters not to his base, for as long as he says it, they lap it up like a cat laps up cream …

immigrationTom Toles Editorial Cartoon - tt_c_c190517.tifimmigration-3immigration-4


The media was its own news this week, when the New York Times announced the firing of its political cartoonists (baaaad move) and when Trump announced that his primary mouthpiece, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, would be leaving at the end of June (YAY!!!)

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A few ‘toons about the abomination that is Trump …

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Have a great weekend, my friends!

This Speaks Volumes …

Last night I came across this editorial from the Editorial Board at the Orlando Sentinel.  It speaks for itself …

Orlando-Sentinel.jpgOur Orlando Sentinel endorsement for president in 2020: Not Donald Trump | Editorial

By ORLANDO SENTINEL EDITORIAL BOARD

| ORLANDO SENTINEL |

JUN 18, 2019 | 5:30 AM

Donald Trump is in Orlando to announce the kickoff of his re-election campaign.

We’re here to announce our endorsement for president in 2020, or, at least, who we’re not endorsing: Donald Trump.

Some readers will wonder how we could possibly eliminate a candidate so far before an election, and before knowing the identity of his opponent.

Because there’s no point pretending we would ever recommend that readers vote for Trump.

After 2½ years we’ve seen enough.

Enough of the chaos, the division, the schoolyard insults, the self-aggrandizement, the corruption, and especially the lies.

So many lies — from white lies to whoppers — told out of ignorance, laziness, recklessness, expediency or opportunity.

Trump’s capacity for lying isn’t the surprise here, though the frequency is.

It’s the tolerance so many Americans have for it.

There was a time when even a single lie — a phony college degree, a bogus work history — would doom a politician’s career.

Not so for Trump, who claimed in 2017 that he lost the popular vote because millions of people voted illegally (they didn’t). In 2018 he said North Korea was no longer a nuclear threat (it is). And in 2019 he said windmills cause cancer (they don’t). Just last week he claimed the media fabricated unfavorable results from his campaign’s internal polling (it didn’t).

According to a Washington Post database, the president has tallied more than 10,000 lies since he took office.

Trump’s successful assault on truth is the great casualty of this presidency, followed closely by his war on decency.

Trump insults political opponents and national heroes alike with middle-school taunts. He demonstrates no capacity for empathy or remorse. He misuses his office to punish opponents, as when he recently called for a boycott of AT&T to get even with his least favorite media outlet, CNN. He tears down institutions, once airily suggesting the U.S. should try having a leader for life as China now allows. He seems incapable of learning a lesson, telling an ABC interviewer last week — just two months after Robert Mueller’s report on election interference was released — that he would accept dirt on an opponent from Russia or China.

Trump has diminished our standing in the world. He reneges on deals, attacks allies and embraces enemies.

This nation must never forget that humiliating public moment in Helsinki in 2018 when the president of the United States chose to accept Vladimir Putin’s denials of Russian interference in the 2016 election over the unanimous assessment of the American intelligence community.

Such a betrayal by a U.S. president would have been the unforgivable political sin in normal times.

As if that’s not enough, Trump declares his love for North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, a genuine villain who starves and enslaves his people and executes his enemies with antiaircraft guns and flamethrowers.

But he wrote the president a “beautiful letter.” Flattery will get you everywhere with this president, and that’s dangerous.

Domestically, the president’s signature issue — immigration — has moved in fits and starts. Happily, he abandoned pursuing an outright — and unconstitutional — ban on Muslims entering the U.S., opting instead to restrict travel for people from a handful of nations, most of them majority Muslim.

He’s tried separating families, sending troops to the border and declaring a national emergency. For all of that, illegal border crossings are, as the president himself calls it, at crisis levels.

He blames House Democrats because casting blame is Trump’s forte. But Republicans controlled the House and the Senate for two full years. That seemed like an ideal time to fix what the president believes ails our immigration laws.

Even with Democrats now controlling the House, where is Trump’s much-touted deal-making mojo, an attribute he campaigned on?

“But the economy!”

Yes, the market has done well since Trump’s election.

The S&P 500 was up about 21% between Trump’s inauguration and May 31 of his third year in office. Under President Obama, it was up about 56% in that same period.

Unemployment is headed down, as it was during seven straight years under Obama.

Wages are up, and that’s a welcome change. But GDP increases so far are no better than some periods under Obama. Deficit spending under Obama was far too high, in part because of the stimulus needed to dig out of the Great Recession. Under Trump, it’s still headed in the wrong direction, once again pushing $1 trillion even though the economy is healthy.

Trump seems to care nothing about the deficit and the national debt, which once breathed life into the Tea Party.

Through all of this, Trump’s base remains loyal. Sadly, the truest words Trump might ever have spoken was when he said he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose his supporters.

This non-endorsement isn’t defaulting to whomever the Democrats choose. This newspaper has a history of presidential appointments favoring Republicans starting in the mid-20th century. Except for Lyndon Johnson in 1964, the Sentinel backed Republican presidential nominees from 1952 through 2004, when we recommended John Kerry over another four years of George W. Bush.

As recently as 2012 we recommended Republican Mitt Romney because of what seemed at the time to be Obama’s failure to adequately manage the nation’s finances.

If — however unlikely — a Republican like Romney, now a senator from Utah, or former Ohio Gov. John Kasich successfully primaried the president, we would eagerly give them a look. Same if an independent candidate mounted a legitimate campaign.

We’d even consider backing Trump if, say, he found the proverbial cure for cancer or — about as likely — changed the essence of who he is (he won’t).

The nation must endure another 1½ years of Trump. But it needn’t suffer another four beyond that.

We can do better. We have to do better.


The comments ran about 2-1 in agreement with the Sentinel, praising its high standards and integrity in taking this stand.  I think it speaks volumes when a newspaper that has consistently endorsed republican candidates for more than half a century refuses to endorse this republican incumbent, Donald Trump.

I Can’t Seem To Stop The Snarky …

Will there ever come a day that I don’t have an excess of angst just bubbling over, demanding to put fingers to the keyboard and words to the page?  I have my doubts.


On Sunday morning, Trump posted the following tweet that was liked by 52 thousand mindless people:

“A poll should be done on which is the more dishonest and deceitful newspaper, the Failing New York Times or the Amazon (lobbyist) Washington Post! They are both a disgrace to our Country, the Enemy of the People, but I just can’t seem to figure out which is worse? The good news is that at the end of 6 years, after America has been made GREAT again and I leave the beautiful White House (do you think the people would demand that I stay longer? KEEP AMERICA GREAT), both of these horrible papers will quickly go out of business & be forever gone!”

There are multiple problems with these brief 103 words.

The first, of course, is that the New York Times is not failing, nor is The Washington Post, and that neither are necessarily dishonest, though they occasionally get it wrong.  Both have made mistakes, and to their credit, they have printed apologies and retractions when necessary.  Neither are “the enemy of the people”, and in fact they are #2 and #3 on my daily source list, preceded only by The Guardian.

The second problem with Trump’s tweet is that Trump is doing nothing that even has the remotest chance of making the United States ‘great’, and it is highly speculative that he will have another six years, at least, if we have such a thing as a fair and honest election in 2020.

And lastly, though perhaps most importantly, is his innuendo that perhaps “people would demand [he] stay longer”.  No.  Effing.  Way.  The United States Constitution which, albeit singed around the edges, remains in place today, is clear on just how long a president may serve, and it is not one single day over eight years.  Trump will be an exception ONLY IF he is, at the end of his term, a dictator rather than a president.  If that happens, I blame every single person who ever voted for him, who ever attended one of his rallies and chanted “lock her up”, or who ever wore a maga hat.


Arthur-Laffer

Arthur Laffer

On Wednesday, Trump will present the Presidential Medal of Freedom to a man named Arthur Laffer. Who, you might ask, is Arthur Laffer?  Laffer is best known for the Laffer curve, an illustration of the concept that there exists some tax rate between 0% and 100% that will result in maximum tax revenue for government.  More to the point, Laffer was an economic advisor to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.  This, more than anything, is why he is receiving the Medal of Freedom.  Like Miriam Adelson, who received the medal last year for no reason other than her and her husband’s magnanimous donations to Trump’s election campaign in 2016. The medal no longer has any meaning for it is now being given as a reward to those who lick Trump’s boots.


Last week ABC News aired an interview on This Week between Donald Trump an ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.  There is quite a bit that was of interest in the interview, and the part where he said he would accept information from a foreign entity about his political opponent if it were offered has already been discussed at some length in the news and other blogs.  But, I want to share with you a bit of the dialogue they had concerning Robert Mueller’s report.  Remember, folks, don’t expect truth from the mouth of da trumpeter …

STEPHANOPOULOS:  What’s your pitch to the swing voter on the fence? 

TRUMP: Safety, security, great economy. I think I’ve done more than any other first-term president ever. I have a phony witch hunt, which is just a phony pile of stuff. Mueller comes out. There’s no collusion. And essentially a ruling that no obstruction. And they keep going with it. You know what? People are angry about it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I don’t think that’s why he found — but we don’t have time for that now. We’ll talk about later.

TRUMP: That is what they found. Excuse me. He found no collusion. And they didn’t find anything having to do with obstruction because they made a ruling based on his findings and they said no obstruction.

STEPHANOPOULOS: They didn’t examine collusion. He laid out evidence of obstruction. 

TRUMP: Oh, are you trying to say now that there was collusion even though he said there was no collusion? 

STEPHANOPOULOS: He didn’t say there’s no collusion. 

TRUMP: He said no collusion.

STEPHANOPOULOS: He said he didn’t look at collusion.

TRUMP: George, the report said no collusion. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: Did you read the report? 

TRUMP: Uh, yes I did, and you should read it, too. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: I read every word.

TRUMP: All right, let’s go. You should read it, too, George.

monday-toon-1It’s reminiscent of an Abbott and Costello clip, don’t you think?  A more stupid man has never sat in the Oval Office.  And then the conversation turned to former White House Counsel Don McGahn, who testified under oath to Robert Mueller’s team that Trump had asked him to fire Mueller, and then later that he had asked him to deny that he had ever asked him.

TRUMP: I don’t care what he says. It doesn’t matter. That was to show everyone what a good counsel he was. Now, he may have gotten confused with the fact that I’ve always said, and I’ve said it to you, and I’ve said to anybody that would listen, Robert Mueller was conflicted. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: But why would Don McGahn lie — … Why would he lie under oath? Why would he lie under oath to Robert Mueller?

TRUMP: Because he wanted to make himself look like a good lawyer. Or — or he believed it because I would constantly tell anybody that would listen, including you, including the media, that Robert Mueller was conflicted. Robert Mueller had a total conflict of interest.

After the interview, he tweeted …

“Think I will do many more Network Interviews, as I did in 2016, in order to get the word out that no President has done what I have in … the first 2 1/2 years of his Presidency, including the fact that we have one of the best Economies in the history of our Country. It is called Earned Media. In any event, enjoy the show!”

I think it is a threat to torture us!  And by the way … Trump’s approval rating based on an aggregate of polls rose from 41.2% to 42.5% just last week … an increase of 1.3%.  Can anybody ‘splain to me what the heck he did last week to make more people like him???


Last but not least, I promised a picture of my latest bumper sticker …

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And now, I return you to your own life, and I am going to knead some onion bread for tonight’s supper.

Seeing Is NOT Believing …

The Associated Press (AP) has begun a weekly feature titled Not Real News: A look at what didn’t happen this week.  The purpose is to cull the fake news that has become widespread in this day of political corruption, video-doctoring, misinformation and more.  I find it a sad, frustrating statement of today’s world that we need such a column, but am glad that someone is stepping up to the plate to try to call out the liars and cheats.

The first story in this week’s roundup is about a doctored video with the intent of discrediting 2020 presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden.  From the AP piece …

CLAIM: Video shows Joe Biden making a “shocking admission.” Biden’s speech also appears to be impaired in the video.

THE FACTS: Democratic presidential candidate Biden did not make any sort of admission. Rather, in the video, he was referencing comments made about him by President Donald Trump. The source footage was slowed down and two clips from it were cut and spliced together to produce this altered video. A social media user who uses the handle @CarpeDonktum posted the altered video to Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Reddit on Wednesday and Thursday, calling it a “shocking admission” and saying it forced him to question Biden’s mental health. @CarpeDonktum, whose Twitter bio says he creates “doctored” videos in support of Trump, told The Associated Press that he had slowed down the video and cut the two clips together. On Reddit, he labeled the video as “doctored” because he said users on Reddit may not be familiar with his parody style videos. “All I do is make parody and funny videos,” he said. “No ill intent behind it.” The manipulated footage taken from ABC News video of Biden at Iowa Wesleyan University was uploaded following President Donald Trump’s remarks this week that Biden was getting slow and referring to him as “Sleepy Joe.” @CarpeDonktum inserted a person walking in front of the camera to hide a cut he made in the video, where he removed part of it and spliced the remaining footage together, so Biden appears to say, “Joe Biden shouldn’t be president. I think I’m either low IQ or slow or I don’t know what I am. Slow Joe Biden.” The editing of the video makes it appear to depict an uninterrupted quote. The deletion of that middle section and the omission of other, earlier parts of the original ABC footage removed context that’s critical to understanding what’s being seen — namely, that Biden was describing what Trump, as well as North Korea’s official news agency, have said about him. The Associated Press reported in May that North Korea’s official news agency had called Biden a “fool of low IQ.” ″He embraces dictators like Kim Jong Un who is a damn murderer and a thug,” Biden says in the original ABC News clip. “The one thing they agree on, Joe Biden shouldn’t be president.” He goes on to reference some of Trump and Kim’s characterization of him as “slow” or having a “low IQ.”

Carpe Donktum’s claim that there was “No ill intent …” is wrong.  Of course there was ‘ill intent’, and even though the discerning viewer, upon seeing this would at the very least question its authenticity, there are many out there who would accept it at face value.  How many people voted for Donald Trump for the sole reason that they didn’t like Hillary Clinton?  A good percentage, based on what I’ve heard and read.  Why didn’t they like Hillary Clinton, who was well-qualified and had an excellent platform?  Because they saw her as unbending, as cold.  Because they were told, falsely, that she was responsible for the loss of life in Benghazi.  Because they believed Trump and the false news who said she had secret emails that had shared information with foreign powers that breached our national security.  Because James Comey said the FBI was considering re-opening an old investigation.  Because … because … because of what they had seen or heard about her, not from her, but about her, most of which was manufactured by the GOP and the Trump campaign with the assistance of Russian trolls.

Most everyone reading this post is smart enough, savvy enough to check sources, double check the veracity of what they see and hear, especially on social media such as Twitter and Facebook, both of whom allowed Russian trolls to disseminate false information on their sites in both 2016 and 2018.  The illicit dirty pool has already begun for next year’s elections, though they are still 17 months away.  And a large number of people are ignorant enough, or lazy enough to believe everything they see and hear on these platforms.

The upcoming election is in grave danger of being the most unfair, dishonest election in the history of this nation, thanks to a corrupt GOP, a corrupt president, and technology that enables such things as doctored video.  Add to that, the largely republican gerrymandered district maps that dilute the votes of the poor and minorities, states that are trying to pass laws making it harder for young and old people to vote, and it is a recipe for disaster.

What can we do about it?  I wish I had an answer for that question.  Personally, I think that Carpe Donktum’s identity should be discovered and he or she should be tried in a court of law for attempting to rig an election, but I’m sure that’s not going to happen.  We must start holding social media sites accountable for ensuring their integrity by rooting out the faux news and blocking them.  If that’s an assault on free speech, then so be it.  I want an honest election … I want everyone to know the truth, not what the GOP and Donald Trump would like them to believe.

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 will 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.