Extremely Snarky Snippets

Oh my, oh my … so much to snark about today that I don’t know where to start!  Let’s start with the ignominious, facinorous Rush Limbaugh, shall we?


Dr. Rush …

One of the most filthy people on the airwaves today is Rush Limbaugh.  He mocks women, people of colour, people with disabilities, LGBT people … just about anyone who isn’t a fat, white male like himself.  A couple of weeks ago, Donald Trump awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, thereby cheapening the value of that medal for all who will receive it in the future.  But … yesterday ol’ Rush surpassed even himself for utter stupidity.

Limbaugh“Folks, this coronavirus thing, I want to try to put this in perspective for you. It looks like the coronavirus is being weaponized as yet another element to bring down Donald Trump. Now, I want to tell you the truth about the coronavirus. You think I’m wrong about this? You think I’m missing it by saying that’s — Yeah, I’m dead right on this. The coronavirus is the common cold, folks.”

The common cold?  Then … why is the World Health Organization (WHO) telling countries to prepare for a pandemic?  He goes on in a rambling speech whereby he likens the Corona virus, or COVID-19, to the drug fentanyl.  I wonder where Rush got his medical degree?  Perhaps one of those claw machines they have in restaurants and amusement places?  And how in the Sam Heck is this going to bring Donald Trump down?  Nobody is blaming him for this one!


Cruelty to animals, maga-style

This is one of the most sickening, disgusting things I have seen of late.  Just ahead of last week’s Democratic debate, a group of jackasses calling themselves Pigeons United to Interfere Now, or PUTIN, glued … yes glued tiny maga hats onto the heads of pigeons in Las Vegas! pigeons-1The political prank was meant to be an “aerial protest piece” against Democratic presidential candidates, who were in the city ahead of the debate, as well as a sign of loyalty to Trump, who was also in the city that night, said the radical group in a statement.

BULLSHIT!  Who gave these jackasses the right to abuse animals to promote yet another jackass???  Angry?  Oh no … I’m not angry … I am furious, enraged, and seething.  I hope the pigeons pooped on the heads of every one of these people!  They even put a tiny trump-like wig on one of them!pigeons-2PETA, the animal rights group, said in a statement …

“These bozos aren’t scoring any points: Stupid pranks like this one are serious business that can interfere with pigeons’ ability to fly, see, and avoid predators, so it’s no surprise that at least one pigeon used in a similar stunt has already died. PETA is no stranger to provocative protests, but whatever your cause or political affiliation, pigeons should be left in peace.”

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


The anti-Greta???

Oh good grief!  While still incensed and enraged over Rush, and the pigeons, I came across this:

The anti-Greta: A conservative think tank takes on the global phenomenon; How a group allied with the Trump administration is paying a German teen to question established climate science.

Apparently, young climate activist Greta Thunberg is getting under some climate deniers’ skin, and so they found themselves a patsy to promote “the other side”.  Of course, the problem is that scientific fact is on Greta’s side, and this ‘other side’ is a fantasy.Naomi-SNaomi Seibt is a 19-year-old German girl who denounces “climate alarmism,” calls climate consciousness “a despicably anti-human ideology,” and has even deployed Greta’s now famous “How dare you?” line to take on the mainstream German media.  Last month, Heartland Institute, an influential libertarian think tank in suburban Chicago that has the ear of the Trump administration, headlined Naomi at its forum at the UN climate conference in Madrid.  Later this week, Naomi is set to make her American debut at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, a high-profile annual gathering just outside Washington of right-leaning activists.

Would someone please tell me what it is the damn republicans don’t understand about:  “We, the human species, are destroying the environment”?  There aren’t any hard words in there.  Scientific data has proven it thousands of times over.  We can see it with our very own eyes, and feel it with just about every breath we take.  But the “conservatives” are apparently a bit on the dense side.

Here’s Naomi’s take on climate change …

“I don’t want to get people to stop believing in man-made climate change, not at all. Are manmade CO2 emissions having that much impact on the climate? I think that’s ridiculous to believe.”

Okay, well … somehow I don’t think Naomi will ever even be in the same orbit as Greta Thunberg, but … nice try, republicans.  No go crawl back under your rocks … and take Naomi with you, for we have serious work to do to try to save life on Earth, and we don’t have time to play your silly games!


Keep him in India … we don’t want him back

Trump is in India … and so are Melania, Ivanka, and Jared.  On our dime.  Why?  I don’t think anybody knows.  Seems the Kushners wanted a vacation, Melania wanted to check out the beautiful silks, and Donnie went along for the ride.  On our dime.  Does anybody have a clue what this will cost us?  And yet … we must slash Medicare Disability, Food Stamps, and cut education funding?  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Oh yeah … and racist primo Stephen Miller and his new bride tagged along too … free honeymoon, I guess.

I must admit a bit of joy, though, when I saw that while Trump was giving a speech, tens of thousands of people simply got up and walked out.  I’m not sure if it was his poor way of speaking, if they didn’t like what he was saying, or if they were just bored and figured they’d rather go watch grass grow.

I still want to know how much this dog-and-pony show cost us … it cost India a fortune – about 1.5% of the government’s annual budget, from what I’ve read, for they even widened some roads, built a 400 meter wall around a slum so Trump wouldn’t see where the poor live, and put up lots of signs like this one …Trump-Modi


Well, folks, I’ve vented enough for one night, and it’s time for me to relieve some stress by … folding a load of laundry, rolling some smokes, and maybe sweeping a floor or two before I go to bed.

Black History Month — Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson died today at the age of 101.  When the ‘breaking news’ flashed across my screen, I was working on a different post, but I quickly switched gears.  Some of you may not recognize her name, so let me tell you just a bit about Ms. Johnson.

Katherine Johnson loved to count.

“I counted everything. I counted the steps to the road, the steps up to church, the number of dishes and silverware I washed … anything that could be counted, I did.”

And so it began for this young girl from West Virginia in the U.S. Born in 1918 in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., Johnson’s love for mathematics was inherent, an inclination she had from birth. At a young age, she was ready and anxious to go to school. She could vividly remember watching her older siblings go to school and wishing so much that she could go with them. The opportunity to attend school finally did come. Johnson so excelled that she began her studies in the second grade, then moved into advanced classes. By age 10, Johnson was in high school.

In school, one teacher stood out to Johnson. Miss Turner taught geometry, and Johnson couldn’t wait to take her class. The teacher was a great encourager to the students and a strong mentor to many of them. Johnson did so well in her classes that she graduated early from high school, and at age 15 she entered West Virginia State College. She had two years before having to declare a major, so Johnson wavered between English, French and mathematics. One of her professors at West Virginia State College helped Johnson with her choice. She told Johnson, “If you don’t show up for my class, I will come and find you.” And so it was, through part threat and part joke, Johnson steered her way into what was already her first love: mathematics.

At West Virginia State College, Johnson became immersed in academia and the mathematics program. She loved being surrounded by smart people, she said, and knew all of the professors and students on campus. One of her professors, the renowned Dr. William W. Schiefflin Claytor, recognized the bright and inquisitive mind that Johnson had. “You’d make a great research mathematician,” he told her. Then professor Claytor did something else. He told Johnson that he would help her become one. Johnson said…

“Many professors tell you that you’d be good at this or that, but they don’t always help you with that career path. Professor Claytor made sure I was prepared to be a research mathematician. Claytor was a young professor himself, and he would walk into the room, put his hand in his pocket, and take some chalk out, and continue yesterday’s lesson. But sometimes I could see that others in the class did not understand what he was teaching. So, I would ask questions to help them. He’d tell me that I should know the answer, and I finally had to tell him that I did know the answer, but the other students did not. I could tell.”

He saw that Johnson took all of the mathematics classes listed in the catalog that were needed to pursue her life’s passion, and even went so far as to create a class in analytic geometry of space just for her. At age 18, Johnson graduated summa cum laude with Bachelor of Science degrees in mathematics and French!

Johnson ended up teaching after college; at that time, teaching was the only option for her in her community. And then one day, at a family function in the 1950s, a relative mentioned to Johnson that the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the predecessor to NASA, was hiring. They were specifically looking for African-American females to work as “computers” in what was then their Guidance and Navigation Department. In the 1950s, pools of women at NACA did calculations that the engineers needed worked or verified. Johnson immediately applied for the job, but the agency already had filled its quota for the year. By the time the next year rolled around, Johnson had applied again and found herself with two contracts on her table. One was a contract to teach, and one was to work for NACA. Remembering what professor Claytor had always told her about becoming a research mathematician, she took the job at NACA.

Johnson began working for NACA in 1953. She started as one of the women who worked on problems assigned from the engineers in what was then the Guidance and Control Branch. As Johnson worked on the problems, she would ask questions. She didn’t want to just do the work — she wanted to know the “hows” and the “whys” and then the “why nots.” None of the other women had ever asked questions before, but by asking questions, Johnson began to stand out. She was told that women didn’t participate in the briefings or attend meetings; she asked if there were a law against it. The answer, of course, was no, and so Johnson began to attend briefings. NACA was just beginning its work on space. Space itself may be perceived as a series of plane surfaces, and as Johnson became known for her training in geometry, she began to work with the team more and more. Eventually, she became known as a leader, and the men increasingly relied on her. She remembers quite clearly her experience at the time.

“The women did what they were told to do. They didn’t ask questions or take the task any further. I asked questions; I wanted to know why. They got used to me asking questions and being the only woman there.”

It was this inquisitive nature that made her a valuable resource to the team and the only woman at the time to ever be pulled from the computing pool to work on other programs.Katherine-Johnson-2In 1957, Katherine provided some of the math for the 1958 document Notes on Space Technology, a compendium of a series of 1958 lectures given by engineers in the Flight Research Division and the Pilotless Aircraft Research Division (PARD). Engineers from those groups formed the core of the Space Task Group, the NACA’s first official foray into space travel, and Katherine, who had worked with many of them since coming to Langley, “came along with the program” as the NACA became NASA later that year.

In 1960, she and engineer Ted Skopinski coauthored Determination of Azimuth Angle at Burnout for Placing a Satellite Over a Selected Earth Position, a report laying out the equations describing an orbital spaceflight in which the landing position of the spacecraft is specified. It was the first time a woman in the Flight Research Division had received credit as an author of a research report.

Then in 1962, President John F. Kennedy charged the country to send a man to the moon. Johnson became part of the team, and she began to work on calculating the trajectory for America’s first space trip with Alan Shepherd’s 1961 mission, an early step toward a moon landing. She went on to do the calculations for the first actual moon landing in 1969.Katherine-Johnson-5In 1962, when NASA used computers to calculate John Glenn’s orbit around Earth, Glenn had one request: He wanted Katherine Johnson to personally recheck the calculations made by the new electronic computers before his flight aboard Friendship 7 – the mission on which he became the first American to orbit the Earth.

Katherine-Johnson-4Johnson worked at the agency until 1986, when she retired after 33 years of service. During her tenure at NASA, Johnson received many prestigious awards, including an honorary Doctor of Law degree and an honorary Doctor of Science degree. In 2015, at age 97, Johnson added another extraordinary achievement to her long list: President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor.

Johnson’s pivotal role, along with others at NASA, was highlighted in the 2016 film Hidden Figures, based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly.  The film was nominated for three Oscars, including best picture. Though it won none, the 98½-year-old Mrs. Johnson received a sustained standing ovation when she appeared onstage with the cast at the Academy Awards ceremony that February.

R.I.P. Ms. Johnson, and the nation thanks you for your great contributions.

 

 

A Really Rotten Choice …

In early 2018, Trump nominated Richard Grenell as U.S. Ambassador to Germany.  I wrote then that Grenell was unfit for any number of reasons, not the least of which were that he was an aid to John Bolton, that he was a frequent contributor to Fox ‘News’, and that he was an outspoken critic of the Iran nuclear agreement.  As if that weren’t sufficient, Grenell had a history of criticizing women, especially those in high-ranking positions.  Grenell might never have been confirmed to the ambassadorial position if there had been equity in the Senate, rather than a republican majority Senate led by the unconscionable Mitch McConnell.

grenell

Richard Grenell

But, he was confirmed, and he went to Germany and almost got himself expelled within the first month, after he criticized Germany’s NATO spending, criticized Chancellor Merkel’s immigration policy, and took sides against Merkel, attempting to incite other EU nations to reject her policies.  All of which, of course, is unthinkable for an ambassador, but … it’s the era of Trump, and Grenell was hand-picked by Trump. Then, just last year, Grenell was back in the news when he had the unmitigated gall to actually criticize the budget proposals of Germany’s finance minister!

Fast forward to yesterday, when Trump named Grenell to be the acting director of national intelligence overseeing the nation’s 17 spy agencies.  Yep, you heard me right, folks.  Now, even with ol’ Moscow Mitch keeping a tight rein on the Senate, this is one that would never fly, so … Trump has simply done what he’s done with so many other cabinet positions, and has made him the ‘acting’, or temporary director.

Grenell has little experience in intelligence or in running a large bureaucracy, but he apparently possesses the one and only qualification that Trump values … personal fealty to Trump.

Since Dan Coats’ resignation from the position of Director of National Intelligence last summer, Joseph Maguire has been serving as acting director.  There is a 210-day limit for acting cabinet members who have not been approved by the Senate, so the end of Mr. Maguire’s time, March 12th, is quickly approaching.  Trump intends Grenell to continue as Ambassador to Germany, while at the same time serving as acting DNI.  Hmmm … does this mean that neither of those jobs require full-time attention, that both are only part-time jobs?  The two combined are paid in excess of $150,000 annually … seems we’ve been paying some pretty high salaries for ‘part-time’ help, doesn’t it?

On Wednesday, Trump tweeted …

“I am pleased to announce that our highly respected Ambassador to Germany, @RichardGrenell, will become the Acting Director of National Intelligence. Rick has represented our Country exceedingly well and I look forward to working with him. I would like to thank Joe Maguire for the wonderful job he has done, and we look forward to working with him closely, perhaps in another capacity within the Administration!”

There was some speculation that Trump intended to nominate Maguire to become the DNI for real, not just acting.  But wait … what’s this?

Sometime Wednesday, shortly before announcing Grenell’s temporary appointment, Trump found out that last week, a high-ranking intelligence officer, Shelby Pierson, reported to House lawmakers in a classified hearing that Russia wants to see President Trump reelected, viewing his administration as more favorable to the Kremlin’s interests (really???  What a shocker, eh?), and to that end are already plotting to aid Trump in the upcoming elections.

Devin-Nunes-cries

Devin Nunes

According to those in the know, Trump went ballistic when he found this out, and angrily confronted Maguire.  Trump initially believed, erroneously, that Pierson had given the information only to Representative Adam Schiff, the lead impeachment manager, and guess who provided Trump with that information?  None other than the little weasel, and Trump sycophant, Devin Nunes.

Trump angrily asked Maguire why he had to learn of what Pierson had said from Nunes and not from his own aides, and said that Maguire should not have let the Capitol Hill briefing happen — particularly before he received the briefing — and that he should not have learned about it from a congressman.  I ask you to think about that one, folks … Trump believes he should control the information that Congress is allowed to receive???  I find this more than a little disturbing.  If he would withhold such critical information such as election interference and tampering from Congress, what would he withhold from We the People?

Trump told Maguire and other aides in the Oval Office that he did not believe Russia was interfering to help him or planning to do so, and that the intelligence community was getting “played.” He said that the information would be used against him unfairly and that he could not believe that people were believing such a story again, reflecting his opinion that Russian interference in 2016 was a “hoax” made up by officials with a political agenda.  Now, Trump knows that the Russians helped him get elected in 2016 … it has been proven time and again.  However, it doesn’t fit in with his agenda, so … it simply cannot be presented as factual.

As acting DNI, Grenell would oversee the intelligence community’s efforts to combat election interference and disinformation, but that is problematic, because Grenell has publicly said that he is very skeptical of the claims that Russia interfered in 2016.  How effective, then, will his department be at working to ensure a fair and honest election?  Not at all is my best guess, and I think that was Trump’s entire purpose in putting him in this position.  At the outside, without Senate confirmation Grenell can only remain in the position of Director until September 17th, approximately a month-and-a-half before the election, but plenty of time to allow or even assist the Russians in their disinformation campaign to help Trump in November.

Trump has instructed aides to identify and remove officials across the government who aren’t defending his interests, and he wants them replaced with loyalists (aka boot-lickers).  This, my friends, is only the beginning.  Trump is working overtime to ensure that one way or another, We the People are kept in the dark, and he will remain in office by hook or by crook.

The “Great” Debate …

I actually managed to watch the full debate last night without once trying to punch my computer or throw it across the room.  In fact, there were several points at which I laughed aloud, causing the girls to look at me in awe, for it is a sound they don’t often hear coming from me these days.  Typically, I think the value of the debates is far over-rated by the pundits, but it is an opportunity to see the candidates speak for themselves, see how they handle pressure under fire.  But, if I want to know what their platform is, I will go to OnTheIssues.org  which is the best place I have found over the years to get all the candidates’ platforms in one place.

What follows is only my takeaway from last night’s debate.  I have no doubt that others will have different opinions, but since I gave up two hours of my life that I can never get back, I thought the least I could do is opine just a bit.

There are six democratic candidates left from the 20+ that entered the race:

  • Bernie Sanders
  • Elizabeth Warren
  • Joe Biden
  • Pete Buttigieg
  • Amy Klobuchar
  • Michael Bloomberg

The main reason I watched this debate last night … the first one I watched all the way through … was that I wanted to see how Mike Bloomberg handled the pressure of the questions he was inevitably going to get regarding his racist profiling in the stop-and-frisk policy he implemented in New York City, and the reports of sexist behaviour toward women in his businesses.  So, let me start with my take on Bloomberg’s performance last night.

The first word that comes to mind here is: arrogant.  His body language and facial expressions said:  I’m above all of this, I’m far above all these others, why am I even here?  Not one time did he actually smile, not once did he engage in any form of camaraderie with the others, and he rolled his eyes several times when asked a question that he felt unfair, or when critiqued by another candidate.  I sometimes think that body language and facial expressions tell as much as the words that come out of a person’s mouth.

But going beyond that, Mr. Bloomberg’s responses were unsatisfying, at best.  He seemed to defend his stop-and-frisk policy, though he has apologized for it.  But an apology is just words, and as they say, actions speak louder than words.  His defense of the reasons he started the policy was a turn-off for me.  Then there was the little matter of the treatment of women in his company.  Much of what women have alleged, Bloomberg denies, and yet … and yet, those women have been made to sign non-disclosure agreements.  One must ask why.  Elizabeth Warren called on Bloomberg to release the women from the agreements so the public could hear their allegations, but Bloomberg flatly refused.  According to much of what I have read, Bloomberg’s attitudes toward women, his vulgar language and crass remarks, are no better than Donald Trump’s.  If he wants transparency, what better place to start?

There were two candidates whose fire and genuine passion stood out last night:  Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.  The media have declared Sanders the winner of the debate, but in my humble opinion, while they were both great, I’d give Warren the prize.  Perhaps this is a slight prejudice on my part, for I frankly think the time has come for us to steer away from the old, white, male image of the presidency.  Nonetheless, Warren showed us what she’s made of, and I liked it.

Joe Biden.  Sigh.  Poor Joe … by most standards, and judging by history, Joe Biden should be the #1 frontrunner.  He has the most applicable experience, he understands foreign policy in a way that not a single one of the others do, and he has good ideas.  What he lacks, though, is the persona.  He simply hasn’t got the passion, seems to have lost his way somewhere along the line.  Perhaps it is still the effects of his son’s death that have turned his world to grey, or perhaps it is the constant barrage of mindless accusations by Donald Trump that have taken the wind out of his sails.  Either way, he just wasn’t quite … there.

I like Pete Buttigieg, though perhaps not quite as much as I did in the beginning.  A few things stood out last night, but the biggest one was his almost continual attacks on Amy Klobuchar, some of which seemed unfair, to say the least.  The media, and Pete, have made much of the fact that when asked the name of the president of Mexico last week, she couldn’t remember.  It has been blown far out of proportion, and Buttigieg seized on it last night … unrelentingly.  Heck, there are days that I cannot remember my own name, let alone the president of Mexico’s!  Buttigieg does his homework, but it would have shown humanity to have let it drop.  He disappointed me in his attacks on Klobuchar. Buttigieg has a few things in his favour with me, though, and one is that while the other five have a net worth in the millions, or in Bloomberg’s case, billions, Pete Buttigieg’s net worth is approximately $100,000.  This impresses me far more than Bloomberg’s $63 billion.

I thought Amy handled the stress of Pete’s attacks fairly well, but a few times she did seem overly emotional, such as when she said, “Are you trying to say that I’m dumb?” Far too much has been made over a bit of momentary forgetfulness, I think.  Overall, I was impressed with Ms. Klobuchar’s heart.  I believe she cares very much about people and would be a strong advocate for human rights, but I have to wonder if she’s a bit too emotional and too thin-skinned for the job of president, for more than once it seemed as if she was near tears.

As for the debate itself … two main takeaways.  First, while climate change and the environment was briefly discussed, it was altogether too brief.  When the DNC refused to hold a debate focused solely on climate change, they made a huge mistake, in my book, for this is the single most crucial issue on the ballot.  While each candidate said one of their first moves as president would be to re-join the Paris Accords, that’s about all we learned.  I want to know details!  I want to know more than the 5 minutes or so that climate change was discussed last night provided.

Secondly, I was put off and rather disgusted by the structure of the debate.  Candidates had small bits of time to answer a question, then when time was up they kept on talking, while all the others on stage were rudely interrupting, and with six people plus the moderators all talking at once, the closed captioning was useless and it was impossible to discern what anybody was saying.  I don’t know what the answer to this is for future debates, but I do wish somebody would come up with one.  It would have been far more helpful if all the candidates had stuck with giving their opinions of the issues rather than their opinions of their opponents.

Overall, I was glad I watched for I got a bit of a feel for the personas of the candidates, but as I said in the beginning, if I want to know their platforms and ideologies, I’ll turn to another venue.   Unfortunately, the infighting is doing nobody any good, and it is almost certain that no single candidate will end up with a clear majority by the time of the nominating convention in mid-July, which opens a whole ‘nother can of worms.  Sigh.

Considering Michael Bloomberg And A Worry For Another Time

Greg is the other half of On the Fence Voters, though for a number of reasons, he has been unable to post for several months. But, yesterday he wrote a very thoughtful and thought-provoking post about Michael Bloomberg’s candidacy, and he brought up some points that I think we must all be willing to consider. Please take a few minutes to read this excellent post and let Greg know your thoughts! Thank you, Greg, and it’s great to hear from you!

On The Fence Voters

I’ve heard a lot of disapproving talk about Michael Bloomberg trying to ‘buy’ his way into the Presidency, and it’s certainly understandable.  It’s true that electing our president should only be about finding the best man or woman to lead our country.  It shouldn’t be about who can outspend all the others, but unfortunately that’s what it’s come to in America.  In this election year, however, our top priority must be in nominating whichever candidate seems most likely to defeat Donald Trump. We should be thinking of almost nothing else. Money in our politics is definitely a problem but I think this time around, it’s a worry for another time.

It doesn’t bother me so much that Bloomberg has unlimited funds to spend in his campaign because I think there are simply too many other pressing concerns.  I admit I’m looking for a savior.  Most people I talk to are…

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Is it time for The Office of Public Prosecutions?

The nation … at least those of us who aren’t drinking Trump’s toxic concoction, is aghast at the breech of protocol in the Department of Justice regarding the Roger Stone case. Our friend Jeff has done some research into the way some other nations have gone about ensuring that the Department of Justice is not influenced by the government, but rather remains independent in order to maintain the rule of law. I hope you’ll take a minute to read Jeff’s piece, for this is something that will affect us all for years, perhaps decades to come. Thanks Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

In the age of Trumpism, it’s time to look how other countries ensure an independent Justice Department

During the Trump era, it’s rare that I agree with anything Alan Dershowitz says. The 81-year-old ‘TV’ lawyer has gone off the deep end it seems, especially when you consider his ridiculous performance during the recent impeachment trial.

But once in a while, he gets it right. A few nights ago on CNN, he was debating his former pupil, Jeffrey Toobin, concerning the recent intervention of Bill Barr into Roger Stone’s sentencing recommendation from federal prosecutors. Dershowitz, of course, first sided with Trump on the issue, saying that he did have the ‘legal’ right to intervene in that particular case. There was nothing in the law that says he couldn’t do it.

But then he also explained that it wasn’t right for him to do so. Because of the long understood norms and…

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Discord & Dissension — Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Discord & Dissension Part I Intro

Discord & Dissension Part II (a) How Did We Get Here?

Discord & Dissension Part II (b) How Did We Get Here?

Discord & Dissension — Part III — Where Do We Go From Here?

Discord & Dissension Part IV(a) Voting & Voters

Discord & Dissension Part IV (b) Voting & Voters

Discord & Dissension Part IV (c) Voting & Voters

Discord & Dissension Part V Corruption

Discord & Dissension — Part VI — Disinformation

Discord & Dissension Part VII Engagement

 

Snarkier Than Usual Snippets

Disclaimer:  Filosofa is in a foul mood tonight.  While doing laundry, I cursed one of my daughter’s shirts, calling it a bitch and threatening to cut it into a thousand pieces, if that gives you any indication.  All day long I’ve tried to write my piece for mine and Jeff’s Discord & Dissension project for tomorrow, and I feel completely dysfunctional, unable to focus.  So, long story short, you can expect the snippets to be even snarkier than usual tonight.


Ay, Pobrecito Barr …

Poor Bill Barr, ultimate boot-licker and sycophant who has sacrificed the integrity of the United States Department of Justice for whatever it was Trump promised him.  Now he is whining that mean ol’ Donnie isn’t being fair to him.  In an interview with ABC News yesterday, Barr said …

“I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody … whether it’s Congress, a newspaper editorial board, or the president. I’m gonna do what I think is right. And you know … I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me.”

Say WHAT???Trump-BarrThis from the man that has given the keys to the kingdom to Trump and told him that no matter what he does, as long as he is the sitting president, he cannot be charged with a crime?  This from the man that has changed the laws to suit the president, has opened an investigation into one of Trump’s rivals even though it has already been proven that there was no wrongdoing?  And this from the man who totally and completely misrepresented the results of Robert Mueller’s report?  Are we actually supposed to feel pity for Billy boy?  The man who once had a decent reputation sold his soul downriver to become one of Trump’s toadies, and now we’re supposed to feel sorry for him?  No way, José!

Barr said he was determined to lead the justice department without being influence by outside forces, including the president.

laughing-gif

Too late, Billy Boy!Bill-BarrFormer Justice Department official, Matthew Miller, wrote on Twitter: “Don’t be fooled by this one, people. Barr is telling the president that his impulsiveness is making it politically harder for him to deliver the results he wants. If Trump would just shut up, Barr could take care of him much more effectively.”

No doubt.


Trump’s bloody wall …

Yesterday, the Pentagon informed Congress that it intends to divert some $3.8 billion earmarked for military equipment to Trump’s damn stupid, useless, abominable border wall!  You know what?  If the Pentagon has so much more money than it needs, then let’s cut their budget and leave only enough to take care of the troops – salaries, benefits, medical care, housing, etc.  They are obviously well over-funded, if they can afford to give it away for something so useless.

If Congress intended to fund the bloody wall, they would have allocated monies for it.  They didn’t.  Therefore obviously the representatives of We the People do not see the wall as a priority at this time.  Congress, and We the People, have spoken, MISTER TRUMP.  Even some of Trump’s boot-lickers in Congress were actually upset over this one, saying that Trump had overstepped his constitutional authority by second-guessing congressional spending decisions.

“Once those choices have been made, the Department of Defense cannot change them in pursuit of their own priorities without the approval of Congress. Attempts to do so undermines the principle of civilian control of the military and is in violation of the separation of powers within the Constitution.” – Representative Mac Thornberry, top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee

Frankly, I hope the wall gets blown to bits, section by section, until there is naught left but a brick or two.


John Kelly found them!

Former Chief of Staff John Kelly finally, some 13 months after leaving Trump’s employ, found his cojones!  I wonder where they were hiding all this time?  Kelly, who is also a retired Marine Corps general, was giving a speech at Drew University in Morristown, New Jersey, on Wednesday night when he let off a bit of steam about Trump’s firing of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman last week.  Of Vindman, Kelly says …

“He did exactly what we teach them to do from cradle to grave.  He went and told his boss what he just heard. Through the Obama administration up until that phone call, the policy of the U.S. was militarily to support Ukraine in their defensive fight against … the Russians. And so, when the president said that continued support would be based on X, that essentially changed. And that’s what that guy [Vindman] was most interested in. We teach them, ‘Don’t follow an illegal order. And if you’re ever given one, you’ll raise it to whoever gives it to you that this is an illegal order, and then tell your boss.’”

But, once the box was opened, Kelly didn’t stop there.  Kelly laid out his doubts about Trump’s policies regarding North Korea, illegal immigration, military discipline, Ukraine, and the news media.  He said he did not believe the press is “the enemy of the people”, and he sharply criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom Trump has steadfastly courted.  He also disapproved of the president’s language about migrants, saying that most migrants are merely looking for jobs …

“In fact, they’re overwhelmingly good people … They’re not all rapists and they’re not all murderers. And it’s wrong to characterize them that way. I disagreed with the president a number of times.”

Kelly faulted Trump for intervening in the case of Eddie Gallagher, the Navy SEAL who was convicted last year of posing with the corpse of an Islamic State fighter, and later pardoned by Trump …

“The idea that the commander in chief intervened there, in my opinion, was exactly the wrong thing to do. Had I been there, I think I could have prevented it.”

Too bad that Kelly didn’t find his conscience when he was still there, as perhaps he might have done some good.  Trump, of course, was quickly informed of Kelly’s words and had to retaliate, for that’s the only thing Trump knows to do …

“When I terminated John Kelly, which I couldn’t do fast enough, he knew full well that he was way over his head. Being Chief of Staff just wasn’t for him. He came in with a bang, went out with a whimper, but like so many X’s, he misses the action & just can’t keep his mouth shut, which he actually has a military and legal obligation to do. His incredible wife, Karen, who I have a lot of respect for, once pulled me aside & said strongly that “John respects you greatly. When we are no longer here, he will only speak well of you.” Wrong!”

One can only hope that Karen Kelly is undergoing psychiatric care.


One bright spot …

Marie YovanovitchI shall end with a bit of uplifting news.  Former ambassador to the Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, who became a central witness in the impeachment inquiry against Trump, received the Trainor Award at Georgetown University this week, in recognition of her 33-year career as a diplomat.  If anybody has earned the award, it is Ms. Yovanovitch who had a difficult and unexpected role during the House investigation into the administration’s shadow diplomacy and the pressure campaign on Ukraine.  She was vilified by Trump and his family, and it was later learned that Trump directly ordered her firing, claiming she had shown ‘disloyalty’ to him – sound familiar?

Thumbs up to Ms. Yovanovitch.  👍


And on that note, I shall leave you and go finish my post for this afternoon, hopefully in time for Jeff to review it before posting.susan-collins

Words That Frighten

For some time now, I have intended to write a post explaining the concept of “democratic socialism” – a term that has been demonized by republicans, used to scare voters away from certain democratic candidates – but obviously I haven’t yet gotten around to it. Meanwhile, our friend Hugh has revived an excellent post he wrote during President Obama’s presidency that makes some excellent points. Note what he says about Finland and also note that Finland ranks #1 on the World Happiness Index, while the U.S. is only at #19. Thank you, Hugh!!!

hughcurtler

I wrote this years ago and reblog it here because no one seems to have read it and the ideas I tried to clarify appear to be as relevant today as they were years ago — if not more so!

In every generation there are numerous words that take on pejorative overtones — many of which were never part of the term’s meaning in the first place. Not long ago, for instance, “discipline” was a positive concept, but it has become a bad thing thanks to progressive educators who ignore the fact that discipline is essential to clear thinking and the creation of art instead of junk. Another such term is “discrimination” which used to simply suggest the ability to separate the wheat from the chaff, good paintings and good music, for example, from random paint scattered on canvas or mere noise. Indeed, it was a sign of an educated…

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The rough road ahead for Democrats

If you had any doubt whatsoever that the republican-majority Senate is dancing to whatever tune Trump plays, this post by my blogging friend Brosephus will erase that doubt. This post has left me growling once again … the double standard is simply an abomination. Herr Trump will rig November’s election in any way that he can find. Be forewarned, people … we’ve got an uphill climb ahead of us. Thank you, Brosephus, for the informative, though angst-producing post!

The Mind of Brosephus

Remember this?

Boy did that ever age well, huh?

It didn’t take but one day after acquittal by a complicit Republican Senate to prove how naive and stupid Collins’ comment was.  The only way that Collins comes off as sounding informed is if “chastened” somehow means emboldened in Maine.

Given Trump’s newfound invincibility, this story here should serve as a flashing red warning sign for the Democratic Party. 

Hunter Biden records turned over to Senate: Lawmaker 

“Applying a blatant double standard, Trump administration agencies like the Treasury Department are rapidly complying with Senate Republican requests — no subpoenas necessary — and producing ‘evidence’ of questionable origin,” Wyden spokesperson Ashley Schapitl said in a statement. “The administration told House Democrats to go pound sand when their oversight authority was mandatory while voluntarily cooperating with the Senate Republicans’ sideshow at lightning speed.”

The “rapid” production of sensitive financial information from the Treasury…

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