Filosofa’s Mini Rants

Because I cannot afford a new computer at the moment, I shan’t write about today’s impeachment proceedings except to say that should Jim Jordan and I ever run into each other in person, his head is likely to look like a rotten turnip once I am done bashing it!  Since it is not prudent for me to write about the proceedings today, I figured a few snarky snippets or mini rants might alleviate some of the pressure in my head.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell posted the following on Twitter last evening …

“Critical legislation is currently frozen in place. Casualties of Democrats’ apparent inability to make headway on anything besides fighting with the White House.”

Seriously, Mitchie???  How many bills have been passed by the House that are sitting somewhere in your office because you refuse to even bring them to the Senate floor for a vote???  This was the most hypocritical statement I have ever heard!  The House is doing its job at the moment, investigating the criminal activities of the person sitting in the Oval Office.  You’ll get your chance to try, and hopefully convict him soon.  Meanwhile, why not earn your fat paycheck by passing some of the legislation that has been sent to you by the House?McConnellYou could start with … For The People Act to secure America’s elections, expand voting rights, and get money out of politics.  It was passed by the House and sent to the Senate 250 days ago!  The election is in less than 12 months, and your fat patootie is still sitting on the bill to ensure the integrity of the election.  Do Your JOB, Mitchell!


Gonna need a new computer after all if I keep beating the lettering off the keys …


U.S. representative Devin Nunes from California is an idiot.  There has never been any doubt.  I’m seriously considering reprising my Idiot of the Week feature for people like Jim Jordan, Mitch McConnell, and Devin Nunes! The man once co-sponsored an act to discourage frivolous lawsuits, but yet he himself seems to be ‘sue-crazy’.  In just the past two years, he has sued …

  • A stone fruit farmer in Dinuba, and two other people, for conspiring to damage his 2018 reelection by asking that Nunes not be allowed to call himself a “farmer” on the ballot.
  • The research firm Fusion GPS and a Democratic group called Campaign for Accountability for attempting to interfere with his “investigation” (quote marks are mine) into ties between President Trump and Russia when he was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
  • Twitter and a couple of parody accounts, including @DevinCow, who has called Nunes “a treasonous cowpoke.” He is asking for $250 million to assuage his hurt feelings.
  • McClatchy, parent company of Nunes’ hometown paper, the Fresno Bee, for writing that he had a financial interest in a winery sued by an employee who was asked to work on a charity cruise where men behaved very, very badly.
  • And, most recently, Esquire magazine and the journalist Ryan Lizza, who Nunes claims have defamed him to the tune of $75 million in writing about the Nunes family dairy farm, which is not in California, but in Iowa.

nunesSheesh … is he trying to compete with Donald Trump for the Guinness World Record of most lawsuits?

I could actually write an entire post about Nunes, but he’s not worth that much of my time or energy, so I will confine myself to his latest antics.  Now, Nunes is a conspiracy theorist … almost as much of one as Alex Jones!  Back in 2018, he came up with some long-winded theory that the FBI was conspiring against Trump.  As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, Nunes participated in yesterday’s impeachment hearings … the ones I’m not writing about tonight.

Nunes began with an opening statement which included a misleading claim that Democrats on the committee had tried to “obtain nude pictures of Trump from Russian pranksters who pretended to be Ukrainian officials.”  Then he went on to allege that the Ukraine whistleblower who reported Trump’s call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was “acknowledged to have a bias against President Trump” and falsely claimed that the whistleblower’s “attorney touted a ‘coup’ against the president.”

Nunes also falsely claimed that Trump’s July 25 phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was to express “concerns about foreign corruption,” even though Trump did not mention “corruption” once on the call. Nunes also falsely claimed that the “officials’ alarm at the president’s actions was typically based on second-hand, third-hand and even fourth-hand rumors and innuendo,” even though multiple witnesses testified about first-hand interactions with Trump and with others.

Here’s another one whose head should be made to look like a rotten turnip!


Oh, and now that you’ve gone and mentioned Trump …


The president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, arrived at the White House today for a visit with Donald.  Don and Recep have a close relationship, there are ties that bind them.  Back in 2015, after Trump threw his hat in the ring, he did an interview with then-Breitbart host Steve Bannon.  When asked about how he would deal with Turkey if he were to become president …

“I have a little conflict of interest because I have a major, major building in Istanbul. It’s called Trump Towers — two towers, instead of one. … And I’ve gotten to know Turkey very well. They’re amazing people. They’re incredible people. They have a strong leader.”

Yep, straight from the horse’s mouth … a “little conflict of interest”.  But wait, it gets even better.  Two of Erdoğan’s sons-in-law play a role here.  One is Turkey’s Minister of Finance, and deals directly with Trump and Trump’s own son-in-law, Jared Kushner (you remember, the one who lied on his security clearance forms and was, therefore, not given the highest level security clearance?).  The other son-in-law is actually a Trump business partner and advisor.

After a phone conversation between Trump and Erdoğan last month, Trump pulled our troops out of Syria, leaving Erdoğan to invade the Kurdish-held lands and devastate our allies, the Kurds.  And yet, Trump praised Erdoğan …

“We’ve been friends for a long time, almost from day-one. We understand each others’ country. We understand where we are coming from. They’re highly respected in their country and in the region.”

Understands???  Trump understands NOTHING!  Another dictator that Trump praises and claims a kinship with, while he feeds our allies to the sharks.


Well, I thought this little rant might help me calm down, get rid of some of the angst residing within my head, but it has only made it worse.  Perhaps a little snack …

Will The Court Do The Right Thing?

Nearly a million young people may soon find themselves adrift, without a home or a job, and yet it is barely a blip on the radar, lost in the hoopla surrounding the impeachment proceedings.  Granted, the impeachment of a corrupt president is high priority, is perhaps the most important thing happening in this nation at the moment.  But, the lives of 700,000+ young people are pretty important, too.

Imagine you came to this country as a very young child … your first memories are of life in the United States.  You speak English, you went to school in this country, got an after-school job when you were 16, graduated high school with honours, and now you’re in college, studying to become a doctor, a teacher, or an accountant.  Your grades have earned you a partial scholarship, you are working nights at a food processing plant … and tomorrow it could all be taken away.  You could lose your job, be kicked out of school, and in fact be deported.

Deported?  To where?  You’ve never been outside the U.S. in your conscious memory!  This is your home!  You know nobody in the country of your parents’ origin.  What will you do?  How will you live?  You barely even speak Spanish!  And why?  What have you done wrong?  You’ve never even had so much as a parking ticket … you’ve lived your life well, respecting others, respecting the country that gave your family the opportunity for a better life.

More than 700,000 young people may face this situation soon, if he Supreme Court rules in Trump’s favour on the issue of ending DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy that has been in effect since 2012.  Yesterday, the Court heard arguments from both sides, and indications are that they will likely rule in Trump’s favour.

In 2012, President Barack Obama introduced the program, which shields people who were brought to the United States as children from deportation. It was intended as a stopgap measure, and didn’t provide a pathway to citizenship. But it did allow participants, known as Dreamers, to get work permits, and in some states, including California, to access in-state tuition and legally drive. Dreamers can renew their status in two-year intervals.

To be eligible for DACA status, applicants had to show that they had arrived in the United States before they turned 16 and were no older than 30, had lived in the United States for at least the previous five years, were a high school graduate or a veteran, and had committed no serious crimes. The status lasts for two years, allows recipients to work legally and is renewable, but it does not provide a path to citizenship.

In 2017, for reasons I cannot understand, Trump decided to end the program.  Trump had previously indicated his support for DACA, but it was the work of white supremacist Stephen Miller and racist former Attorney General Jeff Sessions that convinced Trump to end the program.  They claimed that the program was illegal and unconstitutional, and apparently Trump, never having read the Constitution, decided to end the program.  In his formal announcement to end the program, Trump wrote …

“I do not favor punishing children. The program is unlawful and unconstitutional and cannot be successfully defended in court.”

However, it has been successfully defended in court, not once, not twice, but three times.  Three federal appeals courts have ruled that when an administration revokes a policy like this, on which so many people, businesses and even the U.S. economy have relied, the administration must provide a fully supported rationale that weighs the pros and cons of the program, the costs and the benefits. Faced with those lower court decisions, the Trump administration appealed to the Supreme Court, where it now awaits its fate.

These young people have faced discrimination that nobody reading this post has likely ever faced. They are banned from many colleges, are not eligible for any federal grants or loans, and in most states,  they cannot even qualify for in-state tuition.  And yet thousands of them have graduated from college in the United States. How do they do it? The motivation of many of these students is so strong it is almost absurd.  And if Trump has his way, it may well be a death sentence for many of the 700,000.

Maria Nava, who graduated from high school in 2003, received no state aid. But her generous sister promised to contribute her own earnings to help put Nava through college. Trouble was, their combined earnings weren’t much. Nava used up the small private scholarships she earned as a top-ranking student. Most semesters, the sisters could afford just one class at Nava’s local community college. One class at a time. Nava graduated from her two-year college in 11 years.

If the Supreme Court overturns lower court injunctions and says Trump followed the law in rescinding DACA, not one of these amazing, accomplished young people will be able to work for a law-abiding employer in the United States.  After Nava’s 11 years at a two-year college, after more than 8,000 DACA teachers have been hired by U.S. school systems, after 14,000 DACA nurses and other professionals got jobs in health care — all who have jobs will have to be fired when their DACA expires. Those who are students will be ineligible for a job with a law-abiding employer.

I sincerely hope that there are five justices on the Supreme Court who have not exchanged their conscience for partisanship.  If the Court sides with Donald Trump & Stephen Miller on this issue, we will know that the Judiciary Branch of our government is no longer an independent, non-partisan branch, but rather an extension of the Executive Branch, currently led by a bigoted, corrupt, wanna-be dictator.

Please Mayor Bloomberg, Don’t do it

Jeff shocked me today by posting not one, but TWO posts! This one … he speaks for me with every single word. We do NOT need wealthy businessmen running our government … men who have never in their entire lives known what it’s like to have to beg for someone to help you pay the rent, or make a choice between paying the electric bill or taking your sick kid to the doctor! Thank you, Jeff, for this timely and apropos post!

On The Fence Voters

Instead, how about an effort to end homelessness?

So now Michael Bloomberg is considering a run for the presidency. Please, Mr. Mayor, do us all a favor and un-consider.

I’m sorry. I’ve had about enough of billionaires with political aspirations. Look, I admire what many of these guys have accomplished in life. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have donated billions of their fortunes to worthy causes. And Bloomberg himself has donated to many charities. I do not begrudge them for making a ton of money. It’s not their success that turns me off — whining about paying a bit more in taxes? Oh yeah, that does it.

Have we not learned anything at all? The idea that people can dip into their massive fortunes to, in a sense, try to buy themselves into political office is unseemly and just plain wrong. It’s something we need to fix as part of…

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Public Impeachment Inquiry Begins-Will America Care?

Tomorrow begins the public phase of the impeachment process and it will be widely televised. But, will anybody be watching? Our friend Jeff over at On the Fence Voters ponders this, and his words are astute and well worth sharing. Thank you, Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

Starting this Wednesday, November 13, 2019, the public portion of the impeachment inquiry of President Trump will begin. Will the American people care?

It’s an open question.

For a while, I wondered whether the major networks were going to cover the hearings. Much to my surprise, they indeed will be covering the event. Scheduled to appear Wednesday are Ambassador William Taylor and Deputy Assistant for European Affairs George Kent. ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS will preempt regularly scheduled programming for live coverage. It was music to my ears.

I knew for sure that the major cable news networks and CSPAN would be covering the hearings, but now that the major networks are in the fray, there are no excuses for the American people. If you want to watch the proceedings, you can do so in multiple ways. If you can’t watch them live, you can undoubtedly tape them, or watch…

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Junior Writ A Book!

Junior-book-1Junior, aka Donald Trump, Jr., has allegedly written a book.  Now, I say ‘allegedly’, because let’s face it, Junior doesn’t come across as the brightest bulb in the pack, but rather as a ‘chip off the old block’, in other words not much more literate than his father.  My guess is he either had a ghost writer or a lot of help from people with far higher IQs than his own.

Disclaimer:  I have not read Junior’s book, nor will I.  I did see a display of them at Barnes & Noble yesterday, but I did not even touch them. 

The title of Junior’s book is Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us.  Another “us vs them” book.  The dedication reads …

“I dedicate this book to the DEPLORABLES. While the elite of the other party look down on you and would rather you stay silent, I salute your work ethic, patriotism, and values. America wouldn’t be great without your blood, sweat, and tears.  I will always stand with you!  I am proudly one of you.”

They just can’t leave Hillary alone, can they?  It’s as if they are obsessed. I imagine Hillary is getting more than a few laughs out of their ridiculous obsession.  But I digress.

junior-book-memeThe book, I am told, is currently ranked #3 on Amazon’s ‘bestseller list’, though it has only a 2.5-star rating on Barnes & Noble and doesn’t appear on the New York Times Bestseller list.  Perhaps Jeff Bezos is trying to play nice with Trumpie and manipulated the Amazon rating?  Anyway, people have been having fun with this, or rather making fun of Junior.junior-book.pngComedians Davram Stiefler and Jason Selvig — aka The Good Liars ― on Thursday changed the covers of “Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us” at a Barnes & Noble store in Brooklyn, New York, to “make it a little more honest”.  The Good Liars are the same group that put this poster on the New York City subways …crazy-rudy.pngAnd back in 2017, they planted fake merchandise in the Trump Tower gift shop.  The fake products included KKK hoods, urine-proof sheets, a Vladimir Putin calendar, Russian flags and much more.  Check out their video that tells all about it!  But, back to the book …

The Good Liars weren’t the only ones to spoof Junior! FiggeredWritten by Ben Fletcher, a “UK based actor, writer, producer, director, publisher, and failed politician”, it is touted on Amazon as …

This book will be a book that will change your life as you know it forever. That’s right. Forever.

This is going to be the book that will change forever the way that you look at all of the things that are going on across our great nation and also the rest, not-so-great, bits of the world.

This is going to be the look that makes you realize just how many of the problems that we see and face each day are the fault of those snowflake generation liberals.

In this book, no one is going to be spared.

In this book, political correctness has had its Green Card denied and been turned back at the border.

This parody was released on November 5th, the same day as Junior’s book.  I read a few of the customer reviews and you can tell the democrats from the republicans just by those comments.  Democrats all found it hilarious, republicans all pouted and said, “I don’t see the joke”.  ‘Twould seem the republicans have lost the ability to see humour, have lost the ability to laugh at themselves, eh?

But, if you’re still scratching your head over the #3 Amazon ranking, Junior may have had some help in selling that book.  Turns out that the Republican National Committee (RNC) has bought up a large stock of the books and is giving them as gifts in exchange for campaign donations.RNC-letterDespite the Amazon ranking and favourable reviews, most reviewers did not think highly of the book.  The Guardian reviewers Ed Pilkington and Martin Pengelly were among the naysayers …

“… it reveals its author to be every bit as devoted to partisan trolling, childish insults and grudge-holding as his father in the Oval Office.  Trump Jr tells readers he did not set out in writing Triggered to offend anyone. Which is surprising, as he does such a good job at precisely that.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is a “feeble old fool” at the head of a “crooked investigation”; conservative commentator Bill Kristol is a rat; the Squad of four leftwing congresswomen that includes Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, should be renamed “Hamas caucus”; George W Bush is a loser like Romney.

One of the more striking aspects of the book is the way in which Trump Jr portrays himself as a victim of liberal political correctness. “I’m essentially not allowed to have an opinion any more, let alone express that opinion in public,” he writes.”

junior-colouring-bookBut, there was one thing in the book that has drawn the ire of many, particularly veterans, when he appeared to compare the sacrifices by U.S. troops killed in combat to …

“… the sacrifices we’d have to make to help my father succeed — voluntarily giving up a huge chunk of our business and all international deals to avoid the appearance that we were ‘profiting off of the office.’”

Understandably, many including myself found that offensive.  There is no comparison between men and women who gave their lives in service to their country, in a war they did not start, to a family who chose to divide and destroy an entire nation.  The “sacrifices” they have made have brought them profit and power.  The sacrifices the soldiers made brought them and their families nothing but grief.  No comparison.

Yesterday, Junior stormed out of a book launch in anger.  The ultimate irony is in this headline:

“Donald Trump Jr. stormed out of an event for his book — which accuses the left of stifling open debate — after getting heckled for refusing to do a Q&A”

The funniest part about this is that the people there were Trump supporters!  They just wanted him to answer some questions. Like his father before him, this boy knows how to make a fool of himself, then blame us for laughing!  For those of you who are old enough … remember what the old Sears & Roebuck catalogs were used for?  Perhaps Junior’s book could serve a similar purpose?

Lest you think I’m being too hard on “poor li’l Junior”, I leave you with a couple of final pictures … the ones I always see in my mind whenever I hear his name …junior - killertrump-sons-killers

 

I Thought We Were Better …

There was a big college football game between Louisiana State University and the University of Alabama, to be played on Alabama’s home field yesterday afternoon.  For some reason that still evades me, Trump and Melania attended the game … at our expense, of course.

Now, in recent weeks, Trump has received less than warm receptions at other sporting events, such as game #5 of the World Series where Washington Nationals fans ‘boo-ed’ him and chanted “lock him up!”  One Fox News commentator said …

“They should hold those fans accountable. You don’t boo the president! You show respect to him!”

Excuse me, sir, but respect is earned, and thus far Mr. Trump has done nothing to earn mine.  Though I have mixed feelings about the boo-ing and chanting, it is a means of peaceful protest, and I’m pretty sure that had I been at that game, I would have boo-ed as loud as any.

And then, there was the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) last week that was attended by Trump, accompanied by his sons Junior and Eric and Republican lawmakers Kevin McCarthy, Mark Meadows and Peter King.  The crowd there also jeered the party, and some even held signs calling for Trump’s impeachment and removal.  One gets the impression that he is not as well-loved by ‘everybody’ as he claims, yes?

So, fool that he is, he made plans to attend this Alabama college game.  College campuses were almost made for protest, it seems.  Young people in the U.S. today are politically savvy and most are not very happy with the way the country is being run, so it stands to reason that there will be protests, right?  But wait!  Officials at the University of Alabama declared that any students caught “disrupting” Trump’s visit would lose their reserved seating for the remainder of the season.  This is a direct violation of students’ First Amendment right to engage in peaceful protest, to make their voices heard.

And so it was that Trump received a ‘warm’ reception at the game on Friday night.  Too bad … I think it would have been appropriate if everyone had protested by boycotting the game.  But, there was at least one protest outside the stadium …baby-trump-balloon-2The baby Trump balloon was on display at a park near the stadium!  For a few minutes, anyway … until some over-zealous Alabaman/Trumpian decided to … slash it!baby-trump-balloonAccording to one of the organizers of the protest …

“It was a random dude just ran up to the balloon, stuck a knife in it, and ran off. We had police close by because of another driver earlier, so they went over and arrested him and his getaway driver.”

Three things bother me greatly about this:

  • Why has Trump, with Melania in tow, wasted taxpayer money and his time to attend three separate sporting events in the course of two weeks? Does he really have so much free time on his hands?  Is there not work he could be doing?  Is this what we pay him for???  Or are we paying to feed his over-bloated ego, paying for him to “be seen” by his loyal masses?

  • If the students of the University of Alabama had to be threatened in order to give Trump a ‘warm’ reception, doesn’t that tell you something about the sentiment of the public toward Trump? And … where were the students’ first amendment rights?  I know it’s Alabama, but last I looked on the map, it is still one of the 50 ‘United’ states, and as such, its people have the same rights, as afforded by the U.S. Constitution, as any of us.

  • Where is the civility? I do not recall a single time that anybody acted in this manner when President Obama made a public appearance.  But then, I don’t recall Obama ever acting in the manner in which Trump acts in public, either.  Perhaps it’s true what they say, that sh*t flows downhill, and Trump’s behaviour has flowed all the way down to his fans.  But, are we really going to allow Trump’s behaviour and hateful rhetoric cause us to regress as a society to the point that we cannot even allow a peaceful protest?

The right to peaceful protest is one part of the foundation of this nation.  But, like every other right, it is contingent on accepting the responsibility that accompanies it.  When protests turn violent, we risk losing that right.  But, think about it … remember during the 2016 campaign when more than once, Trump urged people to perpetrate violence on protestors?  Remember he even told one group at a rally that he would pay their legal bills if they were arrested for beating up protestors?  I wonder if he will offer to pay the legal bills for the man who slashed the balloon?  Remember when Trump applauded then-candidate, now-Congressman Greg Gianforte for beating up a reporter who simply asked him a question he didn’t like?

No matter what side of the political fence a person is on, there is simply no excuse for violence.  This, coupled with the lunacy of the gun culture in this country, is a recipe for disaster.  I thought we were better than this, but more and more I’m learning that we are not.

Afternoon ‘Toons!

The first thing I saw in the news this morning made my blood boil … the republicans in the House of Representatives are requesting that Hunter Biden and the whistleblower be subpoenaed to testify before the investigative committees.  First, Hunter Biden?  They have no reason to ask Hunter Biden to testify … that is harassment of a private citizen without cause.  But even worse, is their “demand” that the whistleblower testify.  That is akin to painting a big, red target on his or her back.  It would almost certainly be signing his/her death warrant, given the crazies in the Trump camp that are running around fully loaded for bear.  So, I knew that anything I would write at the moment would be a rant.  It’s Saturday, and this afternoon I will be going out for lunch and a bit of shopping with the girls, so I really don’t want to be in a growlie mood.  So, instead I decided to look at some of those brilliant political cartoons and at least maybe have a chuckle or two, at the expense of the idiots in Washington.


Lindsey Graham.  Sigh.  Lindsey seemingly has no conscience, is two-faced, and seemingly goes in whichever direction he perceives the winds of fortune to be blowing, even if it means stabbing a friend in the back, as he once did his ‘best friend’, John McCain.  More recently, ol’ Lindsey, who fully supported Bill Clinton’s impeachment back in 1998-1999, is refusing to even do his job, says he won’t even read the transcripts from the impeachment investigations.  

GrahamGraham-2Graham-3Graham-4

Graham-5


Since long before he took office, Trump has called climate change a ‘hoax’.  Since taking office, he has actively done everything in his power to add to the problem, to decimate and destroy our environment.  He has long said that he would take the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord, making us the only nation on the planet not committed to doing everything in our power to keep the planet from becoming uninhabitable.  Last week, he kept that “promise”, and took the first step toward pulling out of the Accord.  It was a sad day for the citizens of this nation, and one that will ultimately make us the pariah, the most hated nation on earth.  Climate change is real, folks … it’s Trump who is the hoax!

climateclimate-2climate-3climate-4climate-5Nick Anderson cartoonclimate-7


Trump recently announced that he is changing his state of residence from New York to Florida.  I don’t recall what b.s. excuse he gave, but the reality is it’s naught but a tax dodge.  New Yorkers cheered, while Floridians drowned their sorrows in either a bar or the rising sea tides.

Trump-floridaTrump-florida-2Moving to Florida

Trump-florida-4

I rather thought this looked more like Boris than Donnie …


There was some good news last Tuesday, as people in states like Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania used their vote to tell the nation that they are fed up with the GOP corruption running rampant in the Era of Trump.

2019-election2019-election-2


And, of course, as I mentioned in my opening blurb, there is the whistleblower and the fact that the GOP is basically calling for his/her execution …

whistleblowerwhistleblower-2whistleblower-3


And, of course, there is that proverbial ‘elephant in the room’, the looming impeachment, which I hope succeeds beyond our wildest dreams and that Trump is booted out of the White House before the end of the year!  Yeah, I know, I’m dreaming.

impeachimpeach-2impeach-3Attacking the CIATom Toles Editorial Cartoon - tt_c_c191103.tif


And, to offset any angst you might be feeling … take a look at this … guaranteed to give you a chuckle.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend, my friends!

separation of church and state

Separation of church and state … a simple concept, right? The government will not support one religion over any other. And yet, as Larry tells us, down in Florida (and other places as well) they are attempting to do just that, by trying to pass legislation that would make the study of the Christian bible mandatory in schools. What about Jews? Muslims? Atheists? Hindus? This nation is only about 70% Christian, so … why should they dominate? Please take a few minutes to read Larry’s excellent post. Thank you, Larry, for permission to share your work!

QUEST

Living as a Democrat in rural, Republican Florida challenges one’s sense of inclusiveness and social propriety.  A recent controversy in local politics regarding funding our library’s request to make the New York Times available online to library cardholders is a case in point. My friend at BY HOOK OR BY BOOK has shared a great post regarding this issue.  It is indicative of a population which refuses to leave the 1950s.

On Florida’s horizon is a bill filed by a State Senator which would require courses be made available in our public schools at taxpayers’ expense providing studies of the Bible.  The following is the letter which I have submitted to our local newspaper.

State Senator Dennis Baxley, a Republican representing the Ocala region, has filed SB 746 to be considered during the 2020 legislative session. The bill would require courses providing studies of the Bible’s Old and New Testaments…

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Snarky Mini-Snippets To Start The Weekend!

snarky-2Today, I had a bunch of snark-buildup, but all just little things, small thoughts (no comment from the peanut gallery about small minds –> small thoughts!) that only warrant about a paragraph each, so I went with calling them mini-snippets.  Besides that, it’s housecleaning day, so my time to write is somewhat limited … somebody’s got to keep this place from being condemned by the city!


What is this with the republican loons, from Trump and his family, to Fox News, to the republicans in Congress running around saying that the ongoing impeachment process is naught but an attempt to overturn the 2016 election???  No, dear misguided republicans, it is not an attempt to ‘overturn’ an election that happened three years ago.  It is an attempt to remove from office the most corrupt and dangerous president who has ever been in the Oval Office.  It is an attempt to restore some semblance of order to our federal government.  It is an attempt to save what shreds are left of our democratic system.  Got it?  Does that register?  I, for one, am sick and damn tired of hearing that sorry attempt at a defense.


Now it comes out that not only did Trump attempt to blackmail Ukrainian President Zelenskyy in order to force him to announce an investigation of presidential candidate Joe Biden, but also his former nemesis Hillary Clinton.  WTF???  Why Hillary Clinton?  My best guess is that he is still so embarrassed by the fact that she won nearly three million votes more than Trump did in the 2016 election that he will not leave her alone until he takes his last breath!  Vindictive, ignorant, jealous … what a waste of space on earth is Donald Trump.  If he spent half as much time studying the briefs his staff provide him, trying to understand how our government works, actually reading the Constitution, why we might actually have a president.  As it is, we have a very ignorant and dangerous juvenile delinquent in an old man’s body.


Trump has been ordered by New York Judge Saliann Scarpulla to pay $2 million in damages for misusing funds from a tax-exempt charity — taking the charity’s money to pay debts for his for-profit businesses, to boost his 2016 campaign and to buy a painting of himself.  A painting of himself?  Blech.  In addition to the $2 million, Trump also agreed to disburse the $1.8 million remaining in the foundation to a set of charities, and to shutter it for good.  Funny, isn’t it, that the man who claims to be president of the country, a man who holds our lives in his hands, bilked people out of millions of dollars, spent them on himself rather than such things as helping the poor, or veterans, and yet he remains in office.  What a low this nation has sunken to.


bloombergFormer New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is apparently throwing his hat in the ring for the 2020 presidential election, after saying he would not do so earlier this year.  Bloomberg is another billionaire businessman, folks … just about the last thing we need at this point.  At least he does have some governing experience and has a bit of a brain in his head, unlike the incumbent, but still … we do not need somebody with such great wealth that he cannot even begin to appreciate the problems of the average person struggling to provide for their families.  Not, mind you, that any of the top candidates in this race are living below the poverty level:  Elizabeth Warren’s net worth is estimated at $12 million, Joe Biden’s at $1.5 million, and Bernie Sanders’ at $1.9 million.  Still, they are peons as compared to Bloomberg.

Trump, by the way, has already picked his nickname for Bloomberg:  Little Michael.  He says Bloomberg won’t do well because he has “some personal problems”, and that there is nobody he’d rather run against.  Personally, I think he’s jealous because Bloomberg has more money, with a net worth of $51.5 billion, than he does.


Ol’ two-faced Lindsey Graham is back on the radar (did he ever leave it?)  Lindsey is so certain that the impeachment process against Donald Trump is without merit that he now says he will not even bother to read the evidence, the pages of testimony that has provided proof that Donald Trump broke the law.  Talk about hypocrisy!  Look what Lindsey had to say back in 1999 after Bill Clinton had been impeached by the House and was facing trial in the Senate:

“So, the point I’m trying to make is: You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic, if this body determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role … because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”

Yes, Lindsey … let us ‘cleanse’ the Oval Office, let us restore some honour and integrity to the office.  And speaking of honour and integrity, Lindsey … where is yours???


Seems that there are millions of people out there, mostly republicans, who claim to think that everything Trump has done is ‘okay’.  Obstruction of justice in trying to shut down the very legitimate Mueller investigation into Russian interference in our 2016 election.  Obstruction of justice in refusing to allow government employees to honour subpoenas by the House investigative committees.  Blackmailing the Ukrainian government to help him against a competitor in the 2020 election.  Threatening and bullying political opponents.  Removing almost every environmental protection that was on the books and selling off our national land to the fossil fuel and logging industries. Lying on a daily basis to cover his own a$$.  And much, much more, yet all of it is ‘A-okay’ with those 40% or so of people who still sing Trump’s praises.  Let me just throw out a single question here:  What if it was President Barack Obama who had done even a small percentage of those things?


Well, those little mini-snippets should give you something to ponder on this weekend, eh?  And to start the weekend off on a humorous note, here’s Seth Meyers …

This Cannot Become “Normal”

I came across this OpEd in the New York Times by one of my favourite opinion writers, Nicholas Kristof, earlier today.  It is a prescient warning that I think is worth sharing.


Don’t Let Trump Make You Numb to What’s Unacceptable

Our species has an ability to adapt. Now’s not the time.

nicholas-kristof-thumblargeBy Nicholas Kristof

Opinion Columnist

  • Nov. 6, 2019

The problem with being a frog in a beaker is that you may not notice the water temperature rising to a boil.

Humans, too. In New Delhi, people get used to air that is filthy. In Syria, to checkpoints. In Angola, to corruption. In China, to propaganda. And in America, we risk becoming numbed to a political, social and moral breakdown.

Scandal and dysfunction dribble out from Washington day by day, numbing us so that we may forget just how unprecedented and outrageous the trends are. It was only five years ago that Fox News was deploring a “shocking” and “desperate” presidential scandal that Republican Representative Peter King described as inexcusable: Barack Obama wore a tan suit! Now we can’t even keep track of how many countries President Trump has asked to do him political favors.

I’ve been traveling abroad, so I’ve been asking journalists and officials how they see America, and from a distance they offer blunt assessments. “If your president isn’t a Manchurian candidate,” one senior European official said, “he’s doing a pretty good imitation of one.”

In 2016, Obama’s passivity and Republican intransigence may have allowed Russian cyberattacks to swing the presidency to Trump (there’s no way to be sure, but that’s what the forensic work of Kathleen Hall Jamieson suggests). Yet despite improvement, the United States still doesn’t have an adequate strategy to foil Russian or Chinese interference in the 2020 election.

Trump is a hero of many evangelical Christians who previously emphasized the importance of personal values and restoring “honor and dignity” to the White House. Meanwhile, he is on his third wife, has cheated on all three and has been accused of sexual misconduct by 25 women. And Trump tweeted a supporter’s praise likening him to “the second coming of God.”

Since taking office, Trump has made more than 13,400 false or misleading statements, according to a Washington Post database. The Post found that he has recently accelerated his falsehoods to a rate of 22 per day, more than one per waking hour. (I’ve covered many world leaders, and the only two whom I consider pathological liars are Trump and former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.)

Trump has declared “I am the chosen one.” His press secretary last month spoke of “the genius of our great President.”

Trump, who according to a Times investigation is wealthy partly because of fraud, pledged to fight corruption and “drain the swamp.” Since then, he has lost more first-term cabinet members to scandal than any president in history.

 “I’m not going to have time to go play golf,” Trump said before his election. In fact, he has visited golf clubs approximately 224 times since taking office, including more than three months in total at Mar-a-Lago. These vacation trips have cost taxpayers more than $100 million.

Trump’s mother was an immigrant, as are two of the women he married (his current wife may have been undocumented). Yet he has ripped children from parents at the border, and his administration has argued that detained immigrant children do not need soap or toothbrushes.

We haven’t even gotten to Trump trying to buy Greenland, marching into women’s changing rooms to admire undressed teenagers, borrowing Stalinist language to denounce the press as the “enemy of the people,” claiming that climate change is a Chinese conspiracy, banning Muslims or diverting money to build the wall that Mexico supposedly would pay for.

Oh, and that multibillion-dollar wall is now being cut open by smugglers with $100 saws.

Yet America’s dysfunction goes beyond Trump, and it will outlast Trump, even as it is aggravated by him.

American kids ages 1 through 19 are 57 percent more likely to die than those in other advanced nations, according to a study in the journal Health Affairs. That’s partly because the United States is virtually alone in failing to provide universal health coverage: Trump didn’t create that problem, but he did magnify it so that the number of uninsured children is now increasing.

Longstanding economic inequality in the United States, exacerbated by Trump’s tax cuts and other policies, is staggering. A single hedge fund tycoon, James Simons, made $1.6 billion last year, or more than $4 million each day — yet the United States has 100,000 children who on any given night are homeless. Since 2000, 61,000 foster kids have simply gone missing. Girls and boys are sold by pimps for sex in every American city.

America is not, as President Trump once called it, a “hellhole.” It is a nation of enormous strengths and resources, but we need to muster them now. A merit of our species is that we are adaptable and resilient and can get used to almost anything.

But we should never get accustomed to all this. Let’s not let ourselves be numbed by the daily drip into accepting a level of Trumpian dysfunction that should always be unacceptable.

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