Are You Tired Of Snarky Snippets Yet?

I have a few in-depth pieces I’m trying to work on, but lately all these little things keep cropping up that aren’t quite enough to fill an entire post, but that are important.  If Donnie could just be locked away for a day or two, perhaps in a subterranean storeroom under the White House, then the news cycle might slow down enough for me to catch  my breath!


Donnie didn’t get his way this time …

As we’ve heard ad nauseam for the past week or so, Donald Trump has told Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that he wants him to cut the interest rates … “to zero or below”.  To do so would be extremely foolish, but then … look who’s asking.

Yesterday, Mr. Powell announced a 0.25% cut in the interest rate, bringing it to between 1.75% and 2%.  A good portion of the members of the central bank’s rate-setting committee felt the move was unnecessary.  I am not an economist, nor do I pretend to be, but based on my understanding, I agree that it was unnecessary and likely would not have been made were it not for Trump’s bullying.  But, is Trump satisfied?

Of course not!

“Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve Fail Again. No ‘guts,’ no sense, no vision! A terrible communicator!”

Ahhhh … such professionalism, eh?  Now, if another person in the Trump administration displeased him so, that person would likely be packing up their desk today, but fortunately in the case of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, ol’ Trumpie cannot just yell, “You’re Fired!”  Of course, he may not yet realize that, for back in June, when he was annoyed with Powell for the same reason, he said …

“I have the right to demote him. I have the right to fire him.”

Not quite true.  The Chairman can be fired only ‘for cause’, according to the Federal Reserve Act.  Historically the courts have not interpreted that to include policy differences.  Now, Trump could demote Powell if he so chose, but again, it would likely end up in a court battle that would almost certainly have an impact on the stability of the economy.  I applaud Mr. Powell for having the courage to stand up to the bully in the Oval Office and for doing what he believes to be the proper thing.


A ‘credible and urgent threat’ – but WHAT???

On Monday, The Washington Post reported that last month Trump had some interaction by phone with some foreign leader and promised that foreign leader something. Vague enough for you?  Whatever it was he promised to whomever he promised it set off alarms for at least one official in the U.S. intelligence community to file a formal whistleblower complaint with the inspector general for the intelligence community on August 12th.

Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson reviewed the complaint and determined that the complaint was credible and troubling enough to be considered a matter of “urgent concern,” a legal threshold that ordinarily requires notification of congressional oversight committees.  But … acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire has refused to share details about Trump’s alleged transgression with lawmakers.

Last week, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff subpoenaed Maguire for the complaint, accusing him of violating whistleblower law by failing to have notified the committee.  In his letter to Maguire, Schiff wrote …

“The committee — and the American people — must know why, in violation of law, a whistleblower complaint is being concealed, whether the underlying conduct involves the president or those around him, and whether the White House is involved in trying to cover up this authorized disclosure.”

To add insult to injury, Maguire consulted with the Department of Justice, ie., Trump’s main boot-licker William Barr, which is, at the very least, unorthodox, and leads to questions as to whether there is an attempt to cover for some wrongdoing by Trump.

Atkinson is scheduled to appear at a closed hearing of the Intelligence Committee on Thursday morning and Maguire has agreed to testify before the panel in open session a week later.  This whole thing is troubling, folks.  Obviously, Donald Trump has promised some foreign leader … Putin?  MbS?  Kim? … something that is very troublesome, and people are going to great lengths to keep it from being properly investigated or made public.  This is NOT how our government is supposed to operate.  Trump has declared himself to be above the law, and this is yet further proof that there are those in our government who are willing to sacrifice their integrity to allow it.  Stay tuned …


Is it Sean, or a giant chicken???

And, because I think you guys need a bit of humour, I share with you this short clip of none other than former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer in his debut on Dancing with the Stars.  I’m not sure, but I think that’s a fluffy chicken costume he’s wearing!

First thoughts on Mueller’s testimony

Yesterday, at long last, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified in a televised session before Congress … for nearly seven hours! I did not watch it, for a) I don’t have 7 hours to spare in any given day, b) I cannot sit and do nothing for more than about 5 minutes, which is why it takes me nearly a week to get through a movie, and c) I knew I could catch the action during and after the fact from a wide variety of sources.

One of those sources is our friend Jeff over at On the Fence Voters, and he did not disappoint. His take on it is honest, unbiased, clear, and cuts through all the b.s. to wrap it all up into a neat, easily readable, OpEd. My comment on Jeff’s post will give you my opinion of it all. Thank you, Jeff, for writing this with such clarity and saving me 4-5 hours of work! I owe you one!

On The Fence Voters

The marine who received a purple heart for his exemplary service in Vietnam and spent most of his life working for the American people, spoke today. My question is, did the American people listen?

The vast majority of the people in this country has not read the Mueller Report. Anyone expecting to learn a great deal more about the report from Robert Mueller’s testimony today was going to be sorely disappointed. My expectations were low, to begin with, and after watching the nearly seven-hour spectacle, that opinion has not changed.

Based on his nine-minute press conference a few months ago, which culminated in his resignation from the Special Counsel’s office, it wasn’t hard to figure out that if called to testify, he would do so reluctantly, and would not veer from the report in any substantial way. And that’s precisely how it went today.

It was also easy to predict…

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Snarkier Than Usual Snippets — Part II

As promised, I have more snippets deserving of my sardonic wit today …


Lock her (Ivanka) up!!!

ivankaRemember the rallying cries of Trump supporters when they chanted “Lock her up!!!”, with only minimal prompting from Trump?  The ‘her’ was Hillary Clinton, Trump’s opponent in the 2016 presidential race, and the reason for the chant was that Trump called her use of a private email server for government business when she was Secretary of State, criminal.  Well, he who laughs last, laughs best, and guess what, folks?  Ivanka Trump has just been found to have done that very thing that Hillary, cleared by the FBI, was accused of.

According to The Washington Post

Ivanka Trump sent hundreds of emails last year to White House aides, Cabinet officials and her assistants using a personal account, many of them in violation of federal records rules, according to people familiar with a White House examination of her correspondence.

White House ethics officials learned of Trump’s repeated use of personal email when reviewing emails gathered last fall by five Cabinet agencies to respond to a public records lawsuit. That review revealed that throughout much of 2017, she often discussed or relayed official White House business using a private email account with a domain that she shares with her husband, Jared Kushner.

The discovery alarmed some advisers to President Trump, who feared that his daughter’s practices bore similarities to the personal email use of Hillary Clinton, an issue he made a focus of his 2016 campaign. He attacked his Democratic challenger as untrustworthy and dubbed her “Crooked Hillary” for using a personal email account as secretary of state.

Burn, Baby, Burn … Maybe this will finally get her out of the White House and we won’t have to look at her fat posterior and grotesque fingernails on our screens every day!


Speaking of being respectful …

Adam Schiff is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, a democrat who has served in Congress since 2001.  Remember Trump’s propensity for making up derogatory nicknames for people he doesn’t like, which means anybody who doesn’t bow down to him and lick his dirty boots?  Remember “Lyin’ Ted (Cruz)” and “Crooked Hillary (Clinton)”, “Little Marco (Rubio)”, “Pocahontas (Senator Warren)” and all the others?  Well, Trump doesn’t like Representative Schiff, so he not-so-subtly changed Mr. Schiff’s last name in one of his nefarious tweets …Trump-tweet-SchiffNo, my friends, that was no typo … that was fully intentional and so far beneath what I would expect from any leader of a nation that my jaw actually dropped.  This ‘man’ is a jackass extraordinaire.  For his part, Mr. Schiff responded with humour, saying …

“Wow, Mr. President, that’s a good one. Was that like your answers to Mr. Mueller’s questions, or did you write this one yourself?”

I think that We The People of this nation have a right to expect better from the ‘man’ whose salary we pay and to whom we have entrusted our lives, our country, our futures.  Someway, somehow, this ‘man’ needs to be removed from the Oval Office, for he is not … I repeat, he is not … even a man, let alone a president.  Apologies on behalf of the sane people in this nation to Representative Schiff.


Trump in California …

Donald Trump should be shackled with leg irons to his chair in the Oval Office, for every time he is allowed out, he makes a fool not only of himself, but also of this nation.  After his royal screw-up in France last week, he decided to go to California over the weekend to see how many photo ops he could get in the burned-out town of Paradise.  Trump, you see, was jealous that the media was more interested in the California wild fires that were devastating the state, than in covering his every move.

Trump was not given the royal welcome he had expected, for two reasons.  First, he had made his now-famous tweet on November 10th, saying …

“There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!”

Californians, watching their homes be burned to the ground, frantically trying to find missing loved ones, didn’t take kindly to Trump’s bombast.  And the second reason the red carpet wasn’t rolled out for him is that the good people of California were too busy trying to fight the fires, salvage what they could of their lives, etc.  Anyway, the red carpet was burned up in the Camp Fire.

Trump-California

It just can’t get any uglier

He got his photo op, although it wasn’t what he expected, and at least he didn’t throw rolls of paper towels to the victims – I suppose we should be thankful for that.  But he embarrassed us all once again when he couldn’t resist repeating his prior statement and embellishing on it by saying that Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto told him that his country doesn’t have the same problem with fires because it spends “a lot of time on raking and cleaning” the forest floors.  President Niinisto says he did not say any such thing, and now Finland is having great fun, at Trump’s (and ours) expense.Finn-vacuums-forest

mocking-trump.png

more mocking trumpWell, you get the picture.  But that wasn’t the end of his ignorance.  The town of Paradise was completely destroyed, only Trump couldn’t be bothered to even get the town’s name right …

“I mean, as big as they look on the tube, you don’t see what’s going on until you come here. And what we saw at Pleasure, what a name, right now.”

And just minutes later …

“We just left Pleasure.”

beating head in disgustshaking_head_in_disgust_anim_md_wm


This concludes my two-part miniseries of ‘snarkier than usual snippets’, and presumably explains why I have slipped back into the rabbit hole.  Never in my life have I seen so much chaos, ignorance, corruption and cruelty in this nation.  Thanks to all who voted for the abomination in the Oval Office for ruining our lives, our nation.

The Republicans Have Lost Their Bogeyman, The Christopher Steele Dossier

More strands to the tangled web … more smoke and mirrors … round and round it goes, where it stops no one knows! Please take a minute to read Gronda’s informational post on the latest addition to the Trump circus! Many thanks, Gronda!!!

Gronda Morin

The republican President Donald Trump’s sycophants operating in the White House and the US Congress along with right wing media pundits had formulated a plan of attack to circle the wagons in protection of the president against the fall out from the FBI’s Trump-Russian probe.  They have been drumming up “fake news” concerns about the former democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s involvement with the “Uranium One deal, which has been debunked numerous times by credible fact checkers. See the above report by the FOX TV News reporter Shepard Smith as he debunks this myth.

 For months they had been disparaging the FBI’s Trump-Russian saga probe on the basis that there was a political hack job in the form of the Christopher Steele dossier which they claimed ended up being the lynch pin of the Trump-Russian inquiry. They argued that the formation of this dossier was due to the democratic presidential…

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Why Is Rep. Nunes (R-CA) Acting So Erratic?

Rep. Devin Nunes, one of the people in charge of the House investigation into the connections between Trump’s campaign staff and the Russian government, has been acting in an extremely erratic manner and seems to be intent on compromising the investigation. Fellow-blogger Gronda has been following this situation and wrote this post, summarizing Nunes strange behaviour. I hope you will take a minute to read it … this investigation is extremely important, and it appears that Nunes is not up to the challenge of putting his dedication to Trump aside in order to keep an open mind to the information he is receiving. Thank you, Gronda, for your hard work on this excellent post!

Gronda Morin

Image result for photos of devin nunesIt seems that when the US House Representative Devin Nunes held his press conferences on Wednesday (3/22/17) about having viewed intelligence data which troubled him and which seemed to him, to be unfair to the republican President Donald Trump, he forgot to mention that he had studied this material at the White House. He says that he went to the White House’s secure location to meet with his source because the computers there, make it easier to pull up sensitive data and these computers are not available in the US congressional building.

On 3/27/17 David A. Graham of The Atlantic penned the following news item,The Ever-Deepening Mystery of Devin Nunes.”

“As House Intelligence Committee chairman, Representative Devin Nunes’s job is to oversee American spycraft. But Nunes’s own actions over the last few days suggest more the cloak-and-dagger actions of a would-be John Le Carré character than those of a sober government…

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A Lie By Any Other Name … Is Still A Lie

The following are excerpts from this morning’s House committee hearing on Russian involvement in the 2016 election (full transcript is available here):

“We have also reviewed whether there is any evidence to support President Trump’s claim that he was wiretapped by President Obama in Trump Tower and found no evidence whatsoever to support that slanderous accusation. And we hope that Director Comey can now put that matter permanently to rest.” – U.S. Representative Adam Schiff

 

“With respect to the president’s tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets and we have looked carefully inside the FBI. The Department of Justice has asked me to share with you that the answer is the same for the Department of Justice and all its components. The department has no information that supports those tweets. I’m not to try and characterize the tweets themselves. All I can tell you is we have no information that supports them. I’m not going to characterize or respond to the tweets themselves”. – FBI Director James Comey

Okay, let us put this one to bed now, shall we? It is time to stop playing Trump’s distracting games and focus on the bigger picture of who in the current administration may have played a role in Russia’s interference in the election.  As I previously stated, Trump’s allegations were designed to deflect and detract attention from the ongoing investigations into the role of the Russian government in the U.S. presidential election. There was never any basis in fact for his accusations. That the leader of a democratic nation would resort to such nefarious tactics says much, I think, about the values, character and ethics of that person.

The “BIG NEWS” Is Not The Real News

The big news from last night and this morning is that two pages of Trump’s 2005 tax return were released on television.  Two pages.  Of a 14-year-old tax return.  It is rather like giving a man who is dying of thirst in the desert a 15 cent coupon for a bottle of wine.  It is nothing.  It tells us nothing.  And in truth, though the White House staff pretended righteous indignation, it is extremely likely that Trump himself ‘leaked’ those two pages in yet another attempt to turn the public’s attention from the Russian hacking of the election, the growing claims of Russian connections among Trump’s staff, Monday’s release of the CBO report on the disastrous effects of Trumpcare, and his inane tweets last week saying that President Obama had ‘wiretapped’ his phones.  Those two pages are worthless, folks.  Yes, I want Trump’s tax returns released, but not two pages from 2005.  I want the full returns from 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.  Full returns.  For the past six years.  Until that happens, it is not news, it tells us not a single thing about his financial dealings, and it is nothing more than another red herring.

The real news is the news that we did not see on our televisions or online or on the front pages of the New York Times.  The real news is what is happening with the investigation into Trump & Co.’s Russian ties, the very thing Trump is trying so hard to distract us from.

So what IS going on with the investigation?  On March 2nd, during a meeting between FBI Director James Comey, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (unfortunate name – leads to confusion), and Senator Lindsey Graham, Comey indicated that he ‘might’ provide a “clearer explanation” of the existence of a Russia-related FBI investigation in advance of an anticipated Senate hearing on Wednesday, March 15th. The Senate hearing is titled “The Modus Operandi and Toolbox of Russia and Other Autocracies for Undermining Democracies Throughout the World”.  That’s a mouthful!  The hearing will focus on the FBI’s role in any Russia investigation.  According to Senator Whitehouse, “You can’t really be in the position of saying, ‘your congressional oversight will interfere with an ongoing investigation but we’re not going to confirm that we have an ongoing investigation.’ You can’t have it both ways.”  In other words, Senators Whitehouse and Graham are still trying to figure out if the FBI has an investigation going.  Sigh.

Turning our focus to the House investigation, the two top leaders are Representative Adam Schiff and Representative Devin Nunes.  Schiff says Russia’s effort to sway the election for President Donald Trump is one of the most serious issues of our time. Devin Nunes isn’t even convinced Russia tried to help Trump. Obviously this one will go well.  Nunes, by the way, was a member of Trump’s transition team, if that tells you anything. THIS, folks, exemplifies why we need an independent investigation.  At the very beginning of the House investigation, Nunes claimed he saw no evidence tying Trump officials to Moscow.  Schiff responded with, “When you begin an investigation, you don’t begin by stating what you believe to be the conclusion.” Quite so … it would be like a scientist drawing a conclusion, then looking only for data to support his conclusion.  This is NOT the way to run an investigation.

In other news, Representative Nunes announced earlier today that he has not seen any evidence that then-President Barack Obama wiretapped Donald Trump last year.  “We don’t have any evidence that that took place and in fact I don’t believe — just in the last week of time, the people we’ve talked to — I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower.” What a surprise, huh? Another red herring bites the dust.  I wonder if they checked the microwave oven for hidden cameras?

In still other news, FBI investigators and computer scientists continue to examine whether there was a computer server connection between the Trump Organization and a Russian bank, Alfa Bank, according to a CNN report.

The news that I would like to hear, is what is being done to investigate the ever-widening array of contacts between Trump and Putin via Trump’s businesses, family, and staff/cabinet members.  Politico has put together seven charts that best clarifies what we know at this point. Below is the first of the seven, but I encourage readers to check out the others as well, as there are some rather interesting connections that I was not aware of.

connections-1

It is imperative that we focus on those things that actually have relevance.  Two pages of Donald Trump’s 14-year-old tax returns are not relevant and tell us absolutely nothing. His claims of wiretapping are ludicrous.  Yet it is these stories that we are force-fed to the exclusion of the more important news.  Trump is using diversionary tactics to send us all off chasing moonbeams while ignoring the fires under our feet.  There is a reason … always a reason …