Break Open Da Piggy Bank …

Last week, Trump traveled to the United Kingdom for a state visit.  I’ve already written about his bizarre, juvenile behaviour and will leave that topic alone for now, but my jaw dropped yesterday morning when, after assessing our family finances and deciding I better wait until next week to order my insulin, I read what Trump’s little jaunt cost We, the Taxpayers.


Junior strutting in his finery

First, consider who went.  Donald and the sour-faced spouse, Melania – the only two who were actually invited.  Then there was Don, the hunter, Junior; the useless duo of Ivanka & Jared; Eric and his potty-mouth wife, Lara; and the usually-unseen Tiffany … I guess she couldn’t pass up a trip to London on our dime.  So … eight principal characters, all of whom, of course, require round-the-clock Secret Service protection.  Then there were about a dozen of his ‘advisors’, though since he never listens to them and they are mostly witless anyway, it’s unclear why they went along.  Among them was America’s #1 bimbo Kellyanne Conway, resident liar Sarah Huckabee Sanders, white supremacist Stephen Miller, and boot-licker Steve Mnuchin as well as his wife.  And to ice the cake, he also brought along some friends, like Chris Ruddy, CEO of the conservative media organization Newsmax.


Could the women have found any uglier dresses???

First, there were the costs to fly Air Force One from Andrews Air Force Base to London … about $2.5 million for the round trip.  The Trump kids did not fly on Air Force One, but whatever they did fly on cost the taxpayer an undisclosed amount, and their Secret Service protection cost even more.  I’m not sure why we are protecting these useless people, but …

Along with people on Air Force One, the presidential limousine and Marine One helicopter were transported, along with a multitude of supporting vehicles and staff. They’re all designed to keep the president safe and away from protesters.  You know … those protestors that Trump claimed he didn’t see?UK-presidential-limNext, there was the cost of Secret Service protection for all the above-named people … while I have searched and cannot find any credible information about the costs of Secret Service protection, there is no doubt whatsoever that it runs into the millions.  Just a weekend jaunt to Mar-a-Lago runs over $1 million.

Then came the accommodations. Trump and part of his entourage stayed at the Qatari-owned Intercontinental Park Lane Hotel, at a cost of approximately $1.3 million.  Other members of the party stayed elsewhere:

  • London Hilton on Park Lane ($339,000)
  • Cumberland Hotel at Cumberland Place ($92,000)
  • Hyatt Regency Churchill hotel ($37,000)



Trump’s suite at Intercontinental Park Lane

While there are many costs that I can find no information about, there was a crowning end to his trip when he detoured for a visit to his golf course in Doonbeg, Ireland.  This extra jaunt cost the taxpayers $3.6 million more than if he had remained in London!  To add insult to injury, he conducted a bit of business while he was there … not U.S. government business, but rather business concerning his golf course, which is part of Trump Enterprises.  No, no conflict of interest here, folks … move along now … see that snake oil salesman just across the street?

And the UK paid a hefty price for the Trump family visit as well.  Contrary to what Trump claims, tens of thousands of protestors were out in force last Tuesday, ensuring that a strong police presence would be required. While I have not heard a final tally, prior to Trump’s visit the estimate for security by Scotland Yard was £40 million, or $50.7 million! UK-protestors.jpgIt should be noted that in 2012, when President Obama traveled to Spain, Trump had nothing but criticism about the cost of the trip …

“The Obama’s Spain vacation cost taxpayers over $476K. They love to spend money.”

A mere fraction of the cost of the Trump family’s London vacation … ah, but that was President Obama, whose skin wasn’t quite the right colour to suit Trump.

No matter what the final figure for this trip is on either side of the Atlantic, the taxpayers of both the United States and the United Kingdom have been royally ripped off.  What did we gain from this trip?  Nothing.  The Trump boys had a lot of fun pub-hopping over in Ireland, Trump had a blast making up stories, claiming that people loved him and that the Queen never had a better time than with him.  And he embarrassed the heck out of this nation by threatening to force our horrendous health care on the Brits, among other things.  Melania, Ivanka, Jared, Junior, Eric, and Tiffany got to see the sights and be treated like royalty. UK-pub

We, the taxpayers?  We got nothing, not even a lousy T-shirt.

London The Baby Blimp June 2019 UK Trump Protesters Funny Shirt

Send In The Adults … PLEASE!!!

PLEASE, people, let us put some adults in charge of this sinking ship!!!  In a nutshell, if you combine all the statements about Syria and condense them into a single statement, it reads something like this:

We are going to withdraw all U.S. forces from Syria by the end of last year, but it may not happen for several years.

Scratching your head over that one, aren’t you?  See, what happens here is that Donald Trump gets up one morning all in a fizz and while he’s sitting on the potty wondering what to tweet next, an idea comes to him.  So, without consulting any of the two people on his staff who have brains, he tweets that he will be pulling all U.S. troops out of Syria.  Then, as an afterthought, he tweets that this will happen by the end of December.Bolton-Mattis-Pompeo.jpgImagine the look of utter incredulity on the faces of James Mattis, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo on seeing that tweet as they sit at their breakfast tables!  We know Mattis’ take on it, for it gave him the reason he had probably been looking for to tender his resignation and get off the Trumptanic before it meets the iceberg.  Bolton likely turned red in the face and nearly had apoplexy, moustaches twitching while his eyebrows went up and down.  And Pompeo probably just popped yet another donut into his mouth.bolton-near-tearsApparently, despite his bluster and his reputation as a warmonger, even Bolton has a problem with Trump’s decision, bred of ignorance, but he could hardly ignore his boss man, so he found a compromise this week … pull out the equipment and leave the troops!  Brilliant … that way he can honestly say we are in the process of pulling out, yet not risk the lives of all Kurds and other innocent people in the area by leaving them unassisted with the threat of Turks attacking.moving equipment-Syria.jpgOnly thing is … without equipment, without jeeps, tanks and the like … of what use are the soldiers?  And how safe are they?  Oh this was such a well-thought-out, brilliant move!  CHAOS!  ICEBERG AHEAD!!!titanic-2Interestingly, despite some equipment being moved out of Syria, the Department of Defense says that the number of U.S. troops in Syria may “increase slightly”.  Trump, apparently after talking to Bolton, changed his ’30-day’ time frame to four months, but even that seems highly unachievable … and undesirable from a foreign policy point of view.  I doubt that Bolton has had the nerve yet to tell him that he may increase the number of troops and that they may yet be there for years.

There are valid reasons for the U.S. to remain in Syria.  One, daesh (aka ISIS) has not, as Trump said it had, been eradicated and if U.S. forces leave the area, are likely to regroup and increase their numbers.  Two, Turkish President Erdoğan has already said that it is his intent to murder every Kurd in Syria, and without the protection of the U.S. troops, that is almost a certainty.

Trump is almost certain to have to eat some crow on this one … could that be part of the reason he’s digging his heels on the border wall?  His ego cannot seem to take two major defeats in such a short time frame, and his buddy Sean Hannity will definitely not be pleased with him if he caves on the border wall.

Let’s talk about that border wall for a minute.  I found it heartbreaking yesterday to read that some of the federal workers who have been without pay for nearly a month now are selling household goods on Ebay to try to scrape together enough to pay the rent and keep the electricity on … it is winter, y’know.

Limo.jpgMeanwhile, Trump rides around in his ostentatious $1.5 million limo (we paid for that, too), takes Air Force One to Texas for a wasted trip that accomplished nothing at a cost of $200,000 per hour!  And he obviously has not so much as missed a meal.  He claims democrats are to blame for his ignominious shutdown for not being willing to negotiate, but in truth it is he who is not willing to negotiate.  He has set a number he wants immediately for his wall at $5.7 billion, and that is the only outcome he will accept.  He isn’t willing to settle for a portion of that amount … it’s all or nothing at all.  So really, there is only one person to blame, and that person is definitely not a democrat! He will bankrupt this nation within the next six months at the current rate he is spending our money.

The victims of the chaos that reigns in this administration are each and every one of us.  It only begins with those 800,000+ workers who are in danger of losing their homes, cars and even lives, but in the near future the pain will trickle down to us all.  This is the most irresponsible presidency in the history of this nation, bar none.  It’s time we put some adults in charge, for we damn sure don’t have any today!

♪ Snippets, Snippets, I Got Snippets ♪ …

I came across a few tidbits, or snippets yesterday that I thought were deserving of a mention.  So, I am mentioning them.  The first involves one of my favourite people to snark about, former Maricopa County, Arizona, sheriff Joe Arpaio!  Yep, folks ol’ Sheriff Joe is back in the news! He is reminiscent of that bad penny that just keeps turning up everywhere.  Or the paperclip that keeps turning up under my daughter’s desk and the vacuum finds it every bloomin’ time!

A Case of Hypocrisy?Arpaio-2You may remember that just a year ago, Sheriff Joe was convicted of Contempt of Court.  He never served a single hour of jail time, and then the month after his conviction, Donald Trump pardoned him.  Now, you might think, having dodged the bullet, so to speak, that ol’ Sheriff Joe would be thankful, cut his losses and slither silently back under the rock from whence he came, right?  Wrong.  Sheriff Joe is now running for the United States Senate, hoping to fill the seat that is being vacated by Jeff Flake.  But that isn’t what put him on Filosofa’s radar.  It was yesterday’s tweet that did it this time:arpaio tweetFirst, isn’t it ironic that the man who committed the crime and didn’t do so much as an hour’s time, can baldly make such a statement?  And second … those ‘tent cities’ were partly what got him in trouble in the first place, as he abused and mistreated his prisoners.  The good people of Arizona need to make damn sure that Mr. Arpaio does not win the election in November!

Sue!!!  Sue, sue, sue!!!

Okay, folks.  Donald Trump has been involved in nearly 6,000 lawsuits in his life, which equates to approximately 120 per year if he started suing and being sued at birth.  I’ve been involved in exactly one lawsuit in my entire life.  Anyway, apparently it is a trend, one of those things that … if something isn’t going quite the way you expected or wanted it to, why then … just sue somebody.  Things still won’t be going the way you expected or wished, but hey … at least you’ll have a bunch of money, right?

You all remember the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas last October?  The gunman, Stephen Paddock, opened fire from the window of a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel on the Las Vegas strip.  At the end of his shooting spree, 58 were left dead and 851 injured inside of a 15-minute period.  Stephen Paddock had not just one, but several semi-automatic weapons with bump stocks that allowed him to shoot at a rate similar to a fully automatic weapon.  But guns are not my point today.

MGM Resorts International, the hotel conglomerate that owns the Mandalay Bay, is suing more than 1,000 victims of the aforementioned massacre.  Stop just a minute now, and think about this.  The hotel where the gunman was a ‘guest’, and from where he perpetrated his heinous crime, is suing the dead and injured parties.  Huh?  Say what?  Why, you ask?

Because … some of the victims have filed a suit against MGM Resorts, a security firm hired to manage the festival, and other companies, alleging negligence.  A group of 450 victims filed the suit … that’s a bit less than the 1,000+ victims that MGM is suing, but they want to head any future lawsuits off at the pass, as well as putting the current ones to bed.

MGM is not seeking monetary damages from the victims, but is hoping a federal judge will dismiss any current or future lawsuits brought by victims against the company.  For the record, I think both lawsuits are wrong.  The guilty party was Mr. Paddock and he is dead.  The Mandalay Bay Hotel had no way to know what his intent was when he rented the room, so I see no reason for a lawsuit against MGM.  If I were among the victims and wanted to sue anybody, it would be the NRA for blocking all legislation that could have prevented this tragedy. Neither, however, do I see a reason for MGM to sue the victims … all of them.  It seems like pouring salt in the wound.  Frivolous lawsuits seem to be the trend of the day.  Not happy?  Fine, sue someone … you still won’t be happy, but you’ll have money.

The Blame Game Redux …

Donald Trump has attempted to blame nearly everyone for almost everything.  His favourite targets, though, have consistently remained Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.  It has become obvious to those of us who are not mesmerized by Trump’s pathological lies that he is guilty as hell in conspiring with Putin & Co to affect the outcome of the 2016 election.  While Trump is not, in this writer’s opinion, particularly intelligent, even he is surely able to see that the people of this country are no longer buying his tall tales.  So, of course, he has to find somebody to blame.  Eenie meenie miney mo … who shall it be this time?  President Obama drew the short straw on Monday!  SURPRISE!!!  Not.

Trump accused President Obama of rigging the ongoing Russia investigation against him and instructing FBI agent Peter Strzok to carry out the task. He pulled this theory from the dark recesses of either his mind or his posterior during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity Monday night, after having made a mockery of the nation he is purported to represent, in Helsinki.  Best guess?  He needed to distract attention from his own disastrous behaviour.  His theory doesn’t even deserve more than these two paragraphs.

Paint the Plane???  WHY???A-F-1This is a picture of the plane the president and his entourage fly on, known as Air Force One.   You may remember that Trump has ordered two replacement jets from Boeing at a cost to us of $3.9 billion.  Okay, the old ones are … old … 28 years old, so I get needing new ones.  While the cost sounds exorbitant to me, I am no expert, and frankly the cost of a new pair of shoes sounds exorbitant to me.  I am cheap.

But look at the picture again.  Not a bad looking plane, eh?  But it is too tame for Donald Trump.  When he was in Scotland, killing time until he could meet with Putin in Helsinki, Trump did an interview with Jeff Glor of CBS News.

“I said, ‘I wonder if we should use the same baby blue colors?’ And we’re not. You know what colors we’re using? Take a guess. Red, white and blue.”

The colour change isn’t likely, I suppose, to add to the cost, but knowing Trump, it will be garish and ugly, for he seems to like garish and ugly.  I imagine he has to change the colours because the current schema was good enough for President Obama.  But here’s the real kicker … the new version is scheduled to be completed by 2024, but Trump has pushed for that date to be pushed up to 2021 so that he might have a chance to ride it.  HAH!!!  If he’s still around in 2021, I will eat my socks!!!

wash-windowsAnd that concludes today’s roundup of snippets.  My street is being paved today, and the noise is driving me nuts, so I think I will wash windows or something productive to take my mind off the noise.  Have a great evening, folks!