Jaw-Dropping Snarky Snippets …

The radar is busy tonight, so many different things on the screen that have me gritting my teeth and wearing the scowl that seems to be permanently etched on my face.  The first snippet is one that will give you nightmares.


He can’t keep a secret …

Just yesterday evening, CNN reported that a Russian spy who was operating in a high-level capacity within Putin’s government, was extracted by the U.S. in mid-2017, in part because high-ranking intelligence officials feared that Trump’s inability to keep his mouth shut would put the spy’s life in danger.  Believe it or not, Trump sycophant Mike Pompeo, who was then the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), was behind the move.

The decision was made shortly after the May 2017 meeting in which Trump discussed highly classified intelligence with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak, much to the horror of the intelligence community.

There were other reasons the intelligence community felt the “asset” might be compromised, but think about this one for just a minute, folks.  The ‘man’ who holds the highest position in the government of a nation of some 330 million people, a ‘man’ who is privy to nearly every bit of classified information in the nation, is not trusted by his own intelligence people, cannot be trusted to keep a secret, to keep his mouth shut.  He needs a keeper … make that a tag-team of keepers … lest he give his buddy Putin the nuclear codes!  Ponder on that one as you drift off to sleep tonight.


Irresponsible to the nth degree …

I wanted to laugh, I wanted to cry … instead I held my head and let forth a string of language that is not appropriate for this blog.  Former Goldman Sachs executive and current Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin announced that there will likely be more tax cuts in 2020!  What made me laugh about the whole thing was remembering 1988 when George Bush, Sr., said repeatedly – “Read my lips:  no new taxes”, and now I would applaud a president who promised “No new tax cuts!  My how times change.

“I think there’s no question the U.S. economy is in very good shape. As we look around the world, there’s no question that China is slowing, Europe is slowing — the U.S. is the bright spot of the world. And regards to a middle-class tax cut, you know, we’ll be looking at tax cuts 2.0, something that will be something we’ll consider next year. But right now, the economy is in very, very good shape.”

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Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of Treasury

Trump and Mnuchin obviously need lessons in how budgets and economies work.  Our national debt is spiraling out of control, currently at $22 trillion and growing every day, and they want to give another tax cut?  Crazy!  Why?  Because, my friends, next November 3rd we will all go vote for either Trump or a democrat … and Trump figures if he can tout another tax cut that won’t help any but his rich friends, we will all fall to our knees and kiss his feet and then go to the polls and vote for him.  This, my friends, is madness.  Just about the very last thing this nation needs is another tax cut.

To further cut taxes is the height of fiscal irresponsibility, yet those who are easily fooled will applaud, will believe that they are getting something … never mind that their grocery bills have increased by $40 per month as a result of Trump’s tariffs, and never mind that the cost of a gallon of gasoline has increased by 43% since 2016.  Meanwhile, the companies to whom you give your hard-earned dollars like Exxon, Amazon, Netflix, Delta, IBM, etc., will happily pay no taxes at all.  Don’t be fooled, folks … sooner or later, the economy will reflect the perfidy of cutting income by removing taxes from the ones who can most afford it.


Dynasty???  I think not …

Trump’s creepy re-election campaign manager, Brad Parscale, has a plan …

Parscale

Brad Parscale, Trump campaign manager

“The Trumps will be a dynasty that will last for decades, propelling the Republican Party into a new party. One that will adapt to changing cultures. One must continue to adapt while keeping the conservative values that we believe in. I think they’re all amazing people, with amazing capabilities. I think you see that from Don Jr. I think you see that from Ivanka. You see it from Jared.”

I think that Mr. Parscale defines the word ‘amazing’ much differently than the rest of us.  I find them all a bit ignorant and a whole lot ugly, both inside and out.  One Trump is more than enough, thank you Brad.  If I believed his prediction for a single minute, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this post, but would be headed to the nearest point of exit from this country.


Science vs Trump …

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Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce

Remember last week’s fiasco with Trump, the sharpie, Hurricane Dorian and Alabama?  Well, today the New York Times reported that Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross actually threatened to fire top employees at NOAA, the federal scientific agency responsible for weather forecasts, for correcting Trump’s dangerous misinformation.  I said last week that it is a very dangerous situation when any politician, but especially one with the power of the president, can control what scientific information the public has access to.  That Trump’s minion Ross was all too willing to do his bidding, to fire scientists to assuage Trump’s ego, is horrendous.

We also found out that it was Ross himself who contacted Neil Jacobs, the acting administrator of NOAA, from Greece where Ross was traveling and instructed Dr. Jacobs to fix the agency’s perceived contradiction of the president.  Fix it???  It wasn’t broken!  It was accurate … it was Trump’s statement that needed fixing, that was erroneous.

So now, do all scientists need to petition Trump for permission to state their findings on every front?


Still more competition!

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Mark Sanford, 2020 GOP Candidate

Yet another republican has thrown his hat in the ring for the party’s nomination for the 2020 presidential election.  First there was Bill Weld, then Joe Walsh, and now Mark Sanford, the former governor of South Carolina.  This one must really frighten Trump for some reason, as he became somewhat unhinged … oh wait, he was already unhinged, wasn’t he?  In a series of tweets, Trump attacked Sanford …

“When the former Governor of the Great State of South Carolina, @MarkSanford, was reported missing, only to then say he was away hiking on the Appalachian Trail, then was found in Argentina with his Flaming Dancer friend, it sounded like his political career was over. It was, but then he ran for Congress and won, only to lose his re-elect after I Tweeted my endorsement, on Election Day, for his opponent. But now take heart, he is back, and running for President of the United States. The Three Stooges, all badly failed candidates, will give it a go!”

‘Twould seem Trump is running a bit scared, eh?  I will have more about Sanford, but for tonight, I am out of steam!


The conclusion to this collection of snippets can only be one thing:  Trump must go!Trump-must-go

 

How To Build A Wall …

My friend Valerie posted this on Facebook last night …

“We just got a phone call wanting us to buy a brick in Trumps wall. No, not happening.”

Say WHAT???  Surely just some new phone scam, right?  Well, yes and no.  Turns out that there are a couple of different ‘things’ going around, but at least one is actually a project of Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign!  Yes, folks, but the bricks aren’t real, and they don’t go to build the wall!  They are fake bricks that you can purchase for only $20.20 each and have them sent to either Senator Chuck Schumer or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Campaign manager Brad Parscale issued a statement:

“The Democrats have been stonewalling President Trump for too long, as the President remains fully committed to make a deal to secure our border. Now the American people can send a message directly to Chuck and Nancy on a faux red brick that tells them to build the wall. Because they clearly don’t understand the facts about the critical need for a wall and border security, our bricks will teach them the truth about the crime, drugs, and human trafficking that result from open borders.”

A fake brick. For only $20.20.  Enough to feed a family of four for a day or two, at least.  Instead, some fools will throw away their money on this foolish little game.  By the way … the market price of an actual brick is around $1.96 per square foot.

The campaign also set up a website called Build the Border Wall, where respondents can donate their money and choose if they want their brick to be sent to Pelosi or Schumer. They can send up to seven bricks to each with one donation.

There is also a robocall going about that may or may not be associated with the Trump campaign, where they are asking for $35.  The voicemail says …

“To secure the border and stop criminal gangs, drug smugglers and human traffickers, it’s a tremendous problem. President Trump wants to send bricks to Chuck and Nancy for every donation of at least $35 right now. That’s why we need your help, now more than ever to get these bricks sent, so Chuck, Nancy and the Democrats know you’re serious about helping President Trump secure the border and fund the wall. So please press 1 now to support President Trump by donating and getting your brick sent to Chuck and Nancy. Again press 1 to donate, that’s on your keypad to donate now, press 9 to unsubscribe.”

I came across these stories in several media venues, including The Hill and Newsweek.  I liked what one Newsweek reader, Philip Bergeron, suggested:newsweek


Meanwhile … remember a while back when I reported that a GoFundMe account had been set up by a man named Brian Kolfage for the purpose of financing Trump’s border wall?  Kolfage was asking that every American contribute $80.    Well, as of January 9th, it was reported by MarketWatch that the account had raised $19.7 million.  Now, that’s quite a bit shy of the $5.7 billion that Trump is demanding only to make a start on his blasted wall, but it is still an astounding figure!  I am stunned and appalled that more than 346,000 people had no better sense than to donate an average of $56.94 to a wall that is not needed, is not wanted, and is one of the biggest hoaxes of modern times!!!  Fools!!!  I can actually feed my family for a week on $56.94 if I try!

However … two days later, on January 11th, GoFundMe announced that they would refund all donations after Kolfage made a strange change to the wording of the account.  Whereas in the beginning, he claimed that ‘every single penny’ would go directly toward building the wall, he later added the following verbage …

WE EXPANDED OUR MISSION! We are no longer just funding the wall, we are now BUILDING the wall. 

Eight days before Christmas I started this GoFundMe campaign because I was tired of watching the U.S. government’s inability to secure our southern border. Like most Americans, I see the porous southern border as a national security threat and I refuse to allow our broken political system to leave my family and my country vulnerable to attack.

The plan of action was simple and straightforward to raise money to construct a wall on our southern border. We have raised over $20 Million from 325,000 plus donors and we are only just getting started! I have been literally overwhelmed and inspired by the outpouring of support, calls, and emails from American citizens who support our efforts to Build the Wall. I got some hate as well but that was easy to ignore with all the positive feedback I was getting. I immediately sought out and consulted with some of our country’s leading professionals in law, politics, national security, construction, and finance. This team has spent countless hours over the holidays reviewing all issues pertaining to the construction of a southern border wall. Unanimously, we have all come to the conclusion that:

  • The federal government won’t be able to accept our donations anytime soon.

  • We are better equipped than our own government to use the donated funds to build an actual wall on the southern border.

  • Our highly experienced team is highly confident that we can complete significant segments of the wall in less time, and for far less money, than the federal government, while meeting or exceeding all required regulatory, engineering, and environmental specifications.

  • Our team strongly believes that we can complete our segments of the wall for less than half of the government’s estimated costs on a per mile basis.

It was also discovered that Kolfage has a history of running sites that promoted conspiracy theories and racist content.  A BuzzFeed News investigation published Thursday found that Kolfage allegedly pocketed money donated to a previous GoFundMe account he started for wounded veterans.  Nice guy, huh?  Fits right in with the rest of the Trumpeters.  Although GoFundMe is refunding the money of all who donated prior to January 11th, the campaign is still open and people are still donating, for I saw no less than ten donations that had come in within the two hours before I visited the site.

I would be willing to bet that many, if not all of the people donating to any of these schemes are in the bottom half of the income scale and can ill afford the money they have thrown away.  Surely it is only the under-educated and uninformed that would be so foolish?  Sigh.

Free Press — Going, Going …

The press, the media, are NOT the enemy of the people.  Period.

Two news items this week have left me literally shaking with rage.  The first you have likely already seen and heard multiple times, but the second was less publicized and you may have missed it.

First …Trump-tweetIt is reminiscent of February 2017 when, shortly after taking office, he called the press “the enemy of the people”.  Since then, hardly a day has gone by that he didn’t refer to CNN, the New York Times or The Washington Post as “fake news”.  As if all that weren’t quite enough, his 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale tweeted …parscale-tweet-e1529091270137.pngThis, folks, is intolerable.  No modern American president has publicly spoken this way about the press.  Is this what Trump’s followers find so admirable about him?  Is this what they mean when they say he “tells it like it is”?  If so, then they need to understand that what he is doing is chipping away at the very heart of the 1st Amendment.  As Jim Acosta replied, “Dictatorships take away press credentials. Not democracies.”

Second …

You may not have heard that cartoonist Rob Rogers was fired from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette after more than 25 years as the paper’s editorial cartoonist.  Why?  Let me show you …Rob-Rogers-1Rob-Rogers-2Rob-Rogers-3Rob-Rogers-4Turns out that the recently-hired editorial page editor, Keith Burris, and the publisher, John Robinson Block, are Trump supporters.  As such, they took umbrage with Rogers’ cartoons.  They began by blocking any of his cartoons that were critical of Trump, and when he was ordered to draw cartoons extolling the virtues(?) of Trump, he refused and then was fired.

Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto’s statement:

“The move today by the leadership of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to fire Rob Rogers after he drew a series of cartoons critical of President Trump is disappointing, and sends the wrong message about press freedoms in a time when they are under siege.

This is precisely the time when the constitutionally-protected free press – including critics like Rob Rogers – should be celebrated and supported, and not fired for doing their jobs. This decision, just one day after the President of the United States said the news media is “Our Country’s biggest enemy,” sets a low standard in the 232-year history of the newspaper.

I’ve known Rob a long time. That has never stopped him from publishing cartoons that are critical of me, of my policy positions, or of my actions (or inactions) in office. He’s even made fun of my weight. But he is one of the best in the world at his time-honored craft, and I know people of all political persuasions stand with me in support of him, even if the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette regrettably does not.”

These two incidents are not to be taken lightly, folks.  These are direct hits on our freedom of the press, and make no mistake, but a free press – one able to criticize without fear of reprisal – is our only hope of knowing what our government is doing.  Without the Post, the Times, CNN, ABC, Time, and a host of others, we are in the dark and will be spoon-fed only the propaganda of Fox, Breitbart, Hannity and Jones.  We will be told only what Trump & Co want us to be told.  I would ask every person who still supports Donald Trump – are you okay with that?  Will you be happy to live in a tunnel, in a dictatorship where you have no voice?

A few days ago I was on the phone with my friend Herb, but we kept getting cut off every few sentences.  On about the 4th attempt to continue the conversation, he jokingly said that it was probably Trump punishing me for all the things I have written about him.  We laughed about it.  That was 2 days ago.  Today I am no longer laughing.  Think about it.

On The Road Again …

I have long said that Donald Trump never seemed to stop campaigning, even after he won the election on 08 November 2016, and not even after his inauguration on 20 January 2017.  He continues to hold campaign-style rallies as if he were still running for the office that he now (temporarily) holds.  Well, guess what?  I was right!  On the day of his inauguration, Donald Trump filed his 2020 campaign with the Federal Elections Commission!  Is this not the epitome of arrogance?

Yesterday, Trump made public his 2020 campaign when he announced his intention to run, and also named Brad Parscale as his campaign manager.  Parscale is closely aligned with Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who recently lost his security clearance and is at the center of an investigation into his ties with foreign agents.  It is said that Trump is ‘itching’ to get back out on the campaign trail, and his favourite activity of performing for an adoring crowd.  Wait … isn’t he supposed to be in the Oval Office working at the job for which he was elected?  I mean, we are paying him $400,000 plus fringe benefits to do a job, and … he’d rather spend his time campaigning to get the same job in 980 days?  Does anybody see a problem with this?

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Brad Parscale, campaign manager

Thus far, Trump has held no less than 19 campaign rallies since his election in November 2016.  The campaign has raised funds and run two nationwide advertising campaigns.  Given the campaign he ran in 2015-2016, where his campaign slogans seemed to be “Crooked Hillary” and “Lock her up”, I am unclear how he can campaign this early, as he has no opponent to brutalize.

But even though there are still 980 days until the next presidential election on 06 November 2020, and even though there is not yet a clear candidate on the democratic side, there are already polls!  And the good news is that Trump is trailing, on average 10-18 against almost any potential candidate, including Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren or Kirsten Gillibrand.

He already has a small campaign staff, including Brad Parscale (campaign manager), Michael Glassner (campaign committee manager), John Pence (campaign committee deputy executive director) – yes, he is related to Mike Pence – his nephew, in fact, Bradley Crate (campaign treasurer).  And by the end of 2017, his campaign had already received more than $36 million in contributions.  In addition to his tired old slogan of “Make America Great Again”, he has added a new one: “Promises Made, Promises Kept”.  Shoot me now, please.

In 2016, I complained that nearly two years was far too long for a political campaign to go on, that it was draining and demoralizing for the public.  I suggested that 3-6 months is plenty of time for a few debates, some ads, and a handful of rallies, and would allow we, the voters, to maintain at least an illusion of sanity.  So, what do they do?  They extend it to four bloomin’ years!  Shoot me now, please.

With the scandals and chaos that define the Trump administration, and with collusion between the Trump campaign (the old one from 2016) almost certain to land squarely in Trump’s lap before this year is out, I think it highly unlikely that Donald Trump’s name will be anywhere on the ballot in 2020.  If I am wrong, if he can not only run, but win in 2020, then our system will have somehow failed miserably.