The Good, The Bad, And The … Funny!

I vaguely remember the days, back before the year 2016, when I went to bed at night feeling safe and secure.  I can almost remember the days when I didn’t automatically associate the word “Republican” with hatred, racism, greed, cruelty, cheating, lying, and obnoxious.  Ahhhhh … those were the good ol’ days!  Long story short, I have more snark built up since my last snippets post, so … let me share just a few with you!


Kiran Ahuja has a new job!

On Tuesday, the Senate voted on President Biden’s nominee for the Office of Personnel Management, Kiran Ahuja.  Ultimately Ms. Ahuja, a civil rights lawyer and veteran of the Obama administration, was confirmed, but only after Vice-President Kamala Harris cast the tie-breaking vote, because not one single Republican was willing to vote to confirm her.  Why?  Well, for one thing she is an Indian-born immigrant.  According to Josh Hawley – you remember him, the guy who did a fist pump in a show of solidarity with the terrorists who attacked the Capitol on January 6th

“I’m concerned that as the federal government’s H.R. director, Ms. Ahuja could use her platform to promote radical ideologies that seek to divide rather than unite the American people. She could bring critical race theory back into federal government training.”

GASP!!!  She could … require sensitivity training by those who make hiring decisions for the federal government!  Oh, wouldn’t it be awful to teach people that it is wrong to discriminate!  She could actually insist that hiring decisions be based on the skill level of the applicants rather than the colour of their skin!

Apparently, the congressional Republicans want an all-white cabinet, and the difficulty of Ms. Ahuja’s appointment was not the first sign of trouble.

Shortly after taking office, President Biden nominated Neera Tanden to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  Ms. Tanden is also Indian American, and this time, Biden pulled her nomination once Democratic Senator Joe Manchin (yes, he of filibuster and voter suppression fame) made it clear he would not vote to confirm her.  However last month, the President appointed her to be a senior White House advisor, a position for which no senate confirmation is necessary.  Take that, Republicans … and Republican wannabe Manchin!

And then, there was Deb Haaland, a Native American who was chosen to be Secretary of the Interior, a department that has a long history of being used as a tool of oppression against America’s Indigenous peoples.  Ms. Haaland was ultimately confirmed in March, but only after being grilled at length as Republicans tried to paint her as a radical.  Said Republican Senator Steve Daines from Montana …

“I’m deeply concerned with the congresswoman’s support on several radical issues that will hurt Montana, our way of life, our jobs and rural America.”

Um, Mr. Daines … the population of Montana is less than 1% of the population of this country … put that in your pipe and smoke it.

I am very thrilled that the Biden cabinet looks much different than that of the former guy, that there is diversity and qualified people with experience making the everyday decisions that affect our lives.  I sincerely hope that I never see the day when there is a Republican president and a Republican majority in the Senate again, for all this progress would likely be undone within a matter of a few weeks.


But there was a big, bright spot today!

Judge Peter A. Cahill sentenced former police officer Derek Chauvin to 22.5 years for the murder of George Floyd.  This sentence will not bring Mr. Floyd back to life, but … it is consequential, and I am very pleased.  This is very nearly the longest sentence any police officer has received in this country for unnecessary killing in the line of duty and it is long past due.  It is, to the best of my knowledge, the longest sentence given to an officer for the murder of an unarmed Black person.

Shortly after reading the sentence from the bench, Judge Cahill issued a 22-page memorandum about his decision, writing, “Part of the mission of the Minneapolis Police Department is to give citizens ‘voice and respect.’” But Mr. Chauvin, the judge wrote, had instead “treated Mr. Floyd without respect and denied him the dignity owed to all human beings and which he certainly would have extended to a friend or neighbor.”

The maximum sentence possible would have been 40 years, and the presumptive sentence would have been 12.5 years.  I think the main thing to take away from this sentencing is that it sends a strong message to police officers that the blanket concept of ‘qualified immunity’ isn’t going to protect you when you use excessive force, that times are changing and police, just like anybody else, can be held accountable for their actions.

In the end, Judge Cahill said two “aggravating factors” had affected his decision to sentence Mr. Chauvin to more than 22 years: Mr. Chauvin had acted with particular cruelty, the judge said, and had abused his authority as an officer of the law.  This needs to become the rule, not the exception!  Mr. Chauvin, who is currently 45 years of age, will likely be eligible for parole after serving 2/3 of his sentence, or in about 15 years.


For the People … yeah, right

I am still furious over the Senate Republicans’ unanimous vote to deny even debate on the For the People Act that would have ensured our rights to vote, despite nearly every state in the nation attempting to suppress that right.  But yesterday, there was a glimmer of hope.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Friday that the U.S. Justice Department is suing the state of Georgia over its new voting law, saying that the controversial measure is intended to restrict ballot access to Black voters.  In his news conference yesterday, AG Garland said …

“Our complaint alleges that recent changes to Georgia’s election laws were enacted with the purpose of denying or abridging the right of Black Georgians to vote on account of their race or color, in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.”

Thumbs up to the Attorney General!  👍 👍

The bill, SB202, has already passed the Georgia State Legislature and been signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp.  In effect, it makes sweeping changes to the state’s absentee voting rules, adds new voter identification mandates and nearly cuts in half the amount of time for voters to request a mail-in ballot.  It also outlaws passing out food or drinks to voters within 150 feet of a polling place or too close to voters waiting in line.

These voter suppression tactics, while aimed largely at Blacks, will also negatively impact Hispanics, working mothers, the elderly, college students, and the poor.  I sincerely hope that the Justice Departments case wins the day, thereby sending messages to other states, but my best guess is that more lawsuits will be required.

Y’know … We the People have a lot of rights per the U.S. Constitution, but I think perhaps there is none more important than our right to vote, to have a voice in our government.


Late night host/comedian Stephen Colbert talked a bit about the travesty of justice regarding the For the People Act, as well as a number of other issues I’ve written about recently, and his monologue actually brought a laugh gurgling up from my throat, so I hope you’ll check it out and maybe you’ll laugh too!

The Week’s Best Cartoons 3/20

As she does every week, TokyoSand has scavenged the ‘Net for the best political cartoons of the past week.  Thank you, TS, for all your efforts to bring us the ‘toons that tell a whole story with a single picture.


On one hand, there was a lot of great news this week: Americans got help thanks to the COVID relief bill, we confirmed more great folks to the Cabinet, and Biden beat his own goal to get 100 million vaccine shots administered in his first 100 days. But, there was also a lot of terrible news, which was covered by editorial cartoonists.

toon-1toon-3toon-2toon-4

See All The ‘Toons!

Some Not-Too-Snarky Snippets

It’s been a few days at least since there was a Snarky Snippets post … long overdue, I think!  The difference between the Biden administration and the former one is … I can’t even describe it.  It is a breath of fresh air, it is like finding a TGI Fridays in the middle of the desert.  It is most noticeable in the news.  Oh sure, there are many things to snark over … always will be as long as we have politics, I suppose.  But today, two of my ‘snarky’ snippets bring good news … something that hasn’t happened a single time between 2017 and January 20th, 2021.


A promotion for Vindman!

I’ll start with the good news!  You remember when Alexander Vindman testified against the former guy in the first impeachment hearing last year?    Shortly thereafter, in a move that can only be dubbed revenge, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman was fired, as was his brother, Lieutenant Colonel Yevgeny Vindman.   Both men, twins by the way, were employed by the National Security Council (NSC).

alexander-yevgeny-vindmanWell, despite the former guy’s attempts to derail their careers, at least one of the Vindman brothers has the last laugh.  Though fired from the NSC, Yevgeny Vindman remained in the military, while Alexander retired.  Lieutenant Colonel Yevgeny Vindman, however, is soon to be promoted to a full Colonel!  Yep, Yevgeny Vindman is now on a list of colonel promotions that has been approved by the White House and is going to the Senate for formal confirmation!  Score one for good triumphing over evil!

In case you’re wondering what Yevgeny’s brother Alexander Vindman has been doing since his retirement, he is writing a memoir and also working toward a doctoral degree!  His memoir is a book I’ll definitely read!


Change of venue???

I wrote just two days ago about the upcoming trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who murdered George Floyd last May.  Well, the latest today is that his attorney, Eric Nelson, has asked the judge in the case for a postponement and … wait for it … a change of venue!

Now, a change of venue is typically requested when an attorney believes his client cannot get a fair trial in his own area due to excessive publicity.  But … in this case?  The George Floyd murder set off a domino effect that publicized it not only all across this nation, but around the globe! I think that if Mr. Nelson is seeking a venue where people perhaps haven’t seen the heart-wrenching video of Chauvin keeping his knee on the neck of a defenseless George Floyd, where they haven’t seen the protests that took place not only all over the U.S., but also in Europe, then I think perhaps the Arctic is about the only place for the trial.  Do they have courts in the Arctic?  Or perhaps Siberia, which would be a great place for Derek Chauvin … he would fit right in!

Nelson asked the judge to, at the very least, recall the seven jurors that were selected last week to ask them if they had heard of the settlement approved by the City of Minneapolis to the family of George Floyd in the amount of $27 million … basically an admission that their police officer is guilty.  Now, once again this is ridiculous, for of course they have all heard of it … hell, the entire nation has heard of it!  Judge Cahill did agree to call back the jurors for additional questions but said he would do so closer to the date of opening arguments, currently scheduled for March 29th.

Keep your eye on this one, folks … the future of holding police accountable for their actions rides on the outcome of this case.


Deb Haaland, Secretary of the Interior

Yesterday, Deb Haaland became the first Native American to serve in a cabinet position!  President Biden nominated her to serve as Secretary of the Interior, and yesterday she won Senate confirmation in a 51-40 vote!  (Where were the other nine senators?  Did they forget to come back to work on Monday?)

deb-haalandThus far, the president has met with little resistance to his cabinet nominees, with the exception of Neera Tanden whose nomination was withdrawn due to wide opposition as a result of certain tweets she had made in the past.  But Deb Haaland’s nomination was contentious, especially among republicans, for she has long taken a “keep it in the ground” approach to the fossil fuel industry – not a particularly popular stance among Republicans, many of whom are in the pockets of the coal, gas and oil industries.

In the final vote, only four Republicans joined all Senate Democrats present in the 51-40 tally that will install her as Interior secretary. Those votes came from Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, who said she “struggled” with her support, Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Dan Sullivan of Alaska.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said …

“Given the long and troubled relationship between the federal government and tribal nations, the ascension of Rep. Haaland to the top of the Interior Department is a profoundly important moment for America. For too long tribal nations have been denied a seat at the table where decisions were made that affected their lives and their land.”

Three cheers to Deb Haaland and those senators who voted to confirm her.

Bits of Snarks ‘n Snippets

I tried to come up with something fun for a Saturday Surprise post, but sadly the snarky angst is bubbling over, so please forgive my lack of humour today.  Perhaps there will be a Sunday Surprise – who knows?


The not-so-great State of Ohio

I hate the state I live in – Ohio.  I have always hated it, and had it not been for a job offer from Honda back in the 80s, I would never have moved to this state.  I’ve lived in the State Capitol, Columbus, and for the last nearly 30 years, have lived in the northern suburbs of Cincinnati.  The state is heavily republican, and about 80% of the people are arrogant bigots.  But what I read today makes me more determined than ever to get the hell out of this state!

This memo put out by two state legislators says it all …

Ohio-memo

One of the “greatest presidents in American history”?????  WTF?????  If this passes, then I am definitely leaving the state, if I have to live in a lean-to in the mountains and forage for wild berries and mushrooms to eat!


Jon Stewart on Twitter

Former Daily Show Host Jon Stewart Testifies On Need To Reauthorize The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund

Comedian Jon Stewart, a long-time favourite of mine, joined Twitter two days ago, though he has long said it would never happen, and already he has nearly one million followers!  Wow … I’ve been on Twitter since January 2009 – 12 years – and I have only 140 followers!  And he’s only tweeted twice!  Hmmmm … wonder what I’m doing wrong?


Reward for bad behaviour?

Yesterday I wrote a rant about newly-elected representative Marjorie Taylor-Greene.  She is a conspiracy theorist, a gun-totin’ bitch, a Trump loyalist, and played a role in the attack on Congress on January 6th.  Many, including myself, have called for her to be removed from the House of Representatives, for she is not somebody I want making the laws that I live under. 

She is not, in fact, lawmaker material, but rather troublemaker material with her many nasty remarks and allegations that 9/11, the Sandy Hook school shootings, and the Parkland school shootings were all hoaxes.  More recently it has come to light that she said that ‘wildfires in California were not natural. Forests don’t just catch fire, you know. Rather, the blazes had been started by PG&E, in conjunction with the Rothschilds, using a space laser, in order to clear room for a high-speed rail project.’ 

But now for the worst of it! 

The only education this woman has is a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.  She does not have a degree in education, has never been a teacher, and yet she was placed on the House Education and Labour Committee!  She would be making the decisions about what is taught and how it is taught in our public schools???  NO!  Just effing NO!  After her committee placement was criticized by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and in light of Greene’s spreading of conspiracy theories regarding school shootings, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz introduced a motion to remove Greene from all committee assignments.  I want her removed from Congress … hell, truth be told, I want her removed from the planet Earth!  Send her to join her alien friends somewhere way up in space!  See if Elon Musk can help.


A breath of fresh air … literally

President Biden has nominated Deb Haaland to be the new Secretary of the Interior, replacing Trump’s fossil fuel entwined David Bernhardt.  Let me tell you just a bit about Deb Haaland …

deb-hallandMs. Haaland is a politician who has been the U.S. Representative from New Mexico’s 1st congressional district since 2019. The district includes most of Albuquerque, along with most of its suburbs. Haaland is a former chairwoman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. Along with Sharice Davids, she is one of the first two Native American women elected to the U.S. Congress. Haaland is an enrolled member of the Laguna Pueblo and a 35th-generation New Mexican. Haaland is a political progressive who supports the movements to abolish ICE and to implement the Green New Deal and Medicare for All.

When President Biden picked Representative Haaland to be his Interior secretary, the positive response to the historic choice was so enormous, it virtually overshadowed any meaningful dissent.  But now that the bulk of the confirmation hearings are due to start next week, the naysayers are coming out of the woodwork.  Why?

Two words:  fossil fuel.  Senator Bill Cassidy, a republican from Louisiana who sits on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which will oversee Haaland’s confirmation proceedings, and appears ready to hold Haaland to account for the Biden administration’s plans to stop issuing new leases for oil and gas drilling on federal lands.  THOSE LEASES NEED TO BE STOPPED!  Fossil fuels are just that … fossil:  a relic of the past!  Renewable energy is where we turn our sights now, Mr. Cassidy!

Ms. Haaland stands for strong conservation, climate action, and tribal rights … all in direct contrast with the fossil fuel industry, in whose pockets are many of the republicans in Congress, obviously including Mr. Cassidy.  I have sent an email to both of my state’s senators urging them to confirm the nomination of Deb Haaland as Secretary of the Interior, for I feel strongly that her values are what this nation needs more of. 


A laugh or two

And last, I give you a bit of humour about … well, about so many things.  This clip from Jimmy Kimmel actually made me laugh, so watch it – it’ll be good for your blood pressure!