DOA … Dead On Arrival

Fortunately, since we have a caveman at the helm, the president does not write the budget – Congress does.  The president can submit his proposal, his request or wish list, but at the end of the day, it is Congress who writes the budget.  Thankfully.

This week, Trump gave his wish list to Congress, and as we all suspected, it is atrocious.  In short, he wants to take as much as he can possibly take from We the People and give as much as he possibly can to his wealthy cronies, raising the already-staggering deficit in the process.  Let’s take a look at some of the most egregious items, shall we?

  • First, there is “the wall”. Since he couldn’t bully Congress into giving him the $5.7 billion he asked for to start work on the wall, he is now asking for $8.6 billion!  And this guy is supposed to be a master dealmaker?  The art of compromise is entirely lost on him!
  • Then there is the environment. His proposal is to cut funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by 31%.  It would cut the EPA’s Global Change Research office, which exists to provide scientific information to policymakers about the threats posed by climate change, as well as a number of other programs involving clean water and air.
  • Along similar lines, he proposes massive cuts to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) renewable energy and energy efficiency budget … some 70%!!! The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which falls under the DOE, provides hundreds of millions of dollars a year in grants and other financial assistance for clean energy, has financed research into technologies ranging from electric vehicles to energy projects powered by ocean waves. It has been credited with financing research to help make the cost of wind power competitive with coal, and cutting the costs of LED lighting.

Note that Trump has repeatedly vowed to zero out federal spending on clean energy research and development, while doing everything in his power to promote and even subsidize the fossil fuel industry.  The only conclusion that can be drawn is that either he truly desires the destruction of the human race, or he is really that damn stupid.

  • He proposes to cut safety net programs such as food stamps, Medicaid, and housing assistance, all programs that low-income families depend on for their very survival. In spite of inflation, he proposes to freeze the maximum Pell Grant for low-income college students.
  • He has also proposed to cut Medicare … that benefit that we all paid into every single paycheck of our lives … by $845 billion over the next ten years! And … he plans to cut $25 billion from Social Security … again, a program that we all paid 6.2% of our gross pay into every paycheck we ever earned in our entire lives!

Note that in 2016, when he was still a wanna-be, he said, “I’m not going to cut Social Security, like every other Republican, and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.” More damn lies! 

  • He also proposes to cut the Department of Housing and Urban Development by 16 percent and the Education Department by 12 percent.
  • He does, however, wish to increase the defense budget by $750 billion (that’s in addition to the $8.6 billion for his damn wall).

No part of the plan addresses increasing revenue, and in fact it extends the tax cuts for the wealthy that were passed in December 2017.  It is by no means a balanced budget, and will absolutely, without question add to the national debt and deficit, both of which are already out of control, by trillions of dollars.  What happened, I would ask, to those fiscal hawks that put Obama down for eight years for not balancing the budget, for deficit spending?  Yo!  Republicans!  Can y’all hear me out there in la-la land???  This ‘man’ you all think so much of, that you’re willing to lose friends over, is going to cut Social Security … the money you have saved for your retirement since the first day of your first job.  Are you going to continue to sit on those fat, white posteriors and not even raise a stink?

But, there is good news.  And that is …

Trump’s budget proposal does not stand snowball’s chance in hell of passing Congress!  Not even a slight chance.  Even the republicans don’t like it!  It is naught but his pie-in-the-sky wish list.  However … what it does do is it speaks volumes about Mr. Trump’s priorities, and his lack of concern for the people who put him into office.  A president is elected, in theory, by the majority of the voters.  In Trump’s case, he was not elected by the majority at all, but was nearly three million votes short of it.  One might think that would make him work a lot harder to win over those of us who did not vote for him, but instead, he devotes seemingly every waking moment to finding ways to stab us in the back.

We’re tired of it.  Instead of working with Congress to attempt to develop a budget that benefits the nation and its people, he is submitting a proposal that his own advisors have told him will not fly.  He is working against the very people he swore to represent.  His priorities are a wall, his rich cronies, his Star Wars-type toy, a ‘Space Force’, and other useless crap, for lack of a better word.  Meanwhile, the poor and middle class, the 99% of the nation, will suffer if he gets his way.  Those are his priorities, folks.  His budget proposal tells us exactly where we stand … out in the cold.

More Snarky Snippets

The headline catches my eye …

Fox News: The Arrest Of Roger Stone Was Worse Than Benghazi

I ponder … dig through my dusty memory bank.  As I recall, there were a number of fatalities during the attack on the American diplomatic compound and the CIA annex, four of them U.S. citizens. And I seem to remember 11 non-fatal injuries, again four of them U.S. citizens, the rest Libyan.  So … were people killed when FBI agents pounded on Mr. Stone’s door, yelling, “Open up … FBI!”?  Who died?  I hadn’t heard that there were deaths and injuries, had you? fox-stone-raid

I read the article …thearticleI really liked both of the comments. Look, Fox people, Roger Stone is far from an innocent citizen peacefully minding his own business.  He is into the Trump-Russia scandal so deep that I’m surprised he can still breathe.  Stone has been a piece of trash for decades.  For once, he got a taste of what he deserves.  Enough said. Grow up and knock off with the Benghazi comparison, for there simply isn’t one.


Now, remember I cautioned you yesterday that while we are watching that giant Trump-a-ganza of a circus complete with clowns and elephants, there are things going on that we should be aware of?  Well, here is one of those things …

Trump plan to reclassify nuclear waste alarms environmental groups

The Trump administration wants to reclassify some radioactive waste left from the production of nuclear weapons to lower its threat level and make disposal cheaper and easier. The proposal by the U.S. Department of Energy would lower the status of some high-level radioactive waste in several places around the nation, including the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state — the most contaminated nuclear site in the country. Reclassifying the material to low-level could save the agency billions of dollars and decades of work by essentially leaving the material in the ground, critics say. – Associated Press, 10 December 2018

hanfordsiteFacilities which would be affected include the country’s most highly contaminated: the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state, which takes up an area half the size of Rhode Island. Opened in 1943, the site produced the plutonium for the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan in 1945, according to its website. The production of nuclear materials carried on until 1987, leaving behind waste that threatened the local environment, prompting the state and federal authorities — including the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — to pledge in 1987 to clean up the site, without success.

Other facilities mentioned in the plans are the Savannah River Plant, South Carolina and the Idaho National Laboratory, according to the Associated Press.  Oh … and speaking of the Savannah River site …

US secretly shipped plutonium from South Carolina to Nevada

WTF???  According to the AP report …

The U.S. Department of Energy revealed on Wednesday that it secretly shipped weapons-grade plutonium from South Carolina to a nuclear security site in Nevada months ago despite the state’s protests.

The Justice Department notified a federal judge in Reno that the government trucked in the radioactive material to store at the site 70 miles (113 kilometers) north of Las Vegas before Nevada first asked a court to block the move in November.

Department lawyers said in a nine-page filing that the previously classified information about the shipment from South Carolina can be disclosed now because enough time has passed to protect national security. They didn’t specify when the one-half metric ton of plutonium was transferred.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said he’s “beyond outraged by this completely unacceptable deception.” He announced at a hastily called news conference in Carson City late Wednesday the state is now seeking another court order to block any more shipments of plutonium as it pursues “any and all legal remedies,” including contempt of court orders against the federal government.

Secretary of Energy … Rick Perry … the same Rick Perry who, back in 2017, said that increased use of fossil fuels will lead to a reduction in sexual assaults.  Save a buck at the potential cost of ours and future generations lives.  What could possibly go wrong?


Here we go again …

Last week, the Trump administration announced it will allow a ministry in South Carolina that only works with heterosexual Christian families to participate in a federally funded foster care program.

That means Miracle Hill Ministries can receive federal funding to participate in the program while discriminating against non-Christians, as well as the LGBT community.

WTF???  When did it become okay for a religious organization to receive federal funds?  And when did it become okay to discriminate???

The organization was in violation of a regulation issued by the Obama administration that states organizations receiving funds from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) can’t discriminate on the basis of religion or sexual orientation.

But Trump’s HHS, under Secretary Alex Azar, issued an exemption for the ministry to participate in the program, writing that to force it out would be a violation of its religious freedom.  No, no it would not be a violation at all of its religious freedom, but it is a violation of the concept of separation of church and state to allow this bigoted religious organization to collect federal funding.  Period.  What is so damn hard to understand about that concept?


From the ‘You’ve Got To Be Kidding?’ Annals …

You remember Sebastian Gorka, right?  He served briefly as an ‘advisor’ to Trump in 2017, until his connections to an anti-Semitic group in Hungary became known.  He’s never quite gone away though, and is now a contributor to Fox News.  His latest …gorka-rbg

First of all, Gorky, Ruth Bader Ginsburg does NOT ‘have to’ attend the State of the Union address.  If you will look back to last year, she did not attend the State of the Union address then, for she was in Rhode Island for a late-morning “fireside chat” at Roger Williams University’s law school before speaking at a temple in Providence later that evening.  There is no ‘requirement’ that anybody attend!  And second of all, YOU cannot even spell her name right!

But there’s even more.  Remember that fringe group, Q-Anon?  They have put forth the conspiracy theory that RBG is hiding a secret illness, or she is dead.  FOR PETE’S SAKE — do these fools have nothing better to do than sit around and think up fairy tales???  Couldn’t they, perhaps, do something useful to contribute to this world?


Well, now that I’ve got all that out of my system, I’m going to bed.  G’day, my friends!

Full Bore Snarky Snippets …

Perhaps it’s the holiday season that’s done it, or perhaps it’s just an overload of Trumpism.  Perhaps it is the cold temperatures and lack of sunlight.  But whatever it is, I am in a mood these days.  A mood that has my tongue in shreds for I have bitten it so many times as I try to be a good grannie and show some enthusiasm for such things as the Christmas village and the live tree, the cookie-baking and decorating/shopping/wrapping/spending.  A mood that has me crying myself to sleep at nights as I wonder what the hell this world is coming to.  Anyway, the result is I am in super-snark mode, so you may want to don your ear plugs for this one …

earphones


Don’t drink the water …

drink-waterFrom the very first line, it galled me …

“On Tuesday, Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency announced it would roll back Obama-era rules that, under cover of the 1972 Clean Water Act, empowered federal bureaucrats to regulate virtually every puddle, pond and drainage ditch under the guise of protecting wetlands.”

This statement is from the Editorial Board of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and can be found on the EPA’s website.  The first thing to note is that it refers to “Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency”.  THE EPA DOES NOT BELONG TO DONALD F***ING TRUMP!!!  The EPA is an agency of the United States federal government that is funded by, and thus belongs to, WE THE PEOPLE!

the adelsons.jpg

Miriam and Sheldon Adelson

Guess, by the way, who owns the Las Vegas Review-Journal?  None other than Trump’s mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate who, along with his wife, donated $55 million this year to groups dedicated to securing Republican control of the House and Senate.  Adelson’s wife was mysteriously awarded the ‘Presidential Medal of Freedom’ for no reason other than the obscene amount of money she and hubby spent to help Trump get elected.  The Adelsons donated some $83 million to help Trump get elected, and another $5 million to his inaugural fund.

The editorial called this week’s rollback of Obama-era clean water rules “another administrative success story in its battle against the overweening administrative state.”  Believe me, folks, this is not in any way, shape or form a ‘success’, but is another nail in the coffin of our overall health and the state of our environment.  The Clean Water Rule protected the water we drink from chemicals and waste being dumped into our water supply by fossil fuel producers, manufacturers, and agribusiness.

Think about this one … one in three Americans gets their water from a source that will no longer qualify as ‘protected’.

There will be legal battles and it is unlikely that anything will change in the immediate future, but this is one more signal from the Trump administration that big business carries the day and We The Little People have little or no value to Trump and his minions.  Yo! … you supporters of Trump … do you honestly still believe that he is “one of us”?


Revenge of the eejits …

When asked by a Reuters’ reporter if he was concerned about a possible impeachment, Trump replied …

“I’m not concerned, no.  I think that the people would revolt if that happened.”

The people … would revolt?  What people???  First, only a minority, although an inexplicable 40% minority, even tolerate the buffoon.  And of that 40%, probably only 5% have the guts to take to the streets in protest.  And if there was a revolt, the U.S. military and National Guard would put it down quickly enough … trust me, a tank trumps a man with an AR-15 most any day.  So no, Donnie boy, there might be a few isolated incidents, a bit of grumbling, and a bunch of hot air from the talking heads over at Fox, but there would be no wide-scale revolution that would put you back on your throne!trump-jailShould he be impeached?  Absolutely, for he is the most corrupt, dirtiest ‘president’ in the history of this nation, and he is destroying the country just as surely as Hitler destroyed Germany in 1933.  Will he be impeached?  Probably not.  Even if he is impeached in the House of Representatives, the odds of the Senate voting to convict and remove him from office are slim-to-none, for they are all lapdogs, boot-lickers, whose personal fortunes are tied to his.  But if he is impeached and removed … his next office will likely have very thick iron bars.


LIES, lies and more lies …

In the past week, Trump has told so damn many lies about his “wall” that it is the source of dark mirth around the globe.  He claims that large sections have already been built … they have not.  He claims that it is necessary to the nation’s security … it is not.  And now … wait for it … now, he claims that Mexico is actually paying for it!  They are not, in case anyone even still cares.

His muddled theory here is …

“I often stated, ‘One way or the other, Mexico is going to pay for the Wall.’ This has never changed. Our new deal with Mexico (and Canada), the USMCA, is so much better than the old, very costly & anti-USA NAFTA deal, that just by the money we save, MEXICO IS PAYING FOR THE WALL!”

Anyone who ever had any doubts about the mental capacity of this ‘man’ … never fear … he has the mind of an eight-year-old, at least!

There is no consensus that provisions in the new trade deal would result in Mexico funding a border wall, and former Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray tweeted following the announcement of an initial agreement on the USMCA that Mexico would never pay for the wall, even through the new deal.  I ask again, would somebody please wake us from this nightmare???


And that is all the snark for tonight, folks.  Well, actually I have plenty more, but I should save some for tomorrow, yes?

Killing Us For Profit

It’s a familiar scene in households where a toddler or two reside.  Mommy is going through the house picking up the toys, and other detritus left behind by the toddler, and the toddler is going right behind her, tossing all the toys right back into the middle of the floor.  Only in this case, “Mommy” is all the nations on the globe except the U.S., meeting in Poland for the COP24 where they debate the best ways to keep greenhouse gasses out of the atmosphere.  And the “toddler” is Donald Trump, alleging to represent the United States, seeking to put more of those same gasses into the atmosphere.  Only difference is that mommy can pick up the toddler and stick him in a playpen or high chair, distract him momentarily, and finish the clean-up.  Unfortunately, the other nations have no power to curb Donald Trump’s destructive urges.

The latest is the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to revise its “New Source Performance Standards” for coal power plants, allowing coal-fired generators to emit more CO2 per megawatt-hour of electricity generated.  In short, it is a reversal of one of the Obama administrations regulations that requires new coal plants to invest in technology such as carbon capture and storage.

Andrew WheelerEPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist, made quite clear what the priorities are, and a clean environment, a sustainable Planet Earth, are definitely not in the equation:

“By replacing onerous regulations with high, yet achievable, standards, we can continue America’s historic energy production, keep energy prices affordable, and encourage new investments in cutting-edge technology that can then be exported around the world.”

I’m not sure who Mr. Wheeler thinks will be buying all that coal, though, for most all nations are investing in renewable energy sources and are hoping to sever the bonds of fossil fuels as soon as possible.  And who, Mr. Wheeler, will mine that coal or buy it when there are no humans left on this earth?

Think of it this way … a classroom of children are each making cards for their mother for Mother’s Day.  Every child is engrossed in cutting, pasting and colouring that special card for mum.  Except one … little Donnie.  Not only is little Donnie sitting with his fat little arms crossed and a scowl on his face, making it clear that he has no intention of making a card for his own mother, but he periodically gets up, walks over to another student and rips their card, or pours ink on it, throws it on the ground and stomps on it.  This is what Donald Trump is doing … he is refusing to allow the U.S. to do our part to try to combat the disastrous effects of climate change, but he is determined to ruin the efforts of other, more conscionable nations.

“This is just one more foolhardy move by a misguided administration that will be judged harshly by future generations.” – David Doniger, senior strategic director of the Climate & Clean Energy program at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“Today’s proposal is nothing more than another thoughtless attempt by the Trump Administration to prop up their backwards and false narrative about reviving coal at the expense of science, public safety, and reality.” – Mary Anne Hitt, senior director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign.

This is not the first action of Trump and his minions to attempt to revive a dying coal industry.  Prior to this, he rolled back regulations regarding carbon emissions and mercury emissions, as well as coal ash.  What’s next?  A requirement that every household install a coal-burning furnace?

The reality is that his actions will not save the coal industry.  It is a dinosaur headed for extinction, and in this case, the sooner the better.  U.S. coal consumption has declined over the last decade and this year is expected to be at its lowest level in 39 years. Coal has struggled in the U.S. to compete with cheaper electricity produced from natural gas and renewable energy.  And along those lines, there is some good news …

Xcel Energy, which provides electricity to 3.6 million customers in eight states, has become the first major U.S. utility committed to delivering 100 percent carbon-free power by 2050.

Equally remarkable, the plan Xcel announced on Tuesday promises an 80 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. The company stated that “its 2030 goal can be achieved affordably with renewable energy and other technologies currently available.”

According to CEO Ben Fowke …

“This risk of climate change isn’t going away and we want to be the company that does something about it and hopefully inspire others to do something about it too.”

Do you hear that, Mr. Donald Trump???

Xcel has said it can already buy new renewable power plants for less money than it costs to simply operate existing coal plants.  In August, Colorado state regulators approved an Xcel plan to shutter two Colorado coal plants and replace them with renewables plus a battery storage, while saving consumers hundreds of millions of dollars.XcelColorado’s governor-elect, Jared Polis, said …

“One of the great things about this transition is it will create tens of thousands of good, green jobs that will never be outsourced. It’s not only about carbon; it’s also about cleaner air, which means people will be healthier. We’re showing the country the way.”

Do you hear that, Mr. Donald Trump???

There are cities, states and corporations within the U.S. that are determined, despite the whims of Trump and his wealthy cronies, to work toward a sustainable environment, but they cannot do it alone.  We need a federal government that puts life before profit.  We need a federal government that helps and supports efforts such as those being made by Xcel Energy and others.

Lest you fail to understand the urgency, a report released Wednesday by a consortium of researchers known as the Global Carbon Project finds that global carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels are likely to have increased by about 2.7% in 2018, after a 1.6% increase in 2017.  That’s a 4.3% increase in just two years!

Do you hear that, Mr. Donald Trump???  You are killing us all in your quest for more wealth!

On Draining the ‘Swamp’ …

swamp-1Remember back in 2015-2016, that long, ugly, disgusting, tiresome campaign Trump conducted?  Yeah, who could forget, right, especially since he doesn’t seem to realize that the 2016 election has ended and the campaign is over, so he keeps holding more and more of his really crappy rallies where he still has his minions chanting “Lock her up!”, even though they have forgotten who it was he wanted locked up.  One of the many things that he spent that year-and-a-half (have I mentioned that it was a very looooooong year-and-a-half?) shoving down people’s throats was how he was going to “drain the swamp”, a euphemism for getting rid of corruption in the federal government.  Well, we now know, thanks to Kellyanne Conway, that Trump uses a different dictionary, a different vocabulary than we do, called ‘alternative facts’, and that by ‘drain the swamp’, what he really meant was he was planning to bring in much more lethal, corrupt, greedy, criminal gators ‘n crocs.

One of my favourite comedians, John Oliver, has applied his own special brand of humour to the notion of Trump ‘draining the swamp’, and it is worth a watch … both educational and humorous …

Thank you, John!swamp-4

Trump Picks More Losers …

The rollback of regulations that were meant to protect the environment and the withdrawal from the Paris Accord were bad enough.  The nomination of climate change deniers Scott Pruitt and Ryan Zinke to top positions in agencies whose primary functions pertained to protecting the environment added insult to injury.  And now, to ice the cake, Trump has appointed William Happer for the key job of “senior director for emerging technologies” at the National Security Council.Will-Happer-climate-science-denierWant to know what’s wrong with William Happer?  Happer is a “theoretical physicist”, whatever the heck that is, at Princeton, and is one of the most demented climate change deniers in existence.  Here are just a few of the things he has to say about climate science …

  • In Defense of Carbon Dioxide: “The demonized chemical compound is a boon to plant life and has little correlation with global temperature.”

  • “This is George Orwell. This is the ‘Germans are the master race. The Jews are the scum of the earth.’ It’s that kind of propaganda.”


  • “The demonization of carbon dioxide is just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler. Carbon dioxide is actually a benefit to the world, and so were the Jews.”  Say WHAT???


  • “Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Every time you exhale, you exhale air that has 4 percent carbon dioxide. To say that that’s a pollutant just boggles my mind. What used to be science has turned into a cult.”

So, just what qualifies him for this position?  Well, for many years, he was chairman of the board of the George C. Marshall Institute, which was funded in part by the Koch brothers to promote climate science denial.  He also writes and co-signs anti-science Wall Street Journal op-eds.

Will-HapperThe reality is that Happer knows little about emerging technologies or real threats to America’s national security but he does know a great deal about denying climate science. And, sadly, that appears to be the only qualification you need to join the Trump team these days.

Another Trump nominee, J. Steven Gardner, had been nominated to lead the Interior Department’s mining agency, but withdrew his nomination earlier this week.  Gardner was a long-time coal advocate who applauded the decision last year to allow coal companies to dump their toxic waste into streams.

According to Tom Morris of the Sierra Club …

“Gardner has shown time and again that he will try and fight anything that gets in the way of profits for coal executives — even if it means sacrificing the health of the families and communities …”Steven GardnerLike Zinke, Pruitt, Happer and all the rest in the current administration, he is a denier of climate science.  Some of his beliefs:

  • Mining is simply “accelerated erosion”
  • Mountaintop mining is good because it creates flat land
  • There is no such thing as renewable energy

Fortunately, Gardner has withdrawn his nomination in light of the stalled confirmation process, and certain requirements by the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) with which he was unwilling to comply.  Good riddance, but who will be next?  No doubt another person who doesn’t believe in science, but rather puts corporate profits above preserving our lives.Patrick Chappatte / International New York Times

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Afternoon Snarky Snippets …

Call it mind-bounce, call it angst, call it fed-up-with-Trump syndrome … whatever it is, it is interfering with my ability to settle in on a single topic today, so I decided to vent on a few topics.  Sometimes getting some of the detritus out of the way helps me focus.


First, the good news …

Eight of the boys who have been trapped in a cave in Thailand since June 23rd have been brought out to safety!  Four boys and the coach remain in the flooded cave and it is hoped that they can be rescued tomorrow.  The boys are being kept in quarantine in a hospital to ensure they haven’t picked up any diseases.  rescueI am disturbed, however, by the fact that they have not yet been allowed to see their parents.  It seems unnecessarily cruel to both the children and the parents, and the parents do not even know which boys have been rescued and which remain in the cave. Psychologists already anticipate that the boys are likely to suffer from short-term psychological symptoms.  I am not a psychologist, but just from the standpoint of a human and a parent, it seems that the most important thing at this point would be reuniting the boys with their parents, letting them feel secure in the embrace of their moms and dads.  But what do I know, right?

Anyway, I am thrilled that the eight boys so far have been rescued and seem to be in good health overall, and hope that the other four and the coach will be brought to safety tomorrow.


Scott Pruitt – one final bootlicking …

As we all know by now, Scott Pruitt resigned his position as head of the Environmental Protection Agency last week amid numerous major scandals.  His resignation letter is something to behold, a true work of … I don’t even know the word for it.  Here, in all its glory, is the letter, with my snarky remarkys in blue

“Mr. President, it has been an honor to serve you in the Cabinet as Administrator of the EPA. Truly, your confidence in me has blessed me personally and enabled me to advance your agenda beyond what anyone anticipated at the beginning of your Administration. Your courage (you have GOT to be kidding!!!), steadfastness and resolute commitment to get results for the American people, both with regard to improved environmental outcomes (define ‘improved’, please?) as well as historical regulatory reform (reform = destruction), is in fact occurring at an unprecedented pace and I thank you for the opportunity to serve you and the American people in helping achieve those ends.

That is why it is hard for me to advise you I am stepping down as Administrator of the EPA effective as of July 6. It is extremely difficult for me to cease serving you in this role first because I count it a blessing (define ‘blessing’?) to be serving you in any capacity, but also, because of the transformative work that is occurring. However, the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us (Awwwww, pobrecito).

My desire in service to you has always been to bless you as you make important decisions for the American people. I believe you are serving as President today because of God’s providence (spare me the bullpoop!!!). I believe that same providence brought me into your service. I pray as I have served you that I have blessed you and enabled you to effectively lead the American people. Thank you again Mr. President for the honor of serving you and I wish you Godspeed in all that you put your hand to.”

PruittDoes anybody else feel ill?  You may notice that he didn’t even mention any of the scandals surrounding him?  Happily, the 14 or so investigations of ethics violations will continue and he remains under the gun.  If it is found that he is guilty of ethics violations, it will be up to Attorney General Jeff Sessions to decide whether to prosecute.  Anybody want to guess how that is likely to go?


Even his friends don’t like the tariffs …

Even some of Trump’s closest allies in Congress are unhappy about the trade tariffs he unleashed last month.  Senator Orrin Hatch, a close ally of Trump’s, reportedly said of the tariffs, “I’d like to kill ’em.”  Republican senators say they can’t get the president to comprehend that his tariffs offensive could upend the mid-term elections. Commodity prices in the heartland are sagging, U.S. allies are retaliating with tariffs of their own — and GOP leaders are fretting that the booming economy is about to go into a pre-midterms nosedive.

My response to all that is, “you reap what you sow”.  The republicans in Congress have blindly followed and supported Donald Trump through some of the most abhorrent decisions ever made by a U.S. president.  They have shoved aside their constituents in favour of the upper echelons that Trump so loves.  And so, when it comes home to roost, when the voters in their states finally say “ENOUGH!!!”, I will have not one shred of empathy for these jerks.


The games people play …

Paul Manafort’s trial is scheduled to begin later this month.  Any bets as to whether it will or not?  Thus far, Manafort has asked for a delay and a change of venue.  Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman and a subject of Robert Mueller’s investigation, since he has close and proven ties to a number of Russians, is accused of both bank and tax fraud.

Paul Manafort.In requesting the move and the delay, Manafort’s attorneys cited intense negative publicity surrounding his prosecution by special counsel Robert Mueller. Yes, well???  You play, you pay … eventually.  I am ready for somebody … anybody … to start facing the consequences of this huge criminal scandal that handed the 2016 election to the least qualified candidate imaginable.  I suspect that once the first one falls, the rest will follow.  We may need to build a new federal penitentiary to hold them all!  Frankly, I will be doing the Snoopy Happy Dance in the middle of the street!


And thus concludes my mini-rants for today.  I shall now go clean a bathroom or two and think about preparing supper later on … lemon-chicken, broccoli and wild rice is on the docket for tonight, and I will be teaching Miss Goose how to make the chicken.  Perhaps someday she can fix supper and I can take a nap!  Have a great evening, friends!

Snarky Snippets To Start The Weekend …

Today I am running short on time and short on patience, so I decided to humour myself by indulging in a bit of snarkiness to start your weekend!


Pruitt Out, Wheeler In …

I let out a WHOOP when I saw the news banner cross my screen, then just a few seconds later heard the ‘knock,  knock, knock’ on my cell phone that indicates breaking news from The Washington Post.  The news?  Scott Pruitt was out … O.U.T. … at the EPA.  I quickly posted the story on my Facebook page, sent Herb a quick message, then sat back to read the whole story and … gloat … only … wait …

My ‘whoop’ turned sour. Turns out, we may be even worse off than before!  My joy dims …

The agency’s deputy administrator, Andrew Wheeler, will be temporarily filling Pruitt’s position, and may end up being Trump’s nominee to fill the position permanently.  Wheeler has a few ‘claims to fame’, but perhaps two bother me the most:

He was a top aide to Senator Jim Inhofe  (you will remember that he is the one who earned the honour of being my first and so far, only Idiot of the Week).  And … this is the most concerning … he was a lobbyist for Murray Coal Company, one of the most corrupt in the industry.

Wheeler is said to be every bit as determined as Pruitt was to follow a path of deregulation of environmental regulations.  Environmental groups say they fear Wheeler even more than they did Pruitt!  “Wheeler is much smarter and will try to keep his efforts under the radar in implementing Trump’s destructive agenda,” said Jeremy Symons, vice president for political affairs at the Environmental Defense Fund. “That should scare anyone who breathes.”


They Can’t Find The Kids …

On Tuesday, 26 June, US District Court Judge Dana Sabraw ordered that the migrant children who had been separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexican border be returned to their parents quickly.  Children under the age of 5 were to be returned within 14 days, and older children within 30 days.

Now, just 4 days before the first deadline, the Trump administration is asking for an unspecified extension of time, saying that the tight timeline is putting them at risk of violating their “statutory obligations to ensure the safety of children before transferring them out of HHS custody.” 

Translation:  We do not know where all the children are, did not engage in good record-keeping when we removed the 3,000 children, and do not know which child belongs to which parent.

They claim they are using DNA testing to match children to parents, saying …

“Given the possibility of false claims of parentage, confirming parentage is critical to ensure that children are returned to their parents, not to potential traffickers.”

Bullpoop!

The other reason they give is that they are running criminal background checks on all the parents in order to ensure they are not returning the child into the hands of a criminal.  Again … Bullpoop!

The Justice Department under Jeff Sessions has said that if the judge wished, they could prepare an alternative timeline.  They are to have a phone conversation this afternoon with Judge Sabraw.  I hope the judge stands his ground, even though it is highly unlikely that the tangled web ICE has woven will be straightened out by the first deadline, next Tuesday.  But if the judge does not relent, and the government does not comply, watch the lawsuits start to fly!  Personally, I hope they do.  This entire thing is unconscionable and should have already been grounds for the impeachment of the man who came up with the idea.


The Coward Heads Abroad …

Next Thursday, Trump heads to the UK for a few days before heading to Brussels for the NATO summit.  I wish he weren’t going to either, for he will certainly shame, humiliate, and embarrass us again, and I have a number of friends in the UK.  But he will not be spending much time in London.  Why?  Because there are mass protests scheduled, and little Donnie is scared.

London-protesters

Londoners protest ahead of Trump’s visit

The citizens of the UK do not want Trump anywhere near their nation, and frankly I don’t blame them.  I doubt very much that Ms. May or the Queen want him, either, but they have this diplomatic duty thing to consider.  But seriously … Trump should feel honoured, for the Londoners have even made a special tribute to Trump — a blimp in his image!  What could be more fitting?  Take a look for yourself …Trump baby blimp-1Trump baby blimp-2Trump baby blimp-3The best we can hope for in this trip is that we not end up in a war with our friends in the UK.  I’m fairly certain he won’t treat them any better than he has treated our Canadian friends, and I am apologizing in advance to my UK friends for the abomination that is about to be unleashed upon your nation.


And that ends today’s snippets, folks.  I must now go mop floors and start chopping veggies for Pasta Primavera tonight!  Have a great weekend!!!weekend

Idiot of the Week — Senator Jim Inhofe

Idiot of the Week medalThere are a host of reasons I have been neglectful this year, ranging from Trumpantics to personal issues to health-related issues, but the time has come to stop making excuses and get back in the saddle.  To what, you may ask, do I refer? … … … Well, are you gonna ask or not???  Okay, okay … Here it is just a few days shy of being the middle of the year, and I have not written one single Idiot of the Week post.  Not one!  It certainly isn’t for lack of available material!  Well, today I plan to rectify that situation, so without further ado, please allow me to introduce to you Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma!

radarSenator Jim Inhofe has crossed my radar a few times of late, and last time he crossed a line when he left something sticky and disgusting all over the screen.  Last week, he flitted across my screen when he blocked the proposal filed by Bob Corker, Lamar Alexander and eleven other senators that would have required congressional approval for the imposition of trade tariffs.  Blocked it.  Would not even let it come for a vote.

Now this week, Inhofe is saying that he is “a little embarrassed” to have doubted his longtime friend from Oklahoma, EPA head Scott Pruitt. Less than a week after suggesting Pruitt might have to resign amid the swirl of scandal, Inhofe said he was confident the administrator had done nothing seriously wrong. Any of Pruitt’s lapses were minor and excusable given his lack of experience in Washington, Inhofe said at a news conference Wednesday.

1 … 2 … 3 … 4 … 5 … 6 … 7 … 8 … 9 … 10 …Head explosionScott Pruitt, you might remember, is the subject of at least twelve federal investigations for abusing his position in various ways, including his travel and security costs, purchase of a home in Oklahoma from a lobbyist using a shell corporation and potential use of his office to enrich himself. And Inhofe finds nothing ‘seriously wrong’ with any of this???  I think we need to take a closer look at Senator Inhofe, don’t you?

For starters, Jim Inhofe is 83 years old and since he does not come up for re-election until 2020, so he will be 85 at the time of the 2020 election.  It is time for this hombre to r-e-t-i-r-e!

Inhofe is the most conservative member of both the House and Senate, according to the 2017 GovTrack report card.

Inhofe bookInhofe is a climate change denier extraordinaire.  He once compared the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to a “Gestapo bureaucracy”.  He even wrote a book in 2012, The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future.  The theme of his book is a global warming conspiracy theory that through worldwide acts of professional and criminal misconduct, the science behind global warming has been invented or distorted for ideological or financial reasons, or both.  Ironically, he sits on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.  And Inhofe has been a recipient of monies from the fossil fuel industry.  Per the Center for Responsive Politics, Inhofe has received over $529,000 from the oil and gas industry since 2012.  Inhofe’s book, by the way, has only a 2.5 star ranking on Amazon and the hardback now sells for $1.50.

At a House committee hearing in 2011, Inhofe was questioned by committee member Jay Inslee, who mentioned that perhaps the scientists were more knowledgeable than he, Inhofe.  Inhofe disagreed because, he said, he had already given “five speeches on the science”.  🙄

Now, all that is certainly enough to qualify him for the first Idiot of the Week award of 2018, but Senator Inhofe has so kindly obliged by giving us even more reason …

In a Senate speech, Inhofe said that America should base its Israel policy on the text of the Bible, then he proceeded to quote said text.  Wait … isn’t ours a secular government?  He also said in a speech to the Senate in 2002 that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were a form of divine retribution against the U.S. for failing to defend Israel.  Oh for …

Inhofe is a bigot.  He has earned 0% in every one of his terms on Human Rights Campaign’s position scorecard.  He is in favor of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, against adding sexual orientation to the definition of hate crimes, and voted against prohibiting job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.  Wait … this is that religious man who believes we should rely on the Bible?  Isn’t there something somewhere in the Bible about loving everyone?  I’m confused.  Inhofe’s office has said that he will not hire gay staffers.  (Perhaps he has a sign on the door like Mr. Jeff Amyx?)

Now for the really fun one.  Inhofe is a licensed pilot (yes, airplanes, Joe!).  On October 21, 2010, at the age of 75, Inhofe landed his Cessna on a closed runway at a south Texas airport, scattering construction workers who ran for their lives. In a recorded telephone call, the men’s supervisor told the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that Inhofe “scared the crap out of” the workers, adding that the Cessna “damn near hit” a truck. In response to the incident, Inhofe stated that he “did nothing wrong”, and accused the FAA of “agency overreach” and causing a “feeling of desperation” in him.  Ayyyyy … pobrecito!inhofe-pruittInhofe has made, on taxpayer’s dollar, more than 140 trips to Africa over the past 20 years.  He admits that much of the reason for his trips was on behalf of The Fellowship, a Christian organization.

There’s more, but I think you get the general idea.  My biggest regret is that Inhofe will not be up for re-election this year, for I really think this dinosaur needs to GO!

village-idiot-2And so, Senator Jim Inhofe, for all of the above reasons and for just generally being a bigot and supporting the destruction of our home, the planet earth, I now award you with Filosofa’s Idiot of the Week award!  Please hang it somewhere that you can show it off to your visitors in the Capitol!

(I really must do these more often … I had forgotten how much fun they are!)