Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr …

Since Joe Biden’s inauguration, I breathe more easily.  I go to sleep at night (or rather, in the wee hours of the morning) knowing the nation is in good hands, and I wake up in the morning knowing there won’t be any major horror stories about some insidious thing the president has done.  Communication from the president is in the form of regular press briefings, not inane tweets.  However, there are still rage-inducing stories in the news, and most are directly attributable to one group of people:  Republicans!  I don’t like the division between parties, don’t want partisanship to be what defines us, but damn … they are the most arrogant, power-hungry, greedy people in this nation!  ‘We the People’ and the U.S. Constitution are naught but a joke to the Republicans in office today.  Once we’ve paid our taxes, we mean nothing to the bastards.  So what, you ask, has set me off tonight?

GOP has lost it’s collective marbles!

Although the GOP decided not to strip Representative Liz Cheney of her leadership position in the House of Representatives, the Wyoming GOP has deigned it appropriate to censure her and ask for her resignation.  Why?  For doing her job, for following her conscience, for voting to impeach Donald Trump.

Now, let’s think about this one for just a minute.  We have a woman of ill repute, Marjorie Greene, who has endorsed a movement to murder House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has supported QAnon’s dangerous and loopy conspiracy theories, and applauded the terrorist attack on the Capitol and Congress on January 6th, to name a few, and she received no censure, no request for her resignation, no NOTHING!  But Liz Cheney does the right thing for the nation, for We the People, and she is made a pariah!

Listen up, Republicans!  Donald Trump is no longer in office, and when he was, he was the single worst president this nation has ever had.  He is a crook, a criminal, and a ‘man’ without a conscience.  He is responsible for at least some portion of the more than 400,000 deaths in this nation due to his inept bungling of the pandemic.  His impeachment was right and proper and for once, Ms. Cheney did the right thing.  The resolution to censure Cheney and ask for her resignation states that she …

“… violated the trust of her voters, failed to faithfully represent a very large majority of motivated Wyoming voters, and neglected her duty to represent the party.”

Wait just a darned minute here … her duty is to the people of the United States, not to the Republican Party!  Which brings me to my next point …

If we have come to the point where the party line comes before doing the right thing, before the well-being of the people of this nation, then as a nation we are doomed.  Our votes, then, aren’t for the person, but rather for the party and if the person follows the law, acts in the best interest of the people, he or she is going to be punished.  This is not what the Founders had in mind when they wrote the Constitution back in 1787!

Now, there are those who will say both parties are the same, but no … if any democrat had voted against impeachment, he or she would NOT have been censured by the Democratic Party.  That isn’t how it works, isn’t how it’s supposed to work.

To the people of Wyoming … you need to oust the current GOP and start over, for they have lost their bloody minds!  They support a shell of a man who encourages violence and even murder for his own profit and to expand his own power.  How is that even related to ‘democratic principles’?

Looks like the minimum wage raise is DOA … for now

President Biden tried to attach a raise in the minimum wage to $15 per hour to the coronavirus relief package, but the Senate late Friday night nixed that idea.  Even Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia refused to support the minimum wage increase, saying he would support “something reasonable”.  Well, let’s see, Mr. Manchin … your net worth is estimated at $7.6 million, so … how about you give that all up and try living on a bloody $7.25 per hour for the next few months?

The federal minimum wage has been stagnant at $7.25 per hour for 12 years now, since 2009, while the cost of living has risen consistently each year.  Approximately 42.4% of workers earn less than $15 per hour and 1.8 million work for wages at or below the federal minimum wage.  But never fear, for the business owners who pay their employees minimum wage are millionaires and billionaires … they, at least, are not struggling or suffering.

The notion of raising the minimum wage to $15 is not dead … it will come up again and soon, but it is highly unlikely that it will be in the final stimulus bill, and that is a damn shame.

No, Trump cannot have classified information!

On Friday, President Biden said that Donald Trump should not continue to receive intelligence briefings due to his erratic behaviour and the risk that he might recklessly reveal sensitive information, as he has done in the past.  Now, first off, I don’t understand why a former president would continue to receive classified intelligence briefings anyway, no matter who he is!  But secondly, I fully concur with Joe Biden on this … Trump is a dangerous loose cannon who cannot be trusted with any classified information!

I did a bit of digging and found that nowhere is it stated that former presidents should be given access to classified intelligence information.  It has historically been done largely as a courtesy, but with Trump, we have entered a new era and it must be decided that he cannot have access to any classified information, for it would put not only this nation, but the entire world at risk.  Donald Trump’s personal debt (over $400 million) and his proclivity to share secrets with foreign adversaries make him a security risk.  As a private citizen, he could never qualify for the security clearance that was conferred upon him as president. He has proven time and time again that he cannot be trusted.  We the People voted him out of office for a reason, and out of office must mean his fingers and ears are out of our government!

Foreign leaders like Vladimir Putin and Recep Erdoğan would happily deal with the devil, parting with a few million dollars in exchange for information about elections, troop movement and more.  NO, just NO!  In an opinion article in The Washington Post in January, Susan Gordon, a career CIA officer and one of the most respected intelligence officers of her generation, wrote that the danger of providing intelligence to a president whose business deals might make him beholden to foreign investors and lenders was just too great.  I agree.

As president, Trump selectively revealed highly classified information to attack his adversaries, gain political advantage and impress or intimidate foreign governments, in some cases jeopardizing U.S. intelligence capabilities.  A spokesperson for the Biden administration later said that the final decision had not yet been made and that it would be reviewed by the intelligence community.  However, the President has the final word here, and my sense is that Joe Biden is not going to allow Trump to receive intelligence briefings or any other classified information.

In part, the intelligence briefings are given to former presidents as a courtesy, and in part in case the current president needs or wishes to reach out to a predecessor for advice, but in this case, there is no way in hell that Trump has any advice that President Biden would find to be of value.

Still Plenty Of Material For Snarky Snippets

After the 2020 election, when Joe Biden won the presidency, I wondered if I would have to retire my ‘snarky snippets’ posts, for surely there wouldn’t be much to snark about.  I was delusional … it seems that there will always be something to set off the snarkometer!


Say WHAT???

I was incensed yesterday when I heard that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, asked about who was to blame for the terrorist attacks on the Capitol on January 6th, said …

“I also think everybody across this country has some responsibility.”

Say WHAT???

Oh no, sir, you are dead wrong in that!  The fools who participated are to blame, and the bigger fool who incited them is to blame.  You Republican members of Congress who stood silently by for the last four years, allowing Donald Trump to believe that he could get by with literally anything, including inciting a riot must share the blame.  But, the majority of people in this country have not one iota of blame in this fiasco!

Beau of the Fifth Column, always the voice of reason, gives us his take on Mr. McCarthy’s words and I fully agree with him.

A man without a conscience

Another one of the Republican Party’s bigger fools (so many to choose from) is Rand Paul.  Earlier this week, I told you about Paul’s insidious remark that President Biden, in his inauguration speech, had said that all Republicans were white supremacists. Biden neither said nor implied any such thing, but apparently Paul and some of his cohorts are determined to twist and manipulate Biden’s words so that they have something to bitch about.

Well, that apparently wasn’t enough for Mr. Paul, for now he is criticizing the long-overdue and much-needed plan to raise the federal minimum wage rate incrementally to $15 per hour by 2025.  Criticizing is one thing, but in order to support his critique, Mr. Paul found it necessary to tell a few big lies.

“But also raising the minimum wage to $15, I think, will also — the government estimates are close to 4 million people will lose their jobs. Particularly hurt among this are minorities and black teenagers, particularly with high unemployment.”

“So raising our taxes will cause corporations to flee, but if you mandate what the wages are, if you mandate a minimum wage of $15, it’s not like everybody gets $15. The people who still have a job get $15, but many people will become unemployed. In fact, government statistics say almost 4 million people will lose their jobs if you mandate a $15 an hour job minimum wage.”

Well, Mr. Paul, the truth is that according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate, the 4 million jobs was the highest possible, but at the low end of the analysis was that zero jobs would be lost.  Frankly, I don’t see a company making money hand-over-fist shutting down just because they have to spend a bit more to pay their employees.  Mr. Paul’s own base salary of $174,000 per year breaks down to $85.29 per hour! 

H.R. 582, also known as the Raise the Wage Act, was passed by the House in July 2019, with only three republicans voting for it, and then it died in the Senate without even being considered. It would incrementally raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 — where it has been set since 2009 — to $15 by 2025.

Let’s be very clear here … the objections by Mr. Paul and other republicans are lodged only because their big-money corporate donors are against anything that would cut into their profits.  Rand Paul is owned, lock stock & barrel, by corporations such as Koch Industries and others.  He doesn’t speak for We the People, he speaks only on behalf of wealthy corporations and CEOs.  Anything that would reduce their profit by so much as a lousy dollar is going to be fought by the republicans who are slaves to the wealthiest 1% of the people in this nation.

toon-minimum-wageThink about this … the person who is paid minimum wage earns a full-time annual salary of $14,790.  Could you live on that?  Hell, my rent alone comes to $14,640 per year, and I live in a lower-income area!  If I earned minimum wage, it would leave me $150 to pay utilities, car payment, fuel, insurance, and buy food for a full year.  C’mon, Mr. Paul – get real!  Think about the rest of the people in this country, not just your wealthy donors.  Better yet, how ‘bout you just step down from Congress … go home to Kentucky and live happily ever after on your $2.58 million net worth and let those who have both a brain and a conscience govern the nation.

If companies who are making millions of dollars in profit, yet paying almost no taxes, cannot even pay a living wage to their employees, then they do not deserve to be in business.  It is my hope that President Biden and the members of both chambers of Congress will take their hands out of the till long enough to do the right thing for the people of this nation and pass the $15 an hour minimum wage bill.  If they don’t, then perhaps it’s time for a nationwide strike.