A Batch of Mini-Snarkies

Mind bounce has returned and I cannot seem to stay focused long enough to finish the post I was working on tonight, so instead I give you a few very short snippets.  But don’t worry … they are not short on snark!


The George & Kelly show …george-kellyanne-conwayI have to admit that I take great pleasure in the anti-Trumpian comments I see from time-to-time by none other than George Conway, Kellyanne’s husband!  Here’s his latest tweet …

“Even the modern tyrants whom the president … praises demonstrate more facility with language and more attention to governing detail than does he. To borrow from popular culture, Trump looks less like the sinister Emperor Palpatine and more like the hapless Jar Jar Binks.”

One commenter praised George, saying …

“Your bi- partisan honesty is making you an American hero.   You are amongst some of society’s opinion leaders who stepped up to the plate after Senator McCain could no longer do so….Thank You.”

I repeat what I’ve often said … I wonder what their home life is like?


Ann Coulter makes sense???

coulterThe very name makes me see red, for she is the most radical, foul-mouthed, utterly stupid woman on the face of the earth.  However, on Friday she miraculously said something that was actually true and made sense …

“The goal of a national emergency is for Trump to scam the stupidest people in his base for 2 more years.”

A change of heart?  No, she just happens to be feuding with Trump and was likely trying to get his goat.  Either that, or it was an accident.  Even the stupidest of people will sometimes accidentally say something sensible.  Nonetheless, she got it right … this time.


A tweet is worth a thousand words …

Trump tweet


They turn on their own

A pair of Fox ‘News’ hosts have called for Florida Senator Marco Rubio to step down because he spoke out against Trump’s declaration of a state of emergency.  You may remember last April (or, if you’re like me, you may not even remember yesterday) when I wrote a piece about Fox hosts Diamond and Silk?  Well, it was they who took umbrage at Rubio’s statement:

“We have a crisis at our southern border, but no crisis justifies violating the Constitution.  Today’s national emergency is border security. But a future president may use this exact same tactic to impose the Green New Deal.”

And Diamond & Silk’s response …

Brilliant … simply brilliant and so typical of the republicans today!


Oopsie!

Last December, Trump announced his choice of former Fox ‘News’ reporter Heather Nauert to replace Nikki Haley as United States Ambassador to the United Nations.  Of course, Ms. Nauert is highly qualified … she worked for Fox and she praises Trump – the only two qualifications necessary for any position in today’s federal government.  But yesterday Ms. Nauert suddenly removed herself from consideration for this prestigious position.  Why?

heather-nauertWhat Ms. Nauert said was that “it is in the best interests of my family”.  But it seems there is just a little bit more to it than that.  You see, about 10 years ago, she hired a foreign-born nanny who didn’t have the proper work visa and Nauert didn’t pay proper taxes on time.  Yep, she fits right in with the Trump bunch.  I wonder if this means she will have to step down from her current position as Acting Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs?


Who’s guarding the henhouse?

As I mentioned earlier this week, the national debt has now reached an all-time high of $22 trillion … that’s t-r-i-l-l-i-o-n.  But Trump & Company seem to be shrugging their shoulders and saying, “So what?”mick-mulvaneyI find it interesting, and more than a little bit disturbing, that Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), has no apparent interest in the ever-growing national debt.  Mulvaney was one of the founding members of the House Freedom Caucus and a deficit hawk.  But last week, when asked if Trump would mention the debt in his State of the Union address, Mick said that he would not, because “nobody cares”.

And Trump himself, who was highly critical of the debt under President Obama …

“Our debt is about to top $17T. ObamaCare and China (& others) are killing American business.” – 24 June 2013

“So many problems in the U.S. and leadership that is hopeless…and now, on top of everything else, we just hit $18 trillion in debt!” – 13 October 2014

“With America’s debt topping $21T by the end of his presidency, Obama will have effectively bankrupted our country.” – 10 February 2015

The same man who tweeted those tweets now shrugs his shoulders after adding nearly another $3 trillion to the debt and bringing it to its highest level in the history of the nation.  And when financial advisors attempted to explain the severity of the situation in 2017, he reportedly said, “Yeah, but I won’t be here”.


And on that note, I bid you a happy Sunday!

What’s A Week Without Snarky Snippets?

Someday perhaps I will go an entire week without feeling a need to impart my snarky snippets, but today is not that day.


In dispute of science …

We’ve all seen and heard the climate change deniers … those who, regardless of background or education, claim that they know more than all the highly-educated scientists who have studied the environment and climate for years, some for decades.  But here’s a new one … a germ denier!

Fox News host Pete Hegseth has said on air that he has not washed his hands for 10 years because “germs are not a real thing”.

Say What???  Has this dude never caught a cold?

“My 2019 resolution is to say things on-air that I say off-air. I don’t think I’ve washed my hands for 10 years. I inoculate myself. Germs are not a real thing. I can’t see them; therefore, they’re not real.”

If you ever had doubts that Fox News does not hire the brightest in the field, here is your proof.  Hegseth later said that he meant it as a joke, but personally … I’m not so sure.

“We’re on a show and we have fun and we banter and I’m like, eh, you know, maybe I haven’t washed my hands for 10 years. My half-hearted commentary to the point is, we live in a society where people walk around with bottles of Purell in their pockets, and they sanitize 19,000 times a day as if that’s going to save their life. I take care of myself and all that, but I don’t obsess over everything all the time.”

This explains, maybe, why Hegseth works for Fox instead of CNN.


Oh yeah … alternative facts … how could I forget?

You’ll remember how Trump and his minions attempted to say that the crowd at his inauguration was “the biggest ever”?  Turned out it was a significantly smaller crowd than Obama had at his inauguration in 2008, but Trump never gave up the lie.  Well, last night he held a pep rally in El Paso, Texas, designed to stir up enthusiasm for his ridiculous border wall, and once again he inflated his crowd size.

Trump told the crowd gathered to watch him speak in the El Paso County Coliseum that so many people wanted to be there that the El Paso Fire Department found a way to cram 10,000 people inside the Coliseum, which typically has a capacity of only 6,500. The El Paso Fire Department, however, told Zahira Torres, an editor for the El Paso Times that the arena holds 6,500 people and that’s exactly how many were permitted to enter.

Trump also had to downplay Beto O’Rourke’s competing rally …

“A young man who’s got very little going for himself, except he’s got a great first name, he is, he has challenged us. So we have, let’s say, 35,000 people tonight — and he has 200 people, 300 people, not too good. In fact, what I would do is I would say that may be the end of his presidential bid. But he did challenge us.”

Beto-rally.jpgPolice estimated that Beto’s rally was attended by between 10,000-15,000 people.


The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree …

I don’t know why Trump’s older sons, Don, Jr. and Eric, are given a platform to speak, for neither are particularly intelligent, neither are charismatic, neither hold a position within our government, and thus they are irrelevant.  But speak they do, and like their father, neither are particularly well-spoken. Trump-jr.But that didn’t stop Trump’s eldest, Don, Jr., from speaking at the aforementioned rally in El Paso last night.

“I love seeing some young conservatives, ‘cuz I know it’s not easy.  Keep up that fight, bring it to your schools. You don’t have to be indoctrinated by these loser teachers that are trying to sell you on socialism from birth. You don’t have to do it.”

I repeat … Say WHAT???  Needless to say, Don’s comment did not go over well with teachers who, while not in the audience because they were out teaching socialism to these poor little kiddos, nonetheless heard about the comment.  If it’s possible, I think Junior is even dumber than Senior!


The master speaks … will Trump listen?

Fox News’ Sean Hannity had as much to do with causing that last shutdown that lasted 35 days as any, save perhaps radical bimbo Ann Coulter.  Today, Sean rides again!

Bipartisan negotiators in Congress have been working day and night to come up with a deal that would be acceptable to both parties, as well as Trump, and avert another shutdown starting at midnight on Friday.  A tentative agreement has been reached, but Sean is not happy …

“On this so-called compromise, I’m getting details. 1.3 billion and not even a wall or barrier… Any Republican that supports this garbage compromise, you will have to explain.”

hannity-trumpGarbage compromise?  Sean Hannity, the lowest of low in the broadcast world, should be largely irrelevant.  Instead, the so-called president actually listens to Sean more than he listens to his experienced, educated advisors (Sean is a college drop-out with zero experience in lawmaking or government), and therein lies the danger.  Will Trump take Sean’s words to heart?  Is it possible that, rather than sign the bipartisan bill, Trump will allow the government to shut down once again on the advice of a media personality?

As of this writing, it is reported that Trump claims he is “not happy” with the deal and that if the government is shut down again, it is all the “fault of democrats”.  Yeah, right, Donnie.


And now, I return you to your regularly scheduled programming!

The United States of Fox

Since when do television personalities drive U.S. policy?  Since when does the president of the nation ask the media pundits what he should do?  Why, the answer is simple:  Since 20 January 2017, the day Donald Trump was inaugurated to an office he is incapable of managing.

No one person can know everything … I get that.  In the past, though, presidents have hired people called ‘advisors’ to help them determine the best course of action.  Trump hired people called advisors, but refuses to listen to or heed the advice of the ones who actually know what they’re doing.  The others are just window dressing or campaign donors to whom a favour was owed.  The ones who knew what they were doing got tired of being berated, abused and ignored, and they have since left the room.

Left to right:  Sean Hannity, Sebastian Gorka, Steve Doocy, Lou Dobbs, Ann Coulter

“Is there any, in your judgment, any reason in the world why he should not call that emergency?” —  Fox News host Lou Dobbs

“Let’s be very clear, this is just politics, this is about the vote. This has nothing to do with the security of the nation. And on February the 16th, I expect [Trump] to declare a national emergency to build the wall.” – Sebastian Gorka to Sean Hannity

“Agreed.” – Sean Hannity

“If the committee of Republicans and Democrats now meeting on Border Security is not discussing or contemplating a Wall or Physical Barrier, they are Wasting their time! And if they’re contemplating amnesty, it’s also a waste of time.” – Ann Coulter

Now, I don’t think any of the above people were elected by We the People to govern this nation, were they?  And I seriously don’t think any of them have the education or experience to do so (yes, yes, I know – neither does Donald Trump, but that is a whole ‘nother issue!).

Sean Hannity attended three different colleges – New York University, UC Santa Barbara, and Adelphi University – but lasted only two years total before dropping out to start a house-painting business.  He has never held a position within the U.S. government.

Ann Coulter, surprisingly, graduated cum laude from Cornell University with a B.S. in History, and then received her Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School.  I shake my head over this one, as I do over the fact that Kellyanne Conway has a J.D. from George Washington University Law School.  An education wasted in both cases, I would say.

Lou Dobbs has a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University, and briefly attended law school.

Steve Doocy has a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Kansas. Doocy is also implicated in Gretchen Carlson’s lawsuit against Roger Ailes. The lawsuit alleges: “Doocy engaged in a pattern and practice of severe and pervasive sexual harassment …”

All of the above have been involved in the promulgation of conspiracy theories over the past decade.  None were hired to determine public policy.  None are, as far as I know, on the U.S. federal payroll, although it wouldn’t surprise me to find that they are.  And yet, they are influencing Donald Trump far more than We the People who elected him and pay his salary are.  (And yes, folks, he receives a salary)

The most glaring example, of course, came in December when Trump had agreed to sign the spending bill that would prevent a government shutdown, until …

  • Ann Coulter described Trump as a gutless “sociopath” who, without a border wall, “will just have been a joke presidency who scammed the American people.”

  • Rush Limbaugh said on his show that without the $5 billion, any signing of a budget stop gap would show “Trump gets nothing and the Democrats get everything.”


  • Steve Doocy of ‘Fox and Friends’ said that without wall funding, “the swamp wins,” adding that Trump will “look like a loser” without wall funding and stating, “This is worth shutting down” the government.

We all know that there is no depth to Donald Trump, that to him the most important thing is that people “say nice things” about him, so when his favourite television pundits seemed to be turning against him, there was no thought in his head about what was the best thing to do for the country, but only what would get his Fox buddies to talk nice about him again.  And thus, we had a 35-day government shutdown that is estimated to have cost us approximately $11 billion.Fox-Trump-3And now … we are headed for either another shutdown or a declaration that the nation is in a “state of emergency”.  As far as I can see, there is no emergency and it is a political tool that Trump is likely to use to keep his friends at Fox saying nice things.  Can the republicans really not see what a total failure their ‘leader’ is?  Can his fealty to Fox News to the exclusion of the citizens of this nation continue to be ignored?  And if so, at what cost?   Think about it.

Two For Twoday …

I had every intention of writing a nice, calm peaceful piece this afternoon … something NOT about Trump or his minions, something either funny, promising, or inspiring in one way or another.  But then, a couple of things crossed my radar and suddenly I find myself beating the print off of my keyboard (literally, for I no longer have lettering on my ‘I’, ‘o’, or ‘n’ keys!).  So, I hope you’re in the mood for a few of my snarky snippets …


Non-Press Secretary Sanders leaves climate change to God …

Sarah Huckabee Sanders-1Sarah Huckabee Sanders was told by her boss not to bother with daily, or even weekly press briefings anymore, for the press don’t talk nice to her, and they don’t say nice things about da prez, so why bother?  So … I’m very puzzled as to what her job description is these days, why We the Taxpayers are still paying her the $179,700 annual salary, for she damn sure isn’t doing anything to earn it!  But now I know … she goes on Fox New talk shows and makes a complete fool of herself …

Earlier this week, newly-minted House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in an on-stage interview that we needed to act on climate change before it was too late. She noted that the “world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change,” referencing the tipping point after which scientists say it’ll be too late to address greenhouse gas emissions. She’s right about all that. And she’s especially right to point that out when we have a government that rejects climate science in addition to ignoring science in general.

So then on Tuesday night, during an interview with, of all people, Fox ‘News’ Sean Hannity, Sarah Huckabee Sanders decided that only God should be concerned about climate change, and that our government has bigger fish to fry …

“Look, I don’t think we’re going to listen to her on much of anything, particularly not on matters we’re gonna leave in the hands of a much, much higher authority, and certainly not listen to the freshman congresswoman on when the world may end. We’re focused on what’s happening in the world right now.”

Need I say more?


Come into my parlour, said the spider to the fly …

Remember back in July, when we learned that Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, did not have the highest-level security clearance necessary to review high-level documents?  The reason was he kept messing up his security review, because he kept ‘forgetting’ to record interactions with a number of foreign officials, primarily Russians.  I had mostly forgotten about it, and I imagine you did too, but yesterday I saw this headline …

Report: Security officials rejected Kushner’s top secret clearance, but were overruled

kushner.jpegTurns out that two career White House security specialists rejected Jared Kushner’s application for a top-secret security clearance after Kushner’s FBI background check raised red flags, and there were concerns about his foreign entanglements.  Kusher’s family businesses leave him vulnerable to foreign influence, they said, and he has not satisfactorily explained some of his Russian connections.  Why is this guy even working in our government???  But wait …

Their supervisor, Carl Kline, who became director of the personnel security office in the Executive Office of the President in May 2017, decided to override their professional opinion and give Kushner the highest level of security clearance despite the concerns of the FBI!!!  Think about that one for a moment, folks!  And … not only that, but this Kline person has also overruled at least 30 other rejections of incoming Trump officials!  I want to know who those people are and what the objections were!  Is our government being infiltrated with Russian agents or those who are entangled with Russian agents?  Who knows?

Those who keep saying that the foundation, The U.S. Constitution, the rule of law, will protect us from a Trump-dictatorship need to think about this one long and hard.  Sure, there are rules in place, but Donald Trump has long since decided that those rules do not apply to him and his chosen minions!  Our lives, our future, are in the hands of a maniacal madman who believes the world is made only for him.

What Happens If …

There are a number of opinion writers I greatly respect, and Charles M. Blow is in the top ten.  Mr. Blow writes for the New York Times and his work is most always level-headed and thoughtful.  Amid the many calls for impeachment to remove Trump from office, cooler heads must sometimes prevail.  In Blow’s column from December 2nd he explains why removing Trump from office is not a likely scenario, but would be the beginning of a new nightmare.

What Happens If …

The possibilities ahead in the Russia investigation suggest we are not reaching the end of a nightmare, but rather entering one.

Charles BlowBy Charles M. Blow

I no longer think that anyone in America, including Donald Trump’s most loyal supporters, can afford to put off the consideration of the central question of this administration: What if Donald Trump or those closest to him were compromised by the Russians or colluded with them?

There have always been those of us on the left who viewed his presidency as compromised, asterisk-worthy if not wholly illegitimate, because of the Russian interference.

A crime had been committed by Russia and Trump cheered the crime and used the loot thereof to advance his candidacy. That is clear.

The Russians made repeated attempts to contact people in Trump’s orbit and in some cases were able to meet with members of the team, as evidenced by the Trump Tower meeting. That is clear.

Members of Trump’s team were extremely interested in and eager to accept any assistance that the Russians could provide. That is clear.

And since assuming office, Trump has openly attempted to obstruct justice and damage or impede the investigation into what the Russians did and whether anyone in his orbit was part of the crime. That too is clear.

But for the people who support and defend Trump, this has already been absorbed andabsolved. They may not like it, but they are willing to overlook it. Indeed, they are so attached to Trump that his fortunes and his fate have become synonymous with theirs. There is a spiritual linkage, a baleful bond, between the man and his minions.

But what happens if the evidence that the investigation by the special counsel, Robert Mueller, uncovers reveals a direct link between Trump and the Russians? How do Trump’s boosters respond?

Last week, when Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the timeline and the extent of Mr. Trump’s involvement in negotiations for a Trump Tower in Moscow, the political earth shifted.

If Trump was lying to or misleading the American people about his efforts to do business in Russia while running for president and the Russians knew — and presumably had evidence — that he wasn’t being completely honest and forthcoming, then he was compromised.

While it is by no means clear that the Russians ever used any information that they may have had to blackmail or otherwise pressure Trump, Cohen’s plea makes clear that they had the material to do just that.

This brings ever more clarity to Trump’s curious inclination to go soft on Russia condemnation, to take Russian President Vladimir Putin’s word over that of his own intelligence agencies, and to drag his feet in acknowledging that Russia attacked our election in 2016 and may continue to do so in the future.

How would Americans who support Trump now respond to evidence that Team Trump put their own personal and financial interests over the national interest? Would they break from their blind support and turn away from him and turn on him? How could they justify wearing the blinders for so long and countenancing so much? What language would they use to correct their complicity?

There is a precedent in the Nixon investigation. When the evidence of wrongdoing was clear and incontrovertible, people began to peel away, tails tucked and full of shame.

But that was a different time, one in which media wasn’t so fractured and partisan, before the advent of social media and our current dissociable mentalities.

Nixon had no propaganda arm. Trump has one. It’s called Fox News. There is little daylight between the network’s programming and the White House’s priorities. If Trump goes down, so too does Fox, in some measure. So the network has a vested interest in defending Trump until the bitter end, and that narrative-crafting could impede an otherwise natural and normal disaffection with Trump.

Furthermore, Trump does not strike me as a man amenable to contrition or one interested in the health and stability of the nation.

I expect Trump to admit nothing, even if faced with proof positive of his own misconduct. There is nothing in the record to convince me otherwise. He will call the truth a lie and vice versa.

I also don’t think that Trump would ever voluntarily leave office as Nixon did, even if he felt impeachment was imminent. I’m not even sure that he would willingly leave if he were impeached and the Senate moved to convict, a scenario that is hard to imagine at this point.

I don’t think any of this gets better, even as the evidence becomes clearer. I don’t believe that Trump’s supporters would reverse course in the same way that Nixon’s did. I don’t believe that the facts Mueller presents will be considered unassailable. I don’t believe Trump will go down without bringing the country down with him.

In short, I don’t believe we are reaching the end of a nightmare, but rather we are entering one. This will not get easier, but harder.

The country is about to enter the crucible. This test of our republic is without a true comparison. And we do not have a clear picture of how the test will resolve. But, I believe damage is certain.

The Conversation — Part II

This is Part II of the series I started yesterday afternoon, in response to a very thoughtful and thought-provoking comment I received from friend Mary on Tuesday.  Mary’s comments are in normal text, mine are in blue.  The conversation continues …

paragraph divider 2

1When I look around and see the support trump still has after 2 years, I believe it is hopeless … truly. I do hope I’m wrong, but I have a feeling. 2Education is not getting better, 3politics are even more corrupt, greed is rampant, 4our government supports killers over their own intelligence agencies, selfishness is rampant, 5far right religion is out of control with their end times desires and pushing their own special brand of bigotry, 6fires being blamed on not raking leaves, wars without end, 7the real fake news (Fox and their ilk) are taking over the simple minded and on and on…  Let me take these one-by-one:

  1. Trump’s support is still the minority. His approval ratings have never, since his first week or two in office, come above about 43%, and typically run in the mid-to-high 30s, lower than any other president in modern times.  The thing about his supporters is that they are loud and obnoxious, have radical and hateful ideas, so, as the saying goes, “the squeaky wheel gets the oil”.  They are given the attention of the media, making them seem much larger than they actually are.

  2. Education has been in decline for more than a decade, though I agree that under Trump it is certain to decline further. Betsy DeVos would make college available to only those in the upper 1% of the income bracket and would siphon funds meant for public schools serving the many, into charter and religious schools serving only the elite few.  The problem, however, traces to parents who prefer their children to be schooled in a skill or a trade, so that they are prepared for a specific sort of job when they leave school, rather than receiving a liberal arts education that gives them a broad scope of knowledge, and most importantly, teaches them to think, to ask questions, to find solutions to problems.   Thus, the future leaders of this country, as well as the future scientists and inventors, will likely come only from among the very privileged.  It is a problem, certainly, but not one without a solution.  The solution is that we, as parents and grandparents, must step up to the plate, must demand that our children be given the same opportunity as the children of the Koch family. And we must motivate our children, for today’s youth is the future of this country.  Spend time with them, teach them what they need to know, teach them to reason, to ask questions, not to simply accept the easy answers.


  3. Yes, Mary, politics are as corrupt as they have ever been. The first thing that needs to be done is to take the money out of it.  Citizens United was the single worst decision ever made in terms of campaign finance, and even a few Supreme Court Justices have since regretted their vote.  It has left the door wide open for large corporations and lobbying groups, such as the fossil fuel and arms industries to buy members of Congress.  Today, it isn’t about the candidate’s platform and ideologies, but rather about how much money he can bring in.  I would personally like to see a system where donations are made to a central organization and divvied equally among all candidates.  Not going to happen, but it’s the only way we can ensure that our elected officials are truly representing us, We The People, and not in the pockets of the wealthy, industries, or the NRA.  Another suggestion I have is that we expand the current two-party system to either make it easier for an independent to get on the ballot, or to have a multi-party system such as many European nations have.  The United States is the only nation that has a duopoly, a two-party system where all power rests with those two parties.


  4. It appears that it is Trump’s decision alone to support Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and to ignore the evidence of his role in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. Members of both parties in Congress are displeased with this decision and I cannot imagine that any other president would be so unwilling to listen to his own intelligence agencies, but Trump … well, he thinks he knows more than anybody else.


  5. The far-right religion, the evangelicals, as a whole are a problem for our nation only to the extent that the government and the courts allow them to be. Trump promised his followers that he would nominate justices to the Supreme Court that would be willing to overturn Roe v Wade and Obergefell v Hodges, and thus far he has seated two such judges.  It is to be hoped that he does not get the opportunity to nominate others, and that the rest of the court has respect for the decisions of past courts.  Our laws call for separation of church and state for good reason.  Ours is a secular government and has no right to interfere in any religion, but by the same token, religions must not have the right to determine law.


  6. I agree that Trump’s response to the forest fires in California was abominable. The good news about that is he surely didn’t make any friends or find any new supporters in that state!  The only thing he did do was prove his own ignorance, as if we needed further proof.


  7. Trump’s close ties with Fox News are indeed worrisome, especially when he is said to call Sean Hannity for advice! And to add insult to injury is his demonization of the legitimate press, calling them the “Enemy of the People”.  I must admit that, while I see the danger quite clearly, I am at a loss as to how we can make people think for themselves, make them wake up and realize that Fox News is naught more than state-sponsored television that panders to Donald Trump.  I think we must rely on the organizations that are established for the purpose of being the watchdogs to monitor freedom of the press, such as the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and hope they do their job and get the word out. 

And once again I am at over 1,000 words, so I shall stop here and wrap up with Part III later today.  Please feel free to join in the conversation with your own ideas!  And thanks for not throwing those rotten tomatoes!  🍅 🍅 🍅

Link to Part I in case you missed it:  The Conversation — Part I

In Honour Of Admiral McRaven …

McRaven

Adm. William McRaven

Admiral William Harry McRaven is a distinguished former U.S. Naval Officer.  McRaven retired from the U.S. Navy on August 28, 2014, after more than 37 years of service, and went on to become the Chancellor of the University of Texas System.  During his naval career, he has been the commander of Joint Special Operations Command, as well as of Special Operations Command Europe.  In addition, he was designated as the first director of the NATO Special Operations Forces Coordination Centre.  His awards and decorations are far too numerous to list here but include a bronze star and a meritorious service medal.

In 2011, McRaven spent months obtaining data, then organizing and overseeing the special ops raid, Operation Neptune Spear, that ended in the killing of 9/11 mastermind Usama bin Laden.  I have not found a single black mark on his record, and from all indications he served his country admirably for 37 years.

Now, however, Admiral McRaven has become the latest target of the Fool on the Hill, Donald Trump.  Why?  Well, back in August, Admiral McRaven had the temerity to express support for former CIA Director John O. Brennan, whose security clearance had recently been revoked by the Trump Administration.  On August 16th, he penned the following Open Letter to Donald Trump that was published in The Washington Post:

Dear Mr. President:

Former CIA director John Brennan, whose security clearance you revoked on Wednesday, is one of the finest public servants I have ever known. Few Americans have done more to protect this country than John. He is a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don’t know him.

Therefore, I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.

Like most Americans, I had hoped that when you became president, you would rise to the occasion and become the leader this great nation needs.

A good leader tries to embody the best qualities of his or her organization. A good leader sets the example for others to follow. A good leader always puts the welfare of others before himself or herself.

Your leadership, however, has shown little of these qualities. Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation.

If you think for a moment that your McCarthy-era tactics will suppress the voices of criticism, you are sadly mistaken. The criticism will continue until you become the leader we prayed you would be.

I’m not sure why Trump waited three full months before firing back … perhaps he had forgotten, or perhaps his advisors quashed prior attempts to throw mud at McRaven, but in a November 18th interview with Chris Wallace of Fox ‘News’, he was reminded.  Here’s what Trump had to say about an honourable, much decorated hero …

Chris Wallace: Bill McRaven, Retired Admiral, Navy Seal, 37 years, former head of U.S. Special Operations —

Trump: Hillary Clinton fan.

Chris Wallace: Special Operations —

Trump: Excuse me, Hillary Clinton fan.

Chris Wallace: Who led the operations, commanded the operations that took down Saddam Hussein and that killed Osama bin Laden says that your sentiment is the greatest threat to democracy in his lifetime.

Trump: OK, he’s a Hilary Clinton, uh, backer and an Obama-backer and frankly —

Chris Wallace: He was a Navy Seal 37 years —

Trump: Wouldn’t it have been nice if we got Osama Bin Laden a lot sooner than that, wouldn’t it have been nice? You know, living – think of this – living in Pakistan, beautifully in Pakistan in what I guess they considered a nice mansion, I don’t know, I’ve seen nicer. But living in Pakistan right next to the military academy, everybody in Pakistan knew he was there. And we give Pakistan $1.3 billion a year and they don’t tell him, they don’t tell him —

Chris Wallace: You’re not even going to give them credit —

Trump: For years —

Chris Wallace: for taking down Bin Laden?

Trump: They took him down but – look, look, there’s news right there, he lived in Pakistan, we’re supporting Pakistan, we’re giving them $1.3 billion a year, which we don’t give them anymore, by the way, I ended it because they don’t do anything for us, they don’t do a damn thing for us.

Trump claims to love the military, but … must we assume that he only loves those members of our military who are staunchly “pro-Trump”?  That’s how it seems.  I don’t imagine the military has much great love for Trump, either, as he is a draft-dodger and has promised much in the way of donations to veterans’ organizations that never materialized.

Most people, whether republican or democrat, veteran or not, were appalled by Trump’s remarks.

  • “This is disgusting!” tweeted Frances Townsend, who worked as a counterterrorism adviser for President George W. Bush. She said McRaven is “among the finest officers I have had the privilege to work with.”
  • Leon Panetta, who was CIA director when bin Laden was killed in the 2011 operation and later served as secretary of defense under President Barack Obama, said Trump owed an apology to McRaven “and all of the special operation forces and intelligence professionals who planned and executed one of the most important counter-terrorism missions in our nation’s history.”
  • Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Trump’s comment is “really a slam at the intelligence community” and “reflects, I think, his complete ignorance” about what was involved in hunting down bin Laden.
  • “I don’t know if Adm. William McRaven shares my political views or not,” Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said on Twitter. “But I do know that few Americans have sacrificed or risked more than he has to protect America & the freedoms we enjoy.”

Predictably, however, the Republican National Committee backed Trump’s unconscionable remarks:

“Worth noting after recent comments: Retired Adm. William McRaven was reportedly on Hillary Clinton’s short list for Vice President in 2016. He’s been critical of President @realDonaldTrump— even dating back to the 2016 campaign. He’s hardly a non-political figure.”

Being critical of Donald Trump is hardly grounds for condemnation, given that more than half of this nation are critical of Trump on a quite consistent basis, and at least 60% would just as soon see him floating on an ice floe somewhere in the Arctic Sea.  And while McRaven’s name reportedly was on a list of 39 potential candidates for Hillary’s running mate, the Admiral did not endorse any candidate in the 2016 election.  Even if he had, it doesn’t give Trump or the GOP any right to criticize a man who has had a far more noble career, more worthy life than Trump, or likely anybody else in the GOP.

Once again, Donald Trump shows the world his lack of compassion, his ignorance, and his arrogance.

The Real ‘Fake News’

“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”

It’s unclear who first said this.  It has been attributed to Sun Tzu and sometimes to Niccolò Machiavelli or Petrarch, but there are no published sources yet found which predate its use by “Michael Corleone” in The Godfather Part II.  But to the point … it is why I do sometimes pop over to such uber-conservative sites as The Daily Wire, from whence came the inspiration for this post.  ‘Inspiration’ may not be quite the right word …

I was first appalled, then infuriated by the headline I saw last night …

Democrat Calls For Gun Confiscation, Suggests Nuking Americans Who Fight Back

The story put forth by The Daily Wire, Fox News, MSN and others is this …

“Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) caused a firestorm on Friday when he suggested using nuclear weapons against American citizens who oppose his far-left gun control agenda, which includes forcing Americans to give up their semi-automatic weapons.”

Now, if that were the truth, it would be quite a “WOW” moment and I would have to ask myself if Mr. Swalwell had gone and lost his bloody marbles!  Turns out there’s more to the story that the aforementioned news outlets conveniently left out … or perhaps didn’t understand.

This is yet another example of taking a sentence out of context and giving it an entirely different meaning than the speaker ever intended.  The danger is that some people will look at that headline, believe it without ever giving it a thought or checking on its veracity, and will be all in a fizz,  running inside, grabbing the old rifle, and sitting on their porches waiting for the band of merry democrats to show up to try to take their guns!

Let’s look at a few of the comments from Representative Swalwell in response to the madness:

  • We should ban assault weapons by buying them back or restricting them to ranges/clubs.
  • Don’t be so dramatic. No one is nuking anyone or threatening that. I’m telling you this is not the 18th Century. The argument that you would go to war with your government if an assault weapons ban was in place is ludicrous and inflames the gun debate. Which is what you want.
  • It’s sarcasm. He said he’s going to war with America if gun legislation was passed. I told him his government has nukes. God forbid we use sarcasm.

And finally, his nutshell summary of the entire situation:

America’s gun debate in one thread.

1) I propose a buy-back of assault weapons

2) Gun owner says he’ll go to war with USA if that happens

3) I sarcastically point out USA isn’t losing to his assault weapon (it’s not the 18th Century)

4) I’m called a tyrant

5) 0 progress

Sigh.  C’mon, folks … get real for a minute, will ya?  Mr. Swalwell was far more generous than I would have been, or than he should have been, in offering a buy-back program.  In my mind, assault-type weapons that were designed for only military use do not belong in the hands of civilians.  Period.  No argument.  Ban ‘em.  Confiscate ‘em.  Destroy ‘em.  They do not belong in your hands, Joe Cracker!!!

No, nobody is going to nuke you, and frankly if I had my wishes, and if there were a safe way to do so, every nuclear weapon on the planet would be destroyed.  Mr. Swalwell’s comment was rather like one that I myself make every so often, when I hear of somebody who has an arsenal in their basement or garage, just waiting for that day when the military ‘comes for mah guns’.  Says Joe Cracker … “Just let ‘em try … hworf, hworf, hworf (picture Beavis & Butthead here) … I’ll blast ‘em into the next county”.  Say I … “Oh really … and when that tank rolls right on through your arsenal, taking most of your house with it …???”

There is this concept these days in both political parties that we must always look for the ulterior motive, the hidden threat in every word that is uttered by “the enemy”.  Why must we be enemies?  Because we cannot be bothered to take the time to understand one another!  Republicans haven’t bothered to ask themselves why the democrats feel as strongly as they do about gun control.  Well, dear right-wing, conservative friends, even though you didn’t ask, let me tell you …

BECAUSE WE ARE SICK AND DAMN TIRED OF SEEING INNOCENT PEOPLE KILLED AT THE HANDS OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO BUSINESS OWNING A BLOOMIN’ GUN!!!

Eric Swalwell is not a bad guy, folks.  During his congressional career he has advocated to increase spending on education, for renewable energy jobs creation, to raise the cap on the Social Security payroll tax so that wealthier Americans would pay more into the program, and he has argued against legislation that would allow people to bring knives on airplanes.  He is a strong supporter of LGBT people and is staunchly pro-choice.  In other words, he is in favour of policies to protect and enhance the common people – people like you … and me.  And he wants to see a curtailment of guns in civilian hands.  Most of us do want that.  Those who don’t?  Explain it to me, please, Mr. Joe Cracker?

The far-right and far-left media outlets play on our fears, our sympathies, our desires.  The headline at the beginning of this article is but one example.  Fox News, Breitbart and others do it every day.  The trash that can be found on Twitter and Facebook is astounding.  Americans need to grow up.  They need to learn to distinguish between news and rhetoric.  They need to learn to do their own digging, to separate the bullshit from what is real.  The Great Divide just keeps getting wider and wider … it is to the advantage of people like Trump and his minions to keep us divided, to keep as many as possible in the dark.  Are you willing to let them win?  Are you willing to believe the myth?  Or do you still care about truth?

FOX News Embedded Reporter In Refugee Caravan Disputes President’s Claims

I did not intend to publish an afternoon post today, but when I read this one by Gronda, I thought this information too relevant, too necessary to simply ignore. We need to spread this word, to let people know the TRUTH! Thank you, Gronda, for this timely and valuable information, and for your kind permission to share with my readers.

Gronda Morin

William La Jeunesse reports from Mexico (Fox News/screen grab)

FOX NEWS reporter William LaJeunesse who is an embedded in the midst of the refugee caravan is disputing the republican President Donald J. Trump’s claims that this caravan of refugees fleeing the violence in Honduras by heading towards the US -Mexican border via Guatemala are comprised of ‘bad peoples.’

On October 23, 2018, David Edwards of Raw Story penned the following report, “Fox News embedded reporter burns Trump on caravan criminals: ‘Most are driven by poverty and a better life.” 

Excerpts:

“Fox News reporter embedded with a caravan of migrants in Central America on Tuesday (10/23/18) knocked down President Donald Trump’s claim that most of them were “bad people.”

“Reporting from Tapachula, Mexico, Fox News’ William La Jeunesse told host Sandra Smith that the president had been wrong about the people traveling with the caravan.”

Image result for PHOTOS OF CARAVAN OF REFUGEES

View original post 170 more words

More Head-Shaking Moments …

I considered not writing a post for this morning.  My mother used to caution me: “Si no puedes decir algo bueno, entonces no digas nada.”  Translation:  If you cannot say something nice, then say nothing at all.  And thus, I considered skipping my morning post, for I knew I could not say anything nice.  But, sigh, I then remembered something else my mother used to say: “Siempre comparte con tus amigos.”  Translation:  Always share with your friends.  So, grab a stick (to bite on to keep from screaming and scaring the neighbors), a box of tissues and sit down while I regale you with the latest …


Say WHAT???

“If I did one mistake with Comey, I should have fired him before I got here. I should have fired him the day I won the primaries.  I should have fired him right after the convention, say I don’t want that guy.” – Donald Trump, interview with John Solomon and Buck Sexton of The Hill, Tuesday 18 September 2018

Excuse me, but last I knew, a candidate … which is all Trump was after winning the primaries, after winning the nomination … does not have any more right to fire the Director of the FBI than you or I!!!  Is his ego truly so bloated that he thinks he had that ability?  And if so, then what else does he believe he can do, that he cannot … or can he?

And then there was this, from the same interview …

“You know, I took that test when I got my last physical, and the doctor said that’s one of the highest scores we’ve ever seen. I did that not because I wanted but I did it, I was always good at testing. But if there’s anything great about me it’s stability, and I’m a good manager. Always been a good manager, but you know, I have a vision.”

When I read that, I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry, so instead I choked on a bite of celery. Fortunately, daughter Chris is a nurse and certified in the Heimlich maneuver.

But wait … it gets even better … or worse, actually.  When speaking of his decision earlier this week to release to the public certain classified materials relating to the FBI’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election despite serious national security concerns, Trump credited …

“I have been asked by so many people that I respect, please — the great Lou Dobbs, the great Sean Hannity, the wonderful great Jeanie Pirro.”

Donald Trump … the leader of the United States of America … responsible and accountable to some 328 million people … is jeopardizing national security … based on the advice of … three radical, right-wing, conspiracy-theorist, television talk show hosts?!?!?!?!

I don’t care if you are a democrat, republican or independent, if this doesn’t make you see red, then you seriously need an education.

If you have the stomach for it, and have somebody with you who knows the Heimlich, feel free to read or watch the entire 1:32 long interview.


Ethics, Schmethics …

The September 3-9 Gallup poll asked how Trump’s ethical standards compare with those of seven of his eight predecessors.  Take a look at the results …ethics poll.pngTrump’s ethics were considered to be even lower than Richard I-am-not-a-crook Nixon!!!  Nixon, who was charged with obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and contempt of Congress as a result of his involvement in the Watergate scandal, is the only U.S. president to resign from office, which he did in 1974, before his near-certain impeachment.

Yet more than eight in ten Republicans still approve of the job he is doing.  Shoot me now!


He should’a stayed home …

It is generally appropriate and expected for the president to visit and tour areas of the nation after a natural disaster, such as a hurricane.  So, it was no surprise that Trump visited New Bern, North Carolina, hard-hit from floods as a result of Hurricane Florence last week. Trump-Florence.jpgLooking at the remains of a yacht that had washed up against the back of a brick home, Trump asked the homeowner …  “Is this your boat?” The man shook his head and said “No”. Trump turned with a grin and replied, “At least you got a nice boat out of the deal.”

gaspWas there a more inappropriate remark he could have made?  Other presidents have treated natural disaster tours as dignified, solemn affairs.  After all, people have lost homes, possessions, cars, family pets, and in some cases even the lives of loved ones. They need both practical help and compassion, understanding.  With Trump, they get off-key attempts at humour, and as the New York Times states it, “pep-rally enthusiasm”.  Frankly, had I been that homeowner I would have spit in his face.  What an embarrassment he is to us all, only some 36% of the nation cannot see it.  Perhaps if he mocked their own misfortune they would begin to understand.


sad-turltleOkay, folks … that’s all I’ve got … well, actually I’ve got lots more, but that’s likely enough to start your day off on the wrong foot, so I’ll leave off here.  Have a great day, my friends … try to step away from the train wreck for a bit and go outside, enjoy nature, remind yourself that ‘this too shall pass’.  I think that’s my new motto.