Snarky Snippets For A Snowy Day

I woke feeling a need for a bit of snarking this morning, and wouldn’t you know that I found plenty to be snarky about!


Family matters?

Yesterday I mentioned the republicans – 10 representatives and 7 senators –  who had the courage and conscience to stand up against Donald Trump, to vote to impeach and in the case of the senators, to convict on the impeachment charges.  The Republican Party, as I told you, is planning to censure them, a largely symbolic move, but one that will have repercussions the next time they come up for re-election.  None that I’m aware of, however, have faced the level of censure that Illinois Representative Adam Kinzinger is facing:  his own family is disowning him!

He received a letter penned by his cousin, Karen Otto, and signed by six other family members, that starts out …

“Oh my, what a disappointment you are to us …”

It goes on to say that he has “joined the devil’s army”, referring to democrats.  But the part that made me laugh was when she said that “Donald Trump is not perfect, but … it is not up to us to judge”, and yet that is precisely what she is doing to her cousin!  Can we say ‘hypocrisy’?

Adam Kinzinger is a republican with republican ideologies … that did not change when he voted to impeach Donald Trump.  He merely saw what Trump had done, knew it wasn’t the right thing for anyone, let alone the president, to do, and decided that there should be consequences for Trump’s actions.  That’s it.  He did not go against his religion, as his cousin’s letter implied, nor did he set aside his republican views.  He found his conscience and said that there must be accountability.

I have a great deal of empathy for Mr. Kinzinger, for with a family like that, who needs enemies?  Read the entire letter here.  Ms. Otto ends by saying …

“Donald Trump has done more for the American people in four years than you, the Rino’s, and democrats have done in years!!”

This woman needs help!


Fox goes to the UK

Ol’ Rupert Murdoch, whose Fox News is struggling financially and is the subject of a $2.7 billion lawsuit, is taking his show on the road, it seems … or rather, across the pond to the United Kingdom!  I hope he takes his nasty crew with him … Hannity, Ingraham, Pirro, Carlson and the rest.

According to an article in the New York Times

Rupert Murdoch and a competing group of investors are seizing this moment to create two upstart news services that will challenge the BBC and other broadcasters by borrowing heavily from Mr. Murdoch’s Fox playbook.

While Britain has long had a freewheeling, unabashedly partisan newspaper industry, critics say the last thing it needs after Brexit is a Fox-like news channel — one that could sow further divisions and open the door to the kinds of conspiracy theories nurtured by President Donald J. Trump, and amplified by Fox.

The service, which is to begin a low-key rollout in April, will promote Mr. Murdoch’s stable of British media properties, from The Sun, a mass-market tabloid, and The Times, an upmarket broadsheet, to Talk Radio, which offers Rush Limbaugh-style commentary. All skew to the right.

News UK TV will also skip breaking news coverage and feature shows with politically opinionated voices. But it is punching up the lighter side in its publicity. The first announced show, “News to Me,” will be hosted by Gordon Smart, a Scottish-born rock music aficionado who worked for The Sun.

Fox ‘News’ has played a large role in exacerbating the divisiveness in this country, and now Murdoch hopes to do the same in the UK.  I hope … I truly hope that his venture fails from the start.  Our friends in the UK have enough troubles without adding the Fox idiots whose only goal is to create hate.


Just a little ruckus

Senator Ron Johnson, a republican from Wisconsin, has been on my idiot radar for some time for a variety of idiotic things he’s said and done, but his recent comments about the January 6th attack on Congress and the Capitol take the cake …

“This didn’t seem like an armed insurrection to me. When you hear the word ‘armed,’ don’t you think of firearms? … To call that an armed insurrection, it was the most pitiful armed insurrection anyone could possibly imagine.”

Well, Mr. Johnson … perhaps while you were cowering in a closet, you didn’t notice the guns and other weapons.  Five people died, including a police officer, and two more officers have taken their own lives since then. Other police officers were so traumatized that they have reportedly contemplated self-harm, with one turning in her gun. Guns, bombs and stun guns were seized from members of the mob, while other rioters used wrenches, clubs and flagpoles as weapons. An officer has said that police “had been seizing guns all day.”

Gun-toting mobs chanting, “Hang Mike Pence” seems to me enough to label it an ‘armed insurrection’.  But, Johnson was one of the 43 republicans who voted to acquit Trump on the charge of inciting an insurrection, so I suppose Ronnie had to somehow justify his actions.  I suppose that, unlike Adam Kinzinger, Ron Johnson’s family is proud of him.  I’m not … I call him a coward and a bastard.

cartoon

Wise Words From A Wise Man

Last night, I read Nicholas Kristof’s column from yesterday, an open letter to his conservative friends.  While he is kinder and more forgiving than I am, I do agree with most of what he says, so I’ve decided to share his letter here with you.  Mr. Kristof has twice won the Pulitzer Prize, as well as numerous other honours far too numerous to list here.


A Letter to My Conservative Friends

Hold us accountable, but please do the same for the charlatans who deceive you, use you and cheat you.

nicholas-kristof-thumblargeBy Nicholas Kristof

Opinion Columnist

  • Jan. 27, 2021

AMHILL, Ore. — This is an open letter to some of my old friends and neighbors who believe that Donald Trump won re-election, who think that face masks are for wimps and who fear that Democrats are plotting to seize their freedom.

Dear friends and neighbors,

Relax! We liberals aren’t plotting to round you up in “re-education camps.”

I was horrified when a couple of old friends here asked if they were in danger for having supported Donald Trump. I gently told them that they were in no peril — and I was stung that they felt greatly relieved to hear it.

Yes, I know that Fox News is peddling nonsense about Democrats setting up re-education camps, and that a Wall Street Journal column asked, “If you were an enthusiastic Donald Trump supporter, are you ready to enter a re-education program?”

Folks, you’re being played. Again.

These are some of the same charlatans who argued last year that, as Fox News put it, the coronavirus is “just like the flu” and that mask mandates are a step toward “tyranny.” More than 400,000 coronavirus deaths later, some people are dead because they believed that drivel.

Then there’s the rubbish about the election. This month, just days before Joe Biden’s inauguration, a childhood friend told me confidently that Trump would swoop in to serve a second term. When I told him he was wrong, he was astonished that I could be so poorly informed, and he helpfully advised, “Don’t pay attention to those liars in the mainstream media.”

You’ve been hoodwinked, exploited and manipulated by con artists waving flags, casting lies and monetizing bigotry. Steve Bannon, who suggested beheading Dr. Anthony Fauci, defrauded Trump supporters into donating to build a border wall and then used some of the money for himself, according to a federal indictment.

Here on our family farm, we received a direct mail appeal warning about “Islam in Yamhill Schools” and pleading for donations to protect Christianity. No, that isn’t about conservative values, but about spreading hate and hysteria while grabbing at your wallet.

So let’s give America a chance to heal. And, as I told my worried friends, don’t hesitate to stand up for your conservative values. We need Republicans! America benefits from a loyal opposition.

For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week called for trying harder to keep schools open. On that issue, Republicans have been more right than many Democrats.

But half a century ago we didn’t need the racist George Wallace wing of the Democratic Party, and today we don’t need the wing of the Republican Party that embraces conspiracy theories and winks at violence.

The grand question: Without that wing of today’s G.O.P., what’s left?

One glimpse of the conundrum: The G.O.P. representation in Congress is losing Rob Portman, a widely respected senator who announced he will step down, and just gained Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, an extremist who in 2019 endorsed the idea of shooting Nancy Pelosi in the head. When a party loses a statesman and gains a kook, that’s a bad omen.

Meanwhile, the Hawaii G.O.P. this week recommended the “high quality” commentary … of a Holocaust denier. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich warned on Fox News that Democrats are trying to “exterminate the Republicans.” Sure, Democrats sometimes say and do dumb things, too, but there’s no symmetry.

As I see it, the last, best hope is twofold. First, Republican leaders must learn that extremism is a losing strategy. Only one G.O.P. candidate for president has won the popular vote in the last three decades, and the loony Arizona Republican Party has lost about 10,000 members since the riot in the U.S. Capitol and its censure of party elders like Cindy McCain. If Trump is further discredited through prosecutions or scandals, it is possible (though far from certain) that his malign influence on the party will diminish.

Second, to dampen that extremism, advertisers should stop supporting networks that spread lies and hatred, and cable companies should drop channels that persist in doing so. As a start, don’t force people to subsidize Fox News by including it in basic packages.

Is this a slippery slope? Yes, and it makes me queasy. But we all recognize that there are red lines: Neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan grand wizards have First Amendment rights, but we shouldn’t pay to give them microphones, nor should commentators on the left or the right get megaphones to promote violence. Extremists enjoy free speech but shouldn’t be buttressed by advertisers or our cable fees.

So, conservative friends, fear not: We’re not plotting to lock you up in detention camps. We need you to keep us honest. But you’ve been scammed in ways that have hurt the country we all love. Hold us accountable, but please do the same for the charlatans who deceive you, use you and cheat you.

Prove Me Wrong — PLEASE!

Joe Biden has promised to do everything in his power to heal the wounds that divide the people of this nation, to bring unity where there is only separation and hate.  I fully believe he will try, but we all have to do our part … he cannot do it alone.  And today, it seems to me that nearly half the nation does not want unity, though they claim they do.  Perhaps they are defining ‘unity’ as everyone bending to their own views.

In an early morning text from a friend, there was this …

“… the “new” President call 74 MILLION Americans…. white suprematists. He’s off to a great start. Unity? I think not a chance in hell now.”

And that was only the beginning.  Senator Rand Paul said in a morning interview with Fox News …

“If you read his speech and listen to it carefully, much of it is thinly veiled innuendo. Calling us white supremacists, calling us racists, calling us every name in the book. Calling us people who don’t tell the truth.  ‘And going forward we’re not going to have manufactured or manipulated truth.’ That’s another way of saying ‘All of my opponents manufacture or manipulate the truth and are liars.’”

And speaking of Fox, ol’ Tucker Carlson just had to throw a bucket of fuel on the fire, saying …

“Now that we’re waging war on white supremacists. Can somebody tell us in very clear language what a white supremacist is? Biden has now declared war. So, we should know specifically and precisely who exactly he has declared war on. We have a right to know that innocent people could be hurt in this war. They usually are.”

Joe Biden offered an olive branch, and some republicans are determined to destroy it rather than accept it.  It’s almost as if they take great pleasure from the current atmosphere of hate and divisiveness.  Biden wasn’t looping Republicans generally in with white supremacists and extremists. Carlson is doing that. Paul is doing that.

I’m sure there is a large contingent of republicans who are hopeful that Biden can, in fact, lessen the tensions, find common ground on the issues that divide us, and helps us find the path to mutual respect, but they aren’t speaking loudly enough, if at all.  The only republican voices I’m hearing are those who aren’t even willing to give peace a chance.

From an OpEd by Philip Bump writing for The Washington Post …

It’s important to note that this is clearly not what Biden was talking about. He was talking about the rise of white nationalist extremism and violence of the sort that has been manifested occasionally in recent years and which the Department of Homeland Security (under Trump) identified as the most significant terrorism threat in the country. He was talking about the sort of extremism that contributed to what happened at the Capitol.

There is some undercurrent of sympathy among Republicans generally for what happened there. Most Americans reject the mob’s actions in storming the Capitol, though, as a Washington Post-ABC News poll found, 15 percent of Republicans at least somewhat support the storming of the Capitol itself. A HuffPost-YouGov poll taken shortly after the attack found that most Republicans viewed the mob’s actions as being mostly right or simply having gone too far in pursuit of a valid point.

I remember a time when being a republican or a democrat was not a divisive feature.  Sure, there have always been ideological differences – hence the reason for two distinct political parties.  But it wasn’t the thing that defined us, as it appears to be today.  This nation is split in half, though not by any physical boundaries, but rather by prejudice and intolerance.  President Joe Biden wants to start to put us back together, but it can only work if people on both sides of the issues are willing to make it work.  Taking his words, twisting them to mean something entirely different, then spewing hateful remarks is not the answer, people!

I call on every person, whether democrat, republican, or independent, to give Joe a chance, for Pete’s sake!  Within twelve hours of him taking his Oath of Office, people were already denigrating and swearing that they would not even listen to his actual words, would not be open to trying to help make his attempts at healing the Great Divide work.  Do these people actually crave violence, want a damn civil war?  I’ve said many times in the last four years that this is no longer a country I recognize.  I was hoping that would change under a President Biden, but it can only change if we all want it to.  Do we still have any shared values in this country?  Today, I have my doubts.  PLEASE prove me wrong!

Just Two Tidbits

Just a couple of tidbits I wanted to weigh in on today sans snark … well, okay, maybe there’s just a tiny bit of snark …


Has Fox found a conscience?

I’m not sure what is going on over at Fox ‘News’, but it almost seems as if they are trying to become a legitimate news network!  First, they were the first of all the major networks to call Arizona in Joe Biden’s favour at 11:20 p.m. on Tuesday – election night.  Needless to say, Trump was not happy, and Jared Kushner actually called Rupert Murdoch to complain.

And yesterday evening, Fox actually cut away from a news conference with White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany because she claimed without evidence that Democrats were inviting fraud and illegal voting.  WHOA!  This sounds like the work of an actual news station!  Has Fox fallen off the Trump bandwagon?

Fox’ anchor Neil Cavuto said, as the network cut away …

“Whoa, whoa, whoa … I just think we have to be very clear that she’s charging the other side as welcoming fraud and welcoming illegal voting. Unless she has more details to back that up, I can’t in good countenance continue showing you this.”

Cavuto is the same one who earlier this year found a backbone and said …

“Mr. President, we don’t work for you. I don’t work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you — just report on you.”

Another Fox anchor, Bret Baier, has also declined to fall in line with Trump’s claims of massive voter fraud, saying …

“Listen, we are not seeing any evidence of widespread fraud. We want to look into everything as well. But we just haven’t seen it. You know, it hasn’t been presented. There’s all kinds of stuff flying on the Internet. But when we look into it, it doesn’t pan out.”

Of course, Cavuto and Baier are on the news side of Fox.  The opinion people still play the game, with Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Jeanine Pirro, and Sean Hannity claiming, without a shred of evidence, that Trump is right about massive voter fraud, and continuing to fawn over him.  If Rupert Murdoch intends to improve the credibility of Fox, then he needs to shut down the opinion side, or at least hire people who are not witless pawns.

It disappoints and disturbs me that some of the Fox staff have been receiving threatening calls and emails from people because they aren’t falling in with the Trump line of false rhetoric.  I always thought that the people of this nation were better than that, but over the past decade I’ve come to realize that a significant portion are not.


ACA – on the chopping block?

Maybe not.  I am pleased and somewhat surprised today to read that both Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts might not be so eager to strike down the Affordable Healthcare Act, aka Obamacare.

As you will remember, the penalty for the individual mandate requiring every individual to have at least a basic healthcare insurance plan, was reduced to zero in December 2017, when Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which eliminated the individual mandate penalty, effective January 1, 2019.  The mandate itself has remained but is not enforceable without the penalty.  At issue is whether the mandate is constitutional or not, and if not, then does that render the entirety of the Act unconstitutional.  Some, such as the newbie Justice Amy Barrett, have been hyper-critical of the previous Court rulings that upheld the ACA, but today, as the Supreme Court is reviewing the case, it seems possible that ACA may weather yet another storm.

“It does seem fairly clear that the proper remedy would be to sever the mandate provision and leave the rest of the law in place.” –  Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh

“I think it’s hard for you to argue that Congress intended the entire act to fall if the mandate were struck down when the same Congress that lowered the penalty to zero did not even try to repeal the rest of the act.” – Chief Justice John Roberts

Along with the three-remaining liberal-leaning justices – Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Elena Kagan, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor – it appears likely that ACA will remain, saving tens of thousands of people from suddenly finding themselves left without health insurance.

That there is such a deep partisan divide in the Court goes against what the Founding Fathers intended when they wrote the Constitution in 1787.  The goal was to have a non-partisan Court with moderate, fair justices who decided cases based on constitutional law, not their own ideologies.  Today, we are about as far from that as imaginable, and yet sometimes it still works properly.

Snarky Rides Again

I suspect the snark will keep on rolling for the next few weeks, don’t you?  I wonder who’s to blame for that?  Maybe a whole bunch of people!


Ol’ Lindsey strikes out …

Good ol’ Lindsey Graham just doesn’t know when to sit down and shut up, does he?  For those who may not be aware, Graham is running for re-election to the United States Senate this November.  There was a debate scheduled for last Friday between him and his democratic opponent, Jaime Harrison.  Lindsey was exposed to the coronavirus on October 1st, when he attended a hearing with Senator Mike Lee of Utah, who has since tested positive.  Jamie Harrison, a diabetic, requested that Graham be tested for the coronavirus prior to their debate, and Lindsey refused!

Now why would any sensible person refuse to be tested before such an event where other people could be exposed?  Some speculate that he has tested positive already.  At any rate, on Thursday evening, Mr. Harrison issued the following statement:

“If Sen. Graham will not take a coronavirus test, I cannot responsibly debate in person tomorrow night and allow politics to put my family, my campaign staff, Sen. Graham’s staff, and members of the media at unnecessary risk.”

graham-harrisonInstead, each of the two men took part in an online forum that replaced the debate.  During the forum, Lindsey was asked how to address civil unrest in his home state of South Carolina.  His response …

“If you’re a young African American, an immigrant, you can go anywhere in this state, you just need to be conservative, not liberal.”

GASP!!!!!!  That statement alone should cost him his re-election!  Lindsey won by a whopping 17 points back in 2014, but this year he is in a dead heat with Jaime Harrison.  My bet is that this unconscionably racist statement will doom his campaign and we will finally be able to bid adieu to Mr. Graham.


Transparency???

Sean Hannity is another person without a conscience.  Well, he works for Fox ‘News’ and is a close confidant of Trump’s, so it goes without saying that he has no conscience.  But yesterday I read this statement by Hannity that caused my jaw to drop …

“First, we do start with a simple fact. The level of transparency in the Trump administration is unmatched. This president communicates with you, we, the American people often, he does it without a filter, he answers a million questions across multiple platforms, he does it each and every day.”

Say WHAT??? 

Now, Merriam-Webster defines transparent as:

a: free from pretense or deceit : FRANK

b: easily detected or seen through : OBVIOUS

c: readily understood

d: characterized by visibility or accessibility of information especially concerning business practices

Not a single one of these can be said to be true of Donald Trump, any of his cabinet members, his press secretary or other spokespeople!  Think about it a minute …

Free of pretense or deceit?  How many proven lies has he told now?  Last I checked it was something over 20,000 in just three-and-a-half years.  He didn’t even tell the truth about when he first tested positive for the coronavirus!  And as recently as yesterday, his “White House doctor” lied and said he was no longer a contagion risk, when scientists tell us otherwise.

And … he answers “a million questions” a day?  First, that isn’t humanly possible, especially for a person who spends half his day watching television and playing on Twitter.  But more to the point, during press briefings, he only chooses to answer the questions he likes … otherwise, he insults the reporter and moves on, or simply leaves the room.  And even when he does answer a question, he answers it with a lie, so … what’s the point?

And the last one, (d) … accessibility of information?  What about those tax returns and financial records?  What about his continuing refusal to make public the results of his medical condition and when he last tested negative for the virus?  What about ordering people not to testify before Congress?  I could go on and on … I could make a whole post about Trump’s blatant lack of transparency, but why bother?  You guys know the truth … Donald Trump has lied and lied to us since before he even took office, and there is not a damn thing transparent in his administration.  Sean Hannity is every bit as much a liar and conman as Donald Trump is … just another clown in the GOP Circus.Hannity-clown


Buses, planes & trains – stay off them!

Last month the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) drafted an order requiring all passengers and employees to wear masks on all forms of public and commercial transportation in the United States.  It makes perfect sense if you think about it … in each of these venues, passengers are in very close proximity, sometimes nearly touching shoulder-to-shoulder, and given the airborne nature of the coronavirus, of course masks should be worn, as well as gloves if you ask me.crowded-busHowever, Mike Pence, as the “head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force”, nixed the order from the start.  He refused to even discuss the matter, with no explanation.

So, since he doesn’t wish to discuss the matter, we are left to draw our own conclusions that Pence, like his boss, does not believe in the wearing of masks or simply does not care if we live or die.

CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield, who oversaw the drafting of the order, said …

“I think masks are the most powerful weapon we have to confront Covid and we all need to embrace masks and set the example for each other.”

Representative Peter A. DeFazio, Democrat of Oregon and chairman of the House committee on transportation and infrastructure was highly critical of Pence’s refusal …

“It’s especially outrageous because the science is so clear: masks save lives. The millions of Americans who work in and use our transportation systems every day — from bus drivers, train conductors and flight attendants, to the frontline workers who rely on public transit — deserve to know their president is relying on experts’ best advice and doing everything possible to keep them safe.”

Y’know … this whole thing has gotten out of hand.  People who insist on going about their business in public and refuse to wear a mask are a danger to us all, and they frankly don’t care who they put at risk – even their own families.  I’m currently reading a book that takes place during World War II, and at the mention of blackout rules and rationing, I had the thought … I suppose half the people in the U.S. would refuse those, too, and put the entire nation at risk.  There is such a thing as taking personal freedom too far, and insisting on riding a crowded bus sans mask is a step too far.  Thanks, Pence, for showing us how little our lives are worth to you and your boss.

Snarky Snippets Sunday!

Ol’ Snarky is back with more Snippets …


It would seem that the power of the office of the president has gone to Trump’s head, giving him the mistaken illusion that he controls far more than the law allows.  But then, ol’ Bill Barr has said that Trump is “above the law”, so I guess he figures he can do whatever he likes.  Much of what he has done could be challenged as overstepping the bounds of his position, but perhaps his greatest crime is his assault on the freedom of the press.  The latest?  He is ‘demanding’ that a reporter be fired.

Yesterday, I wrote a post about the article in The Atlantic detailing Trump’s denigration of the military, of men and women who gave their lives for this country.  Other news outlets picked up on the story, some adding their own knowledge of incidents of Trump’s insulting attitude to American soldiers.  Even Fox ‘News’ national security correspondent, Jennifer Griffin, confirmed in a Twitter thread that Trump called soldiers “suckers”, had questioned why anyone would want to become a soldier and had not wanted to honor war dead at the Aisne-Marne cemetery in France.

“Two former sr Trump admin officials confirm .@JeffreyGoldberg reporting that President Trump disparaged veterans and did not want to drive to honor American war dead at Aisne-Marne Cemetery outside Paris.

According to one former senior Trump administration official: “When the President spoke about the Vietnam War, he said, ‘It was a stupid war. Anyone who went was a sucker’.”

This former official heard the President say about American veterans: “What’s in it for them? They don’t make any money.” Source: “It was a character flaw of the President. He could not understand why someone would die for their country, not worth it.”

I read the source a few quotes from The Atlantic article. This former Trump admin official said, “The President would say things like that. He doesn’t know why people join the military. He would muse, ‘Why do they do it’?”

Re: trip to mark 100th anniversary of WW I

Source: “The President was not in a good mood. Macron had said something that made him mad about American reliability and the need perhaps for a European army. He questioned why he had to go to two cemeteries. ‘Why do I have to do two’?”

President Trump’s staff explained he could cancel (his visit to the cemetery), but he was warned, ‘They (the press) are going to kill you for this’.” The President was mad as a hornet when they did.

When asked IF the President could have driven to the Aisne-Marne Cemetery, this former official said confidently:

“The President drives a lot. The other world leaders drove to the cemeteries. He just didn’t want to go.”

Regarding Trump’s July 4th military parade, during a planning session at the White House after seeing the Bastille Day parade in 2017, the President said regarding the inclusion of “wounded guys” “that’s not a good look” “Americans don’t like that,” source confirms.

Regarding McCain, “The President just hated John McCain. He always asked, ‘Why do you see him as a hero?” Two sources confirmed the President did not want flags lowered but others in the White House ordered them at half mast. There was a stand off and then the President relented.

And now, Trump is calling for her to be fired …

“Jennifer Griffin should be fired for this kind of reporting. Never even called us for comment. Fox News is gone!”

If it were The Washington Post, New York Times, or any other legitimate news outlet, I would not be concerned, for they would just ignore him.  But this is Fox, his bootlickers, owners of such characters as Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham.  Keep an eye on this ball, folks, for if she is fired, there isn’t a doubt in my mind that Trump will target other journalists and chip away at the freedom of the press even more than he has already done.


I found a bit of humour in this one.  Yesterday, there was an event organized on Lake Travis, near Austin, Texas.  The event, organized on Facebook, was called Lake Travis Trump Boat Parade.  Steve Salinas, one of the organizers of the event, said it was “one way that Trump supporters can get out and express themselves without causing too much trouble or congestion in streets.”

Now, it seems unclear how many boats were on the lake for this event, but all of a sudden, the boats started sinking!  It is also unclear just how many boats sank … the Travis County Sheriff said it was still uncertain, and the New York Times reports at least four, possibly more.  The weather was only a bit breezy, not enough to cause boats to sink. Lake-Travis-boatFirefighters rescued several people and there are no reports of death or serious injury.  Last I checked, the cause was still ‘under investigation’, but the Sheriff’s Department says there is no reason at this time to suspect foul play.  My granddaughter suggested that perhaps Mother Nature is trying to tell Trump supporters something!

Some of the comments on the Facebook page were fun …

  • On Twitter they have dubbed it #Dumbkirk 😂
  • This was obvious antifa/BLM sabotage
  • Boater suppression!!
  • Insurance companies will deny the claims, since the boats had pre-existing conditions.
  • This is good, but I look forward to the trump Hindenburg parade in November even more

Another similar boating event, Nation’s Capital Trumptilla Boat Parade And Rally, is scheduled for 1:00 this afternoon on the Potomac River.  While I hope nobody is injured, I can’t help wishing them to have the same luck as the bunch at Lake Travis had!


Once again, the Republicans have proven just how low they are willing to stoop.  You may remember the name Marjorie Taylor Greene, the republican from Georgia who, despite her affiliation with the hate/conspiracy group QAnon, won the Republican primary for the seat in the U.S. House of Representatives currently held by Doug Jones.  Well, she seems to have a nasty streak longer than my right arm.marjory-taylor-greeneThis week, she posted an advertisement on Facebook featuring an image of herself holding a rifle with photos of three liberal congresswomen of color and the vow to “go on the offense” against members of the “Squad,” an unprecedented threat against lawmakers from a probable future colleague.

The three congresswomen, of course, were the same three that Donald Trump said should “go back” to the countries they came from: Representative Ilhan Omar from Minnesota, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York, and Representative Rashida Tlaib from Michigan.  All three women, by the way, are U.S. citizens and all but Ms. Omar were born in the U.S.

Ms. Greene’s post claimed …

“Hate America leftists want to take this country down. Politicians have failed this country. I’m tired of seeing weak, Establishment Republicans play defense. Our country is on the line. America needs fighters who speak the truth.”

Facebook removed the post on Friday, saying it violated its policies against incitement of violence.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday called on top House Republican Kevin McCarthy to condemn Greene’s “dangerous threat of violence against Democratic Congresswomen.”  But, of course, McCarthy is just another Trump bootlicker, and Trump has already expressed his support for Ms. Greene and his disdain for the three duly-elected congresswomen.

Ms. Greene is person of little or no character, rather like Trump himself, and the Republicans in Congress who fail to denounce her behavior have shown themselves to be of equally low character.  Period.  I hope to see the vast majority of them voted out of office in November, and I further hope that Ms. Greene never sees the inside of the Capitol!

The Truth About Portland

Nicholas Kristof’s column yesterday was eye-opening and re-affirms from a highly respected and reliable eyewitness that the biggest part of the violence in Portland, Oregon, is caused by Trump’s goon squad, aka federal troops.  Take a minute to read this, and then imagine it happening in your city, in every major city in the nation …


In Portland’s So-Called War Zone, It’s the Troops Who Provide the Menace

If President Trump is actually trying to establish order, he is stunningly incompetent.

nicholas-kristof-thumblargeBy Nicholas Kristof

Opinion Columnist

July 25, 2020, 2:40 p.m. ET

Portland-1PORTLAND, Ore. — To watch Fox News is to learn from Sean Hannity that the “Rose City” of Portland is “like a war zone” that has been, in Tucker Carlson’s words, “destroyed by the mob.”

So I invite Hannity and Carlson to escape their bubbles and visit Portland, stroll along the Willamette River and enjoy a glass of local pinot noir. They’ll be safe — unless they venture at night into the two blocks beside the federal courthouse.

Citizens need to be vigilant there, for armed groups periodically storm the streets to attack peaceful visitors. I’m talking, of course, about the uninvited federal forces.

I’ve watched them fire round after round of tear gas, along with occasional rubber bullets or other projectiles. They even repeatedly tear-gassed Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, who has demanded that they go home, leaving him blinded and coughing on his own streets.

Portland-2“They knocked the hell out of him,” President Trump boasted on Fox News. “That was the end of him.”

Trump is pretending that he is bringing law and order to chaotic streets, and now he has dispatched similar troops — what else can you call a militarized force like this but “troops”? — to Seattle, where that city’s mayor has also said they are unwanted. Yet if Trump is actually trying to establish order, he is stunningly incompetent. The ruthlessness of the federal forces has inflamed the protests, bringing huge throngs of Portlanders out to protect their city from those they see as jackbooted federal thugs.

“Their presence here escalates,” Kate Brown, Oregon’s governor, told me. “It throws gasoline on the fire.”

Brown noted that the federal troops may also be breaking the law. “We cannot have secret police abducting people into unmarked vehicles,” she said. “This is a democracy and not a dictatorship.”

Portland-3The paradox is that Oregon is simultaneously begging for federal assistance to address a real threat — the coronavirus pandemic. Brown said she has been pleading for Covid-19 tests and for personal protective equipment, but the federal government has rebuffed the state.

“It’s appalling to me that they are using federal taxpayer dollars for political theater and making no effort to really keep our communities safe,” Brown said.

So let’s be real: Trump isn’t trying to quell violence in Portland. No, he’s provoking it to divert attention from 140,000 Covid-19 deaths in the United States. Once again, he’s tear-gassing peaceful protesters to generate a photo op — and he’s doing this every night in downtown Portland. This is a reckless campaign tactic to bolster his own narrative as a law-and-order candidate, a replay of Richard Nixon’s successful 1968 campaign theme.

It is true that some protesters are violent. Some start small trash fires. Others paint graffiti, including “kill pigs” and “kill cops,” or hurl water bottles or firecrackers at federal agents. Some protesters point lasers at officers and in one case a man allegedly hit an agent with a hammer.

Such violence is wrong and plays into Trump’s narrative. Representative John Lewis, who died earlier this month, showed how much more powerful it is for changemakers to endure violence than to commit it.

But it’s also true that the vast majority of those in the crowds each evening are peaceful. They sing about racial justice, chant “Feds out now” and try to protect their city from violent intruders dispatched by Trump.

Portland-4The protesters — including a “Wall of Moms” who turn out each night to lock arms and shield protesters — protect themselves with bicycle helmets and umbrellas, while suburbanites bring leaf blowers to dispel tear gas (this works surprisingly well). Medics attend to the injured, and cleanup crews collect litter.

“They have guns; I have an umbrella,” said a protester named Jackie — who added that she was fearful of the government and did not want her last name published. That’s common in dictatorships, but I find it ineffably sad to breathe tear gas in my beloved home state and to interview Americans with such fears of their own leaders.

On the streets, I have no fear of the protesters (except when they pull their face masks down to shout slogans, risking the spread of Covid-19), but it’s prudent to worry about the troops. In a few weeks, they:

  • fired “less lethal” munition at a peaceful protester named Donavan La Bella, fracturing his skull and requiring facial reconstruction surgery. Video shows that the shot was unprovoked.
  • clubbed a Navy veteran, Christopher J. David, as he tried to ask federal agents how they squared their actions with the Constitution.
  • allegedly sexually assaulted a lawyer who had been arrested after taking part in the “Wall of Moms.”

An iconic moment came when a woman known as Naked Athena confronted the troops while wearing only a hat and face mask. Her naked vulnerability as armed troops fired pepper balls at her feet underscored the absurdity of Trump’s narrative that he is “protecting” anything.

Beware. What you’re seeing in Portland may be coming to other cities. After all, Trump’s verdict on the troops: “In Portland, they’ve done a fantastic job.”

Portland-5

A Few WTF Moments Of Snark …

Okay, folks, I’ve held my snark for a while, but it’s brimming over now and it’s time for me to share a few bits of it before I begin to self-destruct, so I suggest you put on your hard hats and maybe a bit of cotton in your ears to muffle the sound …


Head-scratching moments in Georgia …

Governor Brian Kemp … remember him?  Here, let this picture from one of his campaign ads refresh your memory …

kemp-gun-Jake

Yeah, that’s the one … the grade A Asshole who thought it would look cool to be holding a gun pointed at his daughter’s boyfriend.  Well, you’re gonna love what he’s done now!

While many states are closing businesses again, and 28 states have imposed a mask mandate, Kemp refused to do so.  Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms imposed a city-wide mask mandate in light of a rising number of cases in and around Atlanta.  Then on Wednesday, Governor Kemp signed an executive order that prohibits cities and localities from imposing their own mask mandates, among other things.  But he didn’t stop there!  He is … wait for it … suing Mayor Bottoms!  Yep, you heard right … the governor of the state is suing the mayor of the state’s largest city and capital because she is trying to save lives!

Kemp’s rationale, if it can be called such, is …

“This lawsuit is on behalf of the Atlanta business owners and their hardworking employees who are struggling to survive during these difficult times. These men and women are doing their very best to put food on the table for their families while local elected officials shutter businesses and undermine economic growth.”

WTF???   It matters not if they have a job if they’re dead, for Pete’s Sake!!!

The mayor, for the record, did not shutter businesses, but merely said everyone who is in a public venue must wear a mask, or be subject to fines and a possible jail sentence.  She’s serious about maintaining the safety of the people in her city, whereas obviously the governor is not!  The requirement to wear a mask damn sure doesn’t stop these “hardworking employees” from going to work and earning a living – it only means they and their families might more safely do so!

As I related this story to daughter Chris, she asked a very good question:  When did safety become a political issue?  Answer that one, Mr. Kemp!


A governor of a different sort …

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who has worked tirelessly to provide his state with much needed PPE and test kits, wrote an article for The Washington Post, titled Fighting Alone, where he details some of Trump’s failures during this coronavirus pandemic, how Trump let the states and the people of this nation down.  A few snippets …

“Eventually, it was clear that waiting around for the president to run the nation’s response was hopeless; if we delayed any longer, we’d be condemning more of our citizens to suffering and death. So every governor went their own way, which is how the United States ended up with such a patchwork response. 

So many nationwide actions could have been taken in those early days but weren’t. While other countries were racing ahead with well-coordinated testing regimes, the Trump administration bungled the effort.

Meanwhile, instead of listening to his own public health experts, the president was talking and tweeting like a man more concerned about boosting the stock market or his reelection plans.”

His piece is worth the read, if you are so inclined, and he is spot-on.  Needless to say, Trump took umbrage – not that he actually read it, but I’m sure somebody must have told him about it – and his mouthpiece, Kayleigh McEnany, took on Governor Hogan, accusing him of ‘revisionist history’.  Ho-hum, Kayleigh … you bore the socks off of me.  The governor’s article was far more interesting and honest.


And speaking of McEnany …

I wrote a few days ago about how Trump is demanding that schools open on time this fall and threatening to withhold federal funding from districts that fail to open on time.  Never mind that 70% of parents say they do not think it’s safe to send the kids back to school yet.

Two of the Fox News commentators, Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy, claim that the reason parents and school officials want to keep the schools closed or switch to online learning is … you guessed it … to hurt their buddy Donnie Trump!  Oh, but of course … we all live our lives only to hurt Donnie.  Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

Trump himself pushed that theory born of ignorance when he said last week …

“We have to get our schools open and stop this political nonsense. And it’s only political nonsense; it’s politics. They don’t want to open because they think it will help them on November 3rd.”

Have we really sunk so low in this ‘them’ vs ‘us’ mentality that the schools and our children are caught in the crossfire?  What a sorry state of affairs the people of this nation have created!

But Kayleigh McEnany took the prize for utter stupidity when she said in support of re-opening schools …

“The science should not stand in the way of this.”

WTF???  Is she really that bloody stupid?  That is like … like if NASA was getting ready to launch a manned spacecraft and scientists found a fatal flaw on the day before launch, saying, “Let’s not let the science stand in the way.”  Our government is populated by some of the stupidest, most self-serving people on the entire planet!

toon-1toon-2toon-3

Never-Ending Snarky Snippets

snarky-4I just can’t seem to tamp down the snark these days … every time I see any news, it raises the hackles and the snark just rolls out.  Today is no exception, and the three four stories below are only the tip of the iceberg.


The purpose of an executive order is not to bypass Congress, though Trump is not the first ‘president’ to use them as a tool to accomplish their goals without the muss & fuss of waiting for congressional action.  Trump has abused the power many, many times, and is planning to do so again this week.

According to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows …

“We’re going to get them done when Congress couldn’t get them done.  The interesting thing is this president will do more in the next four weeks than Joe Biden and his team did in the last 40 years. So, you just need to stay tuned.”

Somehow, this raises red flags, especially that last sentence … it sounds rather like a threat to me.  Rumour has it that the latest batch of executive orders will involve China, immigration, and prescription drugs.

Meadows also said, in the same interview on Fox & Friends, that Trump was right when he claimed that the coronavirus is ‘mostly harmless’.  Without actually presenting any data, Meadows claimed the data shows that for 99% of people, the virus is not harmful.  Hmmm … I wonder why, then, there have been more than a half-million deaths worldwide, 133,000 here in the U.S.?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could actually trust our ‘leaders’, if every utterance by Trump & Co didn’t send up red flags?  Sigh.toon-1


Could it be that Trump and Fox are headed for a divorce?  Trump claims he’s done with Fox and urges his base to switch to OAN.  OAN stands for One America News, however it is anything but a news network … it is a right-wing propaganda network, pure and simple.  So, what led to this breakup?

On Sunday, Fox presented the results of their latest polls, showing Trump still trailing Joe Biden.  As usual when a network says something Trump doesn’t like, it is labeled ‘fake news’ by him.  In this case, he claimed he was leading in “real polls” but did not cite any such ‘real’ polls.

“@FoxNews gladly puts up the phony suppression polls as soon as they come out. We are leading in the REAL polls because people are sick & tired of watching the Democrat run cities, in all cases, falling apart. Also, now 96% Approval Rating in the Republican Party. Another 2016!”

Um, Donnie?  You might want to double check those numbers.  You are trailing Biden in every legitimate poll, and the 96% republican approval rate you cite is way off base.  Last I heard, it was around 85%, with only 57% of republicans saying they strongly approve of the job you’re doing.  And you wonder why we don’t believe a word you say.

At any rate, the switch to OAN doesn’t trouble me overly much, for they do not have nearly the exposure nor the credibility that Fox has (not that Fox has much credibility, either).  Most people never even heard of OAN until a couple of months ago when they started replacing Fox as Trump’s new love interest.


You may remember the controversy over the Dakota Access Pipeline?  The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have opposed the pipeline for years, saying it endangers Lake Oahe, a reservoir on tribal land that the pipeline passes under.  Today, Judge James Boasberg for the U.S. District Court District of Columbia ruled that the Dakota Access pipeline must be emptied and shut down while the Army Corps of Engineers conducts the environmental impact review that it should have completed before it granted an easement that allowed Energy Transfer Partners to build the pipeline bringing North Dakota crude oil to Illinois in the first place.  The judge gave ETP 30 days, until August 5th, to shut it down and empty it completely.  The environmental review is expected to take approximately 13 months.

And in other pipeline news, another highly controversial pipeline, the Atlantic Coast pipeline, has been canceled after numerous lawsuits by environmental groups had kept the project in limbo for nearly six years.  Duke Energy and Dominion Energy said that lawsuits had increased costs to as much as $8 billion from the $4-5 billion initially projected.  The project would have crossed the Appalachian Trail, a historic 2,190-mile hiking trail.

So, score two for the environment this week!


We are personae non grata, and rightly so.  Our failure to take the needed precautions to tamp down the coronavirus has led to a steep escalation in new cases, and last week, the EU announced it would not accept travelers from the U.S.  Canada had already closed their borders to us, and the UK is likely to follow suit.  And now … Mexico!  This is the ultimate irony, after Trump has spent nearly four years trying to ban Mexicans from coming into the U.S.  This is what I call poetic justice!toon-3The town of Sonoyta, just across the border from Lukeville, Arizona, has blocked the border from the U.S. due to growing concern about the surge of cases of the virus in Arizona. Sonoyta Mayor José Ramos Arzate issued a statement Saturday “inviting U.S. tourists not to visit Mexico,” and that people from the United States should only be allowed in “for essential activities, and for that reason, the checkpoint and inspection point a few meters from the Sonoyta-Lukeville AZ crossing will continue operating.”

Good for you, Mayor!  It was the right decision … but I’m beginning to feel a little trapped.  If the election should go wrong on November 3rd, and we all feel like leaving the country, will there be anyplace left where we would be welcomed? toon-2

Deflect And Deny — The Republican Way!

I’ve recently challenged myself to make a foray into ‘enemy territory’ … conservative news venues.  I’ve only begun, so I don’t have much yet, but you will be seeing a post or two this week about my findings.  But this morning, as I was meandering about on Fox News’ site, I came across a short interview between Fox News host Chris Wallace and Trump spokeswoman, Mercedes Schlapp.

Now, we all know that if you are asked a tough question that you really don’t want to answer, your best bet is to either, a) change the subject, or b) look at your watch and say, “Oh my!  Look at the time … I’m sorry, but I’m late for an appointment with my … chiropractor!”  Essentially, Ms. Schlapp chose option ‘a’ when Chris Wallace asked her to explain why the Saturday night rally in Tulsa logged a ‘crowd’ of just under 6,200 people versus the one million who reportedly requested tickets.

Wallace: “We all saw the pictures last night. The arena was no more than two-thirds full. And the outdoor rally was canceled because there was no overflow crowd. What happened?”

Schlapp: “The key here is to understand there were factors involved, they were concerned about the protesters who were coming in.”

Wallace: “He talks about how he can fill an arena. And he didn’t fill an arena last night. You guys were so far off that you had planned an outdoor rally and there wasn’t an overflow crowd.  Protesters did not stop people from coming to that rally. The fact is, people did not show up.”

Then Schlapp went of on a tangent, talking over Chris Wallace, bringing Joe Biden up repeatedly.

Schlapp: “Joe Biden has been a failed politician that has done nothing but support failed institutions. This is in contrast with President Trump who has a strong record and is rebuilding this economy.”

This is just a snippet from the interview.  I found the video clip in several places, but when I tried to play it, I got this message:

video-unavailable

I finally found one that works … at least it works for now, and hopefully you will be able to watch it.  Note how often Schlapp deflects or goes off topic, and watch her faux smile slip every now and then …

While I don’t want to waste time focusing on how many people did or didn’t show up at Trump’s rally, the bigger point here is that, as usual, Trump and his spokespeople are deflecting and lying.  People didn’t show up at the rally for a number of reasons … protestors were not one of those reasons.  According to Tulsa police, only one protestor was arrested, though I question that, for I read of one, and blogging friend Suze tells me that her granddaughter was also arrested.  Suze’s granddaughter was doing nothing wrong, actually had a ticket for the rally, but apparently somebody took offense at her Black Lives Matter t-shirt.

I was pleased to see Chris Wallace pursue the matter … he is, after all, on the Fox payroll!  As for Mercedes Schlapp … the answer she should have given is that Trump and his campaign made a mistake in starting to hold rallies while the coronavirus is still raging throughout the nation.  That was the answer … the only right answer.

I shall continue my foray into conservative sites and report my findings later!  This project may require a jumbo bottle of ibuprofen and a case of wine!