Tears of Shame … Again

Periodically, I write a post that begs for the title “Tears of Shame”, or some variation of that.  Since 2016, there have been eight such posts … tonight makes nine.

Healthy debate, civil discourse … I’m all for both of those.  If I make a statement, you have an opposing point of view, then fine … let’s each present our views and see if we can find a middle ground.  Even if we cannot find that middle ground, we will have each gained a better understanding of why we think the way we do.  This is good for a friendship, it is good for opposing factions within a nation, and it is good for international relations – much better than lobbing bombs.  This is how civilized society remains civilized.

However, when two people disagree and one of those people has neither facts nor sound basis for his views, then his only way of expressing himself is likely to be personal attacks and lies.  It is a tactic that, unfortunately, works well for some people, though it has ended many a friendship.  It is also a very unprofessional way to conduct the business of government.

The republican response to the witness testimony in the ongoing impeachment hearings is an example of such.  Testimony after testimony by credible witnesses, career civil service employees and others, has put the republicans at a loss.  They have zero truthful or valid explanations for the actions by Trump, Pence, Pompeo, Giuliani and others.  So … they attack.  Who do they attack?  Everybody.  Adam Schiff, whose job is to conduct these hearings in a professional manner and get to the truth.  They attack the media.  They attack “Democrats” in general.

But, the worst of their attacks are not only vicious, unfounded and brutal … but they have put human lives, the lives of people who have dedicated their entire career to the service of this nation, in danger.  Their attacks on these people, in my opinion, raises the victims of their attacks to an even higher level of esteem, and frankly the attacks make the republicans doing the attacking look like the fools they are.  They also bring down the reputation of the entire Republican Party, where I assume there are some good people. (sarcasm intended)

These attacks would be laughable except for the current climate of hate and divisiveness in this nation – a climate that has been largely created by none other than Donald Trump.  But, they are not laughable, for in this nation we have 40% of the adult population who still support Donald Trump, who do not care about facts, but rather believe whatever Trump and his cronies over at Fox ‘News’ tell them to believe.  And they own guns.  Some of them own lots of guns.  Please note that I am not saying all republicans are bloody idiots that are going to go out and shoot one of these witnesses for speaking against their beloved leader.  Not at all.  However, there is a portion that would consider it their patriotic duty.  You know it and I know it.

A point in case is Alexander Vindman, who testified on Tuesday that he became so concerned during a July 25 phone call in which President Trump asked Ukraine’s president for help with political investigations that he reported his alarm to a superior.  Immediately, Fox ‘News’ personas Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson jumped on the attack wagon.VindmanOn Ingraham’s show, The Ingraham Angle, it was suggested by her guest John Yoo, with no evidence whatsoever, that Colonel Vindman was guilty of ‘espionage’, a felony punishable by death.  It should be noted here that Colonel Vindman received a Purple Heart after he was wounded in Iraq. He is a Ukrainian-American immigrant who was 3 years old when his family fled to the United States.  Even some republicans were incensed by this, including Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney, and Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice-President Dick Cheney, who called Mr. Yoo’s accusation “shameful”.

Senator Ron Johnson, a republican from Wisconsin wrote …

“I believe a significant number of bureaucrats . . . resent [Trump’s] un­or­tho­dox style and his intrusion on their ‘turf’. They react by leaking to the press and participating in the ongoing effort to sabotage his policies and, if possible, remove him from office. It is entirely possible that Vindman fits this profile.”

On CNN’s New Day, republican Sean Duffy, a former representative from Wisconsin also called Vindman’s loyalty into question …

“It seems very clear that he is incredibly concerned about Ukrainian defense. I don’t know that he’s concerned about American policy.  He has an affinity, I think, for the Ukraine. He speaks Ukrainian, and he came from the country and he wants to make sure they’re safe and free.”

Tucker Carlson has an even more elaborate conspiracy theory, claiming that the Ukraine has repeatedly asked Vindman to take over their entire military!

And then, Vindman began getting threats against himself and his family.  The U.S. military stands guard and ready to move Colonel Vindman and his family to a secure location on a nearby military base if it is felt that there is an imminent danger.  Other witnesses have also reported getting anonymous threats.  Because they believe that their duty is to the country, not the ‘man’ sitting in the Oval Office.  Because they told the truth.

An attorney for Colonel Vindman, David Pressman, has sent Fox News a letter requesting a public retraction of the comment on Laura Ingraham’s show that suggested Vindman was guilty of espionage.  However, even if Fox retracts and apologizes, it is far too little, too late. Words, once spoken, can never be unheard.

I would ask my republican friends, if in fact I had any left, if this is the legacy they wish to leave, if this is the nation they believe in, and if they are proud of the people, from Donald Trump on down the line, who have so terribly abused those who were willing to tell an uncomfortable truth in order to try to preserve the integrity of this nation.  I, for one, am not proud.  If I were asked by a stranger tomorrow my country of origin, I think I would rattle off the name of the first country I could think of … Sardinia … Cambodia … Sri Lanka.

Public Impeachment Inquiry Begins-Will America Care?

Tomorrow begins the public phase of the impeachment process and it will be widely televised. But, will anybody be watching? Our friend Jeff over at On the Fence Voters ponders this, and his words are astute and well worth sharing. Thank you, Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

Starting this Wednesday, November 13, 2019, the public portion of the impeachment inquiry of President Trump will begin. Will the American people care?

It’s an open question.

For a while, I wondered whether the major networks were going to cover the hearings. Much to my surprise, they indeed will be covering the event. Scheduled to appear Wednesday are Ambassador William Taylor and Deputy Assistant for European Affairs George Kent. ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS will preempt regularly scheduled programming for live coverage. It was music to my ears.

I knew for sure that the major cable news networks and CSPAN would be covering the hearings, but now that the major networks are in the fray, there are no excuses for the American people. If you want to watch the proceedings, you can do so in multiple ways. If you can’t watch them live, you can undoubtedly tape them, or watch…

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The Words Of A Wise Man

Thomas Friedman is a weekly columnist for the New York Times, a well-respected author of seven books, numerous documentaries, and the recipient of three Pulitzer prizes.  His forte is foreign affairs, global trade, the Middle East, globalization, and environmental issues.  Yesterday, his latest column crossed my desk and I felt it worthy of sharing.


It’s Not Trump vs. the Dems. It’s Trump vs. the Country’s True Defenders.

Public servants who swore to protect the Constitution also set the impeachment process in motion.

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by Thomas L. Friedman

Last Thursday and Friday, two important Americans bore witness to the state of our nation. One was President Trump, addressing political rallies. The other was Marie Yovanovitch, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine until suddenly told to get “on the next plane” — because Trump wanted her removed — without explanation.

Every American should contemplate their remarks, which I excerpt later, and then ask two questions: Whose speech would you want to read to your children’s civics class and which speaker do you think represents the America you want to see evolve and leave to your kids?

This exercise is vital because this impeachment process was not set in motion by the Democratic Party. It was set in motion by civil servants — whistle-blowers from the intelligence community, now supported by National Security Council staffers and diplomats. These public servants also took an oath to serve the country and protect the Constitution, and they have shown remarkable courage to risk their careers, and maybe more, to call out the president for violating his oath.

They are like antibodies fighting the cancer in our political system. John Bolton spoke for all of them when, while national security adviser, he reportedly instructed Fiona Hill, the N.S.C. Russia expert, to tell White House lawyers that he wanted no part “of whatever drug deal” the president’s cronies were cooking up as part of an off-the-books diplomatic effort being led by Rudy Giuliani to get Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden.

It is breathtaking that virtually no Republican lawmakers have manifested similar courage — when all they have to lose is $174,000 in salary and free parking at Reagan Washington National Airport.

This point can’t be stressed enough. Because if Trump is removed from office and the country is healed afterward, it will only be because a majority of Americans understand that this is, at its core, a fight between these noncorrupt, apolitical civil servants — whose norms and institutions make America’s government so envied and respected around the world — and Giuliani and Trump and their pals, who care only about serving themselves and their conspiracy theories.

Trump and his enablers at the state-directed Fox News want to portray this as just another partisan fight — between Trump and his Democratic rivals — in the hope that the public will shrug and say, “There they go again.” They don’t want Americans to understand that this fight is about guarding the most cherished norms and institutions that define us as a nation.

We can’t let that happen. In service of that goal, I repeat some of Trump’s and Yovanovitch’s remarks.

Here’s Trump in Louisiana: “The radical Democrats’ policies are crazy. Their politicians are corrupt. Their candidates are terrible. And they know they can’t win on Election Day, so they’re pursuing an illegal, invalid and unconstitutional bullshit impeachment.”

And here’s Trump in Minneapolis about Joe Biden: “He was only a good vice president because he understood how to kiss Barack Obama’s ass.”

And here’s Yovanovitch in her opening statement to the House impeachment investigators: “For the last 33 years, it has been my great honor to serve the American people as a Foreign Service officer, over six administrations — four Republican, and two Democratic. I have served in seven different countries, five of them hardship posts, and was appointed to serve as an ambassador three times — twice by a Republican president and once by a Democrat. Throughout my career, I have stayed true to the oath that Foreign Service officers take and observe every day: ‘that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,’ and ‘that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.’”

She added: “My parents fled Communist and Nazi regimes. Having seen, firsthand, the war, poverty and displacement common to totalitarian regimes, they valued the freedom and democracy the U.S. represents. And they raised me to cherish these values as well.”

She continued: “From August 2016 until May 2019, I served as the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. Our policy, fully embraced by Democrats and Republicans alike, was to help Ukraine become a stable and independent democratic state, with a market economy integrated into Europe.”

Then Yovanovitch added: “I have heard the allegation in the media that I supposedly told the embassy team to ignore the president’s orders ‘since he was going to be impeached.’ That allegation is false. I have never said such a thing, to my embassy colleagues or to anyone else. … With respect to Mayor Giuliani, I have had only minimal contacts with him. … I do not know Mr. Giuliani’s motives for attacking me. But individuals who have been named in the press as contacts of Mr. Giuliani may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine.”YovanovitchAnd then she explained that after being asked in early March “to extend my tour until 2020, I was then abruptly told in late April to come back to Washington from Ukraine ‘on the next plane.’ You will understandably want to ask why my posting ended so suddenly. I wanted to learn that, too, and I tried to find out. I met with the deputy secretary of state, who informed me of the curtailment of my term.

“He said that the president had lost confidence in me and no longer wished me to serve as his ambassador. He added that there had been a concerted campaign against me, and that the department had been under pressure from the president to remove me since the summer of 2018. He also said that I had done nothing wrong and that this was not like other situations where he had recalled ambassadors for cause.”

Alas, Secretary of State Pompeo did nothing to protect her.

Yovanovitch continued: “Although I understand that I served at the pleasure of the president, I was nevertheless incredulous that the U.S. government chose to remove an ambassador based, as best as I can tell, on unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives. …

“I have served this nation honorably for more than 30 years. … Throughout that time, I — like my colleagues at the State Department — have always believed that we enjoyed a sacred trust with our government. … We repeatedly uproot our lives, and we frequently put ourselves in harm’s way to serve this nation. And we do that willingly, because we believe in America and its special role in the world. We also believe that, in return, our government will have our backs and protect us if we come under attack from foreign interests. That basic understanding no longer holds true.”

If this is how our government will now act, great long-term harm will be done to “our nation’s interest, perhaps irreparably,” Yovanovitch concluded. We will lose “many of this nation’s most loyal and talented public servants,” and “bad actors” in countries beyond Ukraine will “see how easy it is to use fiction and innuendo to manipulate our system. In such circumstances, the only interests that will be served are those of our strategic adversaries, like Russia, that spread chaos and attack the institutions and norms that the U.S. helped create and which we have benefited from for the last 75 years.”

In both Minnesota and Louisiana, Trump supporters chanted “U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A.” at his red-meat lines. Read these two transcripts and then ask yourself, who’s really protecting and honoring “U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A.”?

Too Much Noise …

There is entirely too much noise these days.  Merriam-Webster defines noise as “loud, confused, or senseless shouting or outcry”, and Wikipedia defines it as “unwanted sound judged to be unpleasant, loud or disruptive to hearing”.  Both are apt descriptions of what we are experiencing today.  The noise is coming from the White House, it is coming from the GOP, and it is coming from the evangelicals.  Mostly, it is coming from the Fool on the Hill, Donald Trump, and his hired sycophants.  The noise is obnoxious and annoying, but worse, it is dangerous.

Robert Jeffress, an evangelical pastor who, by the way, won Filosofa’s Idiot of the Week award in November 2016 for his bigoted and mindless bleating, is back in the news this week.  He appeared on Fox News’ program Fox and Friends Sunday where he said …

“I don’t pretend to speak for all evangelicals but this week I have been traveling the country and I’ve literally spoken to thousands and thousands of evangelical Christians, I have never seen them more angry over any issue than this attempt to illegitimately remove this president from office, overturn the 2016 election and negate the votes of millions of evangelicals in the process. And they know that the only impeachable offense President Trump has committed was beating Hillary Clinton in 2016. That’s the unpardonable sin for which the Democrats will never forgive him. And I do want to make this prediction this morning: If the Democrats are successful in removing the president from office, I’m afraid it will cause a Civil War-like fracture in this nation from which this country will never heal.”

A ’Civil War-like fracture’?  I would rebut that Donald Trump has intentionally and with purpose caused the divide that is driving people apart in this nation.  He has denigrated everyone in one way or another, except of course his loyal fan base who don’t seem to understand the effect of his words and actions.  But, Mr. Jeffress’ words are dangerous, for some may well see them as a call to action.

The United States is a secular nation … that is, no religion determines policy, but policy is driven by the good of the nation as a whole.  The U.S. Constitution calls for separation of church and state.  And yet, Mr. Jeffress objects to that, as well …

“There is no such thing as a separation of church and state in the Constitution.  We have allowed the secularists, the atheists, the humanists to hijack our Constitution and pervert it into something our forefathers never intended.

And I’m gonna say this. I’m gonna say this, and it may cost me some book sales, but I’m gonna say it anyway. Thank God we have a president like Donald J. Trump who understands that. I don’t like seeing my friend under attack like he is under right now, but I don’t like the prospect of what’s going to happen in America if we allow the left to seize control of this country again.”

‘Scuse me, Mr. Jeffress, but I am in the group that you say have hijacked our Constitution, and I am not taking your words sitting down.  This nation wasn’t founded only for you evangelicals, but for all who live here, regardless of their religious views.  I have worked and paid taxes in this country since I was 13 years old, some 55 years ago.  I am a citizen, though not proud to be at this moment.  I vote … I vote in every election.  I have a voice in the government of this country.  I have taken no less than three graduate-level courses in Constitutional Law.  I have actually read the entire U.S. Constitution … many times … have you?  So just how the Sam Hell do you think I have fewer rights than you and your bigoted followers?

I respect your right to believe as you wish, to follow the tenets of whichever religion you choose, but I’ll be damned if you’re going to take away my rights to have as much say in the governance of this nation as you do.  And frankly, I’m a hell of a lot nicer than you are, for I care about people, about animals, about nature and our planet, whereas the only thing you seem to care about is wealth and your cockeyed religion, even though your interpretation of your religion is about hate, not love.  If I could award you Idiot of the Week a second time, I surely would.

See, folks, this is what all that noise does … it makes us all angry, puts us in fight mode, even when we don’t want to be.  It gives us ulcers, nightmares, and sleepless nights, loss of appetite for food and too much appetite for other substances.  And, perhaps most importantly, it keeps us rattled and distracted so we may not be keeping our eye on the ball as we should.  Perhaps that is the intent?

In addition to Jeffress, we have people starting conspiracy theories that are too idiotic, too inane to even mention.  And it’s not just the crew over at Fox, though they are certainly doing their fair share of it. The republicans are coming out of the woodwork with theories about FBI agents, Adam Schiff, Obama, and others that have absolutely no basis in fact, but … I guess it’s simpler than having to admit that you threw your lot in with a president who is almost certainly guilty of violating the very laws he took an oath to uphold, and who is facing impeachment by, at the very least, the House of Representatives.

There is one part of me that truly wishes the media would stop publishing his every word, would stop covering the fools who are trying to cover his sorry patootie.  Yes, I know … First Amendment rights, need to know, and freedom of the press, which I support fully … 100%.  But, responsible reporting … yes, we need to know what is happening, but I’m not sure we need to know every ignominious, hate-filled bit of rhetoric that Trump tweets.  Most of it is meaningless, almost every word is a lie anyway.  There must surely be room for balance.  If it is relevant or apropos of anything, then yes, we need to know.  But his eternal and meaningless rants do nothing more than rile us all, and that is not healthy for us or for the nation.

Your thoughts?

Snarkier Than Usual Snippets …

snarky-3Snarky.  I’m feeling very snarky today.  Come to think of it … I don’t think there has been a day in the last three years that I haven’t felt snarky!  Care to join me?


We don’t arrest children!!!

Last Thursday, two six-year-old children were arrested in Florida.  That’s right … six years old … arrested … taken to jail.  Their crimes?  Being kids.  One, we know, was a little girl named Kaia, who had a bit of a temper tantrum while in class.  Her grandmother says she is dealing with some health issues and had not slept the night before.  It is unclear what ‘crimes’ were committed by the other child, a little boy.  The children were handcuffed, put in the back of a police car, and taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center.  Handcuffs.  Police car.

The arresting officer, Dennis Turner, was a retired police officer serving as a “school resource officer”.  Let me tell you just a bit about Turner’s past record.  Turner was charged with aggravated child abuse in 1998 in connection with his 7-year-old son.  In 2016, he was reprimanded for using excessive force after stunning a man five times with a Taser during an arrest.  And these are only the incidents that were reported last week after he arrested the two children.  Aggravated child abuse.  And yet, he was allowed to work as a resource office in a school.

Turner has since been terminated and the parents of the children have received an apology from Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolón.  But, the question remains … how could this have been allowed to happen?  Who in their right mind thinks it is okay to treat children as young as six-years-old in this manner???  School resource officers came into being after the Columbine shootings in 1999, but it seems to me that arresting a six-year-old child for throwing a temper tantrum has literally nothing … nothing … to do with keeping children safe from guns!

Yes, Turner is gone, but the fact that school resource officers are able to arrest children is simply wrong. Is this an isolated incident, or have there been others that simply didn’t make it to the news?  This story likely wouldn’t have received national attention but for the fact that Kaia’s grandmother, justifiably outraged, spoke on camera of the incident to a local television station, and from there it exploded.

Y’know … if these are the extremes we must go to in order to protect our children from gun violence in schools, then maybe … just maybe … it’s time we address the real problem … the largely unchecked flow of guns into the hands of any who want them?  Think about it … but think quietly … wouldn’t want to upset the NRA and the legislators who are in their pockets now, would we?  Nah, far better to keep on traumatizing children than to upset Uncle Wayne!


Da Fox has a conscience? 

Well … Fox News seems to have a conscience, but a very limited one.  Yesterday, after young climate activist Greta Thunberg gave a blistering speech (more about that in a later post), Fox News invited right-wing commentator Michael Knowles of the Daily Wire to discuss Thunberg’s speech and the climate crisis.  Here’s what he said …

“If it were about science it would be led by scientists rather than by politicians and a mentally ill Swedish child who is being exploited by her parents and by the international left.”

GASP!  Fortunately, I did not see this interview (I have never once turned on Fox News), or I would likely have thrown something through the television screen!  What a grade-A jackass!

Fox News actually issued an apology …

“The comment made by Michael Knowles who was a guest on The Story tonight was disgraceful. We apologize to Greta Thunberg and to our viewers.”

So, you might think that perhaps Fox isn’t so bad after all, that maybe they have a heart and a conscience, yes?  Don’t be fooled.  For on the same day, Fox’ own Laura Ingraham, she of the poisonous tongue and zero values, used her program to criticize Greta Thunberg, saying …

“Greta Thunberg didn’t have to read her address, she actually memorized it. The implication is, of course, that to ensure the future, everyone must sign on to these globalist solutions. Cede control of our economy, our way of life, our way of transport, how many children you want to have, and if we don’t go along, we will be punished by our own children. Does anyone else find that chilling? I can’t wait for Stephen King’s sequel, Children of the Climate.”

Fox News has not commented on Ingraham’s nastiness.  Her own brother, however, apparently got the conscience and the brains in the family, for he did take her to task, saying …

“Clearly my sister’s paycheck is more important than the world her three adopted kids will inherit. I can no longer apologize for a sibling who I no longer recognize. I can and will continue to call out the monstrous behavior and the bully commentary born out of anger.”

Thumbs up to Curtis Ingraham … at least somebody recognizes that his sister is a grade-A b**ch.


Oh, the IRONY!!!

Breaking news just in … “Trump officials threaten to withhold highway funds from California for its ‘chronic air quality problems’”

SAY WHAT???

Was it not just last week that Trump announced he would not allow California to set state emission standards that were stricter than the federal standards???  Does this ‘man’ carry a brain around with him at any point?  Oh wait … yeah, we all know where he carries his brain, and it damn sure ain’t in his head!  This is akin to a parent not allowing their child to eat healthy vegetables, but instead shoving cookies and candy into them, then punishing them for being fat!!!


And speaking of the Witless Wonder …

Yesterday, Trump popped into the UN briefly, though he did not participate in the Climate Summit that was taking place.  It appeared he only popped in to get his name in the news, to make a number of inane comments … to be the “center of attention” as he seems to feel a need to be.  One of his comments, though, is beyond belief:

“I would get a Nobel prize for a lot of things, if they give it out fairly, which they don’t. They gave one to Obama immediately upon his ascent to the presidency and he had no idea why he got it.”


And now that I have unleashed my snark, I must go clean something … take my hostilities out on dirt and dust!  But, I shall leave you with a bit of humour …

Fox & Trump … Headed For Divorce?

Those of us seeking facts and real news do not watch Fox ‘News’, for ever since the day Donald Trump threw his hat in the ring in June 2015, Fox has been “Trump News”, slavishly pandering to him, finding innovative excuses for his terrible speech, lousy policies and horrific behaviours.  Even so, there have always been a few on the news side, Chris Wallace, Shepard Smith, and Bret Baier come to mind, who seemed more interested in reporting the news than in being known as just more of Trump’s sycophants.

Let’s be clear … almost every news outlet will have some political bias.  Overall, however, they should be reporting facts:  who, what, why, when, where, and how.  Fox, however, has largely become known as ‘State TV’, and with good reason.  Trump constantly watches Fox News, tweets out claims he hears on the network, reportedly speaks regularly with Sean Hannity, and gives the majority of his interviews to Fox News. World leaders as well as members of Congress quickly learned that one of the best ways to communicate a message to Trump is to say it on Fox News.

Experts in the field, such as Tom Rosenstiel, a media scholar and executive director at the American Press Institute, have long said that Fox has become largely a propaganda arm for Donald Trump, saying there is …

“… a kind of collaboration that has tilted the scales from Fox News doing opinion journalism with grounding in the principles of news to it being an extension of the administration whose purpose, while always commercial, has become focused on supporting the president — a political outcome — rather than covering him. That is when you tilt from journalism to becoming propaganda: when your goal is no longer informing the public but promoting a particular political outcome.”

But, all of that may be changing.  On March 20th of this year, Disney acquired Fox for $71.3 billion, from Rupert Murdoch, a long-time friend and associate of Trump’s.  Fox still has a number of Trump boot-lickers on its opinion side, such as Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Jeanine Pirro, Laura Ingraham, Anne Coulter and others, but the news side seems to be subtly changing, much to Trump’s annoyance.

Earlier this week, Fox anchor Sandra Smith interviewed Xochitl Hinojosa, the communications director for the Democratic National Committee, in which she discussed next month’s Democratic presidential debate, among other things.  Trump’s response?Trump-tweet-1

And then, to add insult to injury, he said that “Fox isn’t working for us anymore”.  Wow … so he admits they were working for him before?

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But, the most encouraging part came when earlier today, Fox News’ Neil Cavuto pushed back.

“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. It is called being fair and balanced, Mr. President, yet it is fair to say you’re not a fan when that balance includes stuff you don’t like to hear or facts you don’t like to have questioned.”

Take a look …

The free press has taken numerous hits under the Trump reign, the first being on 17 February 2017, less than a month after his ill-fated inauguration, when Trump declared on Twitter that The New York Times, NBC News, ABC, CBS, and CNN were “fake news” and the “enemy of the people”.  This sets up a potentially dangerous situation, and has already had consequences, such as in Baltimore on 28 June 2018 when five people were killed by a gunman at The Baltimore Sun.  Fox has only exacerbated the situation with their near-constant unadulterated and lavish praise for even his lies.

Is it possible that Fox is turning a corner, that they wish to be viewed as a more legitimate news source, or that their new owners have a conscience?  Hmmm … that may be a bit of a stretch, and I will only believe it when they fire those who will sell their souls downriver to fawn over Trump’s every word, but it’s encouraging that Trump is now looking for another news source that will “work for him”.  Perhaps he could consider Breitbart?

Snippy Snarkets … Er… Snarky Snippets!

There is so much on my mind that needs venting that I didn’t know where to start, so you know when that happens I have to unload some of it in a round of snark snippets, yes?

He should have been locked in his room …

Every time little Donnie is allowed out to play with the other kids, I get nervous.  Last year at the G7 summit he embarrassed us all by suggesting that Russia, who was ousted in 2014 from what was once the G8 for their forcible annexation of the Crimea, should be let back in.  He has already started on that tired old claim again this year.  His stated reason?

“Because we should have Russia at the negotiating table. You know, whether you like it or not, and it may not be politically correct, but we have a world to run.”

His real reason, however, is that Putin, in exchange for doing everything in his power to shove Donnie, despite the wishes of the voters in the U.S., into the Oval Office, in return expects Donnie to do his bidding.

Trump fails to understand that the G7 is meant to solidify policies on the basis of shared values and interests. If Putin were there, he would not be cooperative. Quite the contrary, he would render the group ineffective.

Trump’s minions are apparently pissed that France is focusing much of this year’s G7 meeting on such things as climate change and human rights … the Trump team apparently only wanted to discuss trade.  Quite frankly, in this I side with the French, for there is no single issue more relevant, more urgent than climate change and in fact, it is really the ONLY issue that matters very much at the moment.  If we don’t act on climate change NOW, nothing else will matter in just a few short years.  And I will always think that human rights are more important than trade.  At this time in our history, the U.S. is guilty of more serious human rights violations than in the past 155 years, since the end of slavery.

According to aides, Trump left for the G7 fully intending to promote his isolationist “America First” viewpoint, but hopefully the other six nations, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, UK, and Japan, will keep the conference to more relevant topics.  Otherwise, next year Trump may not need to worry about attending, and it may be called the G6.  According to Jon B. Alterman, senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies …

“There has been a complete realization on the world stage that the U.S. is not playing its traditional role and may never again play the role it’s played for 75 years. But it’s unclear what role the United States will play, and what the consequences of that might be.”

European Council President Donald Tusk noted that …

“For me it’s absolutely clear that if someone, for example … the United States and President Trump, uses tariffs and taxation as a political instrument, tool for some different political reasons, it means that this confrontation can be really risky for the whole world, including the E.U. Under no condition can we agree with this logic. If the U.S. imposes tariffs on France, the E.U. will respond in kind.”

I’m sure I’ll have more about this after tomorrow, but for now, suffice it to say that Donald Trump fails to understand the concept of international cooperation, his ego requires that he be the center of attention at all times, that his demands are the only ones that matter.  He literally sucks all of the air out of the room when he’s in it.


She’s baaaaaaack …

I suppose you’ve all heard the news that former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the woman who sold her soul for the chance to lick Donald Trump’s boots, has taken a job over at Fox “News”?  As one person tweeted, “In a way, Sarah, you’ve been a Fox contributor all along.”  True dat.

Now, last I heard, when she left her position in July, she was planning on making a 2020 run for Governor of Arkansas.  Wonder what happened to that?  Oh wait … it’s perfect, now that I think about it!  She can be her own best source of advertisement … unlimited exposure, hundreds of opportunities to toot her own horn, to be seen by all the good people of Arkansas.  Who needs to worry about campaign contributions when they are on state-tv every day?

Former CBS news anchor Dan Rather tweeted that her new role was “about as surprising as water flowing down hill.”

Comedienne Chelsea Handler: “I’m not surprised Sarah Huckabee Sanders is joining Fox News, but I will be surprised to see what she looks like as a blonde,” an obvious reference to the fact that most of the female personalities on Fox are blonde bimbos.

The jokes on Twitter were endless.  I will only say I’m thankful that I don’t watch Fox, for I had enough of watching Sanders lie for Donnie-boy for two years.  I only hope that the people of Arkansas are smart enough not to elect her governor.


A bit of humour …

I end with just a bit of humour … I debated about including this one, for in a way it’s not exactly tasteful (pun intended), but I simply couldn’t resist.

Apparently, Chicago doesn’t like Trump very much (does anybody, really???), and a Chicago eatery has found a new way to mock him.  The eatery is called Weiner’s Circle, and from what I understand it is a very popular hot dog stand.  Chicago is, after all, famous for hot dogs!

Weiner’s Circle has put a new item on the menu, named the Trump Footlong.  It is three inches long.Trump-footlong

“The special item will be dressed exactly the same as a Chicago dog, only smaller in size. Customers can enjoy a single Trump footlong for $2.69; a Trump Package with two hot dogs, fries and a drink for $8.30; or the Super PAC for $12.56, which comes with four hot dogs, fries and a drink, according to RedEye. Wiener’s Circle is doing a little decorating as well… “

Trump-footlong-2Wiener’s Circle employees are also wearing hats that say, “Make Wiener’s great again.” The Trump-style hot dogs are available Friday through Sunday.


And on that note, I shall quietly slip away for a bit, but stay tuned, for I have more …

A Basketful of Snippets (The Snarky Kind)

Something caught my eye this morning, blatant racist behaviour by cops – the people we are told to respect and look up to.  But first … there was this by Fox News’ own Tucker Carlson …

tucker-carlson

“Duh … who me?”

“If you were to assemble a list, a hierarchy of concerns, problems this country has, where would white supremacy be on the list? Right up there with Russia probably. It’s actually not a real problem in America. This is a hoax. Just like the Russia hoax, it’s a conspiracy theory used to divide the country and keep a hold on power.”

Now, keeping in mind Mr. Carlson’s claim that white supremacy is naught but a ‘hoax’, a ‘conspiracy theory’, consider the following …

I was incredulous, couldn’t believe what I was reading.  Surely this was a joke, albeit a sick one?  But no … this was no joke.  It happened in Galveston, Texas, last Saturday when police arrested Donald Neely on suspicion of criminal trespassing, though there is no indication that Mr. Neely did anything wrong … seems like he was just the wrong colour, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.  Two white officers, identified only as P. Brosch and A. Smith, were on horseback when they saw Mr. Neely, who is African-American, and decided to arrest him.

The officers both had radios and could have called for a squad car to pick up Mr. Neely.  But they did not do that.  Instead, they put him in handcuffs, behind his back, then attached a rope to the cuffs, re-mounted their horses, and pulled Mr. Neely down the street by the rope.Donald-Neely-arrestA couple of passersby saw this abomination and took pictures and videos.  Needless to say, the community, or at least part of it, was incensed.  Galveston police chief Vernon Hale offered a tepid apology …

“First and foremost, I must apologize to Mr. Neely for this unnecessary embarrassment … I believe our officers showed poor judgment in this instance and could have waited for a transport unit at the location of arrest … my officers did not have any malicious intent at the time of the arrest.”

Poor judgment???  No malicious intent???  If you buy into that one, come see me, for I’ve got a great bridge I’ll sell you cheap.  The officers, as of this writing, have not been disciplined nor terminated.  Anybody else thinking “Jim Crow”?


In other news …

  • You guys remember a few weeks ago when I got banned from Twitter for a day for calling Ann Coulter a ‘bimbo’? Well, guess who’s been banned now?  No, no … not me.  @TeamMitch, Mitch McConnell’s campaign account.  Remember that picture I showed you of the faux tombstones, one with McConnell’s opponent, Amy McGrath’s name on it?  Well, since he posted that picture to his campaign account on Twitter, that account is banned until they agree to take the photo down!  So, perhaps Twitter does have some standards after all.  Now, if they would just ban Trump for all his bluster, ranting and lies …

  • Remember back in July, when Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced her resignation as White House Press Secretary? Trump then replaced her with Stephanie Grisham, who until that time had been Melania Trump’s personal slave spokeswoman, but we have seen nothing of her since then!  Nary a press briefing has she held, not even an impromptu gathering on the White House lawn.  Hmmmm … suspicious?

  • But, speaking of press secretaries, Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley, Grisham’s second-in-command, criticized President Obama, saying that while Trump is trying to “move the country forward”, Obama is taking it “to a dark place that we never want to be and we never want to visit again”. Say WHAT???  Presumably he was referring to Obama’s speech earlier this week where he urged us to reject leaders who stoke fear and hatred and normalize racism, but I have no idea how that is taking us to a dark place.  Seems to me it is Trump who’s taking us to a dark place.

  • BrockwaySpeaking of a dark place … here’s a sample of some ‘great’ behaviour. Curt James Brockway took umbrage, I guess, with a child age 13 who failed to remove his hat at an event at the Mineral County (Montana) Fair on Saturday when the national anthem was played.  The kid wasn’t being obnoxious, he just didn’t remove his hat, which is certainly his prerogative.  But ol’ Curt decided to slam the kid into the ground and the child suffered a concussion and temporal skull fractures.  Oh, and by the way, much of the fair is sponsored by the NRA.  Tell you anything?curt-brockway-assault

  • One last snippet, and this one will have you rolling your eyes and shaking your heads. It involves Trump’s buddy Steve Bannon, so don’t look for logic.  Bannon claims that the El Paso shooting was actually a sign of how ‘great’ Trump’s economy is!  That’s right, folks … if the economy were not so great, all those people wouldn’t have been in Wal-Mart (never mind that people only shop at Wal-Mart when they cannot afford to go elsewhere) and that the shooter wouldn’t have had anybody to shoot.  And as for the democrats, according to Bannon … “What the Democratic candidates are attacking is the Trump miracle.”  Stop shaking your heads now, else you’ll develop a rattle up there … trust me, I’ve had one for a while now.

And on that note, I will leave you to go find a more peaceful blog to read.  Something fun and uplifting.  Might I suggest this one by Gottfried over at Banter Republic … he’s always good for a bit of humour!

First thoughts on Mueller’s testimony

Yesterday, at long last, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified in a televised session before Congress … for nearly seven hours! I did not watch it, for a) I don’t have 7 hours to spare in any given day, b) I cannot sit and do nothing for more than about 5 minutes, which is why it takes me nearly a week to get through a movie, and c) I knew I could catch the action during and after the fact from a wide variety of sources.

One of those sources is our friend Jeff over at On the Fence Voters, and he did not disappoint. His take on it is honest, unbiased, clear, and cuts through all the b.s. to wrap it all up into a neat, easily readable, OpEd. My comment on Jeff’s post will give you my opinion of it all. Thank you, Jeff, for writing this with such clarity and saving me 4-5 hours of work! I owe you one!

On The Fence Voters

The marine who received a purple heart for his exemplary service in Vietnam and spent most of his life working for the American people, spoke today. My question is, did the American people listen?

The vast majority of the people in this country has not read the Mueller Report. Anyone expecting to learn a great deal more about the report from Robert Mueller’s testimony today was going to be sorely disappointed. My expectations were low, to begin with, and after watching the nearly seven-hour spectacle, that opinion has not changed.

Based on his nine-minute press conference a few months ago, which culminated in his resignation from the Special Counsel’s office, it wasn’t hard to figure out that if called to testify, he would do so reluctantly, and would not veer from the report in any substantial way. And that’s precisely how it went today.

It was also easy to predict…

View original post 1,195 more words

Snippy Snarkets … er … Snarky Snippets

These days trying to keep up with the news is a full-time job, and just a bit overwhelming most days.  The insanity that defines the Trump administration may be contagious, for lately I’ve been doing really stupid things, like … well, never mind … I’m not going to give you that weapon to use against me some day when I least expect it.  Anyway, two stories today gave rise to these snarky snippets …


Fox is doing what???

Fox-News-logoOkay, folks, I want you to be sure you’re sitting down for this one.  I also suggest you keep a hand firmly planted on your chin to keep your jaw from dropping to the ground.  I swear I am not making this up, but next week, Fox ‘News’ will be airing an ad by republicans that calls for the impeachment of Donald Trump!  Are you still with me, or have you fainted?

Turns out there is a conservative group called Republicans for the Rule of Law (RRL) that has developed an ad calling for politicians to stand up to the president.  Who knew?  And to add insult to injury, they will be airing the ad on none other than Trump’s favourite show, Fox and Friends.  According to Chris Truax, a spokesman for RRL …

“Everybody — Republicans and Democrats but especially Republicans — need to step up and say, ‘Look, this is bigger than the politics of the day, this is about our democratic institutions.’ If we don’t defend them, that will have an impact on our country for decades to come. President Trump still does not want to admit that this happened and that’s wrong, absurd and dangerous. Republicans need to stop enabling this behavior.”

When I read this, I had to do a quick check of my calendar to make sure it isn’t April 1st, for I was sure this must be a joke.  The 30 second clip, set to air next week, will feature clips from Robert Mueller’s statement yesterday. The spot will end with the line, “Mueller did his job, now it’s time for members of Congress to do theirs.”

How encouraging to know that there are some republicans who are not enamoured of Donald Trump and are willing to put the welfare of the nation ahead of personal gain.

I literally laughed when I heard this and wish I could see Trump’s face when he sees it.  Or, perhaps his aides will find a way to distract him or ‘accidentally’ turn off the television just before the ad comes on, like they covered up the USS John S. McCain so that Trump would not see it and become upset.


Not again???

roy-mooreRemember Roy Moore, the former Alabama judge who ran for Senate against democrat Doug Jones in a 2017 special election?  He, along with Sheriff Joe Arpaio, remind me of the Energizer bunny … they just don’t know when to quit, but keep on going … and going … and going.  Roy is planning another run at the senate seat next year.

As you’ll recall, Moore has been credibly accused of sexual misconduct with at least nine women, two of whom were underage at the time.  He was suspended not once, but twice from the Alabama Supreme Court.  Moore is the classic definition of a jerk.  The strangest thing is that, while he did lose the 2017 election to Jones, it was by a very narrow margin.  So, apparently in Alabama, it doesn’t much matter whether you have morals or a conscience, as long as you’re a republican.

Trump initially supported Moore in 2017, then backed off when the sexual accusations started coming to light.  So, what is Trump’s take on Moore’s current bid?

“Republicans cannot allow themselves to again lose the Senate seat in the Great State of Alabama. This time it will be for Six Years, not just Two. I have NOTHING against Roy Moore, and unlike many other Republican leaders, wanted him to win. But he didn’t, and probably won’t.  …If Alabama does not elect a Republican to the Senate in 2020, many of the incredible gains that we have made during my Presidency may be lost, including our Pro-Life victories. Roy Moore cannot win, and the consequences will be devastating….Judges and Supreme Court Justices!”

His reason for being against Moore running is not because Moore is not a person of conscience, or because Moore is a racist and a sexual predator, but only because he thinks Moore cannot win, and to Trump winning is the only thing that matters.  Returning Jones to the Senate in next year’s election would possibly mess up little Donnie’s grand plans for the further destruction of the U.S.!

Moore was not happy with Trump’s response and fired back.

“The president doesn’t control who votes for the United States Senate in Alabama. People in Alabama are smarter than that. They elect the senator from Alabama, not from Washington, D.C.”

The frightening thing is that Moore continues, despite his abhorrent behaviours, to have a large following and could actually win the republican nomination.  Moore is 72 years old and would be 74 by the time he took his seat in the Senate if he were to win.  We do not need any more rich, bigoted, old men in Congress!!!


And thus concludes today’s supply of snark.  Have a great whatever-day-it-is!