Jeff-BezosJeff Bezos, the man who co-founded Amazon and today is the CEO and 12% shareholder in the highly profitable company, has a net worth of $118 billion.  Just to make that a bit more visual, that’s $118,000,000,000.  It’s a lot of money, anyway you look at it.  Bezos is said to be the richest individual in the world.  The world.  Perhaps now we understand the source of the “Amazon smile”. Last year (2019) alone, Amazon posted $280 billion in revenue and $11.9 billion in profits.  At least they will actually pay federal income tax for 2019, unlike 2018 when they paid $0 on $11 billion in profits.

Amazon is one of the few companies whose business has surged during this time of coronavirus pandemic.  More and more people are ordering household supplies and even food that they cannot find in their local stores, or just to keep from having to spend much time in the local stores.  Amazon announced last week that they will be hiring up to 100,000 additional workers to cover the increased demand.  And yet …

Amazon maintains one of the stingiest paid sick leave policies among major corporations.  To add insult to injury, Amazon under CEO Bezos is requesting donations from their customers to cover sick leave for their employees!  Think on that one for a minute.


The man with more money than anybody deserves or needs, more money than he could possibly ever spend, is too cheap to fully cover his employees sick leave, but expects his customers, many of whom are currently laid off from their jobs, to pitch in.

As if that weren’t enough to make you want to dump a pan of hot berries on his bald pate, he also managed to profit ‘bigly’ by selling $3.4 billion in Amazon shares just before the stock market peaked in mid-February.  Can we say, insider trading?  Had he held onto those shares until this week, he would have lost $317 million … not that he’d even notice, for that’s pocket change for him.

I have been an Amazon customer since 2003, have a monthly standing order for household cleaning supplies, and frequently order other things we need, but … I’m going to start looking for alternatives.  Today!

Beyond the Pale Snarky Snippets

Today’s fare is a bit beyond Snarky Snippets and more into the territory of full-fledged rants.

Assholes …

You know it’s bad when a republican does something so wrong that even Tucker Carlson calls them on it …

tucker-carlson“[Burr] had inside information about what could happen to our country, which is now happening, but he didn’t warn the public. He didn’t give a prime-time address. He didn’t go on television to sound the alarm. He didn’t even disavow an op-ed he’d written just 10 days before claiming America was ‘better prepared than ever’ for coronavirus. He didn’t do any of those things. Instead, what did he do? He dumped his shares in hotel stocks so he wouldn’t lose money, and then he stayed silent. Now maybe there’s an honest explanation for what he did. If there is, he should share it with the rest of us immediately. Otherwise, he must resign from the Senate …”

No, there was no ‘honest explanation’ for what either Senator Richard Burr or Senator Kelly Loeffler did, for they were operating out of their own self-interest, not … not looking out for their constituents or the people of this nation, as they are paid to do.  Burr, by the way, has a net worth of more than $3 million, and Loeffler, who is married to Jeffrey Sprecher, Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, has a reported net worth of $500 million, though I’m betting that between she and hubby their net worth is in the billions.

On January 24th, these two assholes were briefed by senior government scientists about the seriousness of the coronavirus and its likely impact on the nation.  And then, they moseyed out of the briefing and sold stocks they expected to tank.  Not only that, but Loeffler, who began selling her stock within hours of the briefing, actually turned around then and purchased stock in Citrix, a technology company that offers teleworking software and whose share price is one of the few that has risen since the crisis began.

These two jackasses had been given information that was being withheld from the public by Donald Trump, and they used it to gain significant profits, while the rest of us lost a huge chunk of our 401(k)s, which were a pittance anyway, compared to Burr’s and Loeffler’s wealth.  And to add insult to injury … we pay these assholes to work for us!!!

Write your senators and demand the immediate impeachment of these two … they do not deserve the honour of representing the people of the United States, for in truth they have been representing only their own interest.

And while we’re on the topic … I wonder what Trump had his broker dump on the same day?

The story of life according to Donald Trump …

Mike Pence and his wife were both tested for coronavirus, using up two of the often-scarce test kits, even though as Pence said he had “no reason to believe” he was exposed to the virus.  A number of NBA teams and individual players have also been tested, again taking up valuable test kits.  Meanwhile, back at the ranch where most of us live, people are being told that the tests are reserved only for those exhibiting symptoms or already hospitalized.

So, in one of his photo-ops that are misnamed ‘press conferences’, Trump was asked …

“How are non-symptomatic professional athletes getting tests while others are waiting in line and can’t get them? Do the well-connected go to the front of the line?”

Trump seemed as if he would object, but then merely shrugged and said …

“Perhaps that’s the story of life.”

The “story of life”.  Take care of the rich and famous first, and f*ck the rest of us.  And yet, his approval rating has barely dropped from a month ago!  Do the damned evangelicals and others still honestly believe that he is “on their side”, or “for the average person”???  If so, they are more ignorant than we first thought.


The same reporter that asked about the coronavirus testing, Peter Alexander of NBC News, asked another question …

“What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now, who are scared?”

The question was a perfect opening for Trump to act like a real leader, to say something encouraging to the 330 million people he was elected to represent, but instead …

“I say that you’re a terrible reporter, that’s what I say. … I think it’s a very nasty question, and I think it’s a very bad signal that you’re putting out to the American people. The American people are looking for answers and they’re looking for hope, and you’re doing sensationalism, and the same with NBC and Con-cast. I don’t call it Comcast, I call it Con-cast. Let me just say something, that’s really bad reporting. And you ought to get back to reporting instead of sensationalism. Let’s see if it works. It might and it might not. I happen to feel good about it, but who knows? I’ve been right a lot. Let’s see what happens.”wtf

It. Is. Time. For. Him. To. Go.

One might expect that in times like these, our elected officials would be working overtime, making sacrifices, to keep us informed and protect us to the best of their ability.  Instead, this sorry lot of jerks is what we have leading the way.  These people must go now … I don’t think this nation can tolerate this bunch of crooks until next year … they need to be removed now by whatever means is available.  Their lives have no more value than yours or mine … likely less, for they are not honest people, have no integrity and were apparently born without that key component the rest of us have:  a conscience.

Corruption Times Three …

The fine, upstanding people who represent We The People in one capacity or another seem to be finding themselves in just a bit of hot water these days!   And so close (62 days) to the all-important mid-term elections, too.  Awwww …

Three in particular are facing charges or under investigation. The first …

Chris Collins

Chris Collins is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the State of New York.

In January 2017, prior to the inauguration of Donald Trump, but after the 115th Congress had been seated, a firm push was made in Congress to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE).  I wrote a post, Who Needs Ethics Anyway?, questioning if there were reasons that we didn’t yet know for them making this attempt.   Chris Collins is only one of the prime examples why this Congress was hoping to say “bye-bye” to the OCE.

In August 2016 Collins purchased 4 million shares in a pharmaceutical company, Innate Immunotherapeutics.  He also allegedly convinced Tom Price, who would later become Secretary of Health and Human Services, to purchase a large number of shares in the company.  Mr. Collins’ son also invested heavily.  Why?  Because Collins had ‘inside information’ that the company was on the verge of a breakthrough for a drug that would cure multiple sclerosis (MS).  This experimental drug, still in the testing stages, was the only product of Innate Immunotherapeutics.

However, in the summer of 2017, while attending a function on the White House lawn, Mr. Collins received a disastrous phone call from Innate Immunotherapeutics … the test of the product had failed its scientific testing … the drug did not work … it was no good.  The company had put all its eggs in a single basket and lost.  Stockholders stood to lose every penny they had invested.  But not Mr. Collins or his son!  Within minutes, Collins called his son Cameron who immediately sold his stock, avoiding losses of more than $570,000.  There is a name for it … it’s called ‘Insider Trading’ and it is illegal.  It is what the infamous Martha Stewart went to jail for.

On August 8th, Collins was arrested for wire fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, seven counts of securities fraud, and lying to the FBI.  Last Wednesday, a federal indictment was handed down in New York, accusing Mr. Collins of insider trading and lying to federal agents.  Chris Collins is running in the November mid-term elections.  Any bets as to his odds?

The second …hunter-1Ahhh … Duncan Hunter.  Name sound familiar?  It should, for I’ve written about him no less than three times between January 2017 and August 2018.  If Chris Collins was one reason the republicans in Congress tried so hard to gut the OCE in January 2017, Duncan Hunter is the personification of why we need the OCE more than ever now.  Hunter is just about as dishonest as they come.

His evils are many, including calling for the U.S. to launch a preemptive strike against North Korea a year ago, but the thing for which he is in trouble today, just two months from the mid-term elections, is using campaign funds to support his lavish lifestyle.  But wait … do you want to hear the absolutely most gutless thing?  Mr. Hunter has sought to blame his wife for the corruption charges, saying in a Fox News interview that she was responsible for the couple’s finances. “Whatever she did, that will be looked at, too, I’m sure. I didn’t do it. I didn’t spend any money illegally.”  Oh … oh … oh oh oh … that is royal!!!  What a sorry excuse for a ‘man’, yes?  Mind you, it is true that his wife is complicit, but for him to say he did nothing wrong and it was all her fault???

In the interest of conserving space, I won’t go into Hunter’s many mis-uses of campaign funds, for I did so in my post titled The Face of Dishonesty and you can refresh your memory if you need to.

bunnyThe federal indictment against Hunter is 47-pages long and outlines years of allegations that Mr. Hunter and his wife spent almost a quarter of a million dollars of campaign money on personal expenses, on everything from vacations to fast-food meals, even a plane ticket for their pet bunny.

Hunter says he is determined to stay on the November ballot. And in a heavily Republican district, running against a first-time Democratic opponent who is the son of an Arab father and Mexican mother, most agree that, despite the corruption charges he still maintains a strong chance of re-election.  Welcome to the Era of Trump, 2018-style.

And finally …

Kris Kobach

Dis many!

You no doubt remember Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State who served as the vice chairman of Trump’s short-lived presidential commission on voter fraud.  Kobach has so many scandals in his past that he nearly defines the word.  Most pertain to his imaginary claim of “massive” voter fraud.  Kobach is running for Governor of Kansas in November.

The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that a grand jury must be convened to investigate whether Secretary of State Kris Kobach intentionally botched voter registration in the state in the 2016 elections.  The accusation that brought forth the suit accuses Kobach of “destroying, obstructing, or failing to deliver online voter registration” during the 2016 election.  The petition also calls for an investigation into whether the office had fake or altered registration books that prevented people from voting or was “grossly neglectful with respect to their election duties.”

Kobach’s office claims the allegations are related to a period of time when certain online voter registrations malfunctioned.  Hmmmm … right … blame it on the machines.  I have long said that perhaps we should return to the days of a paper ballot …

Kobach’s history on voting rights make this case seem credible, for he has persuaded the Kansas legislature to enact “the nation’s most rigorous voting restrictions and to give him special authority to enforce them.”  Just this past June, a federal judge struck down one of his restrictive voter ID laws that would have required voters to produce either a birth certificate or passport in order to register to vote.

So, there you have it folks … a sampling of the illustrious people from the Republican Party who are tasked with representing us.  62 more days until the mid-terms.  Make sure your registration is up to date, so you can vote these fools out!!!

A Few Updates …

Today I have some new/additional information on a few of my recent posts that I thought I would share with you.

Some People Never Learn …

Remember my June 29 post about Martin Shkreli, the pharmaceutical magnate who increased the prices of certain drugs by as much as 5,000%, showed no remorse, and made outrageous statements while wearing a perpetual smirk.  Well, in August he was convicted on three counts of securities fraud, and is currently out on bail while awaiting sentencing.  Or rather, he was out on bail until yesterday, when U.S District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto revoked his bail.

Shkreli.jpgSeems that Shkreli just has to be in the limelight and isn’t too bright about how he gets there.  On his Facebook page, he offered his Facebook followers $5,000 to grab a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair during her book tour.  Now why … ??? His attorneys produced an apology, and pleaded with the judge, but to no avail.  “The fact that he continues to remain unaware of the inappropriateness of his actions or words demonstrates to me that he may be creating ongoing risk to the community,” said Judge Matsumoto. “This is a solicitation of assault. That is not protected by the First Amendment.”

Shkreli was immediately taken into custody and will be sent to a maximum-security prison until his sentencing hearing in January. He could face up to 20 years in prison.

Something Rotten at Equifax …

Last Friday I wrote about the major security breach at Equifax that affected 143 million in the U.S. alone, some 98% of the adult population.  I mentioned that I had concerns because, while Equifax discovered the breach on July 29th, the public was not informed until September 7th, fully 41 days later.  What were they doing?  Damage control? Meanwhile, at least three senior Equifax executives had divested themselves of shares after learning of the breach … shares worth $1.8 million.  My thoughts then were that there was more to this than meets the eye.

Well, apparently I am not alone in my suspicions, but they are shared by the leaders of the Senate Finance Committee.  The leaders of the committee, Orrin Hatch of Utah and Ron Wyden of Oregon have sent a letter to Equifax seeking additional information into the hacking, and also information about the three officers who sold stock.  Those three officers are Chief Financial Officer John W. Gamble Jr., Rodolfo O. Ploder and Joseph M. Loughran III.  The letter asked that Equifax respond by Sept. 28th.

Additionally, a group of thirty-six senators signed a letter asking the U.S. Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission to look into the executive stock sales.  And Equifax’ chief executive, Richard Smith, is expected to testify on Oct. 3 before a House of Representatives panel. Expect more updates.

The Hate is Spreading …

The case of the little 8-year-old boy who was nearly lynched by a group of teens in Claremont, New Hampshire is finally being taken seriously, it seems. On Tuesday, Governor Christopher Sununu instructed the state attorney general to assist Claremont police in the investigation. “It is my expectation that local and state authorities will investigate appropriately and I’ve asked for regular updates on how things are proceeding, Hatred and bigotry will not be tolerated in New Hampshire.”

Although it is still not being widely reported, the New York Times, Newsweek and International Business (IB) Times have reported on it.  And some members of the community came together on Tuesday in a peaceful gathering to protest against racism.  Meanwhile,  Jasper Hill Farm in rural Vermont reported a swastika and other racist graffiti on a barn.

graffiti.jpgThe hate is spreading, folks, and I don’t foresee an end anytime soon.