The Return of the Snarky Snippet

It’s been a while since I’ve done a ‘snarky snippets’ post.  Actually, I’ve started a few, but then the first snippet as often as not turns into a full-length post on its own.  So, let me try again …

Biggest story of the day …

The biggest news of the day yesterday was not about gas prices, President Biden, the January 6th Committee, or the former guy … what’s his name again?  It wasn’t even about Ukraine, though there is important news on that front.  Nope, the biggest story of the day was the resignation of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, aka BoJo.  What’s funny about this was that the day before, I would have bet the farm that he would tough it out and, just like our own former guy, would be willing to stoop to unimaginable depths to retain his power.  Then yesterday morning I woke to breaking news from at least four media outlets that Johnson had resigned.  So … he has a bit more sense and a bit more intelligence than the former guy … what is his name?

I watched a short clip of Johnson’s resignation speech, and it was almost too … meh.  Not the passion or sorrow I would have expected, and in fact the clip ended with him saying …

“I want to tell you how sorry I am to be giving up the best job in the world. But them’s the breaks.”

Perhaps it’s just that ‘stiff upper lip’ we always hear attributed to the Brits, but he seemed to lack any real feelings or passion. I wonder if perhaps he was actually relieved to be putting this all behind him?  Either way, it was certainly a welcome relief as compared to … our former what’s-his-name.  If Johnson’s resignation had not been forthcoming, I strongly suspect he would soon have been ousted by a vote of no confidence after a number of his cabinet ministers had recently resigned (I count 6 cabinet members and a total of 53 MPs and other officials on one single day, July 5th) as a result of a statement by the Prime Minister, in which he confirmed that he had been aware of sexual misconduct allegations against Chris Pincher before appointing him to the government.

And now comes the big question … who will replace him?  I’ve asked several of my friends in the UK if there is some bright, shining star waiting in the wings, but just like here in the U.S., there seem to be none.  It bears watching …

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr …

There is a person, and I use that term loosely, by the name of Elijah Schaffer, who has flown onto my radar and he really, really shouldn’t have.

When I read his words, the first thing that came to my mind was a term I hadn’t heard or used in probably a half-century:  male chauvinist pig!  Think I’m exaggerating?  Here are a few snippets of what he and his ‘producer’, Josiah David, had to say in a recent podcast …

“When women lead, it’s a sign of a curse on a country because if men are strong and they’re leading the country, well, women do not feel the need to lead.”

“Yeah. A woman is only as strong as her husband. If a woman is as strong or if she’s a bitch or whatever she’s doing, it’s because her husband isn’t leading her properly.”

“Your wife is your post and you have to make sure that you’re leading her and telling her what to do, because she’s not the leader of the household.”

Is it any wonder I’m growling?  These two ‘men’ need the Lorena Bobbitt treatment to ensure they don’t pass their chauvinist genes on to anyone!

Against all odds

The odds of being audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are about 1 in 30,600, in other words, negligible, slim-to-none.  So how odd is it, then, that two people the former guy considered to be his enemies, were both selected randomly to be audited by the IRS?  The two are former FBI Director James Comey who was fired by the former guy in the early days after refusing to swear an oath of fealty to Trump, and former Deputy Director, Andrew McCabe, both of whom incurred the wrath of the former guy and since then he has attempted everything from attempting to prosecute them both to accusing them of treason.

Yesterday, the IRS said its commissioner had asked the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration to look into the audits after the New York Times raised questions about them.  The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Ron Wyden, said …

“Donald Trump has no respect for the rule of law, so if he tried to subject his political enemies to additional I.R.S. scrutiny, that would surprise no one. We need to understand what happened here because it raises serious concerns.”

Time will tell, but it is definitely a bit too much of a coincidence that both Comey and McCabe were audited under the former regime.

Ha ha … guess who has the last laugh, and it is NOT Jeff Bezos!

Remember back in February when I wrote in yet another snarky snippets post  about Jeff Bezos having a huge yacht built by a Dutch firm in Rotterdam?  Turned out, once built there wasn’t an easy way to get it out of the city, so Bezos threw some money around and convinced the city of Rotterdam to remove the middle section of an historic bridge in order that his yacht could be transported out to sea.  Initially, as of my first writing, the city had agreed, but … not so fast …

There was such an uproar in the city of Rotterdam that now the boat’s builder, the Dutch company Oceanco, has decided to refrain from applying for a permit.  No word on whether there’s a “Plan B”, but I’m having a good laugh over this one … see, I told you that money has value only so long as all parties involved agree to its value.  Now Mr. Bezos has a huge yacht that I’m sure cost him a pretty penny and all he can do is fly to Rotterdam and stand gawking at it.  I love seeing the rich brought down a peg or two!

Shinzo Abe …

Late last night, just before midnight, the former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, was shot while giving a campaign speech on behalf of Kei Sato a current member of the Upper House running for reelection in the city of Nara near Kyoto.  As of this writing, details are sketchy and contradictory, with one outlet saying he had no vital signs, and another saying he was merely injured, while still others were not certain any shots had hit him.  The latest from the live feed of the New York Times is that he is suffering cardiopulmonary arrest.  My understanding is that this means the patient is no longer alive but has not yet been officially declared dead.  But again, it is too soon to know, and I shall keep my fingers crossed despite the odds.

From everything I know of Mr. Abe, he is/was a good man and was a good Prime Minister until he resigned in 2020 due to health concerns.  It should be noted that Japan has a zero gun tolerance policy — guns are simply not allowed in the hands of civilians, and that the gun that was used appears at this time to have been a homemade weapon.


So, Congress has yet again passed a bill to avert a government shutdown just as they’ve done every year for the past umpteen years … it’s become a joke … wait ‘til the last minute to get your act together and people will praise you while they ignore what you’ve actually produced.  Ho-hum. Yesterday evening, the Senate passed the $1.5 trillion spending bill that the House had passed earlier this week.  $1.5 TRILLION!!!  That is 30 million times what the average wage earner earns!  The first thing that galls me is that the Democrats in the House caved on the issue of helping people when they dropped the $15.6 billion in COVID relief funding that included money for research and development of treatments and vaccines.  When the next surge hits, the next variant arises from the ashes, they may regret that decision, but it was said that the Republicans wouldn’t seriously consider the bill as long as those provisions were part of it.  But they damn sure found it in their shriveled little hearts to include a number of other things, including pay raises for themselves!!!

The bill calls for an increase in funding for congressional offices by 21%, to $774.4 million!  What the Sam Hell have any of our not-so-illustrious members of Congress done to deserve a pay raise?  It would also provide $602.5 million for the Capitol Police, an increase of $87 million. This will allow for the hiring of up to 2,112 sworn officers and 450 civilian members of the Capitol Police.  Now, while I have tremendous respect for the Capitol Police, especially after January 6th of last year, they wouldn’t need an additional 2,000+ officers if the Republicans, led by TFG (the former guy), stopped encouraging radical nudniks to overthrow the government!

The bill also calls for a $675 million increase for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to “improve customer service”!!!  WTF … the IRS doesn’t do ‘customer service’ … they are a strongarm agency, and the intent is to intimidate, to squeeze out of taxpayers every dime they can, not to serve!  I applied for a job with the IRS once shortly after earning my B.A. in Accounting and was told that I was “too nice” to work for them!  And why do they need $12.6 billion, the total amount awarded to the IRS in the spending bill, to run an agency that does no more today than it ever did?

$75 million will go for ‘election security’, money to be given to the states to help them enforce their voter restrictions so that only Republicans can win elections from now on!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

The increase that raises my hackles the most, though, is the increase in military spending.  The U.S. already has the highest military budget of any nation on the globe!  The United States spends more on national defense than China, India, Russia, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Germany, France, Japan, South Korea, Italy, and Australia — combined.

All those damned tanks, guns, missiles — tools designed only to KILL people aren’t going to do one damned thing to help the people of this country!  We already have enough weapons to end all life on the entire planet!!!  We the People need things that will help us … food, shelter, clothing, education, medical care … but nooooooo … our tax dollars have to go to support a glutinous military complex, most of which cannot even be used for fear of starting the “war to end all wars”.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Meanwhile, such things as providing funds to help people out of poverty received no increase, no mention.  The U.S. has one of the highest child poverty rates in the world …

But instead of focusing on helping the people of this nation, Congress is more intent on giving themselves pay increases and buying more ‘boys toys’ for the military to brag about!

There is also $13.6 billion in aid to Ukraine … I applaud this one and would have been appalled had it not been included.

At a whopping 2,741 pages, no I have not read the bill in its entirety but rather a few summaries.  However, if you are interested, you can read it if you’ve got the time and patience.   Meanwhile, I am thoroughly disgusted by members of both parties in Congress … people whose salaries WE pay and who just gave themselves a pay raise that WE DID NOT grant them!  Why would we raise their pay when they’ve accomplished almost nothing for years now???  They couldn’t even protect our rights to vote!!!  The Republicans are just asses who pander to big business and the wealthy at our expense, and Democrats are wusses who will cave to the demands of the Republicans!  If my voice reached further, I would try to start a tax revolution … stop paying income taxes until Congress hears us and actually listens!  We pay and pay and pay, and we get very damn little in return.  FIRE DA BUMS!!!

The Cure For Winter Doldrums? SNARKY SNIPPETS!!!

I am feeling snarky today … and you know what that means!

Alabama … one of the most close-minded states in the union.  When the state redrew its district maps based on the 2020 census last year, it did so with one goal in mind – to dilute the votes of the Black portion of the state’s population.

A federal court in Alabama struck down the heavily gerrymandered map, told the state to go back to the drawing board and come up with one that is more fair and equitable.  Rather than doing so, the state appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to restore the map and … guess what?  The five conservative justices struck down the lower court’s ruling and upheld the racially gerrymandered map.  To his credit, Chief Justice John Roberts voted on the side of right, but the side of justice was outnumbered.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Alabama is comprised of a population that is 27% Black, yet under the new map, they only have some 14% representation.  The Supreme Court … the last resort for justice … has failed in its duty, has given a ‘hats off’ to racism, to white supremacy.  Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett are no longer deserving of the respect their seats on the bench might have otherwise afforded them.

Both Justice Elena Kagan and Chief Justice Roberts wrote dissenting opinions to which Kavanaugh wrote a convoluted rebuttal that isn’t even worth repeating.

State Supreme Courts in both Ohio and North Carolina have struck down heavily gerrymandered maps as well.  Will those cases end up in the laps of the U.S. Supreme Court justices and will they again vote in favour of white supremacy?  Stay tuned …

Remember I told you recently of the IRS’ plan to require a video selfie of your face plus a photo ID in order to access your tax data on their site?  Well guess what?  They’ve changed their mind!  Score one for sanity, for the right to privacy!  Apparently, they heard from enough of us that we consider this a dangerous invasion of our privacy that they backed down … at least for now.  According to agency commissioner Charles P. Rettig …

“The I.R.S. takes taxpayer privacy and security seriously, and we understand the concerns that have been raised. Everyone should feel comfortable with how their personal information is secured, and we are quickly pursuing short-term options that do not involve facial recognition.”

Score one for We the People!  For once, our voices were heard and actually listened to.

I recently read that people with heart conditions, cancer, and other health issues are being put on the back burner for medical care including hospitalization, often having to wait for weeks or even months, because most resources are being used to treat Covid patients.  Now, on the surface this would make sense, but one must think below the surface … only an inch or so below … and realize that 99% of Covid patients whose conditions are serious enough to warrant hospitalization, refused to be vaccinated.  In my book, and I’m sure there are many who will disagree with me, these people should be at the bottom of the list, for they brought it on themselves, whereas cancer and heart patients are truly victims of their disease.

I see an anti-vaxxer with Covid as a victim of his own suicide, so to speak.  Medical resources are already stretched thin … why should the man or woman who refused to take steps to preserve their own health be awarded priority treatment?  Let them go to the back of the line and at the end of the day, if doctors and nurses still have the time and energy, then they can take care of the patients who believed that their personal freedom was the only thing that mattered.

Last but not least … take a look at this cartoon by Ed Wexler … think long and hard about it, for it is so spot-on in our society today … tragically spot-on.

A Bit Of This And A Tad Of That

Just a few short snippets on my radar today …

Invasion of privacy

Beginning this summer, in order to access your file on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website, you will have to scan your face!!!  No!  Just NO!  The IRS can keep their damned website and I’m sure that if they need information or money from me, they will let me know … sans my picture!  This, to me, is a gross invasion of privacy!  According to an article in Popular Science …

“Users will need to submit a combination of documents and even a video selfie to, a third-party company, to verify their identity.”

And we should trust either this “” company OR the Internal Revenue Service WHY???  No!  Just NO!  Believe me, if the IRS wants to get in touch with you, they will definitely do so and without the invasion of your privacy that this photo ID scheme would involve!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr …

The process might be a barrier even for the tech-savvy, as Brian Krebs, who runs the Krebs on Security blog, found. In his post about the system, Krebs details having to re-enter his personal information several times before being asked to join a video call and was told the wait time was over three hours to do so.

Call me paranoid if you wish, but long ago I disabled the video cams on both my phone and laptops … a little bit of privacy, please!

Not the brightest bulb in the pack

Sarah Palin … remember her?  She was the floozy who John McCain misguidedly selected as his running mate in 2008 when he ran against Barack Obama, and she likely cost him the election.  She was once the governor of Alaska, famously and falsely claiming that she could “see Russia” from her back door.  Well, she seems to be determined not to fade into oblivion, much to our chagrin.  Recently, she made the statement that …

“It’ll be over my dead body that I’ll have to get a shot. I will not do that. I won’t do it, and they better not touch my kids either.”

Never mind that her ‘kids’ are all, except the youngest, well above the age of legal consent.  Well, karma stepped up to the challenge and last week she tested positive for Covid.  It’s what I call poetic justice.  But wait … there’s more!

Ms. Palin is an egomaniac, apparently, who feels no sense of responsibility to those around her, and so two nights in a row this week she dined out in New York in the company of several other people and sans mask.  New York City Hall spokesman Jonah Allon said in a statement …

“By repeatedly flouting CDC guidelines, Ms. Palin has shown a complete disregard for the health and safety of small business workers and her fellow patrons. The city offers multiple resources to support isolation for those who test positive for COVID-19, and we encourage Ms. Palin to join the 98 percent of New Yorkers who report they have followed guidance on isolation and have helped New York City stop the spread.”

What a selfish and self-focused woman Sarah Palin is.  You’d almost think she was a Republican … oh wait …

WTF Pennsylvania???

Back in 2019, before we had even heard of Covid, a law was passed in Pennsylvania that permitted no-excuse absentee voting, created a permanent mail-in voter list, reduced the voter registration deadline from 30 days to 15 and provided for $90 million in election infrastructure upgrades. It also eliminated straight ticket voting.  Act 77 was passed by a Republican-controlled legislature and signed into law by Democratic Governor Tom Wolf … truly a bipartisan effort that would benefit the people of the state.

But now, in the shadow of the Big Lie, the former guy’s false claims of a ‘stolen’ 2020 election, eleven of the fourteen lawmakers who voted for the bill in 2019, sued to kill the bill … and succeeded, at least for now.  A state court struck down the state’s landmark election law as unconstitutional. The majority opinion, written by Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt, a Republican, ruled that the legislature could not make changes to voting laws without amending the constitution.  An appeal has been filed … whether it is successful or not is anybody’s guess, given the current climate of political divisiveness in states and courts around the nation.  This is yet another attempt to restrict our rights to participate in the democratic process via our vote, our voice.

September Surprise?

No, my friends, it is NOT fake news.  Yesterday afternoon, the New York Times published a report about Trump’s taxes for the past decade or so.  Not surprisingly, we have learned from this report that Trump is a lousy business manager, that he has lied and cheated to keep from paying taxes, and that his businesses are profiting from his position as president, among other things.

Trump immediately held a press conference to deny deny deny, but his denials fell flat.

According to the report:

  • In both 2016 and 2017, Trump paid exactly $750 in federal income taxes. Look back at your own taxes for those two years … I bet you paid a significantly higher amount in taxes, though you aren’t a billionaire or even a millionaire.  In 2016, my daughter, a nurse earning under $50,000 per year, paid $3,431 in federal income taxes, and in 2017 she paid $3,969.  She paid more than 5 times what Donald Trump, a billionaire, paid.
  • Trump had paid no taxes at all in 10 of the 15 years prior to his election. Think about that one for a minute, folks … he paid no taxes … not a single dime … 2 out of every 3 years.  If you’re not angry yet, then please go get a cup of coffee to wake yourself up!
  • In 2010, Trump claimed and received a tax refund of $72.9 million. The IRS has reportedly been auditing him over this and he stands to owe more than $100 million to We the People if when they find his refund requests were fraudulent.  $72.9 million of our money went to this jackass!
  • He has claimed as business expenses … his personal/family residences, the cost of the aircraft he uses to shuttle him between residences, and even $70,000 to style his “hair” … what hair??? He wears a critter atop his bald pate!
  • And speaking of ‘hair’, his ‘daughter’ Ivanka has been paid over $100,000 to be his hair and makeup ‘artist’. So, she gets paid to make his skin turn orange and place the critter on his head???  And he uses his payment to her to reduce his tax burden?
  • Trump is often hailed by his followers as a “successful businessman”, yet his golf courses alone have lost more than $315 million, and his Washington hotel, which opened in 2016, has already lost more than $55 million.
  • Within the next four years, Trump has $421 million in loans coming due, much of which he is personally responsible for.

A good businessman?  Hardly.  It should come as no surprise, for we already knew that Trump has declared bankruptcy six times due to his inability to pay his massive debts.  A good conman is more like it, for he conned some 40% of this nation into believing his outsized lies.  The Times promises there will be more to come about Trump’s taxes and financial records, and even that will be only the tip of the iceberg.  This conman has been living a life of luxury … paid for by other people’s money.  We always suspected it, I always said that if he had nothing to hide, he would have put the issue of his finances to bed by releasing his tax returns as every other president has done for decades, but now we have proof.  Stay tuned for more …


In other news, former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge, a lifetime Republican, penned an OpEd in The Philadelphia Inquirer stating that …

“I will cast my vote for Joe Biden on Nov. 3. It will be my first vote for a Democratic candidate for president of the United States. But it is not the first time I have said ‘no’ to Donald Trump. I urge my fellow Pennsylvanians to join me.

Donald Trump has proven over these last four years he is incapable of such leadership. It is not within him. He lacks the empathy, integrity, intellect and maturity to lead. 

He sows division along political, racial and religious lines. And he routinely dismisses the opinions of experts who know far more about the subject at hand than he does — intelligence, military, and public health. Our country has paid dearly in lives lost, social unrest, economic hardship and our standing in the world.

Vice President Biden and I both know that supporting his candidacy now certainly won’t dissuade me from speaking out later when I disagree with him. But we surely will do so with civility and respect, not with childish name-calling and Twitter tirades.

I believe the responsible vote is for Joe Biden. It’s a vote for decency. A vote for the rule of law. And a vote for honest and earnest leadership. It’s time to put country over party. It’s time to dismiss Donald Trump.”

It’s time to put country over party … that says it all, my friends.  Maybe it’s also time for the Republican Party to reassess its values, or lack thereof, to put the people of not only this country, but the world, ahead of corporate greed and profit.  Think about it.