Snarkier Than Usual Snippets

Disclaimer:  Filosofa is in a foul mood tonight.  While doing laundry, I cursed one of my daughter’s shirts, calling it a bitch and threatening to cut it into a thousand pieces, if that gives you any indication.  All day long I’ve tried to write my piece for mine and Jeff’s Discord & Dissension project for tomorrow, and I feel completely dysfunctional, unable to focus.  So, long story short, you can expect the snippets to be even snarkier than usual tonight.

Ay, Pobrecito Barr …

Poor Bill Barr, ultimate boot-licker and sycophant who has sacrificed the integrity of the United States Department of Justice for whatever it was Trump promised him.  Now he is whining that mean ol’ Donnie isn’t being fair to him.  In an interview with ABC News yesterday, Barr said …

“I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody … whether it’s Congress, a newspaper editorial board, or the president. I’m gonna do what I think is right. And you know … I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me.”

Say WHAT???Trump-BarrThis from the man that has given the keys to the kingdom to Trump and told him that no matter what he does, as long as he is the sitting president, he cannot be charged with a crime?  This from the man that has changed the laws to suit the president, has opened an investigation into one of Trump’s rivals even though it has already been proven that there was no wrongdoing?  And this from the man who totally and completely misrepresented the results of Robert Mueller’s report?  Are we actually supposed to feel pity for Billy boy?  The man who once had a decent reputation sold his soul downriver to become one of Trump’s toadies, and now we’re supposed to feel sorry for him?  No way, José!

Barr said he was determined to lead the justice department without being influence by outside forces, including the president.


Too late, Billy Boy!Bill-BarrFormer Justice Department official, Matthew Miller, wrote on Twitter: “Don’t be fooled by this one, people. Barr is telling the president that his impulsiveness is making it politically harder for him to deliver the results he wants. If Trump would just shut up, Barr could take care of him much more effectively.”

No doubt.

Trump’s bloody wall …

Yesterday, the Pentagon informed Congress that it intends to divert some $3.8 billion earmarked for military equipment to Trump’s damn stupid, useless, abominable border wall!  You know what?  If the Pentagon has so much more money than it needs, then let’s cut their budget and leave only enough to take care of the troops – salaries, benefits, medical care, housing, etc.  They are obviously well over-funded, if they can afford to give it away for something so useless.

If Congress intended to fund the bloody wall, they would have allocated monies for it.  They didn’t.  Therefore obviously the representatives of We the People do not see the wall as a priority at this time.  Congress, and We the People, have spoken, MISTER TRUMP.  Even some of Trump’s boot-lickers in Congress were actually upset over this one, saying that Trump had overstepped his constitutional authority by second-guessing congressional spending decisions.

“Once those choices have been made, the Department of Defense cannot change them in pursuit of their own priorities without the approval of Congress. Attempts to do so undermines the principle of civilian control of the military and is in violation of the separation of powers within the Constitution.” – Representative Mac Thornberry, top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee

Frankly, I hope the wall gets blown to bits, section by section, until there is naught left but a brick or two.

John Kelly found them!

Former Chief of Staff John Kelly finally, some 13 months after leaving Trump’s employ, found his cojones!  I wonder where they were hiding all this time?  Kelly, who is also a retired Marine Corps general, was giving a speech at Drew University in Morristown, New Jersey, on Wednesday night when he let off a bit of steam about Trump’s firing of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman last week.  Of Vindman, Kelly says …

“He did exactly what we teach them to do from cradle to grave.  He went and told his boss what he just heard. Through the Obama administration up until that phone call, the policy of the U.S. was militarily to support Ukraine in their defensive fight against … the Russians. And so, when the president said that continued support would be based on X, that essentially changed. And that’s what that guy [Vindman] was most interested in. We teach them, ‘Don’t follow an illegal order. And if you’re ever given one, you’ll raise it to whoever gives it to you that this is an illegal order, and then tell your boss.’”

But, once the box was opened, Kelly didn’t stop there.  Kelly laid out his doubts about Trump’s policies regarding North Korea, illegal immigration, military discipline, Ukraine, and the news media.  He said he did not believe the press is “the enemy of the people”, and he sharply criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom Trump has steadfastly courted.  He also disapproved of the president’s language about migrants, saying that most migrants are merely looking for jobs …

“In fact, they’re overwhelmingly good people … They’re not all rapists and they’re not all murderers. And it’s wrong to characterize them that way. I disagreed with the president a number of times.”

Kelly faulted Trump for intervening in the case of Eddie Gallagher, the Navy SEAL who was convicted last year of posing with the corpse of an Islamic State fighter, and later pardoned by Trump …

“The idea that the commander in chief intervened there, in my opinion, was exactly the wrong thing to do. Had I been there, I think I could have prevented it.”

Too bad that Kelly didn’t find his conscience when he was still there, as perhaps he might have done some good.  Trump, of course, was quickly informed of Kelly’s words and had to retaliate, for that’s the only thing Trump knows to do …

“When I terminated John Kelly, which I couldn’t do fast enough, he knew full well that he was way over his head. Being Chief of Staff just wasn’t for him. He came in with a bang, went out with a whimper, but like so many X’s, he misses the action & just can’t keep his mouth shut, which he actually has a military and legal obligation to do. His incredible wife, Karen, who I have a lot of respect for, once pulled me aside & said strongly that “John respects you greatly. When we are no longer here, he will only speak well of you.” Wrong!”

One can only hope that Karen Kelly is undergoing psychiatric care.

One bright spot …

Marie YovanovitchI shall end with a bit of uplifting news.  Former ambassador to the Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, who became a central witness in the impeachment inquiry against Trump, received the Trainor Award at Georgetown University this week, in recognition of her 33-year career as a diplomat.  If anybody has earned the award, it is Ms. Yovanovitch who had a difficult and unexpected role during the House investigation into the administration’s shadow diplomacy and the pressure campaign on Ukraine.  She was vilified by Trump and his family, and it was later learned that Trump directly ordered her firing, claiming she had shown ‘disloyalty’ to him – sound familiar?

Thumbs up to Ms. Yovanovitch.  👍

And on that note, I shall leave you and go finish my post for this afternoon, hopefully in time for Jeff to review it before posting.susan-collins

Sickening …

I did not realize I was feeling ill until the following “breaking news” came popping up on my phone last evening …

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows is no longer under consideration to be Donald Trump’s chief of staff.

“Congressman Mark Meadows is a great friend to President Trump and is doing an incredible job in Congress. The President told him we need him in Congress so he can continue the great work he is doing there,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

Meadows, a staunch Trump ally, had been a top contender for the position, and he had signaled his interest in recent days. But ultimately, aides said the president thought it best for him to remain in Congress, where he can continue to be a strong defender of the administration.

Now, first off, I am glad that Meadows, who is a grade-A, bigoted, radical right-wing jerk, is not going to be the new chief of staff.  But when I read that he is doing “an incredible job”, my stomach churns, and when I read that he is to stay in Congress “so he can continue the great work …” I am full on sick to my stomach.

For those who may be unfamiliar with Mr. Meadows, let me summarize …

  • Meadows voted against relief for Hurricane Sandy in 2013
  • He is anti-abortion and anti-birth control
  • Oddly, he claims to support a balanced budget, though he has largely contributed to the highest deficit we have seen in six years
  • He demanded that Trump get rid of all federal funding to study climate change
  • He also requested Trump repeal environmental regulations including the Renewable Fuel Standard, stop the prohibition of drilling oil on federal lands, and pull the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement
  • Meadows voted against renewing the Violence Against Women Act
  • He has proposed that the United States should tap into oil and gas reserves to keep energy prices low, and to develop energy independence. He supports tapping into off-shore oil and gas supplies
  • Meadows opposes same-sex marriage
  • Meadows opposes any restrictions on gun purchases and opposes a national gun registry that would list detailed information about firearm ownership
  • He has voted numerous times to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
  • He supports tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations, and is against net neutrality

House Freedom CaucusWell, you get the picture.  Mark Meadows, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, and member of the U.S. House of Representatives from North Carolina is the worst of the worst of the republican party.  In essence, if it is good for the wealthy and bad for the rest of us, he is for it.  If it helps the average Joe, he will fight against it.  And he is considered one of Trump’s closest allies in Congress.  That tell you something?  This is a man whose conscience is measured in dollar signs.

And so now you might understand why, when I hear Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Don Trump refer to him as “doing an incredible job”, I feel ill.  An incredible job at what???  Destroying the nation and the global environment?  Sending women’s rights back two centuries? Mark Meadows-1You might ask just what the good people of North Carolina were thinking when they elected him for a fourth term last month, but the reality is that his district is so heavily gerrymandered that almost all minorities have been excluded.  He campaigned for the 2018 elections by touting his support of the madman Trump, while claiming that any republicans who didn’t support Trump should be removed from office.

Mark Meadows is, contrary to Ms. Sanders and Mr. Trump’s opinion, not doing a great job at anything.  He is the poster boy for why we need to have all district maps re-drawn to appropriately represent the voters.

So, we are left with the question … who will be the next chief of staff?  Nick Ayers and Rick Santorum have thus far turned down the job, Mark Meadows is out of the running … who’s left?  The three leading contenders appear to be acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, a former campaign manager David Bossie, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.  But then, who knows … by tomorrow it could be Daffy Duck!  Whoever it is, I’m sure he or she will make a lovely addition to this circus of clowns.circus-1

Vermin in the White House

It was not my intent to write about the scandals in the White House.  I did not want to touch that one with a ten-foot pole.  My reasoning in the beginning was that it was a topic better handled by the gossip rags, and that I needed to stick to policies and procedures, to what was being done today to destroy not only our nation, but our planet. My other reason was that I knew many others would dive into the story, and my voice was not needed in order for the story to be told.  I was wrong.  The deeper the muck gets, the more people are willing to turn a blind eye, saying, in essence,g “boys will be boys”, the more I realize this topic is important, for it defines the values, or lack thereof, of the people who we have placed in charge of our nation and by extension, our very lives.

How can we expect our leaders to make and uphold laws to ensure women are treated fairly and as equals, when it is clear that they, themselves do not believe in women’s rights?

In 2016, after solid evidence was presented that Donald Trump is a misogynist and an abuser of women, the people of the United States elected him to the office of president – the highest office in the land.  Then late in 2017, Roy Moore of Alabama ran for a seat in the U.S. Senate.  There is credible evidence that Mr. Moore sexually abused underage girls several years ago.  Donald Trump supported Roy Moore.  Roy Moore came very close to winning that senate seat, as some 650,436 people, 48.4% of the voters, voted for Moore.

Many have come and gone since Trump entered the Oval Office in January 2017, an extraordinarily high turnover rate, in fact.  But then just in the past two weeks, the muck got even murkier and took on a very nasty smell.

Robert Roger Porter was the White House Staff Secretary until last week when both of his ex-wives went public with  credible evidence that he had been guilty of domestic abuse.  Porter resigned his position on February 7th, but not before his immediate superior, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, tried to talk him out of resigning.  But the real kicker?  Both John Kelly and White House Counsel Don McGahn had been aware of the allegations for quite some time … McGahn for over a year, and Kelly since last fall.  Yet, neither deemed his status as a wife-beater to have any relevance.

And what of Donald Trump, himself a sexual predator?

“He said very strongly yesterday that he’s innocent. So you’ll have to talk to him about that. We absolutely wish him well. Did a very good job while he was at the White House.”

And then, another shoe dropped when White House speechwriter, David Sorensen resigned amid allegations of domestic violence.  And Trump once again took to Twitter …

“Peoples [sic] lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused – life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?” – 10:33 AM – Feb 10, 2018

It should be noted that the lives he is so concerned about being “shattered and destroyed” are not those of the victims, but the abusers.

There is no doubt in my mind that both Porter and Sorensen are guilty as charged, else they would not have resigned without an argument, without a defense.  But there are two bigger questions here:

  1. How many more are there in the current administration? How many more with histories of domestic violence or sexual abuse?  Supposedly background checks are performed on any who are considered for positions in the administration, especially those who need security clearances.  It should be noted that Jared Kushner , Trump’s own son-in-law and advisor, still does not have security clearance after working in the White House for more than a year, likely due to the number of lies and ommissions he has told.  This is a breech of ethics, but seems to go unnoticed.  My recommendation after the past week is that we have an independent security firm do immediate and extensive background checks on every single employee in the White House, from the maid to the president.

  1. Why are people willing to overlook these crimes against women? Are we still believed to be second-class citizens? Why did nearly half of all Alabama voters ignore Roy Moore’s obvious character flaws and vote for him to become a major decision maker for the 330 million citizens of this nation?  Why do some 40% of people polled say that Trump is doing a good job?  Have we, as a nation, completely lost our values?  Judging by this situation, it would seem so. It would seem that ‘ethics’ is a word that no longer has meaning.

Here is a snippet from a recent interview with Kellyanne Conway on George Stephanopoulos’ show, ‘This Week’:

George: …And then he talks about mere allegations, people being falsely accused. So let me ask you again, does the president believe that Rob Porter is falsely accused?

Kellyanne: The president believes, as he said the other day, you have to consider all sides. He has said this in the past about incidents that relate to him as well. At the same time, you have to look at the results. The result is that Rob Porter is no longer the staff secretary. It is — it is — the president tells me that he learned just this week, when the rest of us did, what these allegations are, what — these pictures, the contemporaneous, police reports, the detailed information as having been provided to the FBI.

And we are all trying to process that against the person that we worked with for over a year. But this president has — I think he’s doing a great job for America’s women. We have to look at the full picture. You have 800,000 women took new jobs last year because of his leadership. You have women who work at over 300 companies now that are getting wages and benefits and capital investments happening within their own communities. We are a safer, more prosperous nation, that includes all of us, including the nation’s women because of Donald Trump’s leadership.

I call it ‘deflect and distract’.  Her facts are not even accurate, but to the purpose of this post, that is irrelevant, for Kellyanne, as we learned more than a year ago, deals in ‘alternative facts’. Kellyanne is a disgrace to women everywhere.  The larger issue is that she had no answer to the question asked.

Over the past two years, there have been many issues that should have been ‘wake up calls’ to the people in this country.  So far, none has, and I don’t imagine this one will either, but that doesn’t mean that I, or any other people who hold their values dear, will sit down and shut up.

Democrats, It’s Time For A Government Shutdown If Republicans Don’t Support A Clean DACA Bill

Every year in recent history, there has been a threat of a government shutdown because the two sides, republican and democrat, cannot agree on a few points to come up with a workable budget. Almost every year, there is a resolution at the 11th hour, a budget is agreed upon in Congress and signed by the president just in time to keep the federal government up and running. Ho-hum … same ol’ same ol’. This year is no exception, which was already a given, considering the polarization between the two sides in Congress and the idiot-in-residence at the White House. But this year, perhaps there will be no 11th hour solution, for the idiot-in-residence does not seem to be willing to put the good of the nation ahead of his own waning popularity. Our friend Gronda has written an excellent post showing us what happened last week and explaining how one person, Donald Trump, has put our nation in jeopardy to assuage his own ego. Please take a few moments to read Gronda’s post. Thank you, Gronda!

Gronda Morin

Image result for photos about 1/11/18 meeting with trumpUntil recently, I was truly desirous of the Democrats working with this president and fellow republicans colleagues, even if it meant that Democrats would have to cave by giving the president a win with funds for his Wall in order to pass real immigration reform.

My thinking hardened when the republican President Donald J. Trump chose to blow up a bi-partisan plan worked on by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Lindsey Graham and 4 others, to fix the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program and other immigration issues, at a Thursday morning meeting (1/11/18). Senators Durbin and Graham were prepared to present their proposal, but the president chose to renege on earlier commitments to approve any bi-partisan work product by blowing up the meeting with profanity and by referring to Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as shxtholes,

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Wanted: Babysitters for Kid in White House

Not even two full days into the year 2018, and the fool in the White House has offended so many people, myself included, that it would seem he is determined to destroy the United States within the first week of the year!  Thus far he has gone on attack against Pakistan, Iran and North Korea.  Within the U.S., he has attacked President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Democrats, James Comey, Huma Abedin, and the New York Times.  And that was within just the first thirty-four hours of the new year!!!  Where are his handlers??? Where are the generals???

Take a look for yourself at some of his more obnoxious tweets …

The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!   7:12 AM – 1 Jan 2018

Iran is failing at every level despite the terrible deal made with them by the Obama Administration. The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years. They are hungry for food & for freedom. Along with human rights, the wealth of Iran is being looted. TIME FOR CHANGE!   7:44 AM – 1 Jan 2018

The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime. All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their “pockets.” The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The U.S. is watching!   7:00 AM – 2 Jan 2018

Crooked Hillary Clinton’s top aid, Huma Abedin, has been accused of disregarding basic security protocols. She put Classified Passwords into the hands of foreign agents. Remember sailors pictures on submarine? Jail! Deep State Justice Dept must finally act? Also on Comey & others   7:48 AM – 2 Jan 2018

Sanctions and “other” pressures are beginning to have a big impact on North Korea. Soldiers are dangerously fleeing to South Korea. Rocket man now wants to talk to South Korea for first time. Perhaps that is good news, perhaps not – we will see!   8:00 AM – 2 Jan 2018

The Failing New York Times has a new publisher, A.G. Sulzberger. Congratulations! Here is a last chance for the Times to fulfill the vision of its Founder, Adolph Ochs, “to give the news impartially, without fear or FAVOR, regardless of party, sect, or interests involved.” Get…   9:39 AM – 2 Jan 2018

….impartial journalists of a much higher standard, lose all of your phony and non-existent “sources,” and treat the President of the United States FAIRLY, so that the next time I (and the people) win, you won’t have to write an apology to your readers for a job poorly done! GL   9:53 AM – 2 Jan 2018

Democrats are doing nothing for DACA – just interested in politics.  DACA activists and Hispanics will go hard against Dems, will start “falling in love” with Republicans and their President! We are about RESULTS.   10:16 AM – 2 Jan 2018

And he also, naturally, spent some of his time patting himself on the back …

Thank you to Brandon Judd of the National Border Patrol Council for your kind words on how well we are doing at the Border. We will be bringing in more & more of your great folks and will build the desperately needed WALL!   8:44 AM – 2 January 2018

Since taking office I have been very strict on Commercial Aviation. Good news – it was just reported that there were Zero deaths in 2017, the best and safest year on record!   9:13 AM – 2 January 2018

Wow!!!  He and he alone kept planes from crashing!

I ask you, my friends … is this what we hired him to do, to stir trouble both here at home and around the globe?  I think not.  It would appear that he needs multiple keepers to slap his hands and wash his mouth out with soap several times a day.

John Kelly Lost My Respect

Three months.  That’s all it took was three months for me to reverse my opinion of White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly.  This morning, I went back and reviewed my original post assessing General Kelly when he was first assigned the job.  My assessment was that he was a good man, a fair man, and while I did not like some of his political stances (immigration, women in the military, the terrorist threat), I thought he had “the right stuff” for the job he had been given, basically the job of babysitting Trump & Co.

During his first weeks in the White House, some of Trump’s rhetoric did tone down, and the standard joke when Trump did go on a Twitter binge was that John Kelly must have had the day off.  Things calmed down, it seemed, in the White House as it was reported that Kelly strictly controlled who got in to see Trump and what information Trump was provided.  It seemed that maybe, just maybe, Kelly was bringing a bit of sanity to the administration, though some within the administration were grumbling.

But in recent days, I have had cause to re-examine my opinion and it has changed. Something happened somewhere along the line to convince Kelly to toe the party line, to be Trump’s ‘yes-man’ and to take his turn licking Trump’s boots along with the rest of the bunch.  Where did it begin?  It began when Trump, without Kelly’s prior knowledge, politicized the death of Kelly’s son who died in combat in 2010.  Trump himself had, rightly, come under intense criticism for ignoring the deaths of four Green Berets in Niger on October 4th. As is his way, rather than address the criticism, he deflected and said (untruthfully) that none of his predecessors had even called families of fallen soldiers.  As an example, he noted that President Obama had not called General Kelly to offer condolences for his son’s death.

I expected Kelly, who has kept that part of his life very private, to be enraged at the disrespect Trump had shown, but if he was, he hid it well. And then came Trump’s disastrous call to Myeshia Johnson, widow of La David Johnson, one of the four slain soldiers.  The contents of the call should not be in dispute, as Ms. Johnson was in a car with four other people and the call was put on speakerphone.  One of those four people was congresswoman, Frederica S. Wilson of Florida, a friend of the Johnson family.  She confirmed  what Ms. Johnson told the press, that Trump could not remember La David’s name and referred to him instead as “your guy”, and that he said Johnson ‘knew what he signed up for’, but that he supposed it hurt anyway.  Such compassion, eh?

Kelly jumped to Trump’s defense and condemned Representative Wilson, going into attack mode.  He has learned from Trump, obviously. Kelly told reporters that Wilson took credit for securing the funding for the building during a dedication in 2015. The building was named for two slain FBI agents. A video of the event was soon published proving Kelly wrong, but he did not acknowledge his error nor apologize.  As recently as yesterday, he still refuses to tender an apology,

And now comes the straw that is breaking this camel’s back.

Kelly, appeared visibly pained while Trump spoke in August of the “very fine people” on both sides of white nationalist demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia.  We all thought it was because he disapproved of Trump’s racist remarks and was aggrieved that he could not stop him.  But on the other hand, perhaps he simply had a headache.

During an interview on Monday, for no apparent reason, Kelly launched into a diatribe that made no sense and seemed to show a side of Kelly that we had not seen before, an ignorant and largely racist side.

“I would tell you that Robert E. Lee was an honorable man. He was a man that gave up his country to fight for his state, which 150 years ago was more important than country. It was always loyalty to state first back in those days. Now it’s different today. But the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War, and men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand.”

Inability to compromise?  The Civil War was about southern states refusing to give up their “right” to own other human beings, slaves.  What compromise could be had?  Oh, you can keep half of your slaves?  Or, you can keep your slaves, but you can only beat them on Wednesdays?  C’mon, Mr. Kelly, compromise was not an option.  The long and short of it is that I am certain John Kelly is smart enough to know the lie in his words, to know the history behind the Civil War, but he has signed onto the alternative-facts bandwagon aka Kellyanne Conway, and there can likely be no turning back now.

I wanted to respect John Kelly.  I had great hopes that he could at last bring some order out of the chaos that defines the White House under the Trump administration.  He was supposed to be the adult in the room.  As Samantha Bee said earlier, “John Kelly, you were supposed to be the one we didn’t have to watch like a hawk. You were supposed to be the hawk.”

I do not know why this man who had earned the respect of many through his long years of service even consented to take the job in the White House.  But whatever his reasons, he is now a part of the Trump Circus Train, and I no longer respect him, no longer expect great things.  Just another sideshow. He was our last best hope that someone could rein in Trump and at least keep him from making a fatal blunder.  That hope is now dashed.