Still More Never-Ending Snarky

The snark-o-meter is still running high and needs a release … fasten your seat belts!


Does free speech cover incitement to violence?

Justice Clarence Thomas is apparently upset about social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook banning the former guy from their platforms.  Oh REALLY, Clarence???  He, along with your nasty wife Ginny set a marvelous example for the youth in this country, teaching them that violence is the way to solve the problems of the world!  For any who may not be aware, Thomas’ wife endorsed the attacks on Congress and the Capitol on January 6th.  She later, no doubt as the Justice was coming under some fire as a result of her actions, apologized to the Court saying she had no right to “impose [her] passions” on them.  So, her ‘passion’ is to overthrow the government, killing police officers and others in the process?  Where the hell did he find this ‘wife’ and why isn’t she in jail with the rest of them?

Justice Thomas (whose salary we pay) had nothing better to do with his time than to write a 12-page diatribe about the power of social media firms like Twitter.  Thomas’ opinion amounts to an invitation to Congress to declare Twitter, Facebook and similar companies “common carriers,” essentially requiring them to host all customers regardless of their views.  Note, please, that it wasn’t the former asshole’s views that got him in trouble, but his inciting a riot, inciting a takeover of the legitimate, elected government by white supremacist madmen for his own nefarious purposes!

While I don’t always agree with nor appreciate the lax and uneven attitude these social media sites take toward hate speech and destructive verbiage, I do see that they are at least making an effort.  If Thomas has his way, then we will also have to make it legal for a person to scream “BOMB” on an airplane or “FIRE” in a crowded theater … both currently crimes under the law.  Justice Thomas apparently believes there should be absolutely zero limits on free speech.  So, if I call for somebody to please shoot the former guy, then that’s okay, right Clarence?

Funny, isn’t it, that Justice Thomas supported the Masterpiece Cake Shop’s right to refuse service to a LGBT person, but he doesn’t support Twitter’s right to refuse ‘service’ to a person who is inciting violence.  Methinks the Justice has his priorities skewed a bit.


A brief pet peeve …

We all use acronyms … a set of letters that stand for something, such as EPA for Environmental Protection Agency, FBI for Federal Bureau of Investigation.  In common vernacular, there is WTF for What the F**k, SOB for Son of a Bitch, etc.  I get it, I grew up with most of those, and the ones for governmental agencies are so well-known that we rarely think twice about them.  But people!  Draw a line somewhere!!!

I popped into Twitter tonight and saw a post about the recent ruling of the Senate Parliamentarian that will give more leeway in the Senate to avoid a filibuster, but the tweeter said it was BFD.  So, I was confused as to whether he was pro or con … what the Sam Hell is a BFD???  Pretty soon, our speech is going to consist of nothing more than acronyms!  HhaymniJ (Hi how are you my name is Jill).  BFD … Balanced Feeding Development?  Bored Fireman’s Dance?  Bring Food Down?  I commented on the man’s post that while I am grateful for the fact that more legislation will be able to pass through the Senate sans filibuster, I am nearly 70 years old and for the sake of the people in my generation, might he possibly use whole words.


Infrastructure, anyone?

Everyone, even congressional Republicans, agree that the nation’s infrastructure is crumbling and badly in need of an overhaul.  Yes, even Republicans such as Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, Governor Tate Reeves of Mississippi, and Senator Roger Wicker also of Mississippi have expressed their state’s dire need for money to repair roadways, bridges, water supply lines and more.  But, of course, anything that is proposed by President Biden will get a red light from these same people.  I’m tempted to say, “Fine, let the whole damn thing fall down around our ears and then see what happens to that damned economy you’re all so worried about.”  But of course, the people who would suffer if that were to happen are not those rich dudes in Washington but the poorest among us out here in the field.  Which is at least part of the reason they can sit on their fat posteriors and do nothing about anything – it doesn’t affect them.

So, do you know why the Republicans claim not to like President Biden’s infrastructure bill?  C’mon … take a wild guess.  Yep, you got it … because it would mean a tax increase on their big corporate donors, and probably hit their own pocketbook as well.  If you spend money to repair an Interstate highway or run new water lines to Flint, Michigan, then that money has to come from somewhere, right?  Right now, corporations and rich assholes are paying almost nothing … some actually pay nothing … in federal income taxes.  President Biden seeks to change that and let the rich pay their way for a change.  The Republicans in Congress have no doubt been warned by their big-money donors not to vote for this.

Biden’s proposal actually leaves them with nearly half of the tax cuts they received in 2017, raising their effective tax rate to only 28%, rather than the 39% it was in 2016 and years prior.  The current federal tax rate for corporations is only 8.84% … far less than most middle-income earners pay!

Despite corporations receiving huge tax cuts in 2017, I did some quick and dirty calculations on a per-item basis the other day and the price of food has increased between 25% and 40% since 2017.  Now … ‘splain that one, Lucy!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Fodder For Da Snarky

One good thing about not being able to go out these days is I have lots more time on weekends to peruse the news, stay on top of things, and feed my snarky side.  This weekend there is much fodder for that snarky side …


Well, no surprise that Trump commuted Roger Stone’s three-year sentence.  The only surprise was that he commuted the sentence rather than issuing a full pardon, but apparently that was at Stone’s request, so he can return to the courts and continue trying to plead his innocence.  Make no mistake, Roger Stone is not innocent … he is a criminal, has been engaged in criminal activities most of his adult life, and the only thing he’s innocent of is being a decent human being.  Roger Stone is guilty of breaking the law in order to help get Donald Trump elected.  He has the blood of this nation on his hands, and it is my belief that he will once again be complicit in working to alter the election of 2020. Roger-StoneStone was to have reported to prison on Tuesday, after being denied a delay.  He claimed he has health conditions that put him at risk for contracting the coronavirus and possibly dying.  At the risk of sounding like a cruel person, to this I say, “Oh well … one less festering sore on the body of humanity.”

Stone stands a seven-times convicted felon, a record that will remain with him for the rest of his life.  He should be spending the rest of his life in prison, but instead he will no doubt be back to his dirty tricks by next week.   In fact, he told NBC News he plans to celebrate his freedom by writing a book about his experience, possibly filing a complaint against federal prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky, and helping “exonerate” his felonious friend, former national security adviser Michael Flynn.  Birds of a feather …


blm-bannerOn main street in the small town of Clifton, Virginia, there is a banner that reads, “Welcome to Clifton where Black Lives Matter”.  Most people are supportive of the sign, applaud its message.  But this woman took umbrage …

ginny-thomas

She said, in an email …

“BLM is a bit of a dangerous Trojan Horse and they are catching well-meaning people into dangerous posturing that can invite mob rule and property looting. Let’s not be tricked into joining cause with radical extremists seeking to foment a cultural revolution because they hate America.”

Do you recognize the woman?  Her name is Ginny Thomas, and she is the wife of Clarence Thomas, the only African-American on the U.S. Supreme Court.

ginny-clarenceOh, the irony!


It seems that our own “leader”, and I use the term very loosely, isn’t the only one who is clueless on how to address the coronavirus pandemic and keep the people in their countries safe.  Boris Johnson, aka BoJo, has come up with a novel idea for combatting the virus … put everyone on a diet!

According to The Guardian

Downing Street is planning what has been billed as a “war against obesity”.  As well as longer-term proposals to reduce the incidence of obesity, government officials are having urgent discussions about how to persuade people to lose weight in the next few months, before an anticipated resurgence in coronavirus cases in the autumn.

The UK has experienced the highest death rate from coronavirus in Europe, and one potential factor may be high rates of obesity and associated lifestyle-linked conditions such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, which are strongly associated with worse Covid-19 outcomes.

There is logic to people getting into shape, becoming healthier and therefore better able to survive a case of the virus.  However, a few things should be noted.  First, weight loss doesn’t happen overnight, or even over a summer.  Second, exercise is every bit as integral to a healthy lifestyle as better eating habits.  And thirdly, this doesn’t do a thing to address stopping the spread of the virus, only perhaps its intensity.

Ah well, at least BoJo isn’t suggesting that citizens of the UK ingest bleach!


In a comment to my piece about the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi, I noted that there was a video with a number of clips showing Trump’s personal financial involvement with the Saudi’s both before and during his presidency.  One reader asked me to share that video, which is well worth the 4 minutes it takes to view …

The Supreme Court Speaks … or Doesn’t

The Supreme Court made a number of decisions and non-decisions yesterday.  Let’s start with the good news first!


As I’m sure you’ve all heard by now, the Supreme Court voted 6-3 that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does provide protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  About damn time!  It was a no-brainer to start with!  Nobody should be fired for anything other than poor job performance … not because of skin colour, religion or lack thereof, gender or gender identity, or any other superficial criteria.  But, in the United States of Bigotry, far too many people did not understand.

But one of the things that makes this decision by the Court so amazing is that Justice Gorsuch, a justice hand-picked by Trump, was on the side of right.  In fact, he wrote the majority opinion which in part reads …

“An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law. An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. It is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.”

So, who were the three Justices who thought otherwise, who are such homophobes that they cannot abide the idea of a gay person being treated fairly?  Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and predictably, Trump’s crybaby pick, Brett Kavanaugh. And what was their rationale?  I read parts of Justice Alito’s dissenting opinion, and found it to be rambling rubbish.  A few snippets …

“A more brazen abuse of our authority to interpret statutes is hard to recall. The court tries to convince readers that it is merely enforcing the terms of the statute, but that is preposterous.  After today’s decision, plaintiffs may claim that the failure to use their preferred pronoun violates one of the federal laws prohibiting sex discrimination.  For women who have been victimized by sexual assault or abuse, the experience of seeing an unclothed person with the anatomy of a male in a confined and sensitive location such as a bathroom or locker room can cause serious psychological harm.”

Bullshit!  It seems that a number of people in this nation share Alito’s, Thomas’, and Kavanaugh’s opinion and still haven’t awakened to the fact that LGBT people are … PEOPLE.  Human beings just like any other who have the right to an education, a job, and all the other rights and privileges enjoyed by others.  It’s not surprising to see which political party has the most homophobes …LGBT-caseAt any rate, this is justice as it should be, and for once, fairness won the day.


The Court sometimes speaks as loudly in the cases they don’t hear as the ones they do.  In three notable cases yesterday, such was the case.

The first notable case the Court decided against hearing was a compilation of nearly a dozen cases that gun rights groups claim violate their 2nd Amendment rights.  Among them were cases involving restrictions in Maryland and New Jersey to permits for carrying a handgun outside the home.  For now, at least, the restrictions put in place by the states are allowed to stand.  Justices Thomas and Kavanaugh, of course, disagreed, with Thomas saying …

“This Court would almost certainly review the constitutionality of a law requiring citizens to establish a justifiable need before exercising their free speech rights. And it seems highly unlikely that the Court would allow a State to enforce a law requiring a woman to provide a justifiable need before seeking an abortion.”

Sorry, Thomas … not a valid comparison.


Next, the Court declined to hear a case concerning a California state law that prohibited state authorities from assisting federal immigration agents (e.g., alerting the federal government when someone in custody was to be released or handing off an undocumented person to federal authorities). The Trump administration, in its never-ending hunt to harass and deport undocumented immigrants (regardless of the danger they pose to society and their roots in the community), sued.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit agreed with the district court that the California law was constitutional.  Thus Trump’s lawyers took it to the Supreme Court, who has now refused to hear it.  Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito noted publicly that they would have granted the government’s petition, and I can only assume that Kavanaugh would have, also.  This is a win in that it leaves in place California’s law, which reaffirms that states cannot be dragooned into performing services for the federal government.


And now for the bad news …

The court declined to hear eight cases challenging the doctrine of qualified immunity, which acts to shield police and others acting from lawsuits.  It is this qualified immunity that has enabled so many officers to walk away without punishment after killing unarmed black men in situations that did not require the use of excess force.

In response to the Court’s decision not to hear the cases, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass, and Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Chair Steve Cohen released a statement reading, in part …

“Qualified immunity has repeatedly barred victims of police brutality from having their day in court, and it has been criticized by liberals and conservatives alike.

The Supreme Court’s failure to reconsider this flawed legal rule makes it all the more important for Congress to act. The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 does just that: it makes clear that qualified immunity cannot be used as a defense in civil rights suits against federal, state, or local law enforcement officers. It is long past time to remove this arbitrary and unlawful barrier and to ensure police are held accountable when they violate the constitutional rights of the people whom they are meant to serve.”

I fully agree … in my book, it was unconscionable for the Court to refuse to review these cases, where their review might have ruled that police are, in fact, accountable for their actions.


Well, there you have it … a summary of the most important cases, decisions and non-decisions of the Supreme Court yesterday.  The first, of course, is a huge win and should be celebrated.  I am pleased that Justice Neil Gorsuch took a stand on the side of right, as did Chief Justice Roberts.  I’m also pleased that the Court upheld California’s right to protect its immigrant population from draconian federal agencies directed by Trump.  I’m less pleased by the final non-decision, but given the current situation, the protests that have come as a result of decades of police brutality against people of colour, I think change is going to happen, despite the Supreme Court refusing to be the agent of that change.

The Wife Of A Supreme Court Justice …

This story began with something that crossed my radar last night and set off red flags and warning bells.  But, as sometimes happens, the story didn’t begin or end with that one story, but has an even deeper, darker understory.  I want to warn you that some of this is going to sound a bit far-fetched, but I assure you, I have double-checked and verified everything I’m about to tell you, so hold onto your hats, folks.

Clarence-thomasJustice Clarence Thomas has had a seat on the United States Supreme Court since 1990 when he replaced one of the most-respected Justices in the history of the nation, Justice Thurgood Marshall.  Thomas’ confirmation was sticky, to say the least, with a less-than-stellar ranking from the American Bar Association, his reticence to answer many questions, and lastly allegations of sexual misconduct, but still he was confirmed.  He leans to the right … a bit too far for my tastes, but nonetheless, I’ve had no truck with him.  His wife, however, is another matter.Ginny-ThomasGinny Thomas, it appears, has played a significant role in the recent purges within the Trump administration … purges not based on incompetence, but rather on not being considered to be ‘loyal’ enough to Trump.  Loyalists, or close allies of Trump, provided him lists of names of those who were perceived as not being 100% on board with Trump, and Ginny Thomas was one of the leaders of the pack.

Before I proceed, let me just state for the record that the Supreme Court is expected to be completely independent from the president.  The Justices do not work for, nor answer to the president.  It seems to me that this is a gross conflict of interest, for the wife of one of the justices to be serving as an unofficial advisor to the president, bringing about the firing of staff for no reason that would pass the smell test in a court of law.

Ginny Thomas and a Republican Senate staffer, Barbara Ledeen, have been compiling lists of all those they felt lacked sufficient loyalty to Trump.  One of the casualties of Ms. Thomas’ lists was Jessie Liu.  Liu was a U.S. Attorney for the District Columbia, a position she resigned earlier this month, apparently at the request of U.S. District Attorney William Barr.  She had been nominated by Trump to a high-level position at the U.S. Department of Treasury and had planned to resign her position with the DC U.S. Attorney’s office soon anyway, so not much notice was taken.

Then, suddenly, Trump rescinded Ms. Liu’s nomination.  It turns out, the reason was a list compiled by Ginny Thomas and Barbara Ledeen listing at least three reasons she felt Ms. Liu was not loyal enough.  One reason Ginny questioned Liu’s loyalty was that she failed to charge former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, for she found he had committed no crimes.  Another was that she had recommended jail time for former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who pled guilty and was convicted of “willfully and knowingly” making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to the FBI regarding conversations with Russia’s ambassador in the matter of Russian interference in the U.S. 2016 election.  Trump felt Flynn’s conviction was unfair, even though Flynn had pled guilty, so Liu’s recommendation that he serve time in prison made her, in Thomas & Ledeen’s book, disloyal.

The third, and perhaps most disgusting reason on the infamous list was that Ms. Liu refused to press criminal charges against certain of the women who came forward to accuse Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct during his confirmation hearing in 2018.  To the best of my knowledge, none of those women had done anything that would warrant criminal charges, and obviously that was Ms. Liu’s conclusion as well.  And a fourth reason Thomas & Ledeen apparently felt Ms. Liu had failed the loyalty test, is that she dismissed charges against “violent inauguration protesters who plotted to disrupt the inauguration.”

The compilation of these lists has been going on for some 18 months, but it was only after his acquittal by the Senate last month that Trump suddenly felt emboldened and invincible enough to act upon the information he had been given.  Ms. Thomas, however, has been a right-wing political activist since at least 2013, in conjunction with a number of journalists from Breitbart and other right-wing organizations.  Thomas has also been a columnist for the Daily Caller (a right-wing news and opinion website founded by none other than Fox News’ half-witted Tucker Carlson) and a tea party consultant and lobbyist.

I have no evidence that Justice Thomas has done anything wrong, but … by his wife acting in this capacity, advising Trump of who should be fired, of who is sufficiently loyal … there is the appearance of possible involvement where there should be none.  The role of Supreme Court Justice is a very high honour that comes with an expectation that the wearer of that black robe will be above the fray, above suspicion.  I’m afraid I no longer have faith that Justice Thomas is, in fact, above corruption.  What his wife is doing is, in itself, disgusting, but that she is also the wife of a Supreme Court Justice is highly improper.