Time For ‘Toons!!!

Ever have one of those days where nothing goes right?  It started with getting up late, finding that the kitties had knocked over my flowers and water was everywhere, then trying to quickly get a beef roast into the crock pot for supper took me nearly an hour for some reason.  So, long story short, I am in a time crunch today and thought … what a perfect opportunity to showcase some cartoons!  Political cartoons sometimes make us laugh, sometimes shake our heads, and sometimes make us want to cry, but they say so much with a simple drawing.  So, let’s see how the cartoonists have viewed the past week or two …


Trump does love tariffs.  Too bad he doesn’t understand them.  

tariffs-1tariffs-2tariffs-3toon-2tariffs-4


One of the biggest issues dividing this nation … one of the few hundred, that is … is guns.  Every time there is a multiple-death shooting as there was in Virginia Beach on May 31st, the debate becomes more vocal, with the gun nuts saying “this isn’t the time to discuss it”, and the rest of us positing that this is exactly the time to discuss it. 

guns-1guns-2guns-3


Of course, regardless of political party, the “I-word” is on everybody’s mind these days …

impeach-1impeach-2impeach-3cover-up.jpg


Who can resist poking fun at ol’ 2-faced Lindsey Graham?

Lindsey-Graham


And just for kicks …

democracyTom Toles Editorial Cartoon - tt_c_c190609.tiftoon-1.jpg


Have a great week, folks … remember, humour helps us maintain perspective in these troubled times!

Snarky Snippets … Again …

A couple of things in the news yesterday bothered me … really bothered me.  And you guys know what happens when things bother me, right?  I erupt into Snarky Snippets!  Grab your coffee, or better yet, your glass of wine, for I am full-on snark today.


A smooth shave turns bumpy …

First off, let’s talk razors, shall we?  I kept seeing remarks, mostly negative, about razors.  Meme’s, comments on Facebook, bad jokes … and I thought, “what the heck is up with razors?”.  But I didn’t think much beyond that until I saw this …gun-toting-dadHOLY SHIT!!!  I don’t know about Gillette, but it offends the heck out of me and makes me want to call Social Services on this guy!  And then I knew I must find out what all the hullabaloo is about.

Turns out, it is all over an advertisement that razor-maker Gillette recently placed, softening the male image from their usual “tough man” image, and appealing to men’s gentler sides.  It appears to be Gillette’s response to the #MeToo movement, and a response that I personally applaud.  So, what is the problem here?  Take a quick look at the ad and see what you think …

People are throwing away their razors and threatening a boycott of Gillette products.  WTF???  Do people really have nothing better to think about or to do with their time?  And are people so enamoured of the “he-man” image that they would rather see men portrayed as macho men than as kind, respectful men?

One such fool wrote on Twitter …

“I’m researching every product made by Proctor & Gamble, throwing any I have in the trash, and never buying any of them again until everyone involved in this ad from the top to bottom is fired and the company issues a public apology.”

Hold your breath, bucko!  Okay, so those gun-toting, tattooed, swaggering macho men feel threatened by a suggestion that they tone it down, treat women with a bit of respect.  I get that … well, no, really I don’t, but having known a few such men in my lifetime, I’m not surprised by it.  But what does surprise me is the response of some women!johnstoneSeriously, Kathleen???  You like to be shoved around a bit, maybe even slapped once in a while?

Although there were favourable responses to the ad, the response was overwhelmingly, 2-to-1, negative.  Folks … I think this says an awful lot about our society today, don’t you?


Clipping Pelosi’s wings …

In a rare event of petty revenge, Donald Trump told Nancy Pelosi that since she wouldn’t invite him to give the State of the Union Address before Congress on 29 January, then he wouldn’t allow her to fly via military transport for a previously undisclosed visit to U.S. troops in Afghanistan.  Shocked, aren’t you?  I’m surprised he didn’t burn her house down.  A few things here … the trip was not made public out of concern for the Congresswoman’s safety … HELLO DONNIE???  And now the whole world is aware, so Nancy, who Trump told could fly commercial airlines if she still wished to go, is forced to either stay at home, else fly through the air with a big red bullseye painted on her back, thanks to the loose lips of the fool on the hill.  Watch what Stephen Colbert has to say about it (if you have time, watch the whole 8 minutes … I promise you will laugh …)


Nancy can’t go, but Lindsey can?

And yet, though Trump claims the Trump-shutdown is the reason to disallow Ms. Pelosi’s travel, look who turned up in Turkey yesterday …lindsey-graham-erdoganYep. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi cannot go visit our troops in Afghanistan, but Senator Lindsey boot-licking Graham can go visit the Dictator of Turkey, one of the few men who Trump admires, or more likely envies.  You will remember that it was a telephone conversation with President Erdoğan that convinced Trump to announce that he would pull all U.S. forces out of Syria, presumably in order to give Erdoğan a chance to fulfill his mission of destroying our allies in Syria, the Kurds.

Given that John Bolton and literally all of Trump’s foreign policy advisors cautioned against a rapid pull-out and that removing U.S. troops from Syria is at a standstill, largely as a result of Erdoğan’s threats against the Kurds, Erdoğan is upset that his buddy, Trump, did not follow through on their conversation of December 19th.  And so, wanting to stay on the good side of his buddy Erdoğan, Trump sent Lindsey Graham to smooth the ruffled feathers of the Turkish dictator.  From the look on Erdoğan’s face, it wasn’t working.

Erdoğan welcomed Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria; however, the Turkish president condemned what he said were attempts by senior U.S. officials to delay the withdrawal and link it to conditions including guaranteeing security for our Kurdish allies.

The timing is interesting, too, for it was just on Wednesday that the Turkish Parliament voted to grant emergency powers that give Erdoğan broad authority to act when Turkey’s financial stability is deemed to be under threat.  Deemed by whom?  Why, Erdoğan, of course! This, folks, is the power Trump is so envious of.


Oh, and speaking of travel during the shutdown …

Trump has announced that he will meet with Kim Jong-un again before the end of February.  Presumably, since he has threatened to allow the shutdown to last for years, and since he shows no signs of being willing to make reasonable compromises, he will likely be traveling during said shutdown.  Perhaps …trump-travel-shutdown


A friend posted this ‘toon on Facebook yesterday evening and I just couldn’t resist …toon

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

The GOP Ain’t Atticus Finch!!!

In the past weeks, and especially the past few days, I have seen some of the most asinine comments come from the mouths of men and women who are supposed to be well-educated, reasonable human beings. Men and women who are paid a sizable chunk of money by us to represent us.  That would be … us … all of us … as in, We The People.  It isn’t bad enough that they are not doing their job, that they are playing games with our lives, gambling away the future of this nation, but on top of that, we have to listen to them spout ugly and stupid rhetoric!

Tonight I focus on one such fool, John Cornyn III, a United States Senator from the State of Texas.  A brief bio …

John_Cornyn_(cropped)Cornyn is a graduate from Trinity University and St. Mary’s University School of Law, receiving his LL.M. from the University of Virginia School of Law. Cornyn was a Judge on Texas’ 37th District Court from 1985 to 1991, until he was elected an associate justice of the Texas Supreme Court, where he served 1991 to 1997. In 1998, Cornyn was elected Attorney General of Texas, serving one term until winning a seat in the U.S. Senate in 2002. He was re-elected to a second term in 2008 and to a third term in 2014.

Cornyn was the subject of a number of controversies during his single term as Attorney General of Texas, involving deals with the Koch brothers, injecting religion into schools, and others that I wish I had the time and space to delve into, but for tonight I shall stay the course.  What has set me off now is his inane comment about the republican senators who shoved Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation through, despite at least five valid reasons not to do so.  He had the unmitigated gall to compare these jerks to the fictional character Atticus Finch, from Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill A Mockingbird.

atticus-finch-qoeAtticus Finch, you may remember, played by Gregory Peck, was a lawyer in a small fictional southern town of Maycomb, Alabama.  Finch was representing a black man, Tom Robinson,  falsely accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell.  The character of Atticus Finch represents morality and reason.  He is soft-spoken, believes in fighting for justice and equality, and is a moral hero in every sense of the word.

John Cronyn and his bunch are definitely not Atticus Finch.

“Some commentators have called this our Atticus Finch moment. We all remember that Atticus Finch was a lawyer who did not believe that a mere accusation was synonymous with guilt. He represented an unpopular person who many people presumed was guilty of a heinous crime because of his race and his race alone. We could learn from Atticus Finch now.”

The comparison is 180° off base, for while Atticus Finch was defending a Black man from a white woman who had accused him of a rape he didn’t commit, in the Jim Crow South, the GOP are trying to ensure a privileged white judge gets an even more privileged position on the Supreme Court.

And while Cornyn’s is the most bombastic comment, others in the GOP, now that they have gotten their way and feel they have nothing to lose, have dropped the masks of decency and are showing their true colours.Mitch McConnell said that the allegations made against Kavanaugh were “uncorroborated mud” and that blocking his nomination would be a “fundamentally un-American precedent.”  Never mind, I suppose, that McConnell was the force behind blocking the nomination of Merrick Garland, a highly qualified candidate, under President Obama, for more than a year!

Lindsey Graham, meanwhile, has accused Democrats of spurring an “unethical sham”, and is insisting that democrat Amy Klobuchar apologize for the “smear campaign”.  Such nice language these so-called professional men use, eh?

It’s funny, isn’t it, that the republicans got their way, by hook or by crook … mostly crook, for the FBI investigation was not an investigation, but a farce, and many credible allegations were simply ignored … and yet they still feel a need to push conspiracy theories, lie, and denigrate innocent people.  At first I was confounded by this behaviour, but then I recalled that they are only talking to their own base, the minority, if you will, of the population of this nation.  Remember that, folks, when you are tempted to lose heart, when you feel like the guys in the black hats are winning the game.  They are only winning amongst about one-third of the country, for the rest of us are not buying their snake oil pitch.  The thing we must do is take away their rosy glow next month at the polls.  It’s our last, best hope … our only hope for a semblance of sanity, of decency to return to at least one branch of government.mlk quote

Lindsey’s Great Tirade …

There was a time I had some respect for Lindsey Graham.  However, since that time, he has fallen prey to the machinations of the far, far right movement and its current icon, Donald Trump, and I now find Lindsey to be despicable … and that was the kindest word I could come up with.

Lindsey used to be known for his willingness to be bipartisan and work with Democrats on many issues like campaign finance reform, line item veto, global warming, waterboarding ban, immigration reform and more.  In the beginning, he was opposed to the Tea Party movement, arguing for a more inclusive Republican Party.  After his own brief, unsuccessful run for president in 2015, he threw his support behind Jeb Bush, and when Bush dropped out, behind Ted Cruz.  He adamantly refused to support Donald Trump, and I applauded his values. But that was then, and this is now.Lindsey-Graham-4Since the 2016 election, Graham has become a boot-licker just like all the rest, often speaking out in defense of Trump, even when his actions are indefensible.  Last week during the Judiciary Committee hearing, Lindsay Graham decided to go into a tirade leveled at the democratic senators in the room, and by extension, all democrats.  Here are some snippets from that rant, along with my own snarky remarkys in blue:

“What you want to do is destroy this guy’s life, hold this seat open and hope you win in 2020.”  Wait just a damn minute, Linds … wasn’t that precisely what YOU did when President Obama nominated a candidate with integrity, Merrick Garland???  YOU wouldn’t even talk to him and held the seat open for one year and 58 days!

“This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics. And if you really wanted to know the truth, you sure as hell wouldn’t have done what you’ve done to this guy … y’all want power and I hope you don’t get it.  If you vote no, you are legitimizing the most despicable thing I’ve ever seen in my time in politics.”  The most unethical sham I see is your behavior, ranting and pointing fingers, blaming everyone except those who deserve the blame:  Trump & Kavanaugh & the unethical senators who are doing Trump’s bidding.

“This is going to destroy the ability of good people to come forward because of this crap – your high school yearbook.  You have interacted professional women all your life, not one accusation.  You’re supposed to be Bill Cosby when you’re a junior and senior in high school and all of a sudden you got over it. It’s been my understanding that if you drug women and rape them for two years in high school, you probably don’t stop.”  I thought your degree was in the field of Law, not Clinical Psychology?  It is your determination to push, shove and cram this nominee who, as we can see, has a problem controlling his temper, onto the bench of the highest court in the land that is the problem.  Mr. Kavanaugh has shown us multiple times in the past week how he reacts under pressure, and it is not what we would expect of a Supreme Court justice.

Graham’s performance was unhinged, irrational, and nakedly partisan.  But after his outburst, other republican senators began apologizing … apologizing to Kavanaugh!  Sarah Huckabee Sanders and doofus Eric Trump weighed in on Twitter …sanders-trump tweets

And it is reported that Melania Trump passed along a message that she was “very proud” of him, although we have only Graham’s word on that one. If Lindsey Graham is now the face of the Republican Party, either the party is doomed, or the nation is.  This is not the first complaint, however, that I have had about Lindsey.  In 2009, he supported a climate change bill along with democratic Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman.  Then in 2010, he withdrew his support, saying, “The science about global warming has changed. I think they’ve oversold this stuff, quite frankly. I think they’ve been alarmist and the science is in question. The whole movement has taken a giant step backward.”  Somewhere between 2009 & 2010, the Tea Party/Donald Trump brainwashing machine apparently got to him.

Lindsey Graham is showing his true colours and that he is a party minion rather than a man who is willing to stand for truth, justice, and equal rights.  Oh, and by the way, it might interest you to know that in May 2016, Graham made this statement:

“I think Donald Trump is going to places where very few people have gone and I’m not going with him.” 

And while he voted for independent candidate Evan McMullin, he did get on that train with Donald Trump and is now licking his boots and asking, “How high?” when Trump says “Jump!”

The Phone Call …

Bob-WoodwardBob Woodward was 28-years-old when he started work at The Washington Post in 1971.  The next year, he and Carl Bernstein wrote a series of articles on the Watergate scandals that would ultimately be called “the single greatest reporting effort of all time”.  Woodward’s career as an investigative reporter has flourished, as well as his career as an author, with 12 number one national best sellers to his credit.  He has written about every president from Nixon through Obama, and now he has written what will likely be only his first book about Trump. The book, titled Fear, is scheduled for release next Tuesday, September 11th.

Fear-WoodwardWoodward interviewed numerous sources from the Trump administration and had tried hard to arrange a meeting or conversation with Trump himself, but it didn’t happen.  However, now that the book is already printed and ready for release, Trump finally decided to call Bob Woodward.  The Washington Post has published an annotated transcript of that conversation, and while it is too lengthy for me to reproduce in its entirety, I am providing a few excerpts.  You may wish to read the entire transcript, but frankly it is mostly the same thing over and over again.  Trump makes two points:  a) that nobody told him Woodward wanted to talk to him, and b) he is the greatest president ever.  Surprised, aren’t you?  The conversation has humour value, if nothing else.


BW: I’m sorry we missed the opportunity to talk for the book.

Trump: Well, I just spoke with Kellyanne and she asked me if I got a call. I never got a call. I never got a message. Who did you ask about speaking to me?

BW: Well, about six people.

Trump: They don’t tell me.

BW: A senator. I talked to Kellyanne about it two and a half months ago. She came for lunch.

Trump: Well, it’s too bad. Of course, you and I had a conversation a couple of years ago, and so that I think got you there a little bit. And we had a conversation many years ago, if you remember, in Trump Tower.

BW: Yeah, I do.

Trump: I still remember that.

BW: I spent a lot of time on this, talked to lots of people.

Trump: It’s really too bad, because nobody told me about it, and I would’ve loved to have spoken to you. You know I’m very open to you. I think you’ve always been fair. We’ll see what happens. But all I can say is the country is doing very well. We’re doing better economically just about than at any time. We’re doing better on unemployment maybe than ever. You know, I mean, if you look at the unemployment numbers, you’ve heard me say it. And we’re doing better on unemployment than just about ever. We’re having a lot of — a lot of companies are moving back into our country, which would’ve been unheard of two years ago. If the other administration or representatives of it had kept going, had kept — you know, if the other group had won, I will tell you, that you would have, I think you’d have a GDP of less than zero. I think we would’ve been going in the wrong direction. Because regulations are such a big part of what we’ve done, Bob.

BW: I’ve got to go talk to people and see them outside of the White House and outside of their offices, and gained a lot of insight and documentation. And it’s — you know, it’s a tough look at the world and your administration and you.

Trump: Right. Well, I assume that means it’s going to be a negative book. But you know, I’m some — I’m sort of 50 percent used to that. [Laughter] That’s all right. Some are good and some are bad. Sounds like this is going to be a bad one.

BW: Well, I talked to Raj [Shah] about it. I talked to . . . I talked to Kellyanne.

Trump: Well, a lot of them are afraid to come and talk, or — you know, they are busy. I’m busy. But I don’t mind talking to you. I would’ve spoken to you. I spoke to you 20 years and I spoke to you a year and a half or two years ago.

BW: Well, Mr. President, how can I spend all this time talking to people and — like Kellyanne and Raj and Republican senators?

Trump: Who were the senators? No, they never called me about it.

BW: Senator Graham said he had talked to you about talking to me. Now, is that not true?

Trump: Senator Graham actually mentioned it quickly in one meeting.

BW: Yes. Well, see. And then nothing happened.

Trump: That is true. That is true. Well, that — no, but that is true. Mentioned it quickly, not like, you know, and I would certainly have thought that maybe you would’ve called the office. But that’s okay. I’ll speak to Kellyanne. I am a little surprised that she wouldn’t have told me. In fact, she just walked in. [to Kellyanne] I’m talking to Bob Woodward. He said that he told you.

Conway: Yes.

Trump: About speaking to me. But you never told me. Why didn’t you tell me? I would’ve been very happy to speak to him. All right, so what are you going to do?

BW: Well …

Trump: So I have another bad book coming out. Big deal.  I mean, you do know I’m doing a great job for the country. You do know that NATO now is going to pay billions and billions of dollars more, as an example, than anybody thought possible, that other presidents were unable to get more? And it was heading downward. You do know all of the things I’ve done and things that I’m doing? I’m in the process of making some of the greatest trade deals ever to be made. You do understand that stuff? I mean, I hope.

BW: Certainly, I understand and I would’ve loved to go through a discussion with you about NATO, because this goes back to early in your administration and your concern about it, and the agreement that the countries have that they would increase their defense contribution, what is it, by the year 2024?

Trump: Well, you know last year, if you see the secretary, Stoltenberg, he said I believe $44 billion just last year, and that was from last year’s meeting. And this year it’s much more money they’ve agreed to put up. So it’s a tremendous amount of money. No other president has done it. It was heading down in the opposite direction. So I don’t know if you’re going to report it that way; probably not. But that’s too bad, but that’s all right, but you know, one of those things.

BW: Everything is going to be factual. And it is not a good thing for my business, if I may say this to you, Mr. President, to the presidency, or to the country, to not have real, full exchanges on these. And I broke my spear on it trying to get to you.

Trump: Well, other than Lindsey, who did quickly mention it, nobody mentioned it.

BW: You say Kellyanne’s there, ask her.

Trump: Nobody told me about it. Well, let me ask her. Why don’t you speak to Kellyanne. Ask her. She never told me about it.

BW: Kellyanne?

Conway: Bob, how are you? Hi.

BW: Hi. Remember two and a half months ago you came over and I laid out, I wanted to talk to the president? And you said you would get back to me?

Conway: I do. And I put in the request. But you know, they — it was rejected. I can only take it so far. I guess I can bring it right to the president next time.

BW: Yeah.

Conway: But I try to follow all the protocols, or else I’m accused of being somebody who doesn’t follow protocol.

BW: Yeah, well, about six or seven people. I tried. And I couldn’t have — you and I spent a whole lunch on it, Kellyanne. And I said, I want to cover the substantive issues in foreign policy and domestic policy. And you said you would get back to me. Nothing.

Conway: But anyway, I’ll give you back to the president. And I’m glad to hear that you tried through seven or eight different people. That’s good. You should tell him all the names. [Laughs] Thank you.

Trump: But you never called for me. It would’ve been nice, Bob, if you called for me, in my office. I mean, I have a secretary. I have two, three secretaries. If you would’ve called directly — a lot of people are afraid . . . Raj, I hardly have . . . I don’t speak to Raj. It doesn’t matter. Let me tell you what matters: The economy is the best it’s been in many, many decades. And it’s going to get a lot better. And the country is doing very well. That’s what’s important.

BW: Yes, sir. I thought I would . ..

Trump: We’re doing a good job. I’m just hearing about it. And I heard — I did hear from Lindsey, but I’m just hearing about it. So we’re going to have a very inaccurate book, and that’s too bad. But I don’t blame you entirely.

BW: No, it’s going to be accurate, I promise.

Trump: Yeah, okay. Well, accurate is that nobody’s ever done a better job than I’m doing as president. That I can tell you. So that’s . . . And that’s the way a lot of people feel that know what’s going on, and you’ll see that over the years. But a lot of people feel that, Bob.

BW: I believe in our country, and because you’re our president, I wish you good luck.

Trump: Okay. Thank you very much, Bob. I appreciate it. Bye.

Listen to the call   That is, if you haven’t recently eaten 😉

I Never Thought I’d Say This, But The US Attorney General Sessions Is Making The Right Decision

For once in his life, at least, Jeff Sessions has made the right decision. The breaking news set my phone off this afternoon as I was attending house chores, and my jaw literally dropped to the floor. I was prepared to research and investigate, but I find that our friend Gronda has done an excellent job with this story, and since I have absolutely promised Miss Goose that I would play a game with her tonight, I am sharing, con permiso, Gronda’s excellent and timely post. Thank You, Gronda!!! And now, please wish me luck in my battle against the little pro in a game of Mario Party!

Gronda Morin

Image result for photos of jeff sessions AG JEFF SESSIONS

The republican President Donald Trump’s US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has formally declined  a formal request by some US congressional republicans on the US Senate Judiciary Committee, to appoint a special counsel to work with the Inspector General in reviewing how the Justice Department and FBI handled specific matters related to the Trump-Russia investigation up to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller which would possibly end up including an analysis of past FBI’s handling of the Clinton email/ foundation probe and FISA warrants.

This time the Attorney General Jeff Sessions declined to take this step.

Image result for photos of jeff sessionsHere is the rest of the story..

On March 29, 2018, Matt Zapotosky of the Washington Post penned the following report, “Sessions, for now, rebuffs GOP calls for second special counsel to probe FBI actions in Clinton and Russia probes”

Excerpts:

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday (3/29/18) rebuffed —…

View original post 1,428 more words

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,

Related image

I had been one of those foolish who believed the…

View original post 2,163 more words

Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans Have Been Caught With Their Pants Down

Once again, our friend Gronda brings us valuable information … a summary of the most important conclusions from the Fusion GPS transcript that was released by Senator Diane Feinstein this week. The dirty dealings … illegal dealings … between Trump and the Russians go far beyond what even I imagined. Hats off to Diane Feinstein for having the courage to stand for the nation, especially when it seems that no one else will. Thank you, Gronda!

Gronda Morin

Image result for photos of grassley and graham SENATORS GRASSLEY/ GRAHAM

The republican Senate Judiciary Committee members Senators Chuck Grassley of IA and Lindsey Graham of SC had been conspiring to discredit the FBI by falsely portraying the FBI’S Trump Russia probe as having been compromised by a partisan opposition research company Fusion GPS. They were insinuating that the co-founders Glenn Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, had done a hatchet job, to deliberately set up the president with the help of the MI6 agent Christopher Steele that he hired. The plan was to push the tale that Mr. Steele’s work product indicating questionable connections between Mr. Trump and Russia, which had been shared with the FBI, was tainted and shouldn’t have been used to further its investigation. The republicans even went as far to refer Mr. Steele, a reputable professional, for possible criminal charges to the US department of Justice.

The Fusion GPS executives were so…

View original post 1,042 more words

On Beating A Dead Horse …

Two men who know less about health care and medical insurance than even I, have suddenly become experts in what is good for the health of our nation.  Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy have brought the dead horse issue of repealing ACA (Obamacare) back to some form of life in the Senate, apparently in the hope of currying favour with Donald Trump.

dead horse 2

There was a time that I had some grudging respect for Senator Graham, but that time has long since passed, the final nail driven into the coffin last weekend when he lowered himself into the dung heap and appeared on Breitbart to make a plea to the masses.  The ‘nationalist’ Trump-supporting masses, that is, for the other 65% of us do not appear to matter to him.

The Graham/Cassidy bill looks remarkably like a clone of the bill that failed in July that was drafted by Mitch McConnell and his goons, none of whom know any more than I do about the details of a comprehensive health care plan.  Where are the experts?  Where are the people for whom this is charted territory, the people who understand the ramifications and effects on We The People?  They are not in the hallowed halls of the U.S. Capitol, that’s for certain.

graham-cassidy.jpg

Lindsey Graham/Bill Cassidy

When Senators McCain, Murkowski and Collins cast ‘nay’ votes on the Senate floor in July, I thought the issue was done … the dead horse had been beaten for the final time.  Trump ranted for a bit: “3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!” He told them to go back to the floor and try again, but the senators were tired, it was time for their break, and they had other work to do. They also knew they could not sway the three who voted their conscience.

But now for some reason, Lindsay Graham and Bill Cassidy are determined to attempt to breathe new life into that dead horse. Make no mistake … it is the same horse and it is still dead.  The goal of Graham and Cassidy, I think, is to bully and browbeat and push for a very quick vote before the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has time to remind us of the terrible consequences of the repeal.  I hope … I sincerely hope … that nothing has changed and that at the very least, Senators McCain, Murkowski and Collins will continue to stand by what they know is right.  I believe they will.  Senator Rand Paul has also said that he will not vote for the bill. But what about the other 49 senators?  Where are their consciences?  I think I know where … buried deep in their wallets, gathering dust and being crushed by their fat arses every day.

toon-1.jpgIf the Graham/Cassidy bill fails to pass by September 30th, then it will require a 60% majority to pass, which would mean at least 8 democratic senators would have to cast their votes in favour.  I would like, ultimately, to see bi-partisan efforts such as those being proposed by Lamar Alexander and Patti Murray to fix the cracks in the ACA and maintain it, rather than recklessly throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

On Saturday, Graham appeared on Breitbart to convince those who watch such things that his plan would somehow make them happy, I suppose.  One thing he said, though, sticks in my craw:

“So the goal is to get the money and the power out of Washington. This is not about repealing and replacing Obamacare. This is about stopping a march towards socialism.”

This was in reference to the single-payer plan laid out last week by Bernie Sanders.  I can speak only for myself, but if Bernie’s plan is considered socialist, and Graham’s plan is anti-socialist, then call me a socialist. Austria, Belarus, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal,  Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom all have universal health care, and none are socialist nations.  Senator Graham is wrong, just plain wrong. He is simply more interested in pleasing Trump and the lobbyists for the insurance industry than he is in seeing to the best interests of those who have voted him into office since 2003.

My best guess is that this latest incarnation will have essentially the same effect, that of leaving between 24-26 million people without health insurance and without the ability to pay for their own health care.  If so, that is an abomination.  Graham claims the states will then implement their own health care bills, but we all know that a) these things take time, and b) we cannot always trust the states to act in our best interests.

Meanwhile, folks, it is time to start once again making those phone calls and writing those emails once again.  This administration is going to owe us all new laptops and cell phones before it’s all over. Some analysts are saying it looks close this time, but of course it was close last time, and if Senator McCain had not pulled a rabbit out of his hat, it would have passed in July.  But we cannot rest on our laurels, and we cannot count on ‘right’ to win out over ‘might’, for Trump is a powerful bully who wears people down with his schoolyard tactics.  Please, take a few minutes to write to your senators and let them know how you feel.

We need to put this idea of repealing ACA at all costs, to bed.  If the GOP had a viable plan whereby everyone … everyone … would have access to affordable health care, I would not object. Obviously, they do not. It is not the senators who need to worry about how they will be able to afford a doctor next time they need one … no, it is you and I, our friends and our families.

The “BIG NEWS” Is Not The Real News

The big news from last night and this morning is that two pages of Trump’s 2005 tax return were released on television.  Two pages.  Of a 14-year-old tax return.  It is rather like giving a man who is dying of thirst in the desert a 15 cent coupon for a bottle of wine.  It is nothing.  It tells us nothing.  And in truth, though the White House staff pretended righteous indignation, it is extremely likely that Trump himself ‘leaked’ those two pages in yet another attempt to turn the public’s attention from the Russian hacking of the election, the growing claims of Russian connections among Trump’s staff, Monday’s release of the CBO report on the disastrous effects of Trumpcare, and his inane tweets last week saying that President Obama had ‘wiretapped’ his phones.  Those two pages are worthless, folks.  Yes, I want Trump’s tax returns released, but not two pages from 2005.  I want the full returns from 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.  Full returns.  For the past six years.  Until that happens, it is not news, it tells us not a single thing about his financial dealings, and it is nothing more than another red herring.

The real news is the news that we did not see on our televisions or online or on the front pages of the New York Times.  The real news is what is happening with the investigation into Trump & Co.’s Russian ties, the very thing Trump is trying so hard to distract us from.

So what IS going on with the investigation?  On March 2nd, during a meeting between FBI Director James Comey, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (unfortunate name – leads to confusion), and Senator Lindsey Graham, Comey indicated that he ‘might’ provide a “clearer explanation” of the existence of a Russia-related FBI investigation in advance of an anticipated Senate hearing on Wednesday, March 15th. The Senate hearing is titled “The Modus Operandi and Toolbox of Russia and Other Autocracies for Undermining Democracies Throughout the World”.  That’s a mouthful!  The hearing will focus on the FBI’s role in any Russia investigation.  According to Senator Whitehouse, “You can’t really be in the position of saying, ‘your congressional oversight will interfere with an ongoing investigation but we’re not going to confirm that we have an ongoing investigation.’ You can’t have it both ways.”  In other words, Senators Whitehouse and Graham are still trying to figure out if the FBI has an investigation going.  Sigh.

Turning our focus to the House investigation, the two top leaders are Representative Adam Schiff and Representative Devin Nunes.  Schiff says Russia’s effort to sway the election for President Donald Trump is one of the most serious issues of our time. Devin Nunes isn’t even convinced Russia tried to help Trump. Obviously this one will go well.  Nunes, by the way, was a member of Trump’s transition team, if that tells you anything. THIS, folks, exemplifies why we need an independent investigation.  At the very beginning of the House investigation, Nunes claimed he saw no evidence tying Trump officials to Moscow.  Schiff responded with, “When you begin an investigation, you don’t begin by stating what you believe to be the conclusion.” Quite so … it would be like a scientist drawing a conclusion, then looking only for data to support his conclusion.  This is NOT the way to run an investigation.

In other news, Representative Nunes announced earlier today that he has not seen any evidence that then-President Barack Obama wiretapped Donald Trump last year.  “We don’t have any evidence that that took place and in fact I don’t believe — just in the last week of time, the people we’ve talked to — I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower.” What a surprise, huh? Another red herring bites the dust.  I wonder if they checked the microwave oven for hidden cameras?

In still other news, FBI investigators and computer scientists continue to examine whether there was a computer server connection between the Trump Organization and a Russian bank, Alfa Bank, according to a CNN report.

The news that I would like to hear, is what is being done to investigate the ever-widening array of contacts between Trump and Putin via Trump’s businesses, family, and staff/cabinet members.  Politico has put together seven charts that best clarifies what we know at this point. Below is the first of the seven, but I encourage readers to check out the others as well, as there are some rather interesting connections that I was not aware of.

connections-1

It is imperative that we focus on those things that actually have relevance.  Two pages of Donald Trump’s 14-year-old tax returns are not relevant and tell us absolutely nothing. His claims of wiretapping are ludicrous.  Yet it is these stories that we are force-fed to the exclusion of the more important news.  Trump is using diversionary tactics to send us all off chasing moonbeams while ignoring the fires under our feet.  There is a reason … always a reason …