Snarky Snippets From A Grump

Have you ever noticed that when you are a bit under the weather, little things annoy you more than they otherwise might?  I’m easily annoyed anyway these days, but being tired and grumpy, it takes very little to set me off.  I yelled at Miss Goose this evening because she was looking for the salad dressing in the fridge!  To put on the salad that was all I served for dinner tonight.  How dare she want dressing to go on it, right?  Long story short, if I am grumpy, you know what this means, right?  Snarkier than usual Snippets!  (I did apologize to Miss Goose and gave her a big hug, so all is well here)


Republicans in quarantine … what a brilliant idea!

Mark Meadows has been White House chief of staff for exactly three days, and now he is in quarantine … or, as the popular term seems to be … self-quarantined.  Yep, all these republicans attended the Conservative Political Action Convention (CPAC) two weeks ago, where an attendee was later confirmed to have a case of coronavirus. Republican Representatives Matt Gaetz and Doug Collins also came into contact with that person at CPAC.  I understand that Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Paul Gosar may also have been exposed.  Wow … five republicans out of commission for the next 14 days!  It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving bunch of people.  Not, mind you, that I am wishing illness on any of them … I’m just enjoying the humour of them being decommissioned and unable to destroy anything for the next two weeks!


And speaking of quarantines …

Yesterday, it was reported that Trump is afraid journalists will try to purposefully contract coronavirus to give it to him on Air Force One.  Is such paranoia the sign of a healthy mind?  No, it isn’t.

The best thing Trump’s staff could do for this nation would be to convince him that he has been exposed to the coronavirus and quarantine him in his suite at Mar-a-Lago with no phone and no computer.  Two weeks without having to see his ugly mug, hear his raspy, whiny voice, and we would all feel much better!  Not to mention that the nation would save a bundle of money if he were confined to quarters rather than flitting all about for his silly rallies and golf games.quarantine-trump


Bye-bye, Mikey … Hello … Nikki?

CNN political analyst Paul Begala has a theory, and it is one that I’ve pondered before.  Nikki Haley has been a puzzle since Trump took office.  Begala’s theory is that Trump put Pence in charge of the no-win situation overseeing the administration’s response to the coronavirus, which Trump had already royally screwed up by that time, in order to throw Pence under the bus.  Why?  So he has an excuse to choose a new running mate for November’s election.  Who?  Begala thinks Nikki Haley, former governor of South Carolina.

Begala takes it a step further and says that Trump will make the announcement on July 16th, immediately following the acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention by either Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders.  Says Begala …

“This is not a prediction. It’s a certainty. On Thursday, July 16 — that’s the date the Democrat gives his or her acceptance address — on that day, to interrupt that narrative, Donald Trump will call a press conference at Mar-a-Lago. He’s going to dump Mike Pence and put Nikki Haley on the ticket to try to get those suburban moms.” 

nikki-haley-mike-penceI can’t speak to his prediction of the timing, though it makes sense, for Trump always must be the center of attention, and when he isn’t, he finds away to hone in.  But I have long thought that Trump had some plan for Nikki, and one group with whom he’s largely unpopular is women with brains, so putting a woman on his ticket makes some sense.  Personally, I think Haley, who once did some decent things as governor, is a sell-out and I wouldn’t vote for her for dog-catcher, but then, I wouldn’t vote for Trump even if he made Stevie Wonder his running mate.


Tennis anyone?

Oh, by the way … did you folks know that we’re paying to build Ms. Melania a “tennis pavilion” on the South Lawn of the White House?  According to a press release back in October, the project was “fueled by Mrs. Trump’s … passion to provide a functional recreational area for all first families to enjoy.”  Now wait just a minute … so … if I want to take my family there to play tennis, I can do so?  Bwah ha ha … yeah, right.  It will be for Melania and her ‘friends’, maybe a few White House staffers.  Make no mistake … this is of absolutely zero benefit to ‘We the People’.

Last spring, Melania “revamped” the White House bowling alley, but I guess she got tired of bowling and now wants to play tennis.  Yes, by all means, let’s waste our money to keep all the Trumps happy.  What’s next … a baseball field for young Barron?

People took to Twitter to critique the project, in light of the seriousness of the global outbreak of the coronavirus, Trump’s heinous immigration policies, the tanking economy, and other valid concerns that her husband is bungling.  Not to be deterred (or suddenly possessed of a shred of human decency), Melania responded with her usual arrogance …

“I encourage everyone who chooses to be negative & question my work at the @WhiteHouse to take time and contribute something good & productive in their own communities.”

Melania-jacketWHAT WORK???  She doesn’t even have a serious project … her “Be Best” initiative is a joke that never got off the ground, she doesn’t cook or do laundry … she’s a bloomin’ decoration, at best.  And what, precisely, has she contributed to any community?  Oh, remember … she did go down to the southern border and stare for a few minutes at the kids in cages, while wearing her jacket that said, “I really don’t care. Do U?” 

So, friends, dig a little deeper in your pockets … no, not to feed the poor or shelter the homeless … but to entertain Melania.


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A New Batch Of Snarky Snippets … Grrrrr

There are a number of relatively minor things that have cropped up in the last couple of days with seemingly the sole purpose of stirring my ire.  So … you know what that means … it must be time for some snarky snippets, yes?


Let’s start with Nikki Haley, former governor of South Carolina, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and some speculate next vice-presidential running mate for Trump in 2020.  As governor, I had a great deal of respect for Ms. Haley.  As ambassador, I had less, for she fell in line with Trump’s ideology, if he can be said to actually have one.  She became one of his sycophants, and I lost much of my respect for her.Nikki-Haley.jpgSo, why is she raising my hackles today?  Well … last Friday she was being interviewed in a podcast on conservative Glenn Beck’s radio program.  One segment of the podcast was about Dylan Roof who, in June 2015, opened fire in an African-American church, killing nine people.  Roof was an avowed white supremacist who had posted pictures of himself posing with the Confederate flag prior to his attack.

dylan-roof-confederate-flagMs. Haley said …

“Here is this guy who comes out with his manifesto, holding the Confederate flag and had just hijacked everything that people thought of. We don’t have hateful people in South Carolina. There’s always the small minority who are always going to be there, but people saw it as service, sacrifice and heritage. But once he did that, there was no way to overcome it.”

Let’s call a spade a bloody shovel here.  The Confederate flag never stood for “service, sacrifice and heritage”.  It has always stood for a lifestyle that included slavery, the ownership of other human beings simply because of the colour of their skin.  Period.

Ms. Haley’s argument was that the Confederate flag was noble until Dylan Roof made it appear to represent white supremacy.  IT DOES represent white supremacy, fool!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Michael Steele, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, shot back on Twitter …

“Really, Nikki?! The Confederate Flag represented ‘service, sacrifice and heritage’? To whom? The black people who were terrorized & lynched in its name? You said it should never have been there. Roof didn’t hijack the meaning of that flag, he inherited it.”

Racism, folks … it’s alive and well in the United States of America.


Seema Verma has flown beneath my radar since she was appointed by Trump, then confirmed by the Senate in March 2017 to the position of Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  This is the agency that oversees Medicare, Medicaid, and the insurance markets.Seema-verdaNow, Ms. Verma came into the job with some conflicts of interest, and had the Senate done its job, she likely would not have passed muster.  She is the founder and previous CEO of SVC Inc., a health policy consulting firm, which was acquired by Health Management Associates (HMA) just prior to Verma’s nomination to head CMS.

One of her first actions was to send a letter to the nation’s governors urging them to impose insurance premiums for Medicaid, charge Medicaid recipients for emergency room visits, and encourage recipients to get jobs or job training.  In her role as CMS administrator, Verma spent more than $2 million of taxpayer funds on Republican-connected communications consultants and other expenses to boost her visibility and public image.  She has made numerous speeches and attacks against the concept of Medicare-for-All … enough so that she is now the defendant in a lawsuit claiming she is in violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal officials engaging in political activity.

But what placed her on my radar was a trip she took back in August.  She claims that jewelry, clothing and other possessions, including a $5,900 Ivanka Trump-brand pendant (that she owned one speaks volumes about her character, in my book) were stolen from her luggage during that business-related trip.  Okay, fine … if that were me or you, we would file a claim against the airline and maybe, if we were lucky, get reimbursed for some small portion of it.

But, Ms. Verma decided that We the Taxpayers ought to reimburse her for what she claims was the value of her ‘loss’.  To the tune of $47,000!!!  More than most of us make in a bloomin’ year!  And what sort of a numptie (been listening to my Brit friends too long) takes things of that value on a business trip anyway?  And why is it my fault or yours?  And why should we pay for her ignorance???  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Her claim included $43,065 for about two dozen pieces of jewelry, based off an appraisal she’d received from a jeweler about three weeks after the theft.  Who takes 24 pieces of jewelry on a business trip, then fails to insure them?  And the claim further included $2,000 to cover the cost of her stolen clothes, a $325 claim for moisturizer and a $349 claim for noise-cancelling headphones.  My entire wardrobe does not consist of $2,000 worth of clothing.  My moisturizer costs $4.99, and my headphones are Skullcandy, $29.99 at Best Buy!  Just one more alligator in the huge swamp that Trump built.

Not to worry, though, for the federal health department that oversees her agency decided to reimburse her for only $2,852.40 of OUR money.


owen-shroyerOwen Shroyer … ever heard of him before?  Neither had I.  He’s a host on Alex Jones’ Infowars program, which I thought had long since met its timely demise since being banned from Apple, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.  Apparently, they still exist somewhere on the fringes.

It would seem that there is no screening process for entrance to the impeachment proceedings, for Mr. Shroyer managed to get in yesterday.  Moments after Representative Jerry Nadler, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, opened the hearing, Shroyer rose from his seat in the packed hearing room and shouted …

“Jerry Nadler and the Democrat Party are committing treason against this country! Trump is innocent!”

owen-shroyer-2Police quickly removed him from the room, during which time he was livestreaming to his personal Twitter account and yelling at the top of his lungs …

“So I’m being arrested right now for disrupting Congress. I’m a criminal for my First Amendment rights.”

Is there any doubt in anybody’s mind that Alex Jones was behind this, that it was naught more than a publicity stunt?  At what cost?

Oh, and by the way, Mr. Shroyer actually called for President Barack Obama to be lynched just this past June …

“Barack Obama is a treasonous…he belongs in jail. He belongs in Guantanamo Bay. I mean look, I’m not saying this should happen but Barack Obama, you know, find the tallest tree and a rope.”

All my life I have been a proponent for 1st Amendment rights to free speech, but in the past year, maybe two, I have begun to re-think it.  It has been abused so much, by so many unsavouries such as Mr. Shroyer, Mr. Jones, Mr. Carlson and a few thousand others, that I’m coming to believe there must be limits.  As our friend Roger said to me the other evening, “Free speech is not a right; it is something which has to be earned.” I’m not so sure the people of this nation have earned it. Rather a damn shame for the rest of us who use our rights responsibly, don’t you think?


I had one more, but … I shall stop here and give you a chance to breathe.  Make America great again, says Mr. Trump?  I think not … I think he has placed the United States in the worst light it has been in in all of its 232 years.

A Bit Of This And A Bit Of That …

Trump thinks Ivanka would be great to replace Nikki Haley.

“So nice, everyone wants Ivanka Trump to be the new United Nations Ambassador. She would be incredible, but I can already hear the chants of Nepotism!” Trump tweeted on Friday morning.  He later re-iterated, saying she would be “incredible,” and that there is “nobody more competent”.  And just what, pray tell, are her qualifications?  Oh wait … Nikki Haley had no qualifications for the job, either. But at least she had government experience, having served six years each as Governor of South Carolina and a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, and until she drank the Trump Kool Aid, she had some good sense.  Ivanka has … well, let’s see … she owns a company that daddy bought her whereby she uses overseas sweatshop labour to manufacture ugly clothing that she sells for an outrageous price.  Oh, and she’s married to a shyster real estate ‘tycoon’ who doesn’t pay taxes.  Oh yeah … everybody must surely want her to represent us at the United Nations.Ivanka-toon.png


Ol’ Duncan Hunter … back in the news again.

Remember Duncan Hunter?  He’s been on my radar off and on for nearly two years, but the latest was last month when I wrote that he had been caught and indicted on charges of using a quarter of a million dollars in campaign funds for personal expenses.  And then he had the gall to blame it all on his wife!  Well, I guess when you’re caught with your hand in the cookie jar, one thing you can do is start pointing fingers at others.  But his latest antic is a real piece of work.  He has accused his Democratic challenger for the upcoming mid-terms, one Ammar Campa-Najjar, of being a Palestinian terrorist who is trying to “infiltrate” Congress.  No, I swear I’m not making it up!  My imagination isn’t that good!

He produced a television ad that claims …

“Ammar Campa-Najjar is working to infiltrate Congress. He’s used three different names to hide his family’s ties to terrorism. His grandfather masterminded the Munich Olympic massacre. His father said they deserved to die. … ‘He is being supported by CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood.’ ‘This is a well-orchestrated plan.’ Ammar Campa-Najjar: A risk we can’t ignore.”

And …

“He changed his name from Ammar Yasser Najjar to Ammar Campa-Najjar so he sounds Hispanic. … So his signs could actually say Joseph Campa or, or something. That is how hard, by the way, that the radical Muslims are trying to infiltrate the U.S. government. You had more Islamists run for office this year at the federal level than ever before in U.S. history.”

The Washington Post Fact Checker to the rescue:

  • Campa-Najjar is a Christian born and raised in San Diego
  • His grandfather died years before he was born
  • His father wasn’t around much and that Campa-Najjar was raised by his mother and her Mexican American family
  • Campa-Najjar obtained a security clearance for his past work in the Obama White House and the Labor Department

The conclusion:

This ad uses naked anti-Muslim bias in an effort to scare Californians into voting for an indicted Republican incumbent.

The Democrat on the receiving end of these attacks isn’t even Muslim. All the claims in the ad are false, misleading or devoid of evidence.

Hunter earns Four Pinocchios.

4 pinocchios


Mike Pompeo has a heart, but it’s very, very tiny.tiny heartThe policy of the United States has long been to grant visas to partners of foreign diplomats serving in the U.S., even when those relationships are not recognized by their home countries, such as is sometimes the case with LGBT couples.  In July, the U.S. mission to the United Nations informed foreign delegations that beginning Oct. 1, the State Department would no longer issue G-4 visas to same-sex partners of foreign diplomats and U.N. officials who are not legally married.

There are 69 countries around the world that criminalize same-sex relationships, and in 10 countries, LGBT couples face the death penalty for their orientation.  Last week, 119 House Democrats sent a letter to Pompeo protesting the policy change.  Let’s hope he listens, though I’m not holding my breath.  This is a step backward in U.S. Civil Rights, not to mention Human Rights … and a loud statement of Pompeo’s views of the LGBT community.


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United Nations vs Nikki Haley

The United Nations says the U.S. has a poverty problem.   Ambassador Nikki Haley says we don’t.  Who’s right?  The United Nations is indeed correct and Nikki Haley is naught but a Trump mouthpiece.  Ms. Haley claims that the U.S. is “the wealthiest and freest country in the world”.  Not so, Ms. Haley.  The UN report acknowledges that the U.S. is among the wealthiest societies, however it also states …

“But its immense wealth and expertise stand in shocking contrast with the conditions in which vast numbers of its citizens live. About 40 million live in poverty, 18.5 million in extreme poverty, and 5.3 million live in Third World conditions of absolute poverty.  It has the highest youth poverty rate in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the highest infant mortality rates among comparable OECD States. Its citizens live shorter and sicker lives compared to those living in all other rich democracies, eradicable tropical diseases are increasingly prevalent, and it has the world’s highest incarceration rate, one of the lowest levels of voter registrations in among OECD countries and the highest obesity levels in the developed world.”

Read that one a couple of times, folks. This is a nation where there is indeed great wealth, and it is largely owned by the uber-wealthy.  The wealthiest 1% of this nation own more wealth than the lowest 90%.  That figure … that 40 million live in poverty?  That equates to roughly 12% of the population.  The report goes on to say …

“The United States has the highest rate of income inequality among Western countries.  The $1.5 trillion in tax cuts in December 2017 overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy and worsened inequality.”

Surprise, surprise … that tax cut was just what we said it was … a benefit for the wealthy.

“But in 2018 the United States had over 25 per cent of the world’s 2,208 billionaires.  There is thus a dramatic contrast between the immense wealth of the few and the squalor and deprivation in which vast numbers of Americans exist. For almost five decades the overall policy response has been neglectful at best, but the policies pursued over the past year seem deliberately designed to remove basic protections from the poorest, punish those who are not in employment and make even basic health care into a privilege to be earned rather than a right of citizenship.

Need I say more?  Nikki Haley had more to say:

“It is patently ridiculous for the United Nations to examine poverty in America. In our country, the President, Members of Congress, Governors, Mayors, and City Council members actively engage on poverty issues every day. Compare that to the many countries around the world, whose governments knowingly abuse human rights and cause pain and suffering.”

Wake up, Ms. Haley … members of Congress have been so busy for the past 17 months licking Trump’s boots and kissing his patootie that they haven’t given a thought to those who can barely pay for their medicine, buy food, pay rent, etc.  Her comments came just two days after the U.S. pulled out of the UN Human Rights Council, allegedly because Trump, and presumably Haley did not like the fact that the UN was holding Israel’s feet to the fire on human rights issues and its treatment of Palestinians.  I am inclined to believe that the withdrawal had more to do with the extreme human rights violations being committed by the U.S. in its treatment of immigrant children who are being separated from their families.

Also in the UN report …

“Defenders of the status quo point to the United States as the land of opportunity and the place where the American dream can come true because the poorest can aspire to the ranks of the richest. But today’s reality is very different. The United States now has one of the lowest rates of intergenerational social mobility of any of the rich countries. The equality of opportunity, which is so prized in theory, is in practice a myth, especially for minorities and women, but also for many middle-class White workers.”

The report suggests that the tax cuts will have long-term effects, “creating disparities in the education system, hampering human capital formation and eating into future productivity”.  In other words, as we suspected, the rich will get richer while the poor are kicked into the gutter.  I wonder who the rich people think will be around to build their fancy homes, manufacture their expensive automobiles, grow & harvest their food, clean their houses, educate their children, etc.?

Take a few minutes to read the report, at least the ‘Overview’ and ‘Conclusions and Recommendations’ sections, for they are interesting and enlightening. The full report is 20 pages long and you can view it here, or download it to a Word document.  It is well worth the read.    As for Nikki Haley?  She is just another sycophant whose opinion doesn’t merit further discussion.  The UN report is far more interesting than anything she has to say.

The President’s Is Saying That His Recent Hard Line Stance Against Russia Was A Fluke

Friend Gronda has once again done an excellent job bringing us up-to-date on the latest about U.S.-Russian relations, sanctions, etc. Sub-title should be “Putin and his favourite puppet, li’l Donnie”. Please take a moment to read. Thank you, Gronda, for all your hard work on this one. Excellent post.

Gronda Morin

Image result for photos of trump nikki haley NIKKI HALEY

Remember when the republican President Donald Trump recently took what looked like a real stance against Russian oligarchs. I was pleasantly surprised that he had finally taken a tough position for the first time against the country that attacked our US democracy on numerous fronts having to do with our election infrastructure in 2016. In addition this was supposed the send Russia a message that the US was backing our ally Great Britain where two Russian expats were poisoned by Russian agents on UK’s territory.

Then very recently, I was beside myself with joy when the US Ambassador for the United Nations Nikki Haley had announced that the US was poised to enact additional sanctions against Russia that would be announced by the US Treasurer Steven Mnuchin on the 16th of April 2018.

Image result for photos of nikki haley and larry kudlow NIKKI HALEY

I did openly wonder about how this momentous event had happened as I…

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Stupid Remark of the Day …

When Ms. Nikki Haley was governor of South Carolina, I had some admiration for her, based on what little I knew of her.  While Ms. Haley had not, in the past, been supportive of removing the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds, after the Charleston church shooting where Dylan Roof murdered nine African-Americans, Haley changed her stance with good grace …

“These grounds [the State Capital] are a place that everybody should feel a part of. What I realized now more than ever is people were driving by and felt hurt and pain. No one should feel pain. There is a place for that flag. It’s not in a place that represents all people in South Carolina.”

She also refused to support anti-LGBT legislation that would have required transgender individuals to use restrooms based on biological sex instead of gender identity …

“These are not instances… Y’all haven’t reported on anything. I haven’t heard anything that’s come to my office. So when I look at South Carolina, we look at our situations, we’re not hearing of anybody’s religious liberties that are being violated, and we’re, again, not hearing any citizens that feel like they are being violated in terms of freedoms.”

She called for Donald Trump to release his tax returns, and in turn was the victim of Trump’s verbal assault.

And that was most of what I knew of Haley, and I liked what I saw.  However, when Trump named her to the position of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, I had grave concerns.  First, she had no experience in foreign policy and her limited experience, I felt, would ensure that she was in far over her head.  But, Donnie didn’t listen to me, so there she sits.

What respect I once had for Nikki Haley has long since evaporated, for a number of reasons, the main one being that once named as Ambassador, she quickly lost her values and became just another of Trump’s lap dogs, doing the tricks he trained her to do.  But this week, she said something so unconscionable, so stupid and ludicrous, that I have to call her on it.

In 2016, 15,000 Syrian refugees were admitted to the U.S.  In 2017, that number dropped to 3,000.  And by the end of the first quarter of 2018, fewer than 12.  Given Trump’s xenophobic, Islamaphobic immigration policies, is it any wonder that they are afraid to come to this country?  But no, says Haley, the reason they have stopped coming is because they would rather stay in Syria.  I want to let out a primal scream on this one, but I am trying to remain calm, to use my words rather than shred my vocal chords.

Dear Ms. Haley,

I have had the honour and pleasure to live next door to a family of Syrian refugees – father, mother, and three sons – since December 2014.  Normally, I would expect a person in your position to have a greater understanding than I on this topic, but since you obviously do not have any understanding, please allow me to enlighten you.

This family spent years taking turns staying up all night and watching … watching for soldiers, listening for gunshots, listening for planes overhead so that whichever adult was on ‘watch duty’ that night could awaken the others, and they could herd the children to the nearest place of safety.  They saw friends and family killed.  They had no electricity much of the time, no refrigeration ever.  They came to this country, after a long wait, because they wanted to give their boys a life free of bombs, soldiers, chemical attacks, and fear … always fear.  They wanted a better life for their children, just as we all do.

Yes, they miss Syria, miss their homeland, their friends, their families.  And no, given different circumstances, they would likely not have chosen to come to the U.S. where they are taunted and teased for their dress, their language and their religion.  But make no mistake, they did come here seeking a safe haven, and others would as well … certainly more than a dozen in three months.  But we no longer welcome them.  We have a cruel man leading the nation who has promoted hatred of immigrants, who has encouraged violence against refugees, so they are now nearly as afraid to come here as they are to remain in Syria.

“They want to stay as close to Syria as they can so that when, God willing, this fighting stops and when there is finally stability and peace in that area, they want to go rejoin their family members. They want to go back to what they remember.”

Ms. Haley … under what circumstances do you actually see the fighting in Syria stopping?  Do you truly believe there will ever, in your lifetime, be peace in Syria?  Because if you believe that, you have just proven my initial conclusion, that you are highly unqualified for your position.  Peace in Syria in the next 50 years is about as likely as me sprouting wings and flying.

No, Ms. Haley, Syrians have not stopped coming to the U.S. because they prefer to stay in Syria and live in fear day-after-day.  Syrians have stopped coming here because the ‘man’ sitting in the Oval Office, your boss, has made the U.S. a living hell for Middle Eastern immigrants. We should be ashamed, and the majority of us, myself included, are.

My neighbors, by the way, are among the kindest people I have ever known.  They are constantly making special treats for us, I am free to use their car any time I need to, we share meals on holidays, and when I had my eye surgery, they brought me a bouquet of flowers.  They are as worthy as anybody I know to live in this country, and I am proud to call them ‘friend’.

As for you, Ms. Ambassador, I suggest you seek advice from some former State Department officials who may be able to help you understand the Middle East before you open your mouth again.

Sincerely …

President Has Plans To Get Even With UN For Recent Jerusalem Vote

Donald Trump is a vicious and vengeful little person, and now he is willing to take food from the mouths of starving children in order to retaliate because the rest of the world does not agree with him. Please read Gronda’s post about Trump’s latest failure of humanity. Thank you, Gronda, for sharing this with us.

Gronda Morin

Image result for photos of un voting on jerusalem UNITED NATIONS

Within a week from when the vast majority of countries either voted against or abstained from the United States public recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

As per 12/25/17 Newsweek report, “Haley said there might be further budget cuts in the future. President Trump’s proposed 2018 spending budget would end funding for U.N. climate change programs and would cut funding to the United Nations Children’s Fund, also known as UNICEF, by 16 percent.”

This is how the President Trump’s administration, the bully of the world acts, but this tactic is not conducive towards winning and influencing friends in countries around the world.

Image result for photos of un voting on jerusalemHere’s the rest of the story…

December 26, 2017, the AP and Edward Helmore of the Guardian penned the following report, “US to make at least %285 m cut to UN budget after vote on Jerusalem.”

  • US is responsible for 22% of the UN’s annual operating budget

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No Laughing Matter …

The politics and inter-relationships of the Middle East are perhaps more complex than any other on the globe.  I have studied this area extensively for the past ten years, yet I do not claim to fully understand. What I can tell you, however, is that the Middle East has long been a powder keg, and is no less so today.  In fact, thanks to one Donald Trump, the turmoil in the Middle East is at an all time high.  Donald Trump does not, cannot possibly, understand Middle East politics and he does not appear to understand what he has caused.

jerusalen-2Trump, the ‘man’ who said on the campaign trail regarding numerous issues, “only I can fix this”, made a fateful decision on 6 December to announce that the United States will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will move the U.S. Embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. With that one announcement, he made the United States look like fools in the eyes of the world, set off a wave of violence in the Middle East, and forfeited any hopes of a U.S.-brokered peace between Israel and Palestine. And still he has no idea what he has done, is seeing himself as the victim of the backlash that was inevitable in the face of his announcement.

He made this decision with the assistance of Vice-President Mike Pence, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, and son-in-law Jared Kushner.  Not a single one of these four people have so much as a semester’s education in the history or politics of the Middle East.  Donald Trump is a former real estate developer and television sit-com actor. Mike Pence is the former governour of Indiana. Jared Kushner is a former newspaper man. Nikki Haley is the former governour of South Carolina.  The people who do have at least some experience in the situation in the Middle East, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis and their career staff recommended against the move. Trump chose, instead, to listen to newbies with no idea the havoc they were wreaking.

The results were swift and ongoing.  Our European allies sharply criticized the move.  Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected any U.S. role in peace talks going forward. Christian minorities in Egypt rejected a meeting request by Vice President Mike Pence. Palestinian Christians are also organizing boycotts of Pence. In the words of Hady Amr and Arsalan Suleman, writing for Brookings Institute, “all indications are that the president focused narrowly on his political agenda instead of safeguarding U.S. national security interests.”

Trump criticized Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush for promising and then failing to deliver on the promise of recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but both of those former presidents were smart enough to study the situation and listen to their advisors before determining that the consequences would be harmful to both U.S. national security interests and harmful to Israel itself. Trump, unfortunately, has no such intelligence.

But wait … now it gets even worse.  Fast forward, if you will, to yesterday when, in an emergency session, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to reject Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. 128 members voted on Thursday in favour of the resolution supporting the longstanding international consensus that the status of Jerusalem – which is claimed as a capital by both Israel and the Palestinians – can only be settled as an agreed final issue in a peace deal. Only nine nations voted against the resolution: the U.S., Togo, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Marshall Islands, Guatemala, Honduras and Israel.  Thirty-five countries abstained and twenty-one were absent.

Donald Trump, who of course must always be right, and who is a professional bully, threatened to withhold U.S. aid from any country that supported the resolution.  Nikki Haley said that the U.S. would make note and remember any nations that “disrespected” America by voting for the resolution.  Think about this one, friends.  Trump goes against all intelligent advice to interfere where he had no business, then threatens … yes threatens … our allies for voting in favour of a common sense measure to attempt to fix what Trump broke.  Donald Trump has, not for the first time, offended our allies and further isolated the United States, not to mention making us the object of worldwide scorn and derision.

This move by Trump has cast a long shadow over our relations with our allies. Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu declared that …

“I believe that even though we don’t have an agreement yet, this is what will happen in the future. I believe that all or most of the European countries will move their embassies to Jerusalem, recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and engage robustly with us for security, prosperity and peace.”

Guess again, Ben. Mexico, Canada, the UK and the EU Commission have all announced that they will not be moving their embassies to Jerusalem.

The United States passed through the ‘laughingstock of the world’ stage some time ago and is now racing toward the ‘most hated nation in the world’ stage.  All, for the most part, because of one ‘man’, one narcissistic fool who thinks his uneducated opinion is the only one that matters.  We must soon find our way to removing this ‘man’ from the White House, for he is jeopardizing not only our own security and future, but also that of the rest of the globe.  Nobody has that right, and the arrogance of the United States is in the spotlight now more than ever. The U.S. stopped being the “leader of the free world” on the day that Donald Trump was inaugurated. We are coming close to being ‘non grata’ around the globe.  For my part, I am once again ashamed of my country.

No Conscience In This Cabinet!

Never before have so many disgusting lies been uttered in one room in a short few hours’ time.  The scene: Trump’s first full cabinet meeting.  The first lie … a yuge lie indeed … came from Trump himself as he opened the meeting saying, “Never has there been a president, with few exceptions, the case of FDR – he had a major Depression to handle – who’s passed more legislation who’s done more things than what we’ve done.” I wonder if the boys and girls in the meeting actually believed that, or if they merely played along? I’m not sure how anybody could have believed him when he has not managed to pass a single major piece of legislation yet, nor is he likely to any time soon.

But the boys and girls who serve as secretaries, directors and senior staff pandered to his ego and praised him as if he were somebody he is not.  For Trump, the first part of the meeting, while the press was in attendance, it was a stage, an opportunity for him to preen, an opportunity of which he took full advantage.

He said he wanted to go around the table and have everyone introduce themselves, as if the whole world isn’t already familiar with the contingent of clowns.  “I’m going to start with our vice-president. Where is our vice-president?” Trump asked, swiveling his head to look for Mike Pence before spotting him seated in the vice-president’s assigned seat, directly across from the president. “There he is,” Trump said jovially to titters from the others. “We’ll start with Mike and then we’ll just go around, your name, your position,” Trump instructed, like a teacher on the first day of school.

And this is where it goes from ridiculous to bizarre …

Vice President Mike Pence: “This is just the greatest privilege of my life.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions: “It is so great to be here.”

Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley: “It’s a new day at the United Nations. I think the international community knows we’re back.”

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry: “My hat’s off to you.”

Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao: “I want to thank you for getting this country moving again.”

Chief of Staff Reince Priebus: “We thank you for the opportunity and the blessing that you’ve given us to serve your agenda.”

Secretary of Labour Alexander Costa: “I am privileged to be here. Deeply honored.”

Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price: “What an incredible honor it is to lead the Department of Health and Human Services at this pivotal time under your leadership. I can’t thank you enough for the privileges you’ve given me and the leadership that you’ve shown.”

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue: “A lot of us just got back from Mississippi. They love you there.”

Are you feeling ill yet? As soon as the adulation was over, Trump dismissed the press from the room.  As I said, it was a stage, an opportunity for all the world to see just how much he is adored and praised by his minions.  Typically, in another administration, this group would be referred to as the “brain trust”, but I cannot bring myself to use that term here, for there seems to be very little in the way of ‘brains’.

The most interesting thing is that at least some of the people who claimed to be so enamoured of Trump have had serious and ongoing disputes with him.  Jeff Sessions, for example, reportedly tendered his resignation a few weeks ago.  Trump declined to accept it, but nonetheless it indicates that there is conflict there.  And just a few days ago, Trump informed Reince Priebus that he had only until July 4th to “clean up the White House” or else lose his job.  Which leads me to believe that this whole little show put on for the press was scripted.  I strongly suspect that these people were told to praise the Idiot-in-Chief effusively, else they might find themselves in the same unemployment line as former FBI Director James Comey.  I would not be surprised to find that Steve Bannon, who was sitting directly behind Trump during the meeting, gave each person a piece of paper with what they were to say written upon it. That they went along shows us just how unreliable, untrustworthy, what a bunch of wusses and liars these people running our country are.

Christopher Lu, who served as Assistant to the President and White House Cabinet Secretary under President Obama, tweeted, “I ran 16 Cabinet meetings during Obama’s 1st term. Our Cabinet was never told to sing Obama’s praises. He wanted candid advice not adulation.”  Well, that is the difference between a president and a thin-skinned clown.  Trump’s own tweet read, “Finally held our first full @Cabinet meeting today. With this great team, we can restore American prosperity and bring real change to D.C.”  The ‘man’ is wearing rose-coloured glasses, apparently.

This is not one of the world’s most earth-shattering news items, but it is telling, I think, of what we have in the Oval Office.  We have a ‘man’ who places far more importance on being praised than on doing the job for which he was hired.  He is far more attuned to what his paid pansies say, whether they are sincere or not, than to what We The People think.  He is still nothing more than an actor playing a role, and doing so very badly.  His minions who praised him ad nauseam traded their collective consciences for their jobs.  When his ship sinks, they will all be on it and we will say, “Good Riddance”.

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Round #1: Haley vs Tillerson … or … Clueless in Washington

There are many in Washington today who have no clue what they are doing.  Or at least who were grossly un-or-under-qualified for the jobs they were placed in by Trump & Co.  For example, we have the man who sued the EPA multiple times, now in charge of the EPA.  We have the woman who does not believe in public schools, now over the Department of Education.  There is a documented racist in the position of Attorney General. We have a former oil company executive serving as Secretary of State.  And we have former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley serving as ambassador to the United Nations.

Haley first came onto my radar in 2015 when she called on the state to remove the Confederate flag from the statehouse after the killing of nine black church members by Dylan Roof in June of that year.

“For many people in our state, the flag stands for traditions that are noble. Traditions of history, of heritage, and of ancestry. At the same time, for many others in South Carolina, the flag is a deeply offensive symbol of a brutally oppressive past.”

I was pleased with her decision and admired the courage it took to make the decision.  I was also pleased with her position last year during the seemingly-endless 2016 presidential campaign, when she argued against the Republican’s hardline stance on immigration, saying, “You know, the one thing that got me I think was when he [Trump] started saying ban all Muslims. We must fix our broken immigration system. That means stopping illegal immigration. And it means welcoming properly vetted legal immigrants, regardless of their race or religion. Just like we have for centuries.” She also called for Republicans not to “follow the siren call of the angriest voices”.

I think, based on what I know, that Nikki Haley was a good governor.  That, however, in no way qualifies her for a key foreign policy post. I won’t even speculate on the reasons Trump may have actually had for this nomination, but here is what he said:

[She] has a proven track record of bringing people together regardless of background or party affiliation to move critical policies forward for the betterment of her state and our country — she is also a proven deal-maker, and we look to be making plenty of deals.  She will be a great leader representing us on the world stage.”

Interestingly, when it was noted that she had no foreign policy experience, her supporters argued, saying that she had traveled abroad at least eight times!  It should be noted that ‘traveling abroad’ does not give one in-depth knowledge of the intricacies of foreign policy and international relations!

trump-haleyHaley had been a critic of Trump throughout the campaign, saying at one point, “I will not stop until we fight a man that chooses not to disavow the KKK.” Trump returned the criticism with a March 1st tweet: “The people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley!”  Somehow, despite their apparent enmity during the campaign, they seem to have now formed a mutual-admiration society.  Last month, Haley praised Trump for his decision to launch an air strike against a Syrian air base, and at the same time made excuses and tried to justify the hypocrisy of his decision based on the fact that he believed al-Assad had used chemical weapons on Syrian children … the very same Syrian children he would ban from fleeing to the U.S. I do not understand how an intelligent person switches tracks in under a year, from being highly critical to sickeningly supportive.

In the position of ambassador to the U.N., Haley has been, perhaps, the most outspoken member of the Trump administration to weigh in on key foreign policy issues, on everything from military strikes on Syria to sanctions against Russia and how to approach human rights. But apparently much of what she says has come as a surprise to Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, who is also incredibly inept at the position he occupies. Tillerson has kept a relatively low profile and is noted for skipping meetings with world leaders.

Tillerson and Haley have expressed differing views on a number of issues, notably the future of Syria and its president, al-Assad.  Haley indicated in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the United States does not see a peaceful political resolution for Syria’s civil war as long as Assad remains in power:

” We don’t see a peaceful Syria with Assad in there. The objective of U.S. policy is to defeat ISIS. I mean, we’ve got to do that for peace and stability in the area. It’s also to get out the Iranian influence, which we think is causing so much friction and worse issues in the area. And then we’ve got to go and make sure that we actually see a leader that will protect his people. And clearly, Assad is not that person.”

Tillerson’s view, however, appears to be slightly different.  Speaking on ABC News’ “This Week,” Tillerson said the Syrian people will eventually decide Assad’s fate:

“Our priority is first the defeat of ISIS. Once we can eliminate the battle against ISIS, conclude that, and it is going quite well, then we hope to turn our attention to cease-fire agreements between the regime and opposition forces. In that regard, we are hopeful that we can work with Russia and use their influence to achieve areas of stabilization throughout Syria and create the conditions for a political process through Geneva in which we can engage all of the parties on the way forward, and it is through that political process that we believe the Syrian people will lawfully be able to decide the fate of Bashar al-Assad.”

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The differing opinions drew fire from some, notably Senator Marco Rubio and national security advisor H.R. McMaster. Apparently in an effort to “foster greater coherence”, the State Department is requesting Ms. Haley’s aides to ensure her public remarks are cleared by Washington first. An email drafted by State Department diplomats urged Ms. Haley’s office to rely on “building blocks” written by the department to prepare her remarks. Her comments should be “re-cleared with Washington if they are substantively different from the building blocks, or if they are on a high-profile issue such as Syria, Iran, Israel-Palestine, or the D.P.R.K.“

Tensions between the U.N. ambassador and Secretary of State are not unusual, but in this case, we have two people in positions that they are not qualified for, speaking of issues on which they are not particularly knowledgeable, and one would like to see them take the time to learn and understand before they speak.  But then, their boss is also unqualified and not knowledgeable of his own position and his “foreign policy” remains scattered like the 1,000 pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. This circus train was once a highly respected player in international relations … hopefully at some point these people will come up to speed, know their jobs, and make sound decisions, but they are not there yet.